- the doctrines or beliefs of mystics; specif., the doctrine that it is possible to achieve communion with God through contemplation
- any doctrine that asserts the possibility of attaining an intuitive knowledge of spiritual truths through meditation
- vague, obscure, or confused thinking or belief
Mysticism is a spiritual belief stating that a connection can be obtained with God or the spirits through thought and meditation.
An example of mysticism is believing that a direct connection can be made with God through sitting and thinking.
- a. Belief in direct experience of transcendent reality or God, especially by means of contemplation and asceticism instead of rational thought.b. Such experience had by an individual.
- Belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are directly accessible by subjective experience: belief in séances, astral projection, and similar mysticism.
- Belief that is not based on evidence or subjected to criticism: “[When] grappling with the evils they have themselves exposed … these lifelong Marxists drift off into vague mysticism and into worship of personality” ( I.F. Stone )
Boehmenism, Behmenism the mystical teachings of Jakob Boehme (1575-1624), an influence on George Fox and Quakerism. —Boehmenist, Boehmist, Boehmenite, n. Bourigianism the mystical theories of Antoinette Bourignon (1616-80), popular in the Netherlands and in Scotland. Gnosticism the beliefs and practices of pre-Christian and early Christian sects, condemned by the church, especially the conviction that matter is evil and that knowledge is more important than faith, and the practice of esoteric mysticism. —Gnostic, n., adj. Hermeticism 1. the occult concepts, ideas, or philosophy set forth in the writings of the hermeticists of the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance. 2. adherence to, belief in, or propagation of these concepts and ideas. 3. Literature. a symbolic and arcane style similar to that of the hermeticists, especially in the poetry of certain French symbolist poets. —hermeticist, hermetist, n. —hermetic, hermetical, adj. metagnosticism the doctrine that knowledge of the Absolute is within human reach, but through a higher religious consciousness rather than by logical processes. See also god and gods. — metagnostic, adj. mystagogy 1. the principles, doctrines, and practices of mysticism. 2. the interpretation of mysteries, as the Eleusinian. —mystagogue, n. —mystagogic, mystagogical, adj. mystagogue a teacher of mystical doctrines. omphalopsychism the practice of staring at one’s navel to induce a mystical trance. Also called omphaloskepsis. —omphalopsychite, n. pleroma the Gnostic concept of the spiritual world, representing the fullness of the Divine Being and the eons emanating therefrom. theosophy 1. any of various forms of philosophical or religious thought claiming a mystical insight into the divine nature and natural phenomena. 2. (cap.) the system of belief and practice of the Theosophical Society. —theosophist, n. —theosophical, adj.
English from the early to mid 1700's, Confer French mysticisme.
- Mysticism did not cease within the Catholic Church at the Reformation.
- St Bernard's mysticism is of a practical cast, dealing mainly with the means by which man may attain to the knowledge and enjoyment of God.
- The systematic theosophy of Plotinus and his successors does not belong to the present article, except so far as it is the presupposition of their mysticism; but, inasmuch as the mysticism of the medieval Church is directly derived from Neoplatonism through the speculations of the pseudo-Dionysius, Neoplatonic mysticism fills an important section in any historical review of the subject.
- These are the permanent outlines of what may be called the philosophy of mysticism in Christian times, and it is remarkable with how little variation they are repeated from age to age.
- Mysticism first appears in the medieval Church as the protest of practical religion against the predominance of the dialectical spirit.