‘Mystical experience is the heart and soul of mystical activism. It is the key to transforming self and world, and the power we each possess to change humanity’s course in this apocalyptic time.’
Mysticism, in its deepest sense, refers to the direct, first-hand experience of the divine, the sacred.
And in Mystical Activism: Transforming a world in crisis (Changemakers Books, UK £11.99 / $18.95, February 2020), John C Robinson, a clinical psychologist, interfaith minister and self-professed mystic, invites his readers to transform their personality, life, work, spirituality, religion, even the world itself, and become ‘a divine human in a divine world — a mystical activist in a time of apocalyptic, cultural, political and climate disruption’.
Mystical activism is a stirring and inspired concept (and a great title for a book, may I say!) which places post-materialist thinking in the dynamic context of campaigning for change — John Robinson, writing with passion and clarity, raises the banners valiantly, placing the need for a shift in human consciousness on a radical footing both necessary and achievable, given the will. At the outset he says mystical awakening represents ‘one of the most important experiences in human life, bringing profound religious understanding, forming or confirming our deepest values, and changing our very nature as human beings’.
Activism in general refers to efforts to promote social, political or environmental progress to remedy the suffering of humans and other life forms. Robinson, the author of eight previous books, says that, in sacred activism, religious commitments, spiritual beliefs and mystical experiences deepen and drive our work in the service of humanity and life on Earth. If social movements blend with spirituality and religion, then psychological, social, political and sacred dimensions can fuse to transform the materialist world and evolve a new civilisation.
Big mystical experiences, known, among other things, as enlightenment, satori, cosmic consciousness and the peak experience, can transform one’s life with their power and profundity. Little mystical experiences happen in states of awe and reverence evoked by great natural beauty, powerful rituals or profound or sublime moments in life.