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Why Mystical Studies Are Still Important Today

By Charles Kelly

Mystic beliefs often date way back to the past, from religions so ancient that only some sect or small denomination survived from them. Their ways of worship can also be found in the many mores, cultural traditions and customs in countries that have played host to these. In this sense, those virtues found for them are also those in ceremony or rituals for them.

It is mostly lost today, but it has become so much a part of cultures that the consciousness of a people merely practices them as natural. Mystical studies are partly sectarian impetus, and partly the search for those lost connections to the ancient sense of the divine. Human memories are short, and conflict can have erased the connections from tribal memory.

Shamanism was also very widespread before, a kind of worship that was about the more physical aspects. The worship was for trees, rocks and animals, later denounced as barbaric by churches and also other religions. There was a custom for having kings that acted like real divinities, but when one white hair appeared anywhere on his body, he would be sacrificed on a fallow field.

The ceremonial killing of this king on the fields was supposed to fertilize them, to make them fruitful. The blood of this once powerful being will satisfy the divinities of nature and therefore make the land bear bountiful harvests. When the problems about agricultural and nature became less, another kind of mysticism came in.

This was a more philosophical kind of mystic view, and it came during the age of the Judaic fathers, or earlier. There would be more philosophical mystics later, founding the most enduring religions that are formally constituted today. These have created academic systems, and provided impetus for all sorts of advances in culture, the arts, science and technology.

Today, formal studies in mysticism are those that are academic in nature, the preserve of theologians and similar experts. The studies have been sanitized to fit the concept of higher consciousness that all axial religions espouse. The axial religions are those founded on a historical thousand year human turning point, like Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam.

Base practice or acts may often be analyzed as behavior for throwbacks, and can be represented by violence and like actions. But modern academe cannot prove the connection to ritual practice for ancient sects as cause. The studies here is to aim for identifying elements that are old and still active in the habits and practice of men in the more modern settings or cultures.

The most cardinal of sins for the church, often connected to domestic practice or social mores that are weird but accepted. In these studies these could be the threads that lead to the darker history of former things which supposedly died natural deaths. Axial religions supposedly eradicated these but that is improbable when human ancestry is infected by them.

The relevant studies in this sense are therefore those that are clean, contemplative and intensive. There may even be vows for abstinence or penitence, but these studies can be secular too so that it can shed light into human experiences of the past. The aim here is to create a very refined high sense of the divinity that can help humanity progress.

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