Survey of Mysticism in History

Ahsen Yalin


Throughout history, mankind has always tried to explain any event that they could not understand, cope with, or that they were scared of, by the existence of secret and unknown powers. They sometimes personified these powers and organized various rituals, rites, and ceremonies to overcome difficulties and transferred these rituals to subsequent generations by making them a part of the culture. That human societies living in disparate geographic locations have explained natural events through similar stories and heroes for centuries is an interesting phenomenon that should not be overlooked. For example, people of warmer climates have defined supernatural beings with symbols such as fire whereas people of colder climates talked about mythological beings of ice. The sacrificial ritual of offering gifts to a being described as “God” is observed in almost all cultures. In other words, the rituals through which people of different cultures and geographies have tried to please the supreme beings of their own creation are similar.

In our age when science has elucidated many unknowns of nature, mystical factors and mystic philosophy still retain their importance. While science is searching for answers to many issues through research and experiments, elements of mystical culture that have been created millennia ago can still offer solutions to problems for many contemporary people. For example, relaxation through meditation is offered as a solution to psychological problems instead of modern medicine, places of worship are visited for wishes to be granted instead of working toward desired outcomes, or some contents in literary works such as the Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter try to explain the unknown. The fact that mystical factors are still heeded by mankind, despite the achievements of science and technology in today’s world, is open to exploration via the examination of mysticism’s journey through various geographies from days past. Mysticism is a good product to be marketed, due to the secrets and promises that it entails so long as the rules of ethics are not forgotten in this collaboration.


Mysticism; Mystical Places; Regionalism; Religion; Ethics; Philosophy; Mythology

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