Inner Journey: The Path of Mysticism

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Inner Journey: The Path of Mysticism (57:00)
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This program respectfully explores mystical aspects of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Taoism. Learned scholars, including Elliot Wolfson, professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University; Peter Awn, professor of Islamic studies and comparative religion at Columbia University; and Eric Yudelove, author of The Tao and the Tree of Life, introduce Kabbalism, Sufism, Hesychasm, kundalini yoga, and Taoist yoga. Together they shed light on the history of mysticism, purification practices for mind and body, challenges and struggles associated with traveling an esoteric path…and mystical union with the One. (57 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (14)

1. Search for the Divine (03:46)
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In major religions and cultures the world over, mystics seek the unification of self and the divine by traveling beyond the normal bounds of consciousness. From Taoist yoga to the ancient wisdom of the Kabbala, mystics seek pure enlightenment on Earth.

2. Muslim Mysticism (05:36)

Extending back to the dawn of mankind, tribal shamans entered altered states of consciousness. Muslims today find passages in the Koran that indicate intimacy with the Divine is possible. The goal of the Sufi is to bridge the gap between human and Divine.

3. Christian Mysticism (03:25)

Hesychasm takes root in the 4th century B.C. with the Holy Desert Fathers. Through ritual prayer and mental purification, Hesychasts seek "hesychia," the divine state of quietness. Orthodox Christianity maintains vestiges of these mystical practices.

4. Taoist Tradition (03:37)

The esoteric path of Chi gung (qi gong) propels the mystic's consciousness to a direct connection with the Tao. Through the mind, breath, and movement of the body, Taoists access the chi—the life force. Taoist yoga is the highest form of the use of chi.

5. Jewish Mystical Tradition (02:20)

The inner essence of the Jewish mystical teachings of the Kabbala remains a mystery. With its roots as far back as the Garden of Eden, the oral tradition of Kabbala is transmitted through generations in an unbroken chain.

6. India's Mystical Traditions (02:54)

Yoga sutras are a practical method of using the body and mind to achieve the aim of Upanishads—union with the One. A new breed of masters emerges that creates a yogic method of divine knowledge called kundalini yoga.

7. Mystical Journey (03:43)

The path of mysticism leads the seeker to the highest levels of consciousness, though the journey begins within the body itself. In all mystical traditions, the body is the vehicle that either powers the ascent or serves as an obstacle.

8. Hesychasm (02:49)

The path of the Christian Hesychast is devoted to purifying the mind and body through continual meditation and prayer. Hesychasts pray the "Jesus prayer" continually until they experience God himself.

9. Kabbalism and Sufism (05:38)

Like the Hesychasts, Kabbalists use divine names and secret practices of meditation and prayer which have been closely guarded for centuries. Sufis recite the names of God while moving their bodies in order to achieve a sense of Divine oneness.

10. Kundalini and Taoist Yoga (04:30)

In kundalini yoga, the chanting of divine names is interwoven with techniques of movement, breath, and meditation to perform a powerful path of transcendence. Taoists access the vital energy force of chi to elevate their consciousness.

11. Perilous Path of the Mystic (04:54)

The mystical path to the Divine can be a perilous journey into which lower psychic and phantasmagorical elements can enter. Are humans capable of dealing with divine unification and suspension of consciousness without experiencing complete loss of identity as corporeal beings?

12. Purification Practices (04:53)

Like the Muslim Sufis, Christian Hesychasts believe the purity of the heart opens the door to an experience of God. For Jewish Kabbalists and Taoist mystics, purification also plays an essential role on the path of mysticism.

13. Kundalini Yoga (02:55)

Purification practices of the mind and body are used to clear the path to enlightenment. Kundalini is the creative power within everyone, lying mostly dormant until the energy rises and opens up chakras, or doorways of awareness.

14. Spiritual Transformation (04:14)

For those who follow the path of mysticism, purity of heart and mind opens the doors to the hidden world of the Divine. This consciousness of Paradise is oneness, stasis, perfect peace, love, compassion mystical and the union of loved and beloved.

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