I started learning about "mysticism" when I was in middle school, and naturally, I first got to know about Islamic mysticism and sufism (Molavi, Shams, ...). Very simplistically, the emphasis of this school is on love (the fourth basic elements in the previous post).
In high school I found out about Taoism, again very simplistically, as a doctrine with emphasis on harmony and indifference, or death in the four basics.
Later (undergraduate years in Sharif) I learned about Zen, which focuses on living in now, or essentially the randomness basics.
All in all, these sounded very natural and complementary and all pointed at a direction against competitiveness, the desire to be better than others, as the source of stress and a detriment to spirituality, etc.
Lately, I grew more suspicious of this structure, or point of view. A critical point was when I started "Kyudo", ironically, as a Zen practice. Ultimately, a few weeks ago I confronted with something (I will tell the story in the next post) that revealed to me the importance of competition as "THE" main source of purity and focus. It may sound contradictory: how can competition be critical in (spiritual) development? But think of simple evidence in life, most importantly the whole "evolution" principle. Without competition, things stagnate and die within ...