Mysticism, from the Greek (Muo, "to conceal")
If people have heard anything at all about Spirituality, they automatically tend to presume that all Spirituality is mystical in nature. People have not heard that the Spiritual process does, in fact, GO BEYOND MYSTICISM. They have not heard that there is an Ultimate and Perfect - or Transcendental - Spiritual process.
The mystery schools became extremely popular in the Hellenistic and roman worlds. They responded to the religious hunger which was created by the bankruptcy of classical religion.
All the mystery groups were esoteric; the participants were bound by an oath not to reveal the rites.
Spiritual revelation was the peak experience of the mystery schools of the Hellenistic world.
The "Eleusinian" Mysteries
This esoteric school originated at eleusis near Athens and was incorporated into the state religion of Athens in classical times. It was based on the metaphor of the rape of Proserpine, the daughter of Demeter, the earth goddess, by Pluto, the God of the underworld, and Demeter's recovery of Proserpine.
Pluto represents the demiurge or psychological person-ality, the ego-I of the physical body-brain. The identification with the body is the downfall, (seduction) or rape of Proserpina. To escape and return from the underworld, (lesser world subject-object mentality) one practices meditation until free. To find thyself and to know thyself is to be free. Even though one is free it is only a HALF FREEDOM because one must remain IN the PHYSICAL BODY until one's purpose is fulfilled on the earth plane
This is the Greek version of the Christian Adam and Eve metaphor except in the Christian version, SELF SALVATION by the practice of meditation is not possible and was removed from texts.
The mystery schools are an effort to gain life, to strengthen its forces, to prolong it, and hopefully to prolong it beyond death (i.e., the attainment of Gold-self-realization and eternal life as spirit after the death of the physical body).
Mysticism in general refers to a direct and immediate experience of the sacred, or the knowledge derived from such an experience. In Christianity this experience usually takes the form of a vision of, or sense of union with, God; however, there are also non-theistic forms of mysticism, as in Buddhism. Mysticism is usually accompanied by meditation, prayer, and acetic discipline. It may also be accompanied by unusual experiences of ecstasy, levitation, visions, and power to read human hearts, to heal, and to perform other unusual acts. Mysticism occurs in most, if not all, the religions of the world, although its importance within each varies greatly. The criteria and conditions for mystical experience vary depending on the tradition, but three attributes are found almost universally. First, the experience is immediate and overwhelming, divorced from the common experience of reality. Second, the experience or the knowledge imparted by it is felt to be self-authenticating, without need of further evidence or justification. Finally, it is held to be ineffable, its essence incapable of being expressed or understood outside the experience itself.