Catholic mysticism question

Is there a equivalent in catholic mysticism for notariqon, temurrah or gematria?

You know, I don’t want to diss our Jewish brothers and sisters, but these things are akin to superstition and throwing bones more than mysticism. IMO, of course.

Catholicism does not hold Scriture in the same way as Jews or Muslims- where every letter and mark has significance. So these kind of techniques have never appeared.

But maybe you could invent one?

Each to his own.

These things aren’t mystical so much as merely esoteric, and that esoteric spirit is quite contrary to authentic revealed religion. There are no real Catholic equivalents, and I would strongly advise against any Catholic touching that stuff with a ten-foot pole if they are disposed to believe such things upon encountering them.

What’s the difference in mystical and esoteric? It is said he speaks through numbers, letters, and communication. I guess that would be numerology basically, beautific vision or maybe clairvoyance and alphabetical symbolism. Like aleph and tau. The hebrew word atoh means begining and end. They are the first and last letters of the alphabet.

I’m sorry, I’m lost. It is said by whom that who speaks through numbers, letters and symbolism?

I’m not quoting scholarly definitions here, but essentially mysticism has to do with explicitly supernatural interactions between God and man, or possibly a saint or angel and a man (or woman). Visions, locutions, infused contemplation, and even the Beatific Vision would be examples of mystical phenomena. Esotericism has to do with the acquiring of secret knowledge. It would involve things like reading a “secret” book, discovering a “secret code” in a non-secret book or painting or whatever, being initiated into a secretive society by being told their hidden doctrines, that sort of thing. I suppose the two could overlap, such as if a person received a vision in which they were given elite insight into some spiritual matter. But in this case we seem to be dealing with pure esotericism, not mysticism from a Catholic perspective.

Jewish esoteric teachings.

I see. What exactly is locutions and infused contemplation?

The teachings say God speaks to us through words, letters and numbers? Is that what you are saying?



A supernatural gift by which a person’s mind and will become totally centered on God. Under this influence the intellect receives special insights into things of the spirit, and the affections are extraordinarily animated with divine love. Infused contemplation assumes the free co-operation of the human will.

from Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary

Here is a great guide to mysticism:

Yes. In judaism they can take a letter and “bind a crown to it” which is probably a meaning of binding and loosing not just our definition. Jesus of course had esoteric knowledge being of the kingly line. It’s like god speaks in this example. Nothingness and somethingness. Both are a state of a thing. We are things so we are in a state of nothingness or somethingness. God is not a thing so he is neither nothing or something. He is beyond that. Many mystics I know of across the spectrum say exactly what Agustine said. If it can be explain or understood it’s not god.

Okay. Well, what I know for sure is that God speaks to us any way He can get us to hear Him. He can speak through a Hallmark card, a dumb line in a sitcom, Holy Scripture or, if you seek Him, I suppose, through letters or numbers.

But the card is still a card, the line was just part of the dialogue and He didn’t create secret codes for us to break. Because you are exactly correct when you say:

God is not a thing so he is neither nothing or something. He is beyond that. Many mystics I know of across the spectrum say exactly what Agustine said. If it can be explain or understood it’s not god.

Which is why He came to us in Jesus Christ, so that what we can know of Him, we will know of Him.

Merton said that sooner or later the contemplative comes face to face with the fact that he no longer knows what God is. But what’s also true, is that as much as you can know in contemplation that God is simply… beyond… beyond all comprehension or thought or idea that can be generated in a human brain, what is also true is that the contemplative knows God more surely than any object they encounter.

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