Rosicrucian H. Spencer Lewis writes:
Intuition is unlearned knowledge. The mystic is one who has a profound insight into this unlearned knowledge that springs from a cosmic source. Though a mystic may resort to reason and logic, as would another, the intuitive self permits him or her to realize those subtleties of experience that reason often does not reveal to other people.
IN MODERN TIMES many strange and erroneous connotations have been associated with the terms mystic and mysticism. The most general misconception is that they concern weird, awesome, or strange phenomena. In fact, the mystic is one who definitely desires and seeks truth and knowledge. He abhors the superstitious as much as the one who professes to be a rationalist.The mystic believes in the unity of reality. To him matter, body, and mind are but one manifestation of a single Divine Intelligence. Even time and space to the mystic are but indications of the limitations of human perception, for he considers them but variations of the Absolute, the One. Though certain mystics may deny any pantheistic inclinations, yet throughout all mystical teachings there is the thread of belief that the Divine Intelligence pervades all things. Since the mystic expounds a belief in the unity of all things in a sole reality, and further, since that reality is thought by him to be a Divine Intelligence, then that Intelligence must in some manner be inherent in everything.
A fundamental belief of the mystic is that he may receive divine or cosmic illumination personally through his subconscious self. There comes to him, in his meditation, a revealed knowledge which he intuitively accepts as truth. The revelation is so clear to him that he believes the knowledge needs no substantiation by means of reason.The mystic further believes that no intermediary is required for direct contact with the sole reality which he may term the Absolute, Universal Mind, God, or the Cosmic. The mystic is likewise of the conviction that most knowledge of the senses is illusory. It lacks the element of truth because it is transmitted to the consciousness by the unreliable receptor senses. Knowledge perceived through intuition is, therefore, considered divine in source as coming from an intimate contact with the sole reality and transcending in importance what the senses perceive.
However, the intelligent mystic by this conception must not be construed as having the views of the ancient cynics who completely denied the value of all sense data. The mystic realizes that his senses do depict certain aspects of reality which are necessary for his physical and mortal existence. Such experiences must be accepted for their restricted value. But it is his understanding that sense data or perceptual knowledge cannot give man the experience of cosmic unity or insight into the nature of the divine.The mystic is not an impractical person—if he is a true mystic. He may seek at times isolation from the distractions of the world to permit that elevation of his consciousness which he finds necessary’ for attunement with the One. He finds, however, a moral obligation incumbent upon him to utilize the flow of illumination, the new ideas or revealed knowledge he has received. It is incompatible with his conscience to lock such light entirely within the confines of his personal consciousness. The illumination he has received becomes an incentive and a stimulus to action which lie eventually expresses in various ways.
The mystic, after a period of illumination may go forward to expound to others, to lecture or write, what he considers to be a mystical way to happiness. The illumination may manifest in the exercise of one of the individual’s talents, the cultivation of his aesthetic qualities. He may try to paint, sculpture, or to write a musical composition which will objectify what he has inwardly experienced. Thus, in a practical way, he confers upon the world of man what he believes to be a cosmic gift to him.By no means is the mystic necessarily devoted just to aesthetics. Some of the great scientists have been mystics or at least sympathetic to the mystic’s contribution to the advancement of civilization. A mystic can be an engineer, a physician, an astronomer, and many have been prominent as business leaders. They permit their lives to be guided by the flow of wisdom which comes to them from a transcendent source or at least from that which they hold to be superior to mortal reason.
Mystical philosophy is a way of life by which the individual comes to adjust himself to his environment in response to the inner experience he has had. It is a superior counsel which he interprets in a practical way and which he finds brings into everyday affairs at least some of the cosmic order which he has realized.
H. Spencer Lewis
Essays of a Modern Mystic