"Mystical traditions of different cultures have al­ways emphasized the importance of inner emptiness.

Emptiness creates space for new experiences. Emptiness opens up more room for imagination and intuition. These are very practical effects, useful for everyday life. But when mystics describe their expe­riences, there are completely different dimensions involved.

They talk about ecstasy, about the experience of God, about the knowledge of being one with all be­ings and with God. Of course, all this is no confir­mation of any religious doctrine. The fact that someone believes he is communicating with higher powers is no proof of the existence of these powers. But obviously there is a lot going on in our brains when we reduce the external stimuli and the inner urge for activity.

The exuberant language with which mystical expe­riences are often described gives some idea of the in­tensity of these experiences. The journey into the in­ner emptiness is a journey into infinity. The inner cosmos is as incomprehensible and overwhelming as the outer cosmos. How one subsequently interprets the experiences of this journey strongly depends on the specific cultural means of expression.

Mystical experiences are not a privilege of any par­ticular religion. Even those who do not believe can make them. They are not bound to any religion, but religions have a vocabulary that is particularly suit­able to describe them. Mystical experiences are usu­ally embedded in religious traditions, however they point beyond them.

Therefore, mystical thinking can build bridges be­tween religions where fanaticism sees only abysses. The exchange of mystical experiences can facilitate dialogue between religions. Dogmas separate the re­ligions, mystical experiences open ways to connect them."

Jupp Hartmann Departure into Emptiness - Climate Crisis, Idleness and Mysticism (ISBN: 9783751969512)

Article byJupp Hartmann