I am not fond of much of the New Age movement. Sometimes my thoughts about mysticism may seem like the New Age, but I think that is because the New Age has adopted a lot of mystical language and concepts, not that classical mysticism inherently belongs to the New Age. They are two different fields, which have some overlap. The New Age developed just in the 1970s. Mysticism has been around for millennia, indeed, for all of human history, in every part of the world.
Whenever someone has been graced to perceive the Ultimate, the Highest, the One, it is because their consciousness has been transfigured into that of God's consciousness, such that they look out through God's eyes onto God.
Two readers posted comments recently on my article about Joseph Smith as tertön and the Book of Mormon as terma. They were both similar in questioning the idea that the Book of Mormon may not be a historical text.
I see mysticism in Joseph Smith and his work at nearly every turn. Joseph united his mind and consciousness in God to such a great degree that he spoke with the voice of Christ. One only does that if one is genuinely in mystical union with God, or delusional, or a con man (a fake). I perceive Joseph was the first, and I'll share a few reasons why.
I wonder if we might find some insightful parallels and further understanding in the 23 distinct personalities who inhabit the mind of the one main character of the recent 2016 American psychological thriller film Split, starring James McAvoy, and the many personalities manifested through the writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon narrative.
God wants to speak to us. God yearns for it, and many of us yearn for it too. God wants us to know Him ourselves, in our Selves. This is the very definition of Eternal Life (John 17:3). But we must do our part. We must get out of our own way. We must surrender and submit our egos, our egoic mind, in order to allow God to speak to us. The Prophet Joseph Smith seems to have known how to do this, but we seem to have lost this ability today, even the kinds of practices that lead to it.
I believe that meditation and other related contemplative techniques, including the use of seer stones, can help us become aware of the Divine and enter God's Presence. This post introduces some concepts from psychology and neurobiology which might begin to help explain how this happens.
The experience and concept known as mysticism and its practitioners, mystics, are largely unknown today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What are these, and what relationship might they have with the Gospel and the Restoration, particularly with Joseph Smith and his First Vision? The case is made that they are vital to our communion with God, and our ultimate goal of returning to God. Many perspectives and concepts are discussed including personal experience, neuroscience, psychology, transhumanism, computer science, philosophy, popular culture, history of religions, psychology of religion, and contemplative practices, offering tentative associations and insights with Mormon concepts of spiritual experience, atonement, salvation, exaltation, the Second Comforter, calling and election, and theosis or divinization, becoming like God.