Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mormon Mysticism?

Let there be light! That's better. And so begins a potentially invaluable series of insights into the soul, the universe, heaven and God.

Now, to start off with, some of you may be wondering how a Mormon can also be a mystic. Mystics are all about meditating, becoming 'one with the universe' and climbing into a crypt for the rest of your life to be fed through a little hole in the wall, right? And aren't Mormons all about going to meetings, doing family home evening and being generally peppy? I think that's a gross over-generalization. Mormonism, at its heart, is mysticism pure and simple.

Now, I'm going to be using a definition of mysticism that may not be what is accepted or what you're used to. As the great Humpty-Dumpty said, "A word is exactly what I choose it to mean", so bear with me. Mysticism, at least according to me, is the practice of trying to become one with God. And Mormonism is indeed a form of that practice. And not just in the "working together" or "being a team" way. To me that interpretation negates the beauty of the idea of 'becoming one' that is found an amazing amount of times throughout the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. No, I would say that to become one in a Mormon context is to lose one's individuality to the extent that you are a part of a larger whole. A distinct part, to be sure, but a part nonetheless.

I liken it to Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians about the body of Christ: "For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?"

And so, by becoming one with God we do not lose our individuality completely, but we become part of a larger individual. We have a dual-citizenship of sorts. Aren't the cells in your body distinct organisms? As are your different organs? And in the eternal, Celestial existence, aren't we like a great body? We all know and can see everything, and so everything one of us sees, the other one sees also. Our minds are essentially the same. We could coordinate movements and think as a whole, like a body does. And also, like the different parts of the body, we would be able to each 'do our own thing', so to speak.

And so, when you look at reality this way, it becomes like like a pointillist painting. Lots of little dots of color that when placed together, spontaneously form a great vista or a stunning portrait. I hope that makes sense.

I hope you enjoy my blog, and I will enjoy writing it. And so, there was light...

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