Christian Mysticism from the Greek (mystikos) “an initiate” (of the Eleusinian Mysteries) (mysteria) meaning (“initiation”) is the pursuit of achieving communion or identity with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight; and the belief that such experience is an important source of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Traditions may include a belief in the literal existence of realities beyond empirical perception, or a belief that a true human perception of the world transcends logical reasoning or intellectual comprehension. A person delving in these areas may be called a Mystic.
In many cases, the purpose of mysticism and mystical disciplines such as meditation is to a reach of state of return or re-integration to Godhead. A common theme in mysticism is that the mystic and all of reality are One. The purpose of mystical practices is to achieve that oneness in experience, to transcend limited identity and re-identify with the all that is. The state oneness has many names depending on the mystical system: The Kingdom of Heaven, the Birth of the Spirit, the Third Awakening, Illumination, Union (Christianity), Self-Realization, Reintegration, Nirvana (Buddhism), Samadhi (Hinduism), and Gnosis, to name a few.
The term “mysticism” is often use to refer to beliefs which go beyond the purely exoteric practices of mainstream religions, while still being related to or based in a mainstream religious doctrine. For example, Kabbalah is a significant mystical movement within Judaism, and Sufism is a significant mystical movement within Islam. Gnosticism refers to both a mystical movement within Christianity and various mystical sects which arose out of Christianity. Some have argued that Christianity itself was a mystical sect that arose out of Judaism. While Eastern religion tends to find the concept of mysticism redundant, non-traditional knowledge and ritual are considered as Esotericism, for example Buddhism’s Vajrayana. Vedanta is considered the mystical branch of Hinduism.