- All religions are grounded in the same mystical experience - the direct apprehension of ineffable and unknowable; the felt experience of a shared ground of being (or a shared ground of consciousness, if you prefer).
- Different (cultural) traditions express that experience in different ways, and this leads to diverging religious systems. But it is the same fundamental experience.
- Esoteric schools or practices within each religious tradition attempt to recapture that initial flame of gnosis/insight/dhawq/aha. And to the extent that they do, their practitioners report conditions of mind, heart, body and spirit that parallel each other to an extraordinary degree.
- Exoteric practices are the “window dressing” on the core mystical experience, But form the enduring structures of many religions. As those systems and institutions (along with their power structures) evolve, the distance from the core mystical/esoteric ground becomes so exaggerated that - all to often - what remains is dogmatic legalism.
I think what adds confusion is the insistence on exclusivity or efficacy of one tradition over another, and this is an expression of spiritual immaturity. Other confusing factors are differences in language and concepts between traditions, which in turn make different practices or beliefs feel foreign to each other. But in my experience and observation, the differences are superficial. In reality, one practice resonates more with one individual than it does for another, perhaps because of culture, or because of each individual’s unique stage in their journey.
My 2 cents.
(From Quora question: https://www.quora.com/Why-is-mysticism-found-in-all-religions)
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