Narasimha on mysticism

My question to Narasimha today was about what he had said before on the differences between Hindouism and Abrahamic religions. Two things were puzzling me in this structure:

Christianity – The God created the world and remained outside + division in Heaven and Hell vs Hindouism – The God created the world and remained in it + division in Heaven, Hell and Liberation.

I was wondering if Narasimha had been talking theologically or experientially and if  the Christianity had the same liberation possible in terms of Mercy. I also asked if the Christ consciousness was equivalent to Atman, God inside of us.

Narasimha said that the mainstream in Christianism is very dry. Some mystics brought light to it through their experience. These mystic experiences among Christians were not in conformity with the religion and thus are not officially part of the religion.

Hindouism has a fluid structure, is very much alive and can absorb anything, like all the new achievements of the science.

Christianism  looks good, but clearly is not satisfying the need of mystic experience today. People search these mystic experiences through other religions.

Narasimha suggested that we do some research on the Christian mystics, like Teresa of Ávila and her writings on the ascent of the soul to see if we can find similarities between Christianity and Hindouism on the experiential level.

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Photo by Minna Nuotio

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2 thoughts on “Narasimha on mysticism

  1. There are many streams of Christian mysticism, and, speaking as a Quaker, I find it impossible to generalize. That’s even before we get to the Jewish Kabbalah or Islamic Sufi practices also arising in the Abrahamic legacy.
    Yes, they’re far from the mainstream, but I suspect that’s the case for mysticism in Eastern traditions as well.
    As the Gita says, only one in a thousand even sets out to know the Holy One, and only one in a thousand of those succeeds, and who knows what the influx of Western materialistic consumerism has been doing in the meantime.
    (Gee, we’re not even trying to define mystic/mysticism yet, are we? Or the action of the Holy Spirit.)
    One thing I feel in some of the Abrahamic streams is a very deep real-world focus … stories more closely rooted in human experience and perceptions.
    But that also points to the Zen “chop firewood and carry water” realities as well.

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  2. Thank you Jnana.

    I wasn’t clear about what I meant with the mainstream. In the class we talked about the mainstream which is not mystic at all, but dogmatic, and that the mysticism in Christianity is not accepted by the Church.

    When we talk about the deep personal religious experience and want to generalize it, something essential disappears. Or if we try to codify these experiences, what’s left is not the same thing at all. When a spiritual moment is intellectualized, its nature has changed.

    I feel completely incompetent of defining or comparing these things I evoked. There must be comparative studies though. I just wanted to transmit the questions.

    Personally I feel that when we talk about something that is real spiritually, it must exist in human condition no matter what is the religion. I was wondering also if the Holy Spirit was Patanjali’s Purusa which enters the material world (Prakrti) and makes it spiritually alive..

    I agree that Zen in its mysticism is very down to earth like Abrahamic streams! The meaningfulness and the spirit in our action are still important. There are many ways of chopping firewood and carrying water. The life is given that we have some time to find the best way. 😀

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