Sunday, April 15, 2007
MYSTICISM VS. MAGIC
Susanna has written a very good description of the difference between magic and mysticism, and I wanted to share it with all of you because these two ways of approaching that beyond the realm of man are getting confused in New Age doctrine:
True mysticism is prayer. St. Teresa of Avila taught that when one begins contemplative prayer it should be with the intention of unselfishly loving God for His own sake without any expectation of ecstasies or other spiritual pleasures. In fact, there is often something that occurs in contemplative prayer called "aridity".....when prayer is unexciting, almost "boring" and seems to be an exercise in futility. This is usually a good sign. This is when prayer is most unselfish and hence most authentic....... purely out of love for God....a spiritual embracing of the Cross.
Not so with occultism. The occultist demands results! The only one the occultist loves and worships is himself. God for the occultist is seen as merely the means of his own self gratification.
I have a friend whose husband committed suicide during his involvement in a false mysticism that involved the use of drugs to produce "altered states of consciousness." Again, the occultist/magician demands results.
Regarding the Mass: The Mass is a miracle. Occult rituals are magic. Only God can perform true miracles. The reason why magic can resemble miracles is because the angelic nature is higher than our own and is therefore capable of doing things which while perfectly "natural" to other angels are "preternatural" in relation to our human nature. Only god can do that which is "supernatural."
Recall the contest in Egypt between Moses and the magicians of Pharoah (Jamnes and Mambres). The things that God did through Moses were miracles. The things that Jamnes and Mambres did through the agency of demons were magic.
The Resurrection was the miracle that Jesus promised to perform as proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he was who he said he was; namely, God. Did Buddha rise from the dead? Or any of the other "world's great teachers?"