Barack Obama As Mystic

Now that the election is over I can say this without anyone accusing me of trying to influence the election! About a year ago, mystical teachings of jesus while reading “The Audacity of Hope,” I got the notion that Barack Obama may be at the Mystic level of spiritual development – that is at the fourth of four stages we have enough data to address.* That of course was not reason enough to vote for him as president and I really did not think too much about it after that. It was only today, while I was recalling some aspects of some of his speeches, that it hit me: I am pretty sure: Barack Obama is a Mystic!

So tonight I dug up my copy of “The Audacity of Hope” and re-read the thirty-two page chapter entitled “Faith.” Sure enough, though he uses couched terms, parts of it read just like any one of the “Mystic” stories I am developing for my book!

Obama describes being brought up in a non-religious household under the influence of a Rational level grandmother “…too rational and too stubborn to accept anything she couldn’t see, feel, touch, or count.” and a grandfather who could have been in the Lawless group! “…restless soul that might have found refuge in religious belief had it not been for…an innate rebelliousness, a complete inability to discipline his appetites…” (rules of a strict religion might have helped here!) Then while he was growing up, Barack’s mother would tell him about the frailties of the (Stage Two or Faithful level) “…Christians who populated her youth….sanctimonious preachers who would dismiss three-quarters of the world’s people as ignorant heathens doomed to spend the atfterlife in eternal damnation – and those who would insist that the earth and heavens had been created in seven days….She remembered the respectable church ladies who were always so quick to shun those unable to meet their own standards of propriety, even as they desperately concealed their own dirty little secrets; the church fathers who uttered racial epithets and chiseled their workers out of any nickel that they could.” “For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness.” (p. 203)

Moreover it seems his mother may have been a Mystic herself in that she made sure he was equally exposed to all the world’s great religions – as part of his education, not in the expectation that he adopt one. “Religion was an expression of human culture, she would explain, not its wellspring, just one of the many ways – and not necessarily the best way – that man attempted to control the unknowable and understand the deeper truths about our lives.” (p. 204)

Barack then goes on to ascribe further Mystic-sounding tendencies to his mother, saying she was “…the most spiritually awakened person that I’ve ever known. She had an unswerving instinct for kindness, charity and love….she worked mightily to instill in me the values that many Americans learn in Sunday school: honesty, empathy, discipline, delayed gratification, and hard work. She raged at poverty and injustice, and scorned those who were indifferent to both. Most of all she possessed an abiding sense of wonder, a reverence for life and its precious, transitory nature that could properly be described as devotional….she saw mysteries everywhere and took joy in the sheer strangeness of life.” (p. 205)