Explore BrainMass

Howard Thurman on the Mystic

What is the definition of mysticism and what is the definition of a person who is considered a mystic? What were Howard Thurman's thoughts regarding being a mystic and mysticism?

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com August 14, 2018, 8:59 pm ad1c9bdddf

Solution Preview

"Mysticism" is often defined as "participation." I wrote this in an essay that has yet to be published:

"Gregory Palamas, Maximos and Dionysus are often called the "mystics" of the church. St. Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022) is also usually added as a fourth member of this school. Truth be told, however, there is no distinction between mystic and "practical" Christianity. The Church and the presence of Christ on earth are identical regardless of what a writer might stress about it. To be "mystic" is to participate in a Universal, in this case, a concrete universal. This is why Plato, especially in commentaries on the Symposium, is often called a mystic."

Karen Armstrong writes in The Betrayal of Tradition: Essays on the Spiritual Crisis of ...

Solution Summary

Howard Thurman is normally seen as a religious writer dealing with action; that is, public service. Here, we deal with the reality is Silence, the means of meeting God for the sake of personal unity. This is something that can only be experienced.