Mysticism | General Discussion | Forum
January 7, 2011
Thanks everyone who came to the class tonight, it was an honour to talk to you.
I've attached a txt file of the chat for anyone interested.
Please feel free to ask questions about the class or mysticism in general here!
August 21, 2012
I am not seeing a link for the attatched text. I am having to do this via android since I live with the parent who refuses to have internet or tv in the house.
I will see if I have the log on my droid, if not I will message you with my email if you can email me that log…
January 7, 2011
Sorry, i have uploaded the attachment, but can't seem to find how to access it! I'll try again…
January 7, 2011
<Oakbear>: For those who don't know me i'm Ryan, and Initiate Minister with the CoBM. I spend a fair bit of time on the forum, so feel free to say hi there!
<Oakbear>: Today's class is about mysticism. So what do people think mysticism is?
<bodymodsbybrad>: once again nice to meet you ryan
<Som>: Communication with the absolute.
<Som>: Or ritual to feel the divine.
<Oakbear>: I agree that's a significant part of it. Anyone else?
<Nightingale>: direct knowledge of a spiritual truth
<Oakbear>: I think the direct aspect or communication is really key. One of the main factor which diofferentiates mysticism from aminstream religion is that it is PERSONAL.
<Oakbear>: If we look at the roots of the term, like 'occult' being latin for hidden, mysticism has similar Greek roots.
<bodymodsbybrad>: so its how and what you feel
<Som>: So, are you trying to say it's direct and personal?
<Oakbear>: Yes, in ther sense that it can only be experienced rather than learnt from a book.
<bodymodsbybrad>: ok i get it
<Som>: Like not like another person communicates for you, as in a priest, but you do it yourself.
<Oakbear>: Yes. Although early Greek mystical cults used the term in a manner which better translates as initiation, so there is something about learning universal truths, which others have experienced.
<Nightingale>: But dont some groups call their spiritual leaders mystics? Like they actual speak for the group? or am I reading into that wrong
<ChyT>: I assumed the same as ^
<bodymodsbybrad>: like out of body experience
<Oakbear>: Great question. Yes some people call their leaders mystics. So why would a leader be a mystic?
<ChyT>: To teach how to preform whats needed to have a personal experience?
<bodymodsbybrad>: he speaks for the group as one
<Som>: Because the other people need to assist the leader?
<Nightingale>: Could it be associated with Buddhism? siddhartha gautama was the first to achieve Nirvana
<Nightingale>: so he was the spiritual leader, or mystic?
<Oakbear>: In my view many religious leaders have had direct personal mystical experience. Buddha is a brilliant example, although a rare one in that he taught others techniques to achieve this themselves.
<Oakbear>: How many prophets, or leaders have 'spoken to god' or had a revelation?
<Nightingale>: thousands if not millions have claimed to
<strommer>: so they would be more of a guide?
<Oakbear>: What they do with that experience will vary, but in mystic traditions they would act as a guide to help others experence it for themselves.
<strommer>: so currently your being our guide
<Oakbear>: Hpwever non mystic traditions often ascribe special status to thiose who have these experiences, and assume the 'congregation' does not.
<Oakbear>: strommer – i suppose so. I want to provide information so you can recognise your own potential, if you want to
<Nightingale>: but shouldnt that be the ultimate goal anyway? To assist others to have a spiritual experience themselves?
<Oakbear>: Why might some faith organisations not want that?
<Som>: Some people don't believe in the spiritual aspect. This is it. There is nothing else beyond the body.
<Som>: Also, they would have no people to lead if everyone was as enlightened as the leader.
<Nightingale>: well, i would think that by have EVERYONE having that experience, it displaces the need for leaders
<Oakbear>: Yep! Maybe i'm cynical, but if a figure of authority makes a rule, and someone without political power has an experience which suggests something else, it can cause conflict.
<Nightingale>: makes sense
<Oakbear>: Mystical traditions tend to be small as a result, and there is a long history of conflict with mainstream organised religion.
<Syrup>: arg soo late, my bad
<Oakbear>: So does anyone have any ideas what sort of religious practices or groups migh be termed nystic?
<Nightingale>: Is that why most small, mystic based groups would be considered cults? (This has happened to me on more than one occasion in the military)
<Oakbear>: Sometimes yes. Inidividual revelation can easily give rise to the idea of heresy against the establishment
<Nightingale>: but to answer your question, Taoism is one
<bodymodsbybrad>: my suspension falls in that catagory
<Oakbear>: What about Taoism?
<Oakbear>: Suspension makes a great point, and i'll come back to it later.
<Nightingale>: Taoism could be termed a mystic group couldnt it
<Oakbear>: Yes, but why?
<Nightingale>: as a goup that believes in ultimate truth and paths to enlightenment
<Nightingale>: (they not that)
<Som>: Every religious group is a cult. Taoism is about living in "the way" "the void" which is personal and direct
<Oakbear>: Well i guess most religions would argue that, but Taoism does put special emphasis on personal experience of Tao
<Oakbear>: What ways does it try to assist in this?
<Nightingale>: rituals, astrology, divination
<Nightingale>: (i hate to do this, but I will be going idle…I still want a read out of the remainder of the class, but am just exhausted)
<Oakbear>: Yep, they all can. Notable about Tao is the use of parables and philosophical reasioning too.
<Oakbear>: No problem Nightingale, thanks for the input!
<Nightingale>: have a great night everyone!
<Oakbear>: Any other mystical traditions people cna think of?
<bodymodsbybrad>: yes night thanks
<Som>: chanting, spinning, singing, prayer
<Som>: piercing, tattoos, suspension, sex
<Oakbear>: Yes they are all techniques which can enable mystical experience.
<Oakbear>: Spinning is the famous one from the Islamic Dervish group, literally whriling until they leave their body and join with God.
<Oakbear>: Islam also uses jokes and riddles in some traditions, often which make little obvious sense.
<Som>: awesome. I could use some of that. I really enjoy laughing. I like to laugh until I cry.
<Oakbear>: In Hinduism there is the Sadhu tradition, and aesthetic lifestyle committed to God. wandering barefoot and sometime undergoing physical trials and deep meditation.
<Oakbear>: Judaism uses the Kabbalah to become lost in intricate and complex philosphy and focus the mind.
<Oakbear>: Zen poses riddles with no answer to meditate upon, often for prolonged times and firm physical discipline.
<Oakbear>: Shamistic traditions may use psychedelic substances, chanting or dance to gain an ecstatic state where they can commune with the spirit.
<Oakbear>: There's a lot of techniques in many different traditions!
<Oakbear>: So what are they doing?
<bodymodsbybrad>: meditating the mind
<Oakbear>: Yes, but why all the riddles or fasting etc?
<Som>: challenging the body to create expansion of the mind?
<bodymodsbybrad>: and body
<Som>: and communicate with spirit
<Oakbear>: Yes that's often the case. It's really about techniques to move your mind from the mundane, the usual states, and to free it.
<ChyT>: I feel like I'm failing an oral exam
<Oakbear>: Sorry! ANything people want me to go over or any questions?
<bodymodsbybrad>: to feel how you want to
<bodymodsbybrad>: me to
<Oakbear>: I'll try to summarise so far, apologies again if i've gone too fast or not explained well.
<bodymodsbybrad>: im good
<Syrup>: i showed up 45 minutes late, im not worried about it though
<strommer>: i got it so far
<ChyT>: I understand, I just feel like i have no answers
<Oakbear>: Ah ok. That's a relief!
<Som>: I don't understand crap about crap!!
<Oakbear>: So the next question is why do i think talking about mysticism is relveant to the CoBM?
<Som>: just felt like antagonizing…. j/k
<ChyT>: Because many of us feel connections when we modify?
<Oakbear>: Yep that's one big reason!
<strommer>: by using these techniques and combining them with modification we can have a more spiritual experience
<Oakbear>: Excel stuff!lent
<Oakbear>: I didn't start getting modified to have a spiritual experience, but i noticed it, like Chyvonna said. We're all here to explore our own spirutaliity.
<Oakbear>: Rites which cause extreme states in the body can engender mystical experience, so we already have the tools in modification.
<Oakbear>: What we can learn is how to recognise this, and explore this further.
<bodymodsbybrad>: yes we do
<Oakbear>: I don't think anyone needs me, or any set of rules to do this. Unfortuantelt we're often taught only special people have these experiences.
<bodymodsbybrad>: i see it alot
<bodymodsbybrad>: we have the rules inside each of us
<Syrup>: i often use psychedlics to enhance my experiences and look deep within myself to 'find me' and 'study' what im doing to myself.
<Oakbear>: I feel that i have learn much about my mind, body and spirit through modification, but also something deeper about the world. I wonder if anyone else has, and might want to share?
<Oakbear>: We talked about mysticism having to be experienced rather than 'learnt' so it is often hard to put into words!
<Syrup>: im horrible at putting things into words so im not going to elaborate, but yes, lol
<ChyT>: Well put.
<bodymodsbybrad>: im very modify the world looks at me very diffrent
<Som>: I have found it is the empty spaces that people and the world on a molecular level want to fill.
<Oakbear>: Soemthing notable about mystic traditions is they practice. A lot. They focus their activity for the goal of discovery.
<VerveMan>: As well should all who are intent on their own spiritualism
<Oakbear>: If you have expeienced something like this (and thanks for sharing!), how do you take that further?
<Syrup>: the world looks at me like some savage freakshow, i look at the world as a cruel and pitiful place. i do not judge others, for i am in no posistion to judge anybody in no
<Syrup>: freaking itouch, i hate this thing, fuck steve jobs, ill judge that fucker, but nobody else, lol
<Oakbear>: Syrup – that seems very sad. I wonder if that's true?
<Som>: I understand your words, even if they are not perfect.
<ChyT>: I've not yet learned to take it any further than I have already gone.
<Syrup>: im about 70% tattooed, 35% scarred, 100% me.
<strommer>: i think im always on a search to push myself further
<bodymodsbybrad>: i have horns i know what you mean syrup
<Oakbear>: A big part of why i wanted to run this class is that i think we touch on these experiences but underestimate our own ability, or think only special people can do this. The fact we have spiritual experience on a personal level through modification shows that isn't the case.
<Som>: I will live my way into the answers. I will be vibrant.
<Syrup>: strommer- pushing myself further is the only thing that keeps me going, but i need new rituals and new things to practice, ive run out of new modifications and now am just on a journey to finish what i have started
<strommer>: i think my issue is the local goverment not allowing me to be able to
<VerveMan>: Of course it's true the world looks at us different… People make no mention when your from an african or other culture tribe… But any caucasion that decides to layer themselves with art is either viewed as threatening or unacceptable to work in a place of business…
<Som>: Oakbear, why don't you think you are special?
<VerveMan>: It makes me sick
<Oakbear>: I am special! The same as you, and anyone here, or indeed on this planet!
<Dirtnap>: Hi there Oakbear – This is an automated message. If nobody seems to be around at the moment, perhaps you could find assistance at http://uscobm.com/forum/
<Oakbear>: I have learnt we are all the same and yet unique. That is a wonderful feeling.
<Syrup>: my throat has CRUELTY tattooed on it in 5" black bold letters. the people who approach me(very few) i am able to verbally enlighten and open their eyes into my world, the other 95/100 people judge me, talk about me, snicker at me and take rude pictures for them and their friends to laugh at. like i said, a cruel and pitiful world
<Som>: It makes me mad. Someone said to me just a few days ago that anyone with a tattoo on their face is mentally ill. I wanted to cry or scream.
<Oakbear>: Ok folks, i guess we've headed off topic a bit, and i want to try and wrap up. Anyone have any questions?
<ChyT>: Oh golly
<Syrup>: i cannot wait to get my face tattooed. but it will only be after i find what my face looks like to me. my body is covered in 'me'
<ChyT>: You said that we may underestimate ourselves
<ChyT>: if so how do we change and transced our experiences?
<Som>: I bet that is beautiful Syrup
<ChyT>: By adopting others?
<VerveMan>: After I try to read everything I may email ya oakbear…
<Syrup>: i use rituals and quests to find what i look like inside, find what my subconscious sees, then i have it placed on my flesh for everybody to see. i expose my insides on the outside. many people do not understand, but fuck em
<Oakbear>: ChyT – I think personal learning can do that, and the different paths i have talked about each have a way. It's a long journey, but trust you can do it!
<ChyT>: Lovely Oakbear
<ChyT>: Thank you
<Oakbear>: VerveMan, or anyone else please do email questions. I'll post on the forum about this for further discussion and keep a transcript.
<strommer>: thanks i think im gonna plan on doing a ritual tomorrow and ill try using these techniques
<Oakbear>: strommer – cool!
*** Dirtnap is now known as TypoShaman
<ChyT>: Oakbear is there any literature you may suggest on the topic of mysticism for me to further educate myself?
<Oakbear>: There's not lots, and it sometimes gets confused with Chisrtian Mystic traditions (rather than any denomination), but Wikipedia has a good intro. The book Mysticism – Guide for the Perplexed is a nice intro too.
<ChyT>: Thanks again!!
*** TypoShaman is now known as Dirtnap
<Oakbear>: I hope people have enjoyed this and it's provided some food for thought?
<ChyT>: Indeed. Lots to ponder.
<Syrup>: i dont want to feel premature in getting more work done, as i havent had any experiences lately that have shown me anything new about myself. in the morning im going to pick up some stuff, and delve deep inside myself. i have BDS and am completely disgusted with my left forearm. i tried to enhance it years ago but it was a failure. it is such a burden upon my
<Som>: We are back to the "hidden" meaning. Beautiful ouroboros. Thanks for the chat.
<Dirtnap>: I only now just noticed that oakbear set off one of my autoresponses a minute ago. XD
<Oakbear>: So who here thinks that that have had mystic experiences?
<Syrup>: what would anybody suggest i focus on and any rituals i should gve a try.
<ChyT>: I am sure that I have.
<Syrup>: i have had a few i believe. i cant put a word into the experiences, but mysticism is the closest relevant thing for those few specific experiences
<strommer>: i definitly think i have i dont think ive combined it with modification yet but im so gonna change that
<Oakbear>: It gives me great pleasure to be amongst fellow mystics!
<ChyT>: I would have never thought myself a mystic until now.
<strommer>: me too^
<Som>: Syrup try something tantric. The energy in the spine is delightful, but it is stalled at the root chakra and can be pushed up. See what happens.
<Syrup>: i want to view myself from an outsiders perspective. i can look at pictures, i can look in a mirror, but neither of those shows me who i am.
<bodymodsbybrad>: new i was mystic
<Som>: I'm still going with Mysterical here
<Syrup>: i dig deep inside myself, i see myself internally
<Oakbear>: Syrup – internal and external are the same
<Som>: go into the spaces…
<Oakbear>: Anyway, i really have to head to bed as it's nearly 4am here! Thanks everyone for making my first chat some much fun!
<Som>: sweet dreams people!!
<bodymodsbybrad>: thank you ryan
<strommer>: wow i didnt relize it was that late for you thank you so much for staying up
<ChyT>: Good night!!!
Due to my lack of technological nous i've just cut and pasted it instead! I know it doesn't make easy reading, but i hope it makes sense!
As it was my first class i worry if i went a bit quick and tried to get too much in, but i also think picking a topic which can't be taught made things tough! Thanks for sticking with it folks!
I'm open to any feedback , and please feel free to continue discussion or ask questions.
September 9, 2012
"<Syrup>: i use rituals and quests to find what i look like inside, find what my subconscious sees, then i have it placed on my flesh for everybody to see. i expose my insides on the outside. many people do not understand, but fuck em"
-Would have to say this is very much the process I've used and I'm glad others have done the same
That being said, Oakbear I do believe you've done a great job touching on the topic as a whole. I don't see time stamps so I'm unsure how long the sermon was in a matter of time, but it did seem that maybe more fleshing out will be required in the future. Perhaps doing more in-depth sermons on specific areas of mysticism, like focusing on perhaps on technique at a time, a technique grouping, or even anthropology night where specific cultures are studied in how mysticism tied into them.
The latter of that list is almost pertinent in explaining how mysticism works. For one may resonate with one society's application where another will find a different "reality" (as it were) rings well for how they may incorporate it into their life.
As far as books there are many books out there that touch upon it within the pages, but finding reliable direct books on it without delving into religious texts from all religions is very hard. I say reliable because a lot of the books published now (even reprints of older books) are often altered to reflect what their most popular author is saying for sales and not for pure knowledge. You need to find the books published when the author was still alive (like Levi from 1800s). A good place to start is books on ecstatic trance, basic trance techniques (beyond just zen mediation), study up on a culture that speaks to you to see how their mystics were, etc. Then trial and error
I am very glad the transcript was posted as I unfortunately was unable to attend and I love this topic greatly. It's one of the favourite areas to teach students in my former group and always a great discussion amongst others.
July 12, 2011
I'm very glad for this thread, and it does make sense to me.
I can't comment much on it at the moment, but I will this weekend when I've got some time off. I have had mystic experiences and I will do my best to elaborate. For now let me just say that I think Taoism and Buddhism are the closest things to the truth from my perspective. They don't teach about any afterlife. They're basically a strategy for living life in a way that brings peace and true happiness to you and those around you.
January 7, 2011
Kashaku Tatsu – Thanks very much for the feedback and input. That segment ran around 90 minutes, and i know i was flagging a bit by then as were some others. It looks much shorter as a text!
I did find that i didn't cover as much ground as i had hoped, so tried to get what i felt the basics were, and some idea of how to explore further. Teaching individual techniques or cultures does seem a really good way to break it down into manageable bits and look deeper, so i may do that in future thanks.
I think partly it was my inexperience with the format that i wanted to get so much in, but i hope an intro was ok.
SasQuatch – Glad it was useful posting this. I'd be interested in hearing your experiences when you're able to.
Also interested in hearing any others others have, not only on the class itself, but what they feel about the topic of mysticism, and what experiences they may have had.
February 3, 2008
Ryan did such a fantastic job leading his first class, I'm really proud of him. He did a lot of research, interacted with the class well, kept things organized and moving forward. The class was both informative and interesting and I hope Ryan will lead another class when his schedule allows.
Thank you, Ryan!
Church of Body Modification, President
January 7, 2011
Thank you for the kind words.
(The blushing/embarrassed emoticon looks too sad, but you get the jist!)
September 9, 2012
Feel free to bounce ideas around with me if you'd like to do a follow-up class, I love talking about such things. I'll even be in the UK soon (maybe as soon as Nov) so we may be able to meet up and chat if the time table will allow. I'm not sure what my friend has in store for me but he may be interested in learning more about it too. He's just starting his self-discovery path.
Personally, I use mysticism within my artwork and even within everything I do (my hair is even dyed specifically for spiritual reasons). I put my spiritual development and strengthening as foremost in my life. I realized that we don't have much else early on in life, all experiences affect it, and it's about the only constant I've had. All of my ink has deep spiritual meaning to me even if it does not appear so at first glance.
I use a variety of things from trance techniques, manipulation (I'm curious if my transcendental dance would be manipulation as it highly stresses the body till you leave, or other stress techniques seen most often within chaos magic. They do stress the body much like starvation and sleep deprivation.), modification, alchemy and even herbal work to pull out who I am and reach a state of gnosis. When I'm in the zone I see my spirit's home realm and been told I speak the language from there.
I have noticed that I tend to get mods or at least manipulation done when I'm working through something, either a situation or emotion. The time spent out of body during the process; the constant pain during it and the recovery phase makes things clear for me. This doesn't imprint a negative experience or emotion with the work, a lot of times I see what I overcame with some of them. It's almost like another form of therapy, I may get into this during my documentary interview in a few weeks. This is something that I realized when I was in a meeting with my artist today.
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