Many a mysticism definition conjures up images of esoteric practices shrouded in mystery. Actually in many cases this may be true, but let us look beyond the veil of mystery for a moment.
It can be said that what we are discussing is the thread of truth which runs through all the great religions and philosophies. Thus being a Mystic is really about being one with the whole, that is, becoming a spiritual insider.
If we take away the rituals, the mythology, the dogmas and traditions from a religion, any religion, what is left is the core belief or philosophical basis of that religion. When this is done, the similarities between the great religions are surprising. In fact the personal faith and mystic experience of followers of each of the great religions is basically the same. Of course the leaders in these religions would go to great lengths to argue against this proposition! However all the great religions have at their core an essence of spiritual awareness.
The mystic experience is the pursuit of achieving ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight. That is, seeking enlightenment. A person delving in these areas may be called a Mystic.
With my mysticism definition he or she may or may not be a member of an organized religion, although all religions have their mystic branches and disciplines. Personally, I have discovered that in order to experience the clarity of spiritual truth, it is helpful (but not necessary), at times to be separate from any religious movement.
The difficulty with religion is that all religions are basically political movements at heart. As soon as we establish an organization with leaders and followers - we have power games and structures. The message becomes one of control and organization instead of personal enlightenment. This tends to separate people from the core meaning of the religion, thus we have the growth of a priesthood.
Priesthoods have a tendency to claim insider status, on the basis of controlling dogma, which of course leaves the followers of the religion as outsiders looking in.
Science is about explanation. Religion is about meaning. Science helps us to appreciate the wonder of individual aspects of the universe. Religion is man’s attempt to see, however dimly, the "big picture" of which they are part.
Science takes things apart to see how they work, but religion puts them back together again to see what they mean. So we are back at meaning and awareness again.
Back to a personal experience of the Universe around us, and what we can do to expand that experience.
Religion in general appears to have a problem with the theory of evolution. From a mystic point of view there is not a conflict. There are two separate universes, the spiritual and the physical. Each has its own rules, and each has its own evolutionary path.
One exists in a physical universe which we can all see, touch and explore. It is the universe of our bodies. It conforms to the rules imposed by the laws of physics. The other is a spiritual universe which we cannot see or touch but which we can explore through our sense of perception.
If of course our sense of perception, psychic awareness etc. is not developed then it is an easy matter to deny the existence of the spiritual universe. Thus the need for religions to create a spiritual God who created the physical to unify the two universes into something which can be explained to people with no spiritual awareness.
In the "evolution" of religions", the various forms of God along with their religions become the repository of explanation for what to many people is the unexplainable. As soon as we separate the spiritual and the physical, or in our own case, the body and soul, into a dimensional physical reality and an inter-dimensional spiritual reality, the whole God question becomes irrelevant.
Two parallel universes and the inter-connection - the wonderful human mind.