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Perhaps no archetype is more coveted by many students, or more misunderstood than the Mystic. Many want to believe that they have mystical inclinations, yet underestimate how arduous the genuine mystical path is. When they find out, they're usually happy to let someone else have this role. The lives of the world's great mystics often included extraordinary states of consciousness such as prolonged ecstatic trance, and preternatural abilities of precognition or bi-location. Yet they also contained sometimes great physical as well as spiritual suffering, hard work, and mundane activities that made up much of their days. If you truly want to name this archetype as part of your sacred consortium, ask yourself if you are ready to pay the price in blood, sweat, and tears. If mystical consciousness is something you engage in once a day during meditation, or on a weekend retreat or a yoga workshop, you may be a spiritual seeker, but not a Mystic.

The shadow Mystic manifests as an egocentric concern for one's own spiritual progress to the exclusion of others, and an attendant sense of self-importance at having achieved "higher" states of consciousness. It may also emerge in behavior that takes advantage of admirers or students in base economic, emotional, or sexual ways. Since genuine enlightenment manifests as the desire to be of service, this is a pretty good indication that you haven't arrived yet.

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