There have always been those people who have heard the call of something beyond the normal, everyday reality. Every culture, in every time period, across the whole globe has had its share of people who somehow felt different, or special. Inspired or touched by a deeper sense of the cosmos, attuned to a different vibration, or just gifted with a sense of the mystery of life, these unique individuals, these sensitives, were all called to the path of the Mystic.
Not every culture has welcomed them, these touched individuals. Nor has every page of history been kind to them. Many were considered insane, and might well have been.Still others were able to achieve positions of honor in their society, and their words and visions haunt us still today.
Especially today, in a moment where there are more people currently alive than the majority of those who have died in the epochs of history combined, there continue to come these special individuals, still in every society and still in every corner of the world, whether they fall like the sown grain on fertile soil of welcoming and honoring cultures, or whether they find death on the hard-packed barriers of a culture of intolerance and misunderstanding, the human race continues to produce its Mystics.
Awen, the Seat of Inspiration
Whatever the source, wherever their own people have placed the credit of origin for their touched and special nature, the Mystics across the world share a contact and a connection with something beyond, something more. It drives them, moves them, connects them to each other and everything else, and it separates them from the rest of the people in their time and place. The Celts recognized this connection in their mythic bards, as many of the Mystics are artists and artisans as well as poets and philosophers. The bards spoke with voices and art which came from something more, something beyond the ranks of daily human experience. They spoke truth in their riddles, stories, sagas and games, truth which came from an inspiration, which flowedfrom some, and not others, just as some were blessed with strength, wealth, and beauty while others were not. This, then, was a gift from beyond, a beyond of inspiration, and this other-worldly inspiration the Celts called Awen.
Hearing Yourself Think
The Awen, no matter its individual cultural ascription or attribution, is a force which speaks in many voices, at varying times, in a multitude of ways. After the initial crisis of contact with the Awen that forces the dawn of Mystical realization on a newly awakened Mystic, the Mystic responds by their cultural training and individual disposition, moving toward or away from the Awen. Whether manifested in a desirable fashion or thrust upon the unwilling as a curse, the Awen drives the Mystic individual, driving with carrot or stick, both as necessary. And both paths will eventually lead the Mystic to seek the environment of solitude.
Whether driven to the company of the self and the quiet of lonesomeness or led there by a deeper need to see more, drink in more, draw in more from the font of Awen, the Mystic comes to the altars of solitude and kneels before them. And there, Awen may come. The relief from the suffering inflicted to drive the human there, the renewal of the Mystic's ecstasy, it is Awen which draws the Mystic on. And it is sometimes not there, for the source of inspiration is not constant, nor does the Mystic traverse always in the realms beyond, but must continue to dwell among other men. It is a powerful, intoxicating thing, the relief from torment or the enticement of ecstasy. Few are called to drink in the well of Awen who do not seek it ever after.
The Habit of Solitude
It is this search, this drive to continually dwell apart, if only for a little while, in the company of the Self and the presence of the Awen, which marks a Mystic apart from common man. Often times it is a drawing within, a retreat from the everyday pressures and demands of the world which triggers the onset of Awen. Other times it is Awen which forces the need for solitude upon the Mystic. Still others, it is a futile attempt to gain the source of inspiration or knowledge of the Mystic Otherness, a time when the Mystic cannot free the attention needed, nor be receptive.
It is because of these drives, because of the feeling that the ordinary does not suffice, that the Mystic seeks the path alone. Many who have been called to the Mystic's path have not come because of a crisis of realization which calls to the others. Some have the wherewithal to attain the proper state, to open themselves to the Mystic's universe.Some seek, but never find. And others still remain in blessed ignorance of the gift and curse that comprises the Mystic's lifetime. Yet it is to these same Mystics that much of the philosophical advancement of humanity is owed.
The Modern Mystic
It is difficult for a global society which places such an emphasis on and which owes its existence to technological advancements and scientific development to embrace the concept of the Mystical experience as a valid part of this lifetime. Yet it is telling that history outlines a continued progression of Mystics across all boundaries of politics and culture, into all times. Still these individuals continue to be born, perhaps as a function of a vestigial set of genetic codes randomly meeting as zygotes, and perhaps for reasons which transcend the known. The Awen is not yet inaccessible to the human race. Perhaps one day it will fade, or perhaps one day it will grow. Yet for now, it is enough that in every community, in every culture, and in every generation are born those who are driven to or called into the Mystic path, a path of solitude.