This is me, Alienora, aged nearly fifty-nine! I am, amongst many other things, mystical – but, according to much current thinking on the subject, I sure as hell don’t look it!
I am not pale and wan, or interestingly thin; Gothic is not a look that suits me (the one time I dyed my hair black, horses shied away in terror and small children wept!), and I’m afraid I don’t go a bundle on the far-away look, the plethora of occult doodads and the personal affiliation with a known member of the Fey!
And yet, I feel that I do, indeed, inspire a sense of spiritual mystery (even if it is only at the, ‘Jeez, she makes you wonder if mankind really was God’s last word,’ level), awe and fascination!
Why? Because I am a merry old bawd as well, with a loud laugh and a vulgar sense of humour – but, to some, Falstaff and mysticism do not marry well.
Actually, I think they do. My view is that you cannot be a mystic, or have a mystical turn of spirit, without also being fully earthed in the world, without your body also coming into play. In order to be transported to other realms, you need to have a solid base to return to – and you can’t get much more solid and earthy than moi!
I travel in mystical lands, and write of the experiences I have there – and then, once back, I am very likely to grab a large slab of Lindt, chuckle uproariously at an example of double entendre and write a post which combines the earth-based and the spiritual, a piece in which subtle eroticism blend with the fires of the spirit.
It concerns me, moving away from humour for a moment, that there is this view that spiritual people should, in some way, be rejecting the humanity which comes with a body and appetites and senses; that mysticism is often defined in terms of hermits and those of both genders who enter enclosed orders.
I do not think the act of giving up three-quarters of what makes us human beings is, in any way, a path to truly superior mystical ability. I think it can be a cop-out, a decision taken by those who are afraid of life, of passion, of the messiness and demands of the body!