practice of religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness
Mysticism is the belief that people can directly experience God or true reality, rather than through books, ritual or other people. People who practice this are called mystics.
Mystics exist within most religions, though not all people who practice religions are mystics. Mystics may experience visions or dreams, or hear God as a voice.
Some examples of Hindu mystics:
Some examples of Christian mystics:
- Augustine of Hippo (354–430)
- Gregory I (590–604)
- Bridget of Sweden (1303–1373)
- John of the Cross (1542–1591)
- George Fox (1624–1691)
- William Blake (1757–1827)
- Thomas Merton (1915–1968)
Islamic Mysticism is known as Tassawuf (or Sufism) and a detailed list of Muslim Sufi mystics is given on the Sufism page.
Some examples of Jewish mystics:
- Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994)
Some examples of Buddhist mystics:
- Siddhartha Gautama (563 BC-483 BC)
- Bodhidharma (440-528)