As my creative team and I launch my new website, I am excited to commence a new stage of my life and work. I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful people over many years – within and for many fine institutions. Today, I begin the process of building a new community – a community of creative people with specific purposes in mind. We will continue to unfold those purposes over the next months and years.
Today, I begin this new adventure with my first blog post. People who view my new website ask me what the four descriptive words on my homepage mean to me. I will deal with them one at a time:
First, “MYSTICAL.” There are various definitions of this word – depending on scope and context. I chose the word because it describes my sense of spirituality. I see myself as mystical because I am a diligent seeker of all spiritual truth – no matter what the source. I have a solid foundational history in Biblically-centered Fundamentalist Christianity. As I have cultivated my spiritual life, I have come to understand that there are countless additional ways of understanding myself as a spiritual person, my relationship to religion, to others, and to God. A Fundamentalist Christian might choose to embrace dogma as a defining concept. As a mystical person, however, I choose to embrace learning and change as defining concepts. I choose to change. To me, it seems incredibly presumptuous to assume that any person with the dramatically limited perspective each person possesses, could possibly know all things – ever. For example, to assume that any person knows everything about God is to assume that God can exist solely within the confines of that person’s perspective. To believe such seems to me to be complete and utter foolishness. As a result, I choose to learn – everywhere I can and from all perspectives. Life is less certain this way – but so much more interesting. By choosing this path, I open myself to risk and to knowledge that is beyond me. If Cosmology and Astrophysics teach us that the universe is in a state of constant expansion, I believe that knowledge, understanding, and experience do the same. When contemplating spirituality, why should scope, scale, and trajectory be any different?
A mystical person could be said to have a posture of being: one that is open to constant and deepening spiritual transformation. For the mystical person, such transformation recurrently comes from knowledge, understanding, and experience.
We could easily compile a list of mystics, especially Christian Mystics - such as Hildegard of Bingen, St. Bonaventure, Ignatius of Loyola, William Blake, or Joan of Arc (to name a few). Though a spectacular aspiration, I do not consider myself to be a Mystic – one who has arrived into a state of constant spiritual awakening - often through definitive and even supernatural experience. I am simply stating that I am a seeker of such things in relation to spiritual knowledge, understanding, and experience – open to whatever I can learn and who I can become.
I could have used the word spiritual to define myself – I believe that mystical is a broader, more open, and more accurate way to describe where I am in my life. It defines me. It defines all I do.