You know, sometimes I wonder if my research and game design is a practice in regularly and consistently shooting myself in the foot. I decided to approach mystics and mysticism in general from a “character class” perspective, and one random link from a friend sent me on a furious chase that brought me to Wikipedia and a minor realization. Wait, how about, “do I actually know anything?”

The word mysticism evidently comes from the Greek word “mystikos,” which is a term that relates to an initiate of one of the mystery cults. Wait, mystery cults, you say? Yeah, okay, apparently I’m using the (unknown to myself) term for an initiate to a particular type of mysticism to refer to someone … who’s an initiate to a particular type of mysticism. That, doesn’t sound like a bad thing, does it?

The bad part is a little difficult to see under the happy fortune. See, I was doing this unawares … here I am throwing around words with meanings because holes in my research couldn’t tell me otherwise. I mean, sure, I’m glad that it works out, but it’s yet another reminder that my research is in such a sad and sorry state that I don’t make an obvious connection like mystic = spiritual initiate. I should know this already.

I should know this because it relates to ancient Greece. I should know it because it’s obvious. With words derived directly from Greek. Sure, I like to throw around the idea of taking classes on history, mythology, and etymology, this is clear evidence that I really, really need it. So, I got lucky this time. You know, I’m also thinking I ought to move “druid” over from a type of cleric to a type of mystic. And I’m not sure now.

Well, … I’ll keep at it. I’m sure I’ll get the attention of someone who knows better at some point, and they’ll give me a smack upside the head for “getting it wrong.” I like to get details, though, so if anyone has particulars about mysticism and spirituality, … I mean, I want to get it as “right” as possible. For all my pseudo-philosophical ramblings, I feel like there are huge gaps in my understanding.

…Uh, yeah. I feel a little better now, for having gotten that off my chest. For some reason, it’s really embarrassing to discover things like this. I mean, I’m not sure how to describe the difference between “I realized this and it changes everything!” which feels good, and “I realized this and it changes everything…” which feels bad.