Mysticism is a struggle. We are always trapped in a system that cannot give full expression to what we can discern. Our postmodern Western society is designed to prevent everything that God intended for us. Even those wonderful mercies He offered after the Fall are hidden under vast piles of cultural trash. We wouldn’t even have to call it anything; there would be no need for the distinctions inherent in the term “mysticism” if our entire heritage were not so dead set on denying what is normal and natural for humanity after the Fall.
The whole body of Scripture presumes mysticism. The mindset takes it for granted as the foundation for everything that matters.
Do you understand that God speaks to everyone all the time? He hasn’t been silent for a single moment since the Fall. Every living thing can hear His voice except humans. We have to fight through our fallen nature to restore what is perfectly normal and — well, it’s supposed to be ordinary, but it seems extraordinary because we are born outside of it. Sure, children can do it almost by instinct, but we can’t stay in childhood innocence if we are going to obey the Lord. We have to confront the reality of the Fall. Redemption demands this. There are things we have to do that require engaging human capabilities incompatible with innocence. But we don’t have to lose our mystical capabilities when we surrender our innocence. It’s our culture that demands it; it’s not in the nature of the transition itself.
So it’s not as if we are all natural born prophets, but we can all hear from God and know what He requires from each of us. The mission of the prophet is to pull back from the normal activity of life to some degree and bathe their minds in the bigger picture of revelation. A prophet surrenders some measure of typical daily life in favor of seeing more consistently what other people tend to lose track of in terms of the broader scope of God’s revelation. Prophets forgo the daily commerce of life for this, so we are supposed to support them to make up the difference.
Even more so with priesthood. The idea is to be fully acquainted and focused on the protocols of worship. Priests can scarcely avoid a certain amount of prophetic awareness. They are supposed to be sensitive to the moves of the Spirit of God in worship. What does Our Lord want from us and for us at this moment? What does it take to stand in His glory? You can’t ritualize everything about it; the rituals are not the point. The rituals simply meet the protocols so we don’t forget certain important details. Priests go into a time of worship expecting the Spirit to direct contextual modifications because no two moments of worship are the same. God is a Living Person with all the same whims and moods, but none of our human flaws. Holiness does not mean “stasis.”
The measure of perfection in biblical terms is a mature relationship with a Person. It’s a living give and take. This is the nature of mysticism as an approach to life. We assert to the world around us that we deal with a living God in a living communion. It’s individual and variable; it’s alive and impossible to quantify.
Jesus warned us, as did many prophets before Him, that this is both the norm and wholly atypical. Don’t expect many to turn into this path. There is simply no way to make this a social norm. That is, there is nothing in human capability to turn the whole human race from destruction. Get used to the idea that mysticism will isolate you in many ways. Share what you can when you can, and get excited every time it seems to have an impact. But always remain cynical about even your own persistence.