An Old Woman Speaks on
Mystics, Mysticism, and Heart....
© November 2000 Stephanie M. Schwartz

My Friends....
I have been asked to speak on mysticism and mystic skills.  Many people have come to me with questions about their gifts and their ways.  They ask things like "What does being a mystic mean?"  Or, "I truly believe in my spirituality but other people from other paths can do mystic work too, despite not having my beliefs.  How can this be so?"  Or, even more pointedly, "Who are you to speak?", "What is YOUR heritage that you have any right to open your mouth?", "Why should I believe you or listen to you?"  Most of all, "Why do you speak?", "What's your pay-off?"

My answers, always, to the questions about myself is that I am nobody in particular.  That's not some false humility but simply the truth.  I am absolutely not what many would call New Age today.  My ancestral heritage?  It is German Gypsy, Russian Gypsy, BelaRusse, German, American Indian (tribe/nation unknown), Irish, Russian, a tad of French, and most likely some Jew as well.  Yes, I come from a long line of practicing mystics.  Does that make me an expert?  Nope, not on your life.  I neither claim to be an expert in anything nor will I throw out any fancy degrees or titles to you.  I am not rich and I am not famous.  By choice I do not, and have not, charged money for any mystic work or teaching I have ever done.

At best, semantics often create difficulties.  But even more limiting is that I can only speak from my small experience, learning, and awareness.  I give you the credit to assume your rightful responsibility to question everything I say to see if it makes sense to you and speaks to you.  If not, ignore my words.  If it helps you then great, I will have served my purpose.  It gives some meaning to my life and my work.  That is my pay-off, my motivation.

Nearly every significant path or belief system in the world has a vow for its mystics which is pretty much the same. We learn so that we may Serve. Serve the Divine and Serve Humanity.  It is in this vein and to this end that I try to offer my words to help in whatever small way they can do so.  But since the learning never ends, I can only offer the limited awareness' I might have at any given time.  Furthermore, since they are simply my opinions, the words are not offered as any kind of definitive Truth.

Finally, I will say that whatever my words speak, in no way do I ever intend to criticize or demean or recommend any one spirituality over another.  We each must find our own way to the Divine and I will claim no right or wrong in this.  There are many branches on the Tree of Life, many roads all leading back to the Source.  In my opinion, we each must follow our hearts and choose the road which best speaks to us and allows us to feel and recognize the Divine in our lives and the universe.

Now, having said all that, I will address the other more practical questions on mysticism.  Personally, I use the non-New Age term "Mystic" to describe anyone with metaphysical or paranormal skills.  A basket term of sorts, devoid of rank beyond the best rank, that of being one.  It denotes having the skills and knowledge to be able to affect physical reality through non-physical means; of having the awareness of realities and planes far greater and more sensitive than is experienced by the average person; of interacting with more than the daily physical reality of most people.  It may or may not include healing skills and gifts.

Whether you have multiple skills or only one skill is not important.  In my opinion, practice and work automatically expands original gifts into new skills and awareness.  You either are a mystic or you are not.  You don't need anyone to tell you that you are one or to grant you rank and titles or, worse yet, give you permission to be a mystic.  You simply are a mystic.  While I generally agree with the philosophy that most, if not all, humans are born with at least some gifts, the fact remains that few people choose this as a way of life and many do not have the range or extent of our gifts/skills.  Furthermore, there are passive/receptive gifts and there are active, "do-ing" gifts/skills and there are healing gifts/skills.  A mystic may or may not actively work with their perception of the Spirit World but one certainly hopes they seek to grow closer to their concept of the Divine through their work and learning.

There are two forms of mystic work.  The first, most often used by novices and/or unenlightened persons, is purely force of will.. using the mystic's force of will plus skill to accomplish the goal, the intent.  The second form, far more common and far more effective, is utilizing the mystic's connection with the Divine, opening one's self to become the tool of the Divine (whether directly or with the help of the Grandfathers, Angels, Spirits, Ancestral Guides, Ancient Ones, etc.).  This form, used in conjunction with the mystic's focused intent and gifts/skills, is the most powerful, most profound, and most effective of all.  It also happens to be my opinion that unless a mystic learns to walk in the ways of the second form, they court great trouble for themselves and their work.  I personally don't know anyone wise enough or far-seeing enough to be competent to see all the ramifications of their work.  Only by becoming the hollow tool of the Divine can one trust and have faith that the actions are correct and correctly implemented.

But the mechanics of using the gifts and skills is accomplished through the control and focusing of energy to achieve one's intent.  The Universe is full of electro-magnetic energy.  Our bodies are full of electro-magnetic energy.  Our brain synapses pass electro-magnetic impulses throughout itself and our body.  We are each individually surrounded by an electro-magnetic field (Mystics call them auras).  Every living thing is surrounded by this electro-magnetic field.  It is this universal energy that mystics use in their work, this energy that mystics draw and manipulate and control and focus to a specific intent.  And, most importantly, this energy is neutral.  It merely is what it is neither light nor dark neither positive nor negative.  It simply is what it is energy and power.  It is the intent which contaminates it, which determines whether this neutral energy shall be positive or negative.

That neutrality, and the mechanics behind the skills, is specifically why there are functioning mystics in nearly every path, nearly every belief system.  It is not that the energy approves of how a person uses it but rather that the person is skilled and controlled enough, focused and strong enough, to do so.  Energy has no conscience.  It is merely a tool.  An extremely powerful tool, which when used with skill and responsibility, can produce astonishing results.  If it is Divinely directed, the results can be even more incredible and truly far more effective, far more holistic.

Some have asked me why one needs to be concerned about how the energies are used.  Why bother? Well, I tell them that despite the fact that universal energy is neutral energy, I personally truly believe there are a number of Universal Laws governing the energy and the use of this energy.  The most important of these Laws is quite simply stated what goes around, comes around.  What you put out, will return.  Everything you do has a pricetag and a consequence, even if it is only in the temporary loss of physical energy and the resulting fatigue on our limited body packages.  One needs to be absolutely certain of the "rightness", the purity of one's intent, or it will come back to you later on magnified, and in unexpected ways.  This is where it becomes critical that the mystic, any mystic, has the ethics to be willing to take responsibility for their actions and decisions, to accept the consequences and know they are coming, to walk the aloneness of this kind of singular existence.

It is my opinion that eventually the vast majority of what we consider to be mystic gifts and skills will one day be provable scientifically.  Like Acupuncture has risen, in the Western World, beyond the realm of boogety into valid medical science, finally taught in Western medical schools, finally understood as to its neurological effects and implications.  Like Auras are finally photographable by Kirlian (Black Light) Photography or measured by highly sensitive electronic equipment.  Like the skills of Telekinesis which have been seriously studied since the 1930's, the revelations of Nickolai Tesla examined and applied, and are now publicly demonstrated by people such as Uri Gellar.  Like the skills of Mystic Projection which are now understood, thanks to quantum and hyper physics studies at Stanford University (published in the 1970's) and now practiced by nations around the world under the term, Remote Viewing.  But in the meantime, the rest of our skills and knowledge are still considered esoteric and arcane, hidden and ancient, needing mystics of conscience and responsibility to continue the traditions, undiluted, until such proofs and understanding can be obtained.

One can only hope that as these proofs arise, which in turn will lead to more practice and refinement, so will the general level of ethical use and responsibility. For it will be in seeing the commonalties amongst all peoples and ways which will bring mutual respect.  It will be in further developing our own personal service and relationship with the Divine through our gifts which will finally bring mutual awareness of the Divinity in each of us and all life.  And it will be in seeing the Divine in each other that will bring harmony to this planet.  For after all is said and done, if we don't use these gifts and skills with ethics, with heart, to help others, to improve the lot of humanity and the plight of individuals outside our selves, then they will simply become one more set of tools for destruction and chaos.  As with everything in life, the universal free will law applies here as well. It is a choice.  A choice for each individual and a choice for humanity collectively.  A choice of the heart.

Peace.  Mitakuye oyasin.  We Are All Related.  -steph
November, 2000