"Bernard McGinn authored a four-volume study on the history of Christian mysticism. He says mysticism is “a consciousness of the presence of God that by definition exceeds description and … deeply transforms the subject who has experienced it.”
*If it does not radically change the lifestyle of the person—their worldview, their economics, their politics, their ability to form community, you have no reason to believe it is genuine mystical experience. It is usually just people with an addiction to religion, which is not that uncommon, by the way.*
Mysticism is not just a change in some religious ideas or affirmations. Mystics have no need to exclude or eliminate others, or define themselves as enlightened, whereas a mere transfer of religious assertions often makes people even more elitist and more exclusionary.
True mystics are glad to be common, ordinary, egalitarian, servants of all, and “just like everybody else,” because any need for specialness has been met once and for all."