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Mysticism in the Bible

Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:06 pm
by MysterySeeker
To DennisMe and anyone else,

- is there any evidence to indicate that some of the authors of books in the Bible got the material that they wrote about through meditation or other mystical experience?

Thanks, MysterySeeker

Re: Mysticism in the Bible

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:07 am
by DennisMe
I don't claim to be an expert on this topic but I can offer you my thoughts.
There is some direct evidence that mystical methods were in use in "biblical times".

In the O.T. in 1 Samuel you will find reference to three methods of communicating with God: Dreams, the use of the mystical objects Urim and Thummim and prophecy by means of recognized prophets of God. The way I read the bible such practice was reserved for the high priest and not a generally encouraged practice.

Outside of formal biblical teaching, the Jewish faith has always had strong mystical grass-roots movements, the Qabbalistic movement is maybe one of the more well-known. This goes back a long way, but as its usually the main stream which writes the books, not as much hard evidence is available as of mainstream spirituality. When teaching the alphabet the stories used are very spiritual to the point where every aspect of the letters and numbers shape and order has spiritual significance. Its not at all comparable to the sterile way in which we, in the west, treat our symbols (and by no coincidence, our lives).

In the N.T, there are several types of occurrences which have mystical connotations. A notable example is Saul's transformation to Paul, which I interpret to be fully consistent with what we now call a Near Death Experience.
He does mention having 'heard' things in 'the other place' of which it was forbidden for men to speak. Commonly this is taken to mean the entities in heaven forbade him to speak of them. I think he means he received knowledge that would get him killed by the authorities because it was considered occult. Such information would include any knowledge of or communication with people who were considered to be dead.
Jesus has this experience on a mountain top where he talks to Moses and Elijah. When he gets down he is accused of communicating with the dead (in order to have him legally sentenced to death). His reply boils down to refuting that Moses and Elijah were dead in the first place. The significance of this is that it is accepted by his detractors as irrefutable logic. That in itself is actually very telling! Unfortunately bible translators missed a lot of nuance in the past and lumped the living (in the biblical view of the after life)

To be continued...

Re: Mysticism in the Bible

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:32 am
by MysterySeeker
Hi DennisMe,

Thanks for your response ! :) Your post is very interesting.

I’ve read the Bible a few times, but that was many years ago. I always just took the Bible at face value, and I focused on the moral of the story, and figured that was the important part to learn. It’s not until recent times that I’ve Googled various scriptures to discover that some scriptures more than others, have arguments about their meanings.

I mean I knew that there are different Christian denominations, but I’ve never really paid attention to what one denominations believes over another. But I have become aware of the fact, in my recent Biblical explorations, that there are a lot of verses that I would call incomplete. And I just finished reading an article about Urim and Thummim, as I recalled no knowledge of it, and I could easily say that they seem to be mysterious objects, of which, people aren’t quite sure what they are.

The article I found is: ... m-function

Some of the reasons that I asked my initial question, is connected to me recently learning about the Charismatic Christians. I’ve been reading a book called “4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice” by Mark & Patti Virkler, and after reading their 4 keys instruction to prayer, I would say that it is similar to meditation practices, in that one becomes still, and can repeat things, like part of a Bible verse, which in other forms of meditation is known as a mantra. They also tell you to imagine Christ, and this will facilitate communication with Him. I’ve read to do the same thing with a deceased loved one you want to talk to, and I am leary of that cause I don’t want to attract evil spirits. To me, they are teaching meditation, as I’ve learned it in other-than-Christian materials, they’re just using different words to describe the same thing.

And this has got me to thinking that perhaps there is more meditation and mystical communication with God in the Bible than I’ve realized before.

And for me, such thoughts, make me ponder the nature of God, the nature of the Source. And my current theory is that God is a sentient being, but he is “all-knowing” in the sense that he has access to all knowledge in the universe at any given moment, but that perhaps God doesn’t know everything, but he learns all the time from his children and proceeds from there. We are the body of Christ, through which, God learns. I realize this belief could be seen as insulting to God, but it makes sense to me, until a better understanding of God emerges to me. Hopefully God will forgive me.

The fact that people can pray to God and get Him to help him, indicates that He is flexible with regards to his plan for our lives, and for the universe.

I’ve always been honest in my prayers to God anyways, starting way back, after I became an adult about 35 years ago. I do apologize to God if I seem disrespectful. But God has stood by me and given me much help over the years, giving me visions/messages/miracles from God and Jesus, so I guess He isn’t too mad at me. There have even been times when He’s answered prayer immediately with a message, vision, or miracle. So when He seemingly doesn’t answer my prayer, I’ll sometimes get frustrated with Him, and tell Him “I know you can hear me, I’ve seen you answer a prayer immediately, so I know you are listening.” But you know how God is, He only says/does something when He wants to. The rest of the time He leaves me twisting in the wind. But there is no other God that is love, so we’ve got to put up, or as the Bible says, patiently wait upon the Lord.

But anyway, there was a verse in the 4 keys book that referred back to a person in OT who essentially meditated, but with a fast over at least one day, and this got me to thinking that perhaps lots of meditative practices have gone on in the Bible. And to me, this kind of changes the nature of the Bible from what I knew anyways. And what this says about my future beliefs about all this, I don’t know yet.

Perhaps the Bible is a mystical expression to us Earthlings. Perhaps spiritual things were in some of those messages, and maybe we aren’t quite understanding it all. For me, when I’ve read a Bible verse, that didn’t quite make sense, I just thought, I’ll wait until i die, and then ask God. And I’ve recently realized that not everyone thinks that way, some people/churches prefer to argue over Biblical verses, and some verses in the Bible seemingly get ignored, because perhaps no one quite knows what they mean.

I do know for sure, that when I die, I will be bugging God and His helpers a lot with a ton of questions. If God doesn’t already mumble to Himself “her again,” He will want to do that even more after I die.

Some people seemingly give up on the Bible as being not much use, but I think the secrets to how this Universe works are in the Bible. We just might not be getting it !

I’m hoping to find a thorough book that addresses this subject, but so far only minor leads.