Hungry For Experience – 5 quotes from my book – The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life

by Mark Votava

41+jgDX732L1. The wisest, most imaginative visionaries of our time

“Saints are the ones who live with a sense of clarity through their practice of discipline and discipleship. Saints are ordinary radicals who live into a mystical imagination. Shane Claiborne says, ‘Some of God’s most precious saints are quiet people, gentle prophets, secret saints that live in the shadows.’ Saints usually go unnoticed and unrecognized; but the world is a better place because of the beauty and love they bring into the world. They usually act like they don’t know much or have little imagination or don’t know what to say, but this is not true. They are some of the wisest, most imaginative visionaries of our time.”

2. Love, compassion, honesty, and vulnerability

“When we realize that Christ is living in us, we can honor the image of God within others. The Christ in me connects with the Christ in you in some mysterious way. This opens up all kinds of pathways to love, compassion, honesty, and vulnerability in everyday life as we seek to be human together in community. We start to understand that love is all that matters as we learn to see and celebrate the image of God in others.”

3. Will our imaginations die in these times?

“Will we abandon God when we feel the darkness of being alone, rejected, misunderstood, and powerless? Will we live by faith in these times? Will we run away and hide from others and from God? Or will we show love and humility through our pain? Will we allow ourselves to be insecure and afraid for a while waiting for a better season of recognized beauty? When we are cold and it is raining, when we are wet and shivering, will we turn away from living by faith? Will our imaginations die in these times?”  

4. A more sustainable shared life together

“We need strength from God to persevere through all things. We will not give up on love, humility, grace, and each other. All the systems in life, including the church, are trying to pull us apart, trying to tell us we do not need each other that much. ‘Forget about interdependence,’ they say, ‘and embrace the individualistic, independent life.’ For them this is all there is or ever will be. But our contemplation communicates to us something different. We are open to a more sustainable shared life together.”

5. A postmodern world open to revelation and hungry for experience

“All of our lives need to embody an evolving awakening in everyday life. It must become part of our shared life together in community. Awakening does not hold back life within us. It is mysterious and uncontrollable. It shatters all the perceptions we might hold onto tightly to out of fear. It can be frightful and unkind to our illusions. But awakening will cultivate the mystical imagination in all of life as we practice reflection and rest. Leonard Sweet writes, ‘Western Christianity went to sleep in the modern world by the gods of reason and observation. It is awakening to a postmodern world open to revelation and hungry for experience.’”

Are you open to revelation and hungry for experience? Do you desire a more sustainable shared life? Has your imagination died or is it alive within you? Do you see love, compassion, honesty, and vulnerability as important in life? Do you think you have the potential to become a saint in everyday life?

My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!

“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism

My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!

“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline…  without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.”  Shane Claiborne, author and activist