Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

Archive for January 16, 2010

The Path of the Mystic

Do you like categories? Do you enjoy taking psychological – personality-type tests? Are you ENFP? Where are you on the Enneagram?  On those types of tests, I usually come out in the center between two choices, and I have a very hard time with black and white answers. My world has more colors than that. I’m not big on such tests, but I had to take plenty of them in seminary.

Well, that said, on a lark I took a Spiritual Types Test from the Upper Room website, and my result was Mystic. I’ve posted a version of the result below.

You are a Mystic, known for your imaginative, intuitive spirituality. You value peace, harmony, and inner silence. Mystics are nurtured by walking alone in the woods or sitting quietly with a trusted friend. You may also enjoy poetry, meditation, wordless prayer, candles, art, books, and anything else that helps you connect with the Sacred.

Mystics experience the holy best through rich images and symbols. You are contemplative, introspective, intuitive, and focused on an inner world as real to you as the exterior one. Sensing the divine in life is more important to you than speaking to God. Others may attribute human characteristics to God, but you see God as ineffable, unnamable, and more vast than any known category. You are intrigued by this mystery.

Mystics want to inspire and persuade others, and need to live lives of significance. At times you push the envelope of spirituality, helping the rest of us imagine who we might become if we followed your lead.

Sometimes you may feel a bit guilty about your need for solitude and silence. If so, you probably have bought into the American myth that says being alone and doing nothing is lazy, antisocial, and unproductive. Stop it — now. Give yourself permission to retreat and be alone. It’s essential for your well-being.

On the other hand, don’t get so carried away retreating that you become a recluse. That only deprives the world of your gifts and deprives you of the lessons that come from being with others. Some Mystics may have a true vocation for solitary prayer, but the rest of you need to alternate retreat time with involvement and interaction.

Definitely! Retreat time alternated with action! The other types mentioned at the Spiritual Types site are The Lover, The Prophet, The Sage. I could discover parts of myself in each of the descriptions. Maybe you will, too. Have fun with it!