Peace Propagators (Part 3): The Legacy of the Mystic Saints

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 27 Mar 2023

Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service

Mystic Saints, in any religion, are a group of highly, spiritually evolved individuals, who traditionally inhibit the functioning of their reptilian brains.[1]

This publication, Part 3 in the series on Peace Propagators, discusses the contributions made by mystic saints over the centuries and decades to the sole work of propagation of peaceful coexistence of humanoids.  This philosophy not only prevailed in the peaceful relations between different religions, social standing, cultural background, race gender and ethnicity between humanoids bit they also promulgated and ethos of synchronicity between the universe and all the biological as well as non-biological elements within it.  While most of these mystic saints lived as ascetics, leading a Spartan and frugal life style in the past, their philosophies and lifestyles of renunciation is left behind as a legacy for all humanoids to subscribe to.

If these values of role-modeling are practiced by humanoids today, the world will not have the problems experienced in the 21st century, including climate change, gender based and domestic violence, as well as global, national up-manship and international belligerence, as encountered in the 21st Century. Ironically, the very communities these mystic saints were trying to uplift, are suffering abysmal, degrading effects of ongoing and sustained transgression of the rest of the humanoids, together with dangerous and irreversible effects of climate change, affecting not only planet earth, but the entire galaxy, ultimately, in the future.

Mystic saints, also known as mystics, may be defined and classified as are individuals who have had profound spiritual experiences and insights, often through decades of subscribing to the rightful path of piety, through intense devotion, meditation, self-restraint, renunciation of materialism, self-sacrifice, selflessness, synchronisation with the elements and contemplation. They are known for their ability to access states of consciousness beyond the ordinary, and to experience direct communion with the divine.

Essentially, these mystics have devolved and literally executed their super egos, ego, self-pride inherent in humans, self-preservation in service of others, often to the detriment of their personal selves.  They have disabled their primitive drives by the demands of the remnants of the “reptilian human brains”, which all humanoids have inherited in the course of our phylogenetic development, over the millennia, from our primitive Neanderthal ancestors, if one subscribes to the profound theories of humanoid evolution, as initially espoused by Charles Darwin in his momentous and controversial tome “Evolution of Species” [2]  Darwin’s, pioneering work was considered highly controversial because it contradicted the account of creation, as narrated in the holy scriptures of the Abrahamic Faiths, collectively and caused a huge outcry at the time of the release of his book in the 19th century.[3]

Darwin selection promulgated his hypothesis of the transmutation of species through the process of natural, presenting creation as an ongoing process. Darwin defined evolution as “descent with modification,” the idea that species change over time, give rise to new species, and share a common ancestor.[4]   Darwin’s seminal work on evolution was released to the public on November 22, 1859, in Great Britain. The initial print run sold out, and Darwin began work on a second run almost immediately, with corrections and amendments to the text.

He also added comments he received from an Anglican rector and novelist, Charles Kingsley, to the last chapter of the second edition. Kingsley had praised the original work, writing to Darwin, “if you be right I must give up much of what I had believed”. He added, regarding the act of creation, that it was, “…just as noble conception of Deity, to believe that He created primal forms capable of self-development”.[5]  This concept is extremely important to understand and emphasise.

The author postulates that humanoids can achieve liberation from their primal forms, attained either by a process of genesis in the scriptural sense, or by evolutionary sequential process over millennia, as enunciated by Darwin, will eventually also result in higher mental development, not in terms of intellect, but by a process of total inhibition of the primeval reptilian brain in humans.   It is further postulated that through a process of meditation and continuous inhibition of the expression of primitive brain in humanoids, they can achieve the spiritual functional status of mystics, as recorded in history, globally.

Mystic saints have been an important part of many religious traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. In each of these traditions, mystics have played a significant role in shaping the beliefs and practices of the faithful. The experiences of mystic saints are often described as states of ecstasy or rapture, in which they are transported beyond the limitations of the physical world and into direct communion with God or the divine. Some mystics have reported experiencing visions, hearing voices, or even feeling a sense of unity with all things.

One of the most famous mystic saints is St. Teresa of Avila, a 16th century, Spanish Carmelite nun, who wrote extensively about her mystical experiences. She described a series of profound spiritual experiences, including visions of angels and encounters with the divine, which she believed were the result of intense prayer and meditation.

Judaism has a rich history of mysticism, with many notable figures who have contributed to the development of Jewish mysticism. These mystics are often referred to as “Tzaddikim” or “Tzaddikot,” which means righteous ones.

One of the most famous Jewish mystics is Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who is considered the father of Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism. Rabbi Shimon lived in the 2nd century CE and is best known for his teachings in the Zohar, a mystical commentary on the Torah.

Other notable Jewish mystics include Rabbi Isaac Luria, also known as the Ari, who lived in the 16th century and founded a new school of Kabbalah known as Lurianic Kabbalah. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, who lived in the 18th century, is also considered a mystic and is known for his teachings on prayer and the search for inner meaning.

In addition to these figures, there are many other Jewish mystics throughout history who have made significant contributions to Jewish mysticism and spirituality.  Some other notable mystics in Jewish history, are listed, while by no means exhaustive

  • Moses de Leon – A Spanish Kabbalist who lived in the 13th century and is believed to have authored the Zohar, a foundational text of Jewish mysticism.
  • Rabbi Yitzchak Luria Ashkenazi (the Ari) – A 16th-century Kabbalist who founded the Lurianic school of Kabbalah.
  • Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov – The founder of Hasidic Judaism in the 18th century, who emphasized the importance of spiritual joy and connection to God.
  • Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson – The seventh and last Rebbe of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic dynasty, who taught the importance of spreading love and goodness throughout the world.
  • Rabbi Nachman of Breslov – An 18th-century Hasidic master who taught that serving God with joy and simplicity is the key to spiritual growth.
  • Rabbi Avraham Abulafia – A Spanish Kabbalist in the 13th century who taught a system of mystical meditation.
  • Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag – A 20th-century Kabbalist who wrote extensively on the practical application of Kabbalistic teachings.
  • Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto – An 18th-century Italian Kabbalist who wrote influential works on Jewish ethics and Kabbalistic theology.

These are just a few examples of the many Jewish mystics throughout history who have contributed to the development of Jewish spirituality and mysticism.

In Islam, another well-known mystic saint is Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic.[6] Rumi’s poetry is renowned for its mystical themes, and his work has had a profound influence on Islamic mysticism and spirituality.

In Hinduism, there have been many mystic saints, or sadhus and swamis, who have renounced the world and dedicated themselves to spiritual practice. One of the most famous of these is Ramakrishna Paramhansa, a 19th century Indian mystic who was renowned for his deep devotion to the Hindu goddess Kali.

In Buddhism, the concept of the mystic saint is known as the arhat or the bodhisattva. Arhats are individuals who have attained enlightenment and are considered to be free from the cycle of birth and rebirth, while bodhisattvas are individuals who have chosen to delay their own enlightenment in order to help others achieve it.  Over 1,000 years ago, an esoteric sect known as Shingon, which combined elements from Buddhism, Old Shinto, Taoism, and other religions,  developed a horrifying practice of self-mummification of the living body. The goal was to demonstrate the ultimate act of religious discipline and dedication.

The practice, known as Sokushinbutsu, was pioneered by a Japanese priest named Kukai, and involved drying out the body over a number of years through a grueling process, which inevitably resulted in death and preservation of the body. The self processing involved in mummifying one’s own body were extremely rigorous and painful. For the first 1,000 days, the monks ceased all food except nuts, seeds, fruits and berries and they engaged in extensive physical activity to strip themselves of all body fat. For the next one thousand days, their diet was restricted to just bark and roots. Near the end of this period, they would drink poisonous tea made from the sap of the Urushi tree, which caused vomiting and a rapid loss of body fluids. It also acted as a preservative and killed off maggots and bacteria that would cause the body to decay after death.

In the final stage, after more than six years of torturous preparation, the monk would lock himself in a stone tomb barely larger than his body, where he would go into a state of meditation. He was seated in the lotus position, a position he would not move from until he died. A small air tube provided oxygen to the tomb. Each day, the monk rang a bell to let the outside world know he was still alive. When the bell stopped ringing, the tube was removed, and the tomb sealed for the final thousand-day period of the ritual.

At the end of this period, the tomb would be opened to see if the monk was successful in mummifying himself. If the body was found in a preserved state, the monk was raised to the status of Buddha, his body was removed from the tomb, and he was placed in a temple where he was worshiped and revered. The practice of self-mummification continued until the 19th century, when it was banned by the Japanese government. It is believed that many hundreds of monks attempted sokushinbutsu, but only 28 are known to have achieved mummification, many of whom can be visited in various temples in Japan.  These mystic monks have elected to engage in acts of supreme self-sacrifice and renunciation in pursuit of eternal peace.

Mystic saints, in every religion, including the African traditional religions,  are revered for their ability to provide a direct connection to the divine and to offer insights and guidance on the spiritual path. Their experiences and teachings continue to inspire and educate aberrant humanoids, globally.

The Bottom Line is that mystics, while appear unkempt, ascetic in nature, deeply engrossed in introspection and are dissociated from the happenings affecting the humanoids, have made important contributions to the propagation, practice and sustenance of peace throughout history, through their teachings, personal actions as well as leading by example. The documented examples are:

  1. Emphasising unity and interconnectedness: Mystics often stress the idea that all beings and things are interconnected and part of a larger whole. This can foster a sense of unity and empathy, which are essential for promoting peace.
  2. Encouraging inner peace: Mystics often teach that inner peace is a necessary precondition for outer peace. By promoting practices such as meditation, contemplation, and mindfulness, they help people cultivate inner peace, which can then be reflected in their interactions with others.
  3. Promoting nonviolence: Many mystics advocate for nonviolence as a means of resolving conflicts. For example, Mahatma Gandhi, a spiritual leader and mystic, used nonviolent resistance to help India gain independence from British rule.
  4. Advocating for social justice: Mystics often speak out against social injustice and advocate for greater equality and compassion. This can help address underlying causes of conflict and promote more peaceful and harmonious societies.
  5. Bridging divides: Mystics can serve as mediators and bridge builders between different groups, helping to promote understanding and dialogue across divides such as religious, cultural, or political differences.

In summary, the contributions of mystics to peace have been significant, and their teachings and practices continue to inspire people around the world, to work towards a more peaceful and just society.

References:

[1] Personal quote by the author, March 2023.

[2] https://www.bing.com/search?q=Evolution+of+Species&aqs=edge..69i57j69i11004.628386436j0j1&pglt=41&FORM=ANSAB1&PC=U531

[3] Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” Is Published – HISTORY

[4] https://www.khanacademy.org/science/ap-biology/natural-selection/natural-selection-ap/a/darwin-evolution-natural-selection

[5] https://historycollection.com/the-reaction-to-charles-darwins-on-the-origin-of-species/#:~:text=Darwin%E2%80%99s%20seminal%20work,of%20self%2Ddevelopment%E2%80%9D.

[6] https://www.transcend.org/tms/2021/11/the-foundation-of-peace-the-wisdom-of-mevlana-jalalud-din-muhammad-rumi/

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Read Parts: [1] [2] [4]

Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.

Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
Email: vawda@ukzn.ac.za


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 27 Mar 2023.

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