What is a Radical Mystic?

heds by CyTone.org

heds by Cy Tone

“Mysticism is the perception of the universe and all of its seemingly disparate entities existing in a unified whole bound together by love.”  D.J. Moores


1. of or going to the root or origin; fundamental.

2. thorough going or extreme, especially as regards to change from accepted or traditional forms.


2. a doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend
ordinary understanding, or of a direct, intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or ecstasy {or ritual or practice}.

What does it mean to be a Radical Mystic?

According to Evelyn Underhill, mysticism is:

The science or art of the spiritual life…the expression of the innate tendency of the human spirit towards complete harmony with the transcendental order; whatever be the theological {religious} formula under which that order is understood…

In mysticism that love of truth which we saw as the beginning of all philosophy leaves the merely intellectual sphere, and takes on the assured aspect of a personal passion. Where the philosopher guesses and argues, the mystic lives and looks; and speaks, consequently, the disconcerting language of first-hand experience, not the neat dialectic of the schools. Hence whilst the Absolute of the metaphysicians remains a diagram —impersonal and unattainable—the Absolute of the mystics is lovable, attainable, alive.

Radical Mystics are the mystics out on the edge of our culture, loving the Divine through non-traditional lifestyles and spiritual practices. There are Radical Mystics among the Burners and other transformational festival lovers; among the kink, queer, and polyamorous communities; among those who do ecstatic body rites; among environmental and social justice activists; among artists, writers, dancers, musicians and other creators. What defines us is our radical (non-traditional) practices that connect us to the Sacred. We live radical lifestyles that connect us deeply to our experiences of God, love, and community.

Mystics come from all religious traditions, but they always defy the dogma and intermediaries to pursue a direct relationship with God. God is a mystic’s Beloved, rather than a Father in the Sky or Mother of the Earth or a Consciousness in the Universe. Mystics are passionate (Rumi and St. John of the Cross). Mystics are ecstatics (St. Teresa of Avila).

Modern radical mystics have been cast out of the Catholic Church and become part of the Occupy movement (Matthew Fox and Occupy Spirituality). They run programs for homeless youth in NYC (Adam Bucko, co-author of Occupy Spirituality). They are queer sacred activists (Andrew Harvey).

I imagine many Radical Mystics don’t even know that’s what they are. Or they may be ashamed to identify as such because a deep love of God is taboo, both in rational cultures and in cultures full of violent fundamentalism. Being perceived and potentially dismissed as Woo-woo is now an indictment of one’s irrationality in America.

I don’t fit in a church or any other spiritual community that I can find. This project is my attempt to bring other radical mystics out of the closet and create community where we can feel comfortable sharing our personal and unique journeys to the Beloved. It’s an experiment in vulnerability, claiming my own identity as a Radical Mystic. Finally saying boldly that I believe in and love the God of Life as I understand it. I am head over heels in love with the Universe and all the beautiful expressions of God that exist in forms of consciousness and matter. I am amazed by the magic and diversity of life…most especially quirky, complex humans.

I love God by loving my people and building community. I love God through creativity, sex, kink, and relationship of every kind. I love God through social justice. I love God through my creativity.

My religion is Love, my practice is Life.

I’d love to hear from you if this concept resonates with you.


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