Philosophy mainly deals with the objective world, mysticism, however, is a subjective experience of man’s relationship with God that seeks to diminish the sense of isolation and separation from God that we all share to one degree or another.
The goal of the mystic is to become one with God or to be absorbed into God by diminishing the Ego in a meditative process letting go of all material concerns and desires. The mystic tends to spend more time concerned with the gaps between thoughts than thought itself. It’s in the gaps between thoughts that Ego disappears and we become one. It’s within these gaps between thoughts that we get our epiphanies and revelations and our understanding of our place in reality increases.
There is a line in which both philosophy and mysticism overlap but mystic revelations are gifts from God and as such deeply personal revelations from the divine. No two mystics have the same experiences, each mystic revelation (or moment of epiphany) is a one on one teaching session from God himself and furthers the next stage of spiritual growth.
Mystics are sometimes referred to as the “wild things of God,” having wildly diverse backgrounds and life experiences they tend to dislike organised religion, seeing it as nothing more than a starter kit for true spirituality but despite their diversity of experience they nevertheless all seem to wind up speaking the same language.
A mystic might say that “God is in us and we are in God,” and other mystics would immediately agree knowing the intuitive truth of this in their hearts. The hard-nosed philosopher would reject this as nonsensical, but if explained in more material terms i.e we’re all part of a much larger whole that is interconnected such as the ecosystem of life on earth would then immediately classify us as pantheists which is closer to the point but not entirely correct. The point being that a fish isn’t separate to the ocean it swims in as it is completely permeated by the waters that flow around it and through it. It’s a lump of biological matter suspended in the life-giving ocean. Human beings are exactly the same we’re just arrangements of matter that move through the spirit or awareness of God. That’s where all of the sentience comes from. We’re in God and God is within us. We’re all one thing.
Broadly speaking, there are two paths to greater union with God, both involve the experience and expression of God’s love. Love for humanity, love for life and loving actions are all the same as loving God. To be a mystic you must first be loving, if you love God then you become ever more closely bonded with God promoting natural growth of the spirit within you, layer upon layer of ego melts away taking with it the illusion of separation from God making us all one. Good actions borne out of love also lead to good results. The other path is to go within, introspection, prayer and meditation when focused upon God and his divine nature is to further your spiritual understanding and soul growth.