The pure trust, the true “yes” lies buried deep in the determinacies of finite life. It surfaces episodically through life, coming through and receding, on and off, visiting and gypsy, like a wayward love. One cannot just will it, though one must be willing. This is the willingness before will. But one can woo it. The devotion of the mystic, and the discipline, witness the courtship of this woo.
We misunderstand God’s transcendence beyond the whole if we dualistically oppose it to divine immanence in the finite whole. The “meta” is not only “beyond, above,” but also “in the midst.” The friendship of the “beyond, above” with the “in the midst” is at issue in turning to God and mysticism. This is again an extraordinarily plurivocal matter. Not only is it difficult to pin mysticism down definitively with univocally fixed markers, it shows a fluid latitude of variability, depending on different traditions shaping its expression, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, archaic religions. We come once more to the idiocy of the divine, the intimacy. At the beginning the Tao is said to be as an unborn baby, but as we move through the middle, in the end we are to become as the child again, and speak its sacred “yes,” whether, say, with Jesus or Nietzsche we need not now say. We pass from idiocy to idiocy. At the beginning of our quest, idiocy is not dissolved but rather intensified towards the end, especially with respect to the absolute singularity of the God who is not the whole. Our passage through life takes firm form, but our passing makes fluid again the forms, and the abiding porosity prior to form and beyond form offers again its never closed off chance: chance of ultimate communication between us and the ultimate. Mysticism has to do with the chance of the divine woo.
The woo is furthered through meditative practices, contemplative prayer, the retraction of untoward attachments. Drugs, we know, can artificially induce a sense of intimacy with the porosity, (en)force a chemical patience, making the doors of perception seem purged. The body being bruised to pleasure the porosity, this is not the patience of the true “yes.” The porosity too must be purged. Breathing with measure – this can help begin the emptying of mind of determinate contents. Sensory deprivation: closing the eyes, retracting into floating darkness – this awakens the idiotic prior to the aesthetic. Woo: we close our eyes on darkness when we kiss or are kissed. (Mystic comes from muein. Muein: to shut the eyes, to stop the mouth.) There can be mystical tinges to certain intense physical activities: dervish dances; long-distance running – not alone the body, but the soul too might get its second wind – breaking through the barrier of pain into another zone, effortless in full effort, calm in absorbed agitation, beyond suffering in suffering.