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A History of God Chapter 7 The God of the Mystics.

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1 A History of God Chapter 7 The God of the Mystics

2 A Personal God Advantage: The Value of the Individual

3 A Personal God Disadvantage: A God that has prejudices, hatred, and gender bias

4 Aryan Nations/Church of Jesus Christ Christian = Nazism and Christ

5 Mystics: Move Beyond a Personal God Mysticism refers to the human being's direct experience or consciousness of ultimate reality, understood as God within the context of a faith. The essence of mysticism is the sense of some form of contact with the Divine or Transcendent, frequently understood in its higher forms as involving union with God. Mysticism has played an important role in the history of religion, and it has once again become a noticeably living influence in recent times.

6 Mysticism and Mythology Mystics are not fundamentalists or literalists Mystics seek an inner psychological transformation based on their understanding of myths, metaphors, and symbols.

7 Joseph Campbell Joseph John Campbell (1904 –1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: "Follow your bliss."

8 Jewish Mysticism Mysticism and mystical experiences have been a part of Judaism since the earliest days. The Torah contains many stories of mystical experiences, from visitations by angels to prophetic dreams and visions. The Talmud considers the existence of the soul and when it becomes attached to the body.

9 “Throne Mysticism” The concept of God as sitting on a throne, which symbolizes the power of His rule, is common in the Bible, while the idea of the Throne of Glory is repeated in rabbinic literature and in poetry.

10 The Throne of God The description of God as sitting on a "lofty and exalted throne" (Isa. 6:1) appears in the Bible primarily in prophetic visions. Prophets, visionaries, and later mystics had a vision or even experience of ascending to God's throne, graphically portrayed as a chariot in the first chapter of Ezekiel.

11 The Seven Heavens This concept we find only in rabbinic literature, where it plays an important role, especially in the early form of Jewish mystical thought known as “Throne” mysticism. In this tradition, it is the task of the mystical initiate to ascend by meditative techniques through the seven heavens one after another, overcoming angelic challenges in each, and then to pass safely through the seven “palaces” of the seventh heaven in order to reach the base of God’s throne.

12 Christian Mysticism Western Christian Mysticism developed at the same time as Scholasticism in Medieval Theology. It traces its origins back to Plotinus in the third century, who’s dogma was blissfully derived from Platonism. It was further advanced by Porphyry (c.232-304 C.E.), Proclus (412-485 C.E.) and some of their students.

13 Gregory the Great Pope St. Gregory I [540 –604], better known in English as Gregory the Great, was pope from 3 September 590 until his death in 604. Gregory is well-known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as pope.

14 Gregory the Great God is hidden from humans in darkness Path to God is full of guilt, tears, exhaustion Humans must experience pain and suffering in their path to God Important spiritual guide in the West until 12 th century.

15 Symeon [949-1022 AD]: The New Theologian Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022) is the latest of three saints of the Eastern Orthodox church to have been given the title of Theologian. Symeon was a poet who embodied the mystical hesychastic tradition. He wrote that humans could and should experience God directly.

16 Hesychasm Hesychasm is an eremitic tradition of prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some other Eastern Churches of the Byzantine Rite. Based on Christ's injunction in the Gospel of Matthew to "go into your closet to pray," Hesychasm has been the process of retiring inward by ceasing to register the senses, in order to achieve an experiential knowledge of God.

17 Hesychasm It is the only great mystic movement in the Orthodox Church. Described rightly as "a reaction of national Greek theology against the invasion of Western scholasticism.“

18 Hesychasts Hesychasts were people, nearly all monks, who defended the theory that it is possible by an elaborate system of asceticism, detachment from earthly cares, submission to an approved master, prayer, especially perfect repose of body and will, to see a mystic light; which is none other than the uncreated light of God.

19 Sufism An ascetic tradition called Sufism, which emphasized personal piety and mysticism and contributed to Islamic cultural diversity, further enriched the Muslim heritage. In contrast to the legal- minded approach to Islam, Sufis emphasized spirituality as a way of knowing God.

20 Sufism: Islamic Mysticism Sufism is generally understood to be the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a ṣūfī, though some adherents of the tradition reserve this term only for those practitioners who have attained the goals of the Sufi tradition. Another name used for the Sufi seeker is dervish.

21 Yahya Suhrawardi Yahya Suhrawardi was a Persian philosopher, Sufi and the founder of the School of Illumination, an important school in Islamic philosophy.

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