The Question: Are mystics of separate traditions more akin to one another, or more to the orthodoxy of their respective traditions?
Many, if not most, spiritual and religious traditions, historically have mystical branches. Are the mystics from these traditions, in fact, more akin to mystics from other, separate traditions, or to the larger orthodox order of their respective religions. This question becomes more interesting when one looks, and sees that, very frequently, the mystical traditions are held to be outside of the religion by orthodoxy, sometimes even heretical. As a student, a professor posed this question to the class, and it has intrigued me since. The fact that one would entertain the question, belies an underlying tendency of the questioner. Orthodox thinking of many larger religious traditions, unfortunately, would tend to reject the notion that certain elements within their tradition, may be more akin to elements from a separate religion. As a result, the very existence of the question belies an opening for the possibility.
The Issue: However, I think there is much more at stake than an interesting question from an introductory religious studies course, or even a vigorous philosophical discussion. I my mind, there lies a key to extricating ourselves from the quagmire of conflict that pervades the planet.
Jalal — follow me on twitter twitter.com/Old454