The term mysticism (from ancient Greek μυστικός mystikós 'mysterious', to myein 'close mouth or eyes') denotes reports and statements about the experience of a divine or absolute reality as well as efforts to achieve such an experience.
The topic of mysticism is the subject of research within the theologies of the religions of revelation and religious studies , in cultural , historical and literary studies , in medicine , philosophy and psychology . However, there is no overarching scientific consensus on the definition of the term.
In everyday language usage and in popular literature, mysticism is usually understood to mean spiritual experiences and statements which as such cannot be scientifically objectified (“real” mystical experience). The literature, in which the term mysticism is also used in different senses, is diverse. Despite all the ambiguities in the definition, characteristic features can be determined.
Definition of terms
In the history of religion , mysticism is understood to be a religious experience that is oriented towards “a whole of reality” or towards a divine reality. Mystical experiences are expressed using context-specific terms, images and formulations.
In monotheistic religions such as Christianity , Judaism and Islam , mystical experience as an experience of God or experience of faith is related to divine reality. They are expressed in different terms and expressions, which are often used in the basic scriptures of these religions: light, baptism of the spirit , fire ( burning bush ), Pentecost miracle , love ( letters of John ), divine you, God as innermost inside (with Augustine ), Dhikr .
Non-theistic traditions such as Buddhism , Jainism and Daoism express mystical experiences without referring to a divine person or entity. Representatives of Hinduism also report mystical experiences, including Ramakrishna .
The German term mystik , which in its substantive form only emerged in the 17th century, goes back to the ancient Greek μυστικός (mystikós) , "mysterious", which refers to the Greek noun μυστήριον (mysterion) , Latin mysterium ("secret", but also “secret doctrine” or “cult”). The Greek verb μυέειν (myéein) , which means “to initiate”, “to begin” or “to be initiated”, is also used in this context . The root word can be seen in the Greek μύειν (myein) , means “to close”, “to go together”, like for example the lips and eyes of the participants in the mysteries of Eleusis .
The term mystery was initially only related to the secret doctrine and the secret cult itself and later also generally used in the sense of something dark and mysterious (see also the word "mysterious"). In the Old Testament , mystes denigrates the cult practice of the Canaanites and mystikós denotes a mysterious, namely mysterious place. In the New Testament , where these terms are not used, the term mystery refers to the hidden divine plan of salvation formulated in the parables, which God fulfilled and revealed in the incarnation , death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 2: 7; Eph 1, 9-11; 3.4-9; 5.32f; Col 1.26f). Because this mystery is already foreshadowed in the “inner” or “mystical” sense of the Old Testament , a mystical interpretation of Scripture develops, as already in the Gospels (cf. especially Lk 24: 31f.44-47) and with Paul ( cf. 1 Cor 10.4; 2 Cor 3: 6-18), then especially with Origen , Ambrosius and Augustine . The Latin Sacramentum takes up the Greek term Mysterion again, from which the three Christian sacraments of initiation develop: Baptism , Confirmation (anointing of myron) and Eucharist . The classic place of baptism is the celebration of Easter Vigil .
Even mystical-esoteric secret teachings could not be learned on one's own initiative, but always required ritual initiation by a guide or esoteric teacher. This was called the Mystagoge (from the Greek agogein , “to lead”, “to lead”). In late antiquity, the expression is also used in a philosophical context when the hidden meaning of an utterance is addressed, and Proclus in particular refers to the realm of the divine.
In the Middle Ages, the personal, mystical experience of God lived primarily in the monasteries. The highest goal of the monastic-mystical striving remains this experience of God in the unio mystica , the mystical union with God, in the broader sense the search for an “awareness of the immediate presence of God” (Bernard McGinn). The mystical- spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures remains the basis for the search for direct closeness to God, especially the interpretation of the Song of Songs (for example by Bernhard von Clairvaux ).
In the time of the Reformation , the fourfold sense of writing in Protestant theology was largely restricted to the sense of literature . Spanish mysticism ( Ignatius of Loyola , Teresa of Avila , John of the Cross ) can develop in the Catholic area . In the 17th century the substantive use of the term emerged in the sense of a specific variant of religious practice and a specific type of religious literature: “mystical theology” is no longer spoken of as a constituent part of religious thought, but rather of “mysticism” as one Type of extraordinary process, according to the mystic researcher Michel de Certeau . Similar to now and then mysticism itself, expressions derived from it such as mysticism and mystical in today's colloquial language, with a pejorative attitude, also denote representations perceived as “incomprehensible” or “puzzling”.
Mysticism in the world religions
In Buddhist mysticism, which is particularly widespread in the Mahayana currents , as in all Buddhist schools, it is not about direct experience of a divine being. The nature of the mind is understood to be non-dual. However, this is usually not known and is obscured by attachment to the ego. From this fundamental ignorance arises the idea of an ego existing independently of other phenomena. This is accompanied by the appearance of the poisons of the mind, confusion / ignorance, hatred, greed, envy and pride, the causes of all suffering . The aim is to transform the poisons of the spirit into original wisdom, to dissolve the idea of the ego and to overcome the splitting of the phenomena into subject and object which is inherent in unenlightened beings. The Buddha-nature inherent in sentient beings and hitherto veiled is recognized as always underlying. Whoever achieves this is enlightened or simply called Buddha . Practices such as meditation, prayer, offering, various yogas and special tantric techniques should make this possible.
The mystical interpretation of the Holy Scriptures aims at the knowledge of the reality of God. Great importance for mystical texts have biblical metaphors such purity of heart in the beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount ( Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God , Matthew 5.8) or the indwelling of God and Christ in the heart (Eph 3 , 17; Gal 2.20; Jn 14.15-23). Such metaphors can be found both in Eastern and Western Church Fathers as well as in later texts of mysticism. “Seeing God” (cf. also the miracle of Pentecost , baptism in the Holy Spirit , experience of conversion of Paul ) while still alive can be seen as the classic mystical experience.
Middle Ages: One of the earlier mystics of this epoch would be Meister Eckhart , because reading his work is able to clear up a widespread misunderstanding regarding what mysticism means: Eckhart's writings are not 'mysterious', but rather permeated with precise logic, the highest of which Poetic demands are sufficient, including the sermon on the “bliss of the poor in spirit”. This writing also relates to the Sermon on the Mount, but it acquires the mystical (mysticism from the Greek myein , `` close your eyes, ears, your mouth 'in order to explore God's will inwardly) to see God in the same way as through the heart, through thinking . Earlier Christian theologians such as Augustine , following Paul as one of the first church fathers, combined Christian teaching with the Eucharist .
The doctor of the church Thomas Aquinas tied in with this: the church itself is the mystical body of Christ. This was and is not self-evident, because mostly the expression “mystical body” was understood to refer directly to the eucharistic scene of Jesus' last supper , so the church as the true body of Christ represents an extension or a deviation, depending on the perspective. In order to end this discussion that broke out among theologians following Augustine, the encyclical Mystici corporis determined Pope Pius XII. (1943), the mystical body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are "one and the same". The Christian mystic Angelus Silesius , in turn, mystically exalts the Mother of God : "Mary is called a throne and God's tent, / An ark, castle, tower, house, well, tree, garden, mirror, / A sea, a star, the moon, the dawn, a hill. / How can it be anything? It is a different world. ”The Mother of God Mary represents the world of the corporeal, which is“ married ”connected to the world of the spirit. This analogy is also evident in the Saturdays of Mary: "The close relationship between Saturday and Mary in Catholic Christianity corresponds in Jewish mysticism to the close relationship between the Sabbath and the Shechina."
Numerous authors find starting points for an interreligious dialogue in the context of mysticism , especially between Christianity and Buddhism. Daisetz T. Suzuki, for example, was already very impressed by Meister Eckhart in the 1950s . The approach of the interreligious dialogue is pursued among others in the meditation church Heilig-Kreuz - center for Christian meditation and spirituality of the diocese of Limburg .
The philosophy and religion of Daoism, which originated in China, has a specific mysticism in its various forms. Even the oldest texts that deal with the Dao , the source of existence, the Daodejing and Zhuangzi , deal with the idea of attaining the primordial and the mystical introspection as well as a certain spiritual attitude that characterizes the Daoist mystic. The Daoist religion, which emerged from the 2nd century onwards, then had a pronounced tendency in its various schools to use mystical forms of ritual and magic , meditation and introspection, based on complex assumptions about the nature of the Dao and the cosmos that emerged from it.
According to Hindu teachings, a unity experience with the divine Brahman is possible. That can hardly be expressed in words, since concepts cannot grasp it. Typical descriptions use metaphors such as: Consciousness expands to infinity, is without limits, one experiences oneself in a reality of inexpressible light and inexpressible unity (Brahman). This experience of unity corresponds to the teaching of the unity of Atman ( soul ) and divine Brahman.
Different representatives understand oneness differently:
- pantheistic : God is one with the cosmos and nature and can therefore also be found within the human being.
- panentheistic: the souls retain their own status, although inextricably linked with the Brahman.
- monotheistic: unity in diversity. Qualitative unity and simultaneous individual diversity, which enables the soul to have an eternal, mystical love connection with God ( Vishishta-Advaita ).
According to Hindu doctrine, everyday perception is directed towards many things, but the mystical experience is an experience of unity. The divine One is present in everything, but cannot simply be experienced. To experience it presupposes changing the way of perception. Concentration techniques of yoga , meditation and asceticism serve as abstention and renunciation. Asceticism leads to freedom from worldly needs. This can limit eating and drinking, sexuality or the pursuit of power.
Important representatives of Islamic mysticism are Yunus Emre , al-Ghazali , Hafis , Shams-e Tabrizi , Ibn Arabi and Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi . In Islam there are currents organized in orders, which are referred to as sufiyya or tasawwuf . Both expressions are sometimes rendered with “mysticism” because there are similar doctrines and practices in this institutional context to those that are often associated with the term “mysticism” in Western cultures.
Following a tradition ( hadith ) of the Prophet Muhammad , God says to man: ". There are seventy [or seven hundred or seven thousand] veil between you and me, but not between Me and you" This - established in different wording - saying is of al- Ghazali and Ibn Arabi received. The latter relates the veil to the appearances of God ( Arabic تجليات tadschalliyat , DMG taǧalliyyāt ).
Some representatives of Sufism teach that God has put a divine spark in every person that is hidden in the deepest heart. This spark is obscured by turning to everything that is not God - such as taking care of the material world, carelessness and forgetfulness ( Nafs ). The Sufis practice a daily exercise called Dhikr , which means remembrance (i.e. remembrance of God or Dhikrullah ). In doing so, they recite certain passages from the Koran and repeat a certain number of the ninety-nine attributes of God . In addition, most Sufi orders ( Tariqas ) know a weekly meeting in a Tekke (Turkish, Arabic: Zawiya), in which, in addition to caring for the community and the common salad (prayer), a Dhikr is also performed. Depending on the order, this dhikr can also include sama (music), certain body movements and breathing exercises.
In Judaism , mysticism has a broad tradition, especially in Kabbalah . The liberation of the divine primal light from the 'covering' of the 'letters of creation' (cf. 2 Cor 3: 14f) is the central concern of Kabbalah. According to the Kabbalistic tradition, there is a close relationship between the restoration of man in his original spirit nature, which is fulfilled in the contemplation of God , and the restoration of the Bible as the word of God in its original (or messianic) understanding. With the coming of the Messiah and his time, the original mystical meaning of the Torah becomes universally understandable and at the same time man again puts on the 'light garment' of divine glory, which with the expulsion from the garden in Eden by an "animal skin" (Gen 3, 21) was exchanged.
The mysticism of a deeper understanding of the Torah is not a matter of one's own will or arbitrariness and arbitrariness, but a gift of the Jewish Messiah , as "King of the eighth day", and his messianic time with the resurrection of the dead and universal Torah understanding at the 'eighth Day '( Judgment Day ) belong together. The resurrection from the dead in the messianic time as a new creation exceeds the 7-day creation and the Shabbat as the 7th day, which in Jewish Shabbat mysticism as a symbol for God's presence in the world ( Shechina ) as "Queen Shabbat" and "Bride" is worshiped. The Shekhina is regarded as the 'Eternal Feminine', but it is also called under masculine names, namely “when in the status of the sacred unio the feminine is regarded as contained and abolished in the masculine and can then appear under the symbol of the masculine itself, there in this state there is no longer any separation between them ”. A distinction is made between the male and the female . then the male is regarded as the 'upper' Shekhina or as the 'king', while the female is regarded as the 'lower' Shekhina or as a 'kingdom', i.e. as the kingship of God in the world symbolically represented in the corpus of the community of Israel (in the Kabbalistic Sephiroth tree the 10th Sephira Malchut ). All clearly female symbols from the Old Testament wisdom literature or the Song of Songs are transferred to this 'lower' Shekhina: “Night, moon, earth, dry, fallow year, gate - these are just some of the most popular names under which it is spoken of . As a garden in which all plantings grow; as a fountain that fills with spring water and as a sea into which the rivers flow; As a shrine and safe, in which the treasures of life and all the mysteries of the Torah are kept, it is represented, as in a hundred similar allegories, as the recipe for all the potencies that are now combined in it to their positive form - of course only if they enter the Shekhina. "
Just as the Shabbat as a sign of God's presence (Ex 31:17) gives creation its inner structure of meaning, keeping the Shabbat coincides with keeping the Torah as the structure of human meaning: “Whoever keeps the Sabbath fulfills the whole Torah “(Rabbi Shimon ben Jochai ). The Shabbat as the 7th day, however, is already a 'foretaste of the world to come' of the otherworldly 8th day of unity or eternity.
The mystical 'experience of the eternal here' is also the aim of contemplating the Torah. Whoever wants to be initiated into the deeper, mystical understanding of Scripture as the “secret of faith” must therefore advertise like a loving bridegroom advertises for his beloved bride. For, according to a famous parable in the Book of Zohar, the Torah is revealed “only to those who love it. The Torah knows that that mystic ( Chakim libba , literally: who has wisdom of the heart) circles the gate of their house every day. What is she doing? She reveals her face to him from her hidden palace and waves to him and immediately returns to her place and hides herself. All who are there do not see it and do not know it, only he, and his insides, his heart and his soul go out for her. And therefore the Torah is revealed and hidden and goes in love to her beloved and awakens love in him. Come and see, that's the way of the Torah. ”Still the Jewish religious philosopher, mystic and rabbi of Conservative Judaism Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972), briefly successor to Martin Buber at the Jewish Lehrhaus in Frankfurt am Main before emigrating to the USA , complained in his essay The Individual Jude and His Duties (1957) that the mystical spirit had been discredited in the Jewish tradition .
Some important representatives and sources are Jochanan ben Sakkai (1st century), Rabbi Akiba and his disciple Shimon ben Jochai , the book of Yezira (3rd – 6th centuries), Abraham Abulafia (1240–1292), Josef Gikatilla (1248–1325 ?), the Zohar (late 13th century), Isaak Luria (1534–1572), Gershom Scholem and Friedrich Weinreb .
Mysticism as a Research Subject
Due to the physical side effects such as ecstasis, convulsions, inedie, stigmata, etc., the mysticism of experience, not the theoretical or philosophical mysticism, was occasionally explained as a pathological phenomenon in the 12th century.
The distinction between “real” and “false” mystical experience is widespread. Experiences that can be proven and only have a medically explainable cause (such as the influence of drugs and hallucinations ) are referred to as "fake", and as "real" experiences for which a satisfactory physiological explanation is not available or cannot be given due to the circumstances. Depending on the definition, the effect of mystical experiences, such as prophecy , can also be considered a mystical experience.
If a mystical experience is an unexpected, spontaneous event of short duration, research approaches can only analyze reports about it, since no investigation is possible during the process. At most, the state and behavior of the person before and after repeated mystical experiences can be scientifically investigated. The more well-known researchers include for the respective individual sciences:
- Theology: Peter Dyckhoff , Karl Rahner , Dorothee Sölle , Sabine Bobert , Ernst Troeltsch , Joseph Maréchal , Dietmar Mieth , Gershom Scholem , Hans Urs von Balthasar , Walter Nigg .
- History of theology: Rudolf Haubst , Vladimir Lossky , Hugo Rahner , Josef Sudbrack , William J. Hoye.
- Literary studies: Bernhard Teuber , Alois Maria Haas , Walter Haug , Niklaus Largier , Kurt Ruh , Michael Egerding, Burkhard Hasebrink , Susanne Köbele, Otto Langer.
- Religious Studies: Rudolf Otto , Annemarie Schimmel , John Walbridge, Roland Pietsch, Richard King, Thomas A. Forsthoefel, Robert H. Sharf.
- History: Bernard McGinn , Michel de Certeau , Peter Dinzelbacher , Robert E. Lerner.
- Philosophy: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , William James , William Alston , Jerome Gellman , Steven T. Katz , CD Broad, Evan Fales, J. William Forgie, Wayne Proudfoot, Johannes Heinrichs .
- History of philosophy: Jasper Hopkins, Karl Albert , Ian Almond, John D. Caputo, Oliver Davies, Maurice de Gandillac, Alain de Libera , Kurt Flasch , Werner Beierwaltes , Joseph Bernhart, Ruedi Imbach , Joseph Koch, Klaus Kremer, Andrew Louth, Burkhard Mojsisch , Michael Sells, Loris Sturlese , Frank Tobin, Elliot R. Wolfson .
- Psychology: Carl Albrecht, Eugene d'Aquili, Andrew Newberg , James H. Austin, Michael A. Persinger , Peter Fenwick, CG Jung , Viktor Frankl
Reception in philosophy and psychology
- The analytical psychologist Carl Gustav Jung understands mysticism as religion-independent inner contemplation beyond the division into different denominations and creeds. A role model for him is the Swiss mystic Niklaus von Flüe (brother Klaus).
- Ludwig Wittgenstein has inter alia. In diaries and at the end of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and other writings, uttered on mysticism: "There are, however, inexpressible: this shows , it is the mystical."
- Some theorists from the context of systems theory have presented studies on mysticism, including Niklas Luhmann and Peter Fuchs .
- The psychologist Erich Fromm , who is close to secular Judaism and was influenced by Maimonides and Meister Eckhart , also commented on the connections between mysticism and politics (at the end of his work to have or to be )
- Karl Jaspers wrote of a “dissolution of the subject-object relationship, i. H. the abolition of both the expansion of the objective world and personal individuality ... [and criticized] Everything rational is missing in the mystical attitude: there is no logical form, no contradiction, no contradiction. All relativity of the representational, all infinities and antinomies do not exist. ”As a counter-concept to mysticism, Jaspers developed the concept of the“ encompassing ”, into which the human being could penetrate in a constant struggle with clear thinking and open discussion.
- The semiotic Johannes Heinrichs proposes for the first time a semiotic and structural concept of mysticism that does not make any denominational requirements.
Relation to the living environment
Approach to a divine or absolute total reality (even in the absence of internal or external biological behavior through e.g. fasting , asceticism and celibacy or the retreat into solitude as a hermit ) has a long tradition in many religions. It is also seldom claimed that such an attitude is a prerequisite for mystical experience . Augustine believed that the prerequisite for this was the grace of God. Other traditions emphasize the equality of contemplation and active life. Christian mysticism also speaks of “vita activa” and “vita contemplativa” in this context. For Meister Eckhart, for example, both sides always belong together. In some cases, an essential connection between mysticism and politics is claimed, such as can be found in Nikolaus von Flüe , Meister Eckhart, Martin Luther, Juliane von Krüdener , Mahatma Gandhi , Dag Hammarskjöld , Dalai Lama .
In her best-known work, the 1997 book Mystic and Resistance , the Evangelical Lutheran theologian Dorothee Sölle speaks out in favor of overcoming the supposed contradiction between contemplative experience of transcendence and political and social engagement. It shows that personalities such as the slave liberator and Quaker John Woolman , the former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld and the civil rights activist Martin Luther King drew their strength to resist social injustice from their mystical experiences. According to this, mystical experience does not mean a conscious turning away from the world, but the direct experience of transcendence promotes a democratic understanding of faith. Thomas Müntzer's spiritualism, which is part of the mystical tradition, is also seen as an essential trigger of the peasant wars .
Interest in classical texts of mysticism and contemplation does not rule out unethical political action. Heinrich Himmler is said to have always carried a copy of the Bhagavad Gita with him. He and his “elite” are also said to have regularly performed a ritual that they called meditation.
Zen traditions also emphasize that spirituality and everyday life must not be decoupled. For example, the verses “ The Ox and His Shepherd ” describe the development path of a Zen student in ancient Japan and end with the return to the marketplace. The Zen master Willigis Jäger also emphasizes: "A spiritual path that does not lead into everyday life is a wrong path."
Many accounts of mystical experiences emphasize that no term or statement even remotely fits. What is experienced can at most be paraphrased, also depending on socio-cultural conditions. With the simultaneous non-namability and the desire not only to remain silent about the experience, mysticism often also makes use of metaphorical stylistic devices.
- Various biblical texts address the fact that God cannot be represented and cannot be named in this world and the knowledge during a mystical experience (e.g. baptism in the Holy Spirit ) in the hereafter (cf. e.g. Last Judgment in the Kingdom of God ). (For example 1 Tim 6:16: “God, who lives in inaccessible light, whom no one has seen”, 1 Cor 13:12: “Now we look in a mirror and see only enigmatic outlines, but then we look face to face to face. Now I know imperfectly, but then I will know through and through. ")
- By Thomas Aquinas , the effective historically significant medieval theologians, is radically severally reported that he wanted to burn after a mystical experience his books because he recognized the fact that all God attributable terms are more than wrong right. In fact, the Thomanian analogy does reflect the describability and indescribability of God.
- Buddha did not call the mystically experienced as divine, but also not as natural. The highest reality is not a divine being that is endowed with understanding and will and acts, but peace and bliss that outshines everything. The highest reality also does not protect people from unhappiness or does not free them from dangers of life if one pleads with them in prayers, but in the world much unalterable suffering happens, and yet everything is safe in this highest reality. The highest reality does not create the many world things, like the source creates a brook or like an artist creates his work of art. Nothing can be known about the origin of world things. The highest reality is simply there as a sovereign, inviolable, absolutely fulfilling reality that people can perceive in principle. From mystical experience, all phenomena are also described as emptiness (nothingness) in the sense that they are empty of an inherent being . The mystical experience is also described as a reality in which there is no more suffering, no death and no more development, which means absolute fulfillment and bliss - but quite different from what one could imagine and would know how to say about happiness.
- Laozi calls the reality underlying all being Dao . "The Dao is hidden without a name / and yet it is the Dao that sustains and completes everything." He believes that no rational statement can be made about the highest reality, but that it can be experienced. Those who follow the Dao and act in accordance with their nature “add ten thousand things. You come to him and suffer no harm, find peace, find rest, find unity. "
- In philosophical-theological traditions Nikolaus von Kues , Meister Eckhart and Hildegard von Bingen can be named as important representatives .
- Peter Dinzelbacher (Ed.): Dictionary of Mysticism (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 456). 2nd, supplemented edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-520-45602-8 .
- Peter Heidrich, Hans-Ulrich Lessing: Mysticism, mystical. In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy . Volume 6, Schwabe, Basel 1984, pp. 268-279.
- Ronald W. Hepburn, Kai-man Kwan: Mysticism, Nature and Assessment of. In: Encyclopedia of Philosophy . 2nd Edition, Volume 6, Thomson Gale, Detroit 2006, pp. 453-462.
- Bernard McGinn, Louis Dupré, Peter Moore: Mystical Union in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and Mysticism. In: Encyclopedia of Religion . 2nd Edition, Volume 9, Thomson Gale, Detroit 2005, pp. 6334-6359.
- Ninian Smart: History of Mysticism. In: Encyclopedia of Philosophy . 2nd Edition, Volume 6, Thomson Gale, Detroit 2006, pp. 441-453.
General and comparative
- Karl Albert: Introduction to Philosophical Mysticism. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 3-534-12948-2 .
- Hans Peter Balmer : It shows. Hermeneutic Perspectives on Speculative Mysticism . University Library of the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-95925-104-4 ( online ).
- Bruno Borchert: Mysticism. The Phenomenon - The History - New Paths . Langewiesche, Königstein i. Ts. 1994, ISBN 3-7845-8600-7 .
- Louise Gnädinger: Deutsche Mystik , 3rd edition, with 15 color plates, Manesse Verlag, Zurich 1994, ISBN 3-7175-1772-4 .
- Peter Heigl : mysticism and drug mysticism. A critical comparison. Patmos, Düsseldorf 1980, ISBN 3-491-77327-X
- Jörg-Johannes Lechner : Anthropology of Mysticism. ›Mysticism‹ and ›mystical experience‹ in the context of a philosophical anthropology . Kovač, Hamburg 2020, ISBN 978-3-339-11410-5 .
- Ralph Norman: Rediscovery of Mysticism. In: Gareth Jones (Ed.): The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology. Blackwell Publishing 2004, pp. 459ff.
- Michael Sells: Mystical Languages of Unsaying. Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 1994 (on, among others, Plotin , Eriugena , Ibn Arabi, Marguerite Porete and Meister Eckhart )
- Dorothee Sölle: Mysticism and Resistance. "You silent screaming". Piper, Munich / Zurich 1999, ISBN 3-492-22689-2 .
- Peter Schäfer : Ways of a mystical experience of God: Judaism, Christianity and Islam (= writings of the Historical College. Colloquia. Volume 65). Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-486-58006-X ( digitized ).
- Marco S. Torini: Apophatic Theology and Divine Nothingness. About traditions of negative terminology in occidental and Buddhist mysticism. In: Tradition and Translation. On the problem of the intercultural translatability of religious phenomena. De Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1994, pp. 493-520.
- Martin Werner: Mysticism in Christianity and in non-Christian religions. Katzmann, Tübingen 1989, ISBN 3-7805-0450-2 .
- Mariano Delgado : The Christianity of theologians in the 20th century - From the “essence of Christianity” to the “short formulas of faith”. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-17-015680-2 .
- Peter Dinzelbacher : Christian Mysticism in the Occident. Your story from the beginning to the end of the Middle Ages. Schöningh, Paderborn et al. 1994, ISBN 3-506-72016-3 .
- Peter Dinzelbacher: Mysticism and Illness. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , pp. 1020-1022.
- Peter Dinzelbacher: German and Dutch mysticism of the Middle Ages. A study book. De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-022137-4 .
- Peter Gerlitz and others: mysticism and mysticism and art. In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . Volume 23, pp. 533-597.
- Klaus W. Halbig: The tree of life. Cross and Torah in a mystical interpretation. Echter, Würzburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-429-03395-8 .
- Alois Maria Haas : Gottleiden - Gottlieben: on vernacular mysticism in the Middle Ages. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-458-16009-4 .
- Alois Maria Haas: Mysticism in Context. Fink, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-7705-3693-2 .
- Alois Maria Haas: Wind of the Absolute: Mystical Wisdom of Postmodernism? Johannes, Freiburg i. B. 2009, ISBN 978-3-89411-409-1 .
- Grete Lüers: The language of the German mysticism of the Middle Ages in the work of Mechthild of Magdeburg. Dissertation Münster 1926; Darmstadt 1966.
Bernard McGinn : Presence of God: a History of Western Christian Mysticism . 5 volumes. German translation: The mysticism in the west. Herder 1994ff.
- Volume 1. Origins. ISBN 978-3-451-23381-4 (with an overview of the history of research and concepts of mysticism, p. 265ff.)
- Volume 2. Development. ISBN 978-3-451-23382-1 .
- Volume 3. Bloom. Men and women of the new mysticism (1200-1350). ISBN 978-3-451-23383-8 .
- Volume 4. The Harvest of Mysticism in Medieval Germany
- Kurt Ruh : history of occidental mysticism. 5 volumes. Beck, Munich 1990–1999.
- Kurt Ruh: Bonaventure German. A contribution to German Franciscan mysticism and scholasticism (= Bibliotheca germanica. Volume 7). Bern 1956 (also philosophical habilitation thesis, University of Basel 1953).
- Denys Turner: The Darkness of God, Negativity in Christian Mysticism. Cambridge 1995 (on Pseudo-Dionysius , Augustine , Bonaventure , Meister Eckhart , Johannes von Kreuz )
- Peter Zimmerling : Evangelical mysticism. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2015, ISBN 978-3-525-57041-8 .
- Arthur John Arberry : Sufism - An Account of the Mystics of Islam . George Allen & Unwin, London 1972.
- Titus Burckhardt : About Sufism. Introduction to the mysticism of Islam. Barth, Munich-Planegg 1953. Strongly expanded new edition under the title Sufism - Introduction to a Language of Mysticism , Chalice, Xanten 2018, ISBN 978-3-942914-27-7
- W. Chittick : The Sufi Path of Knowledge. State University of New York Press, Albany, NY 1989.
- Mehdi Aminrazavi: Mysticism in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Seyyed Hossein Nasr : Mystical philosophy in Islam . In: Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Annemarie Schimmel: Sufism. An introduction to Islamic mysticism. 2nd Edition. Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-46028-3 .
- Annemarie Schimmel: Mystical Dimensions of Islam. The history of Sufism. Insel, Frankfurt am Main and others 1995, ISBN 3-458-33415-7 .
- John Owen Hunwick et al .: Tasawwuf. In: Encyclopaedia of Islam . 2nd edition, pp. 313-340.
- Joseph Dan : Jewish Mysticism and Jewish Ethics. 1986.
- Joseph Dan: Jewish Mysticism. Volume 1: Late Antiquity. 1998, Volume 2: The Middle Ages. 1998.
- Moshe Idel, M. Ostow (Ed.): Jewish Mystical Leaders and Leadership. 1998.
- Daniel C. Matt (Ed.): The Heart of Kabbalah. Jewish mysticism from two millennia. Barth, Bern 1996, ISBN 3-502-65450-6 .
- Gershom Scholem : From the mystical figure of the deity. Studies on the basic concepts of Kabbalah. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1977, ISBN 3-518-07809-7 .
- Gershom Scholem, Jonathan Garb, Moshe Idel : Kabbalah. In: Encyclopaedia Judaica . 2nd Edition. Volume 11, pp. 586-692.
- Daisetz T. Suzuki : The western and the eastern way. About Christian and Buddhist mysticism. New edition. Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1995.
- RC Dwivedi: Buddhist mysticism. In: RC Pandeya (Ed.): Buddhist Studies in India. 1975, pp. 100-120.
- RC Dwivedi: Buddhist mysticism. In: KL Sharma, RS Bhatnagar (ed.): Philosophy, Society and Action. Essays in Honor of Prof. Daya Krishna. Jaipur 1984, pp. 152–171 (also in: Akhila Bhāratīya Sanskrit Parishad 16–18 (1984–86), pp. 97–114)
- Subhadra A. Joshi: Buddhist mysticism: a comparative study. In: Kalpakam Sankaranarayanan, Motohira Youtoniya, Shubhadra A. Joshi (eds.): Buddhism In India and Abroad. An Integrating Influence in Vedic and Post-Vedic Perspective. Bombay 1996, pp. 104-113.
- Trevor Ling: Buddhist mysticism. In: Religious Studies. 1 (1966), pp. 163-176.
- Hajime Nakamura: Intuitive awareness: issues in early mysticism. In: Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 12: 119-140 (1985).
- AK Sarkar: Indian Buddhism and Chinese mysticism. In: Bulletin of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. 39: 99-107 (1988).
- PM Rao: Buddhism and mysticism. In: Mahābodhi (Colombo). 65: 83-88 (1957).
- Pramod Kumar Singh: Some observations on Buddhist mysticism. In: Journal of the Indian Council for Philosophical Research. 22/1 (2005), pp. 129-140.
- Pramod Kumar Singh: Buddhist mysticism: a few observations. In: Indian Philosophical Quarterly. 33 (2006), pp. 221-230.
- Special comparative cultural exhibition at the Museum Rietberg Zurich: Mysticism - The Longing for the Absolute , 23 September 2011 to 15 January 2012
- Jerome Gellman: mysticism. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Rudolf Eisler : Article mysticism in Eisler's dictionary of philosophical terms (1904)
- Helmut Walther: Timeline and quotes on mysticism
- Birgit John (Ed.): Text collection on the mysticism of world religions
- B. Janz: Who's Who in the History of Western Mysticism
- Joseph Schumacher : The mysticism in Christianity and in the world religions (PDF; 1.1 MB)
- Alexander Golitzin: Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism , Marquette University 2002: Collection of materials, articles, bibliographies (English)
- Martina Wehrli-Johns: Mysticism. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
- Raoul Mortley: Ancient Mysticism: Greek and Christian Mysticism, and some comparisons with Buddhism. Publications of The Macquarie Ancient History Association 2 (1986), 1-12
- 68-page information booklet Mysticism for Catholic religious educators (PDF) (3.92 MB)
- William Harmless SJ : Bibliography on Spirituality in the Middle Ages
- Aquinata Böckmann OSB : Experientia Dei Bibliography
- Thomas Wagner: Profilierter Mystik , an educational research on political-mystical identity concepts in an interreligious comparison, Diss.University Frankfurt am Main, Erziehungswissenschaften, 2006
- Bernhard Uhde: West-Eastern Spirituality. The inner ways of the world religions. An orientation in 24 basic terms ( with the help of Miriam Münch), Freiburg 2011, 66-76 (mysticism), here p. 66.
- Ute Mauch: Hildegard von Bingen and her treatises on the Triune God in ' Liber Scivias ' (Visio II, 2). A contribution to the transition from speaking image to word, writing and image. In: Würzburger medical history reports 23, 2004, pp. 146–158; here: p. 149.
- Benseler : Greek German dictionary ; Pape : Greek German ; Duden: dictionary of origin
- Cf. Historical Dictionary of Philosophy , article Mystik, mystisch. In: Volume 6, 628 with exemplary documents
- See, for example, R. Hummel: Mystic Models in the 12th Century: “St. Trudperter Hoheslied ”, Bernhard von Clairvaux, Wilhelm von St. Thierry (= Göppingen work on German studies . Volume 522). Kümmerle Verlag, Göppingen 1989, ISBN 3-87452-762-X .
- For example in Origen , In Joh. 20, 12, GCS 4, 342
- Meister Eckhart , Pr. 44, DW 2, 345.
- Summa Theologiae, II, q. 8 a. 1 c. 3 c.
- M. Schmaus: The Faith of the Church. Volume V / 1, 2nd edition. 1992, 119.154
- Angelus Silesius: Cherubine wanderer. IV, 42.
- Klaus W. Halbig: The wedding on the cross. An introduction to the middle. Munich 2007, p. 583; Joseph Ratzinger describes the Sabbath as "the summary of the Torah, the law of Israel"; Joseph Ratzinger: On the way to Jesus Christ , Augsburg 2004, p. 29 (cf. “Whoever keeps the Sabbath fulfills the whole Torah” - Rabbi Shimon ben Jochai ).
- Holy Cross - Center for Christian Meditation and Spirituality - Program September 2016 to July 2017. (PDF) Holy Cross - Center for Christian Meditation and Spirituality, June 14, 2016, accessed on November 29, 2016 .
- Narrated by al-Harawi and ibn Furak. Like Ghazali, the latter emphasizes that it is not God but man that is to be represented veiled. Compare with Al-Ghazzālī: The Niche of Lights. German translation by A.-E. Elschazli. Meiner, Hamburg 1987, ISBN 3-7873-0683-8 , pp. 54 and 85f.
- Ibn Arabi: Journey to the Lord of Power: My journey was only within myself, German translation by Franz Langmayr of an English translation by Rabia T. Harris. Chalice, Zurich 2008, ISBN 978-3-905272-73-4 , p. 138.
- “(..) [in the messianic time] people will cast off this material body of theirs, will be transfigured and get back the mystical body that Adam had before the fall of man. Then they will understand the mystery of the Torah by revealing its hidden aspects. And later, when at the end of the sixth millennium (i.e. after the actual messianic redemption and at the beginning of the new aeon, note Gershom Scholem ) man is transfigured into an even higher spiritual being, he becomes even deeper layers of the mystery of the Recognize the Torah in its hidden being. Then everyone will be able to understand the wondrous content of the Torah and the secret combination of its letters, and through this he will also understand much of the secret nature of the world ... For the basic idea of this explanation is that the Torah has put on a material garment like man himself. ”Anonymous Kabbalistic author, quoted from Gershom Scholem: Zur Kabbala und seine Symbolik , Frankfurt 1973 (Zurich 1960), p. 98 f.
- Cf. Friedrich Weinreb: Creation in the Word. The structure of the Bible in Jewish tradition, Zurich 2002, pp. 235–240 and p. 247.
- Gershom Scholem: From the mystical figure of the deity. Studies on the basic concepts of Kabbalah. Frankfurt 1973 (Zurich 1962), p. 181.
- Gershom Scholem: From the mystical figure of the deity. Studies on the basic concepts of Kabbalah. Frankfurt 1973 (Zurich 1962), p. 171.
- “(..) [man] connects the here and the hereafter. And that's the Sabbath. The joy of experiencing the eternal here , in this world, with the bride, with the feminine that sanctifies. The wedding, where the man takes the woman, is called 'kiddushin', that means 'holy'. "Friedrich Weinreb: The biblical calendar. The month of Nissan. Munich 1984, p. 16.
- Zohar II 99 a / b, quoted from Gershom Scholem: Die Kabbala und seine Symbolik , Frankfurt 1973 (Zurich 1960), p. 78.
- “Everyone knows that Judaism is a 'burden'. But who still knows that it is also 'joy in the spirit and the paradise of the soul', that 'the Shabbat is a foretaste of the world to come'? [...] We failed because we did not succeed in conveying the imponderable, opening the eyes of the heart, liberating the light of the Torah from its envelopment. We didn't care for the eye ... We, the teachers, have little faith. We avoid the problems, we do not penetrate the center. ”Abraham Joshua Heschel: The individual Jew and his duties. In: ders .: The unsecured freedom. Essays on Human Existence. Neukirchen-Vluyn 1985, 151-169, here p. 158.
- Peter Dinzelbacher: Mysticism and Illness. In: Encyclopedia of Medical History. 2005, p. 1020 (cited).
- Ludwig Wittgenstein : Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , 1922, sentence 6.522 (emphasis in italics according to the source)
- Karl Jaspers : Psychologie der Weltanschauungen , Heidelberg 1919 (new edition 1954 with a critical foreword by the author), ISBN 3-492-11988-3 , p. 85 (on the subject of mysticism and mystical attitudes also, pp. 85-89, 119, 160–166, 191–198, 440–462)
- Karl Jaspers : Introduction to Philosophy , 1953, ISBN 3-492-04667-3 , pp. 24–31.
- Action - Language - Art - Mysticism. Sketch of their connection in a reflection-theoretical semiotics. In: Kodikas / Code 6, 1983, (website johannes.heinrichs.de)
- R. Kottje, B. Moeller (Ed.): Ecumenical Church History Volume 2 - Middle Ages and Reformation . Mainz 1983, p. 336 ff.
- Peter Padfield: Himmler - Reichsführer SS. Macmillan, London 1990, ISBN 0-333-40437-8 and Holt, NY, ISBN 0-8050-2699-1 , p. 402, based on a statement by Felix Kersten
- Richard Breitman: Himmler and the annihilation of the European Jews. Schöningh, Paderborn 1996, p. 193.