Pay attention to the whispers -- they aren't lying. It's no good pretending to be gooder than good: Listen to the whispers and embrace them for what they are -- your own.
The bookish, historical observations in spiritual endeavor about clashes between orthodoxy and mysticism do not interest me much. There are plenty of examples which I am too lazy to look up and bring to bear here.
But the frictions in the human heart between the contrived and the experiential, the orthodox and the mystic, do interest me. This is a world of whispers and I think they are worth heeding.
What is orthodox has rules and regulations. It is formatted and particular. It may claim a lofty aim and yet forget that aim in its exercise of rules and regs, of format and style. In this world, the church is elevated and God becomes its servant; imposing and authentic texts are revered and enlightenment comes in a distant second.
What is mystical spreads its arms wide and lays claim to what cannot be regulated or limited. It will not sit still for mere piety. It sings and dances and imagines itself to be singing and dancing.
All of this has historical exemplars, which, as I say, don't really interest me as much as the fact that this is the world of the human heart -- mystic longing for an unconstrained limitlessness and then hitting a brick wall ... the devil is in the details; the orthodoxy adhering tightly to its manacled directives in pursuit of ... and then waking up one day to find that what is sought is not clear at all and the staleness of what is called good is enough to choke a horse.
The orthodox heart builds spires and castles and then longs to break free. The mystical heart lays claim to freedom only to find itself hogtied by a lack of skill.
George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the Society of Friends or Quakers is quoted in his Wikipedia space as saying,
... he heard an inner voice saying, "Thou seest how young people go together into vanity, and old people into the earth; thou must forsake all, young and old, keep out of all, and be as a stranger unto all."
A stranger unto all. It made me think of The Dhammapada's approximate lines,
If you find no equal or better
In life, go alone.
Loneliness is preferable
To the company of fools.
Perhaps wrongly, this struck me as a theme across experiential persuasions -- the enormous fear (orthodoxy) and yet deep longing (mysticism) to "be as a stranger unto all."
The whispers may not be couched as I have couched them, but I do think they are whispers worth heeding.