Mysticism and religion are two domains which are coherent with each other and two paths which lead to the same endpoint. At the same time, however, both offer different experiences. The ongoing debate between mysticism and religion will never have a concrete conclusion because both these ideologies have firm individual stances.
Religion is an inherent belief that guides how we lead our life. Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism are some of the most common religions that are followed all around the world. Religion has a very complex nature – the diversity it offers is contradicted by the similarities it teaches leaving many of the decisions up to the person who is following it. The concept of God and attaining peace are two basics that exist in every religion.
While every religion has its own set of principles and norms it is important to recognize the boundaries and practices of each individual religion. Crossing these boundaries can lead to severe consequences. History is a collection of religious conflicts with the underlying debate always relating to the superiority of one religion over another. Sometimes, the only common ground one can find among the religions of the world is peace.
Mysticism, on the other hand, is a journey that transcends religious boundaries. It is not part of any one religion but is a part of all the religions. The higher power that is talked about in all mystic values may differ from person to person. Mostly, the God of each religion becomes the higher power- Allah, Jesus, Ganapati etc. are the deities who are worshipped by mystic followers.
Mysticism focuses on the spiritual enlightenment and the realization of self. The focus on inner peace and wisdom takes one to an echelon where he solidifies his connection to the higher power. When the realization of self is achieved, it leads to love for humanity and peace. There are no principles or norms that lead to self realization. Every mystic’s journey is different from the others, unlike the journey of a believer in any religion where a set path must be followed. The level of consciousness attained in the journey brings peace to the hearts of the followers. For mystics to teach love and peace, the achievement of their personal peace is highly important. In religion, peace with God comes before anything else.
Both religion and mysticism have faced criticism over the course of time but peace is a core aspect in both these domains. Peace with God or peace with oneself, both end up at the starting line of self-love and the love for humanity.