The Backbone Of Mysticism And The Western Tradition Essay

808 Words Sep 21st, 2014 4 Pages
Western culture has always included a strong element of mysticism in its traditions. Mysticism is strongly based on the occurrences of revelations: experiences in which Divine knowledge is disclosed to someone, usually in the form of some incredible happenstance (for example, a bush that burns but never turns to ash.) Revelation is where all three major world religions started. Even more than that, revelation is appealing to both humans and God: to humans, because it means that anyone can gain knowledge directly from God (not just scholars who spend every waking moment attempting to acquire such a breakthrough); to God, because it is a surefire way to spread knowledge of his plans and needs (knowledge he needs humans to have, if he wants his plans carried out by them.) Revelatory experiences are the backbone of mysticism in the western tradition.
The starting point for all three major world religions--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--was Abraham’s first revelation and covenant with God. In exchange for completing a few other obligations, God promised Abraham that he would have many descendants, and that they would prosper. Abraham trusted God, and sought out the land of Canaan, where his family would settle. Revelatory experiences have been shaping people’s actions and acceptance of God’s guidance since the literal beginning of religion. This is one reason revelation has played such an important part in the western tradition overall.
Another reason for the prevalence of…

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