What about the Bible? Do you see this as a recipe for religious intolerance?
Oh, I do. There's no document that I know of that is more despicable in its morality than the first few books of the Hebrew Bible. Books like Exodus and Deuteronomy and Leviticus, these are diabolical books. The killing never stops. The reasons to kill your neighbor for theological crimes are explicit and preposterous. You have to kill people for worshiping foreign gods, for working on the Sabbath, for wizardry, for adultery. You kill your children for talking back to you. It's there and it's not a matter of metaphors. It is exactly what God expects us to do to reign in the free thought of our neighbors.
But it does raise the question, what do you mean by spiritual? And what do you mean by mystical?
By spiritual and mystical -- I use them interchangeably -- I mean any effort to understand and explore happiness and well-being itself through deliberate uses of attention. Specifically, to break the spell of discursive thought. We wake up each morning, and we're chased out of bed by our thoughts, and then we think, think, think, think all day long. And very few of us spend any significant amount of time breaking that train of thought. Meditation is one technique by which to do that. The sense that you are an ego, busy thinking, disappears. And its disappearance is quite a relief.