Scripture and Mystical Transformation

  • Celia Kourie Department of Christian Spirituality, UNISA, South Africa
Keywords: Mystical Transformation, Contemporary scriptural studies, Mystery of existence, Transegoic consciousness, psycho-spiritual maturation


Contemporary scriptural studies are characterized by a major paradigm shift from a mechanistic to a holistic paradigm, enabling the text to come to life as transformative and lifechanging, and thus contributing to the rediscovery of the text as dynamic medium rather than static object. In particular, a mystical hermeneutic of scripture is one in which a direct experience of God, or Ultimate Reality, or the One is the end result. Such an understanding of scripture allows the many layers of meaning to come to the fore, and witnesses to the lifegiving power of the text. It provides a door or window, as it were, between different dimensions of consciousness. Myths enable the mystical reality to be expressed in poetic form. They spring from the depths of the psyche where the ultimate Mystery of existence is encountered; they are the product of the creative imagination and attempt in some measure to portray primordial truth. Mythological imagery witnesses to the deep-rooted desire expressed in all religious traditions to restore the undivided consciousness and unity of being, which is the central facet of mysticism. Utilising a mystical and kenotic reading of the Beatitudes, in Matthew 5, based on the Peshitta, we see that the ‘happy ones’ are utterly dependent on God. Deeply humble, they have nothing of their own; everything is gift, and therefore there is no room for pride. The death of the subjectively experienced and anxiety-generated ‘self’ effects a greater Self. There is so to speak, a shifting of mental gears in which the truth of the indwelling Christ is realised as a source of power, peace and joy. Transegoic consciousness is the result of this mystical transformation, in which psycho-spiritual maturation results in selfless service of the other.


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