The mystic undergoes a moral transformation. Ordinarily this is a long process. The impediment is our clinging to our selfishness, our own desires, and our own willfulness. The mystic does not dissolve the ego in the psychological sense….on the contrary, in that sense the mystics have extraordinarily strong and healthy egos.
The moral transformation of the mystic is practical, showing plainly in appropriate social activities, and is steady. It is a concrete, everyday continuing life of justice, patience, generosity, and all the other virtues.
Genuine mysticism grows up out of and returns to a life characterized by common sense, intelligence, and rationality.
The genuine mystic has an enriched vitality and enters into worldly work with strength, interest, cheerfulness, and appropriate concern.
The genuine mystic will have a certain peculiarity in his attitude toward his work. He will be completely dedicated to it, study it with care, do his very best with all his resources in terms of the needs of the work itself and for its own sake, but he will not be attached to it. This means that if he succeeds, he will not exult or congratulate himself. If it fails, he still will not lament or despair. He does all that he can, and he rests in peace. This combination of dedication and detachment is an almost infallible test for the authenticity of the mystic’s life.
The real mystic will have a sense of humor. He will not take himself seriously. He will be playful like a child, laugh easily, enjoy all sorts of simple things, be able to appreciate beauty, and thoroughly savor every aspect of life. He will relate comfortably to other people and all in all seem to be a most down-to-earth ordinary sort of person.