eBook moncler2018.co ↠ Mysticism The Nature and Development of Spiritual

Mysticism is Evelyn Underhill's seminal work on the subject The book is divided into two parts The Mystic Fact and The Mystic Way In the first part Underhill explores the theological psychological and philosophical underpinnings of mysticism from a historical perspective In the second part Underhill examines the application of mysticism in one's life as a means for spiritual growth Evelyn Underhill's Mysticism is both a fantastic introduction to the search for spirituality through mysticism and an almost encyclopedic examination of the subject


10 thoughts on “Mysticism The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness

  1. says:

    This book really challenges me in a way I rarely experience in spiritual reading I think there is such a strong idea of mystics being extreme hermits who live in caves that the whole understanding of Christian Mysticism has been undermined But really what this book is helping me to grasp is that mysticism is simply the concentrated focus of one's entire life upon the person of Christ The mystics were people who chose to live in such a way as to powerfully encounter the reality the living true real as my breath reality of GodEncountering them through the scholarly but poignant and passionate writing of Evelyn Underhill is a reading experience I am reluctant to leave and I won't have to anytime soon since this is a 500 page book


  2. says:

    “It is no argument to say that most men see the world in much the same way and that this “way” is the true standard of reality though for practical purposes we have agreed that sanity consists in sharing the hallucinations of our neighbors” page 10“Now and then an artist is born terribly articulate foolishly truthful who insists on “Speaking as he saw” Then other men lapped warmly in their artificial universe agree that he is mad or at the very best an “extraordinarily imaginative fellow” page 10“Is your world of experience so well and logically founded that you dare make of it a standard?” page 25“It has been said that ‘Whatever we may do our hunger for the Absolute will never cease’” page 39“Only the Real can know Reality” page 43“was prepared for the remaking of her consciousness by years of loneliness and depression” page 181“Hence whilst the practice of magic—like the practice of science—does not necessarily entail passionate emotion though of course it does and must entail interest of some kind mysticism like art cannot exist without it We must feel and feel acutely before we want to act on this hard and heroic scale”Page 72“Over and over again the great mystics tell us not how they speculated but how they acted” Page 83“Thou art enough for me” page 85 “Mysticism then is seen as the “one way out” for the awakened spirit of man; healing that human incompleteness which is the origin of our divine unrest” Page 94“The high Might of the Trinity is our Father and the deep Wisdom of the Trinity is our Mother and the great Love of the Trinity is our Lord and all this we have in Nature and in our Substantial Making” P 112“ The words are different the paths are many but one thing is signified; the paths lead to one Person” P113“Hence the title of Repairer applied by Boehme to the Second Person of the Trinity” P 120“Whatever be the theological creed of the mystic he never varies in declaring this close definite and actual intimacy to be the end of his uest” P127“Those in whom this growth is not set going are no mystics in the exact sense in which that word is here used; however great their temporary illumination may have been” P198“The soul” says St John of the Cross “is not empty so long as the desire for sensible things remains But the absence of this desire for things produces emptiness and liberty of soul; even when there is an abundance of possessions” P211“The stronger the death the powerful and thorough is the corresponding life; the intimate the death the inward is the life” P218“The death of selfhood in its narrow individualistic sense is then the primary object of mortification” P221“The mystical consciousness as we have seen belongs—from the psychological point of view—to that mobile or “unstable” type in which the artistic temperament also finds a place It sways easily between the extremes of pleasure and pain in its gropings after transcendental reality It often attains for a moment to heights in which it is not able to rest is often flung from some rapturous vision of the Perfect to the deeps of contrition and despair” P227“With her as with all truly heroic souls it was love for love not love for joy” P248Characteristics of true mysticism page 811 True mysticism is active and practical not passive and theoretical It is an organic life process a something which the whole self does; not something as to which its intellect holds an opinion2 Its aims are wholly transcendental and spiritual It is in no way concerned with adding to exploring re arranging or improving anything in the visible universe The mystic brushes aside that universe even in its supernormal manifestations Though he does not as his enemies declare neglect his duty to the many his heart is always set upon the changeless One3 This One is for the mystic not merely the Reality of all that is but also a living and personal Object of Love; never an object of exploration It draws his whole being homeward but always under the guidance of the heart4 Living union with this One—which is the term of his adventure—is a definite state or form of enhanced life It is obtained neither from an intellectual realization of its delights nor from the most acute emotional longings Though these must be present they are not enough It is arrived at by an arduous psychological and spiritual process—the so called Mystic Way—entailing the complete remaking of character and the liberation of a new or rather latent form of consciousness; which imposes on the self the condition which is sometimes inaccurately called “ecstasy” but is better named the Unitive State“Mysticism then is not an opinion it is not a philosophy It has nothing in common with the pursuit of occult knowledge On the one hand it is not merely the power of contemplating Eternity on the other it is not to be identified with any kind of religious ueerness It is the name of that organic process which involves the perfect consummation of the Love of God the achievement here and now of the immortal heritage of man Or if you like it better—for this means exactly the same thing—it is the art of establishing his conscious relation with the Absolute” page 81


  3. says:

    Read this book a long time ago but I throw it down here because the memory of it still lingers strong I remember being mesmerized reading page after page of summaries of the mystics in history Jacob Boehme Emmanuel Swedenborg William Blake Dante Meister Eckhart the list goes on and on Ms Underhill another of the great largely unheralded women writers of the 20th century succinctly and without diminishing her subjects' greatness presents their thinking excerpts from their work and clearly illustrates the thread common to all their writings which weaves its way through their common fabric Eminently readable incredibly instructive Mysticism offers a huge menu of great men and women from whose work to further pursue on your own


  4. says:

    Mysticism is the belief that the individual will be absorbed or reabsorbed into the deity or the absolute It is therefore incompatible with Christianity and constitutes a heresy that is sometimes affiliated with the occult I saw this book on LibriVox several times and it somehow caught my attention I wanted to know about Christianity and this was a subject I hadn't dealt with before Every time I walk my pug I listen to a Christian audiobook and recently I've chosen this one I asked three Christians I personally knew two musician friends origami repetika and graffiti mechanism as well as my general practitioner about Christian mysticism and all of them were sceptical although repetika also suggested that some mystics had some interesting things to say Still I stayed with my decision to listen the book And despite my 1 star rating I don’t regret my choice because it deepened my understanding of mysticism or reabsorption theology Unfortunately the narration of Joy Chan wasn’t all that good so I had trouble keeping focused on the text And Underhill’s way of writing is subpar it’s often muddled and confused She really had a hard time giving her ideas a suitable form Or her ideas were already a bit loony So I will give you only very rough summary of what’s in the bookAccording to Underhill there are five successive stages a mystic can be in I used to help me recollect my memories and also copied some expressions from thereThey are1 Awakening abrupt and well marked accompanied by intense feelings of joy and exaltation2 Purgation mystic becomes aware of the contrast between his perverse self centred drifting and the clarity of the transcendent3 Illumination purged oneself of attachments to the things of the senses and having substituted them with an attachment to the transcendent The joy of this stage bears danger a selfish preoccupation with transcendental joys4 The Dark Night Of The Soul Heart and mind are arid The mystic must overcome all attachment to the selfish ego in order to merge with the Deity She does that by giving up the greatest good she has ever known – the joys of stage 35 Union essentially ineffable Mystic becomes one with Deity Reabsorption takes place Stages 1 3 are called the first mystic life and many mystics never go beyond itTo me this is a life negating philosophy The self even the selfish self is not something dirty that has to be purged Egoism is a necessary strategy to survive to better oneself and if this egoism is checked by natural law to better the world Adam Smith’s invisible hand It is obvious that her mysticism is incompatible with Christian orthodoxy As pointed out in Murray Rothbard’s essay Karl Marx as Religious Eschatologist “each human individual is made in the image of God is of supreme importance” and not a “perverse” creation in contrast with God stage 2 When I read my summary of these stages my blood runs cold Why would a sane person want to pursue such a life for him or herself? It is beyond me but I do now understand why there are so few mystics There is a discrepancy between the amount of mystics and the amount of people who liked this book If they think that what Underhill has to offer is so great then why do these people not become mystics? Why do they keep living in stage 0 which seems to be the way most people live in capitalistic societies? The reason seems to me that the virtues and comforts of capitalism constrained egoism individualistic planning joy consumerism realistic assessing of available resources are openly disliked and rejected in our society But this is really only openly in private these virtues and comforts are very much adhered to How do I know this? Well obviously because the world has not collapsed So while these people are living capitalistically they use a defence mechanism perhaps denial to deal with the mental conflict between reality stage 0 and wish stage 5Looking at the five stages I see similarities with the ideology of communismsocialismleftism Adherents of these view also often find fault with egoism and self centredness Instead of becoming one with God they want to become one with the State But this difference vanishes if we remember that for them the State is God According to Leszek Kolakowski reabsorption theology or process theology starts with Plotinus who is uoted by Underhill a lot Rothbard’s essay mentioned above explores the connection between reabsorption theology and MarxismWhile Underhill’s book has as subject a theology that is at least almost two thousand years old it is itself very much a product of its time She talks about pragmatism and vitalism which were very much in vogue at the beginning of the last century but are now seldomly talked about Let’s hope for humanity’s sake that we can one day say the same thing about Christian mysticism aka reabsorption theology


  5. says:

    very interesting however western mystics' descriptions uotes of the various transcended states became tedious and repetitive for me Evelyn needed a good editor St Teresa's uotes were the most interesting Evelyn's organization of the subject however was excellent I think I was looking for a cultural history of mysticism


  6. says:

    It's a book to outlast a bookshelf It is a thorough insightful clarifying overview and well referenced approach to a word which is actually uite difficult to pin down In returning to it I am inevitably darwn to the sections on acidie dark nights of the soul etc as a resource to help distinguish spiritual aridity from medical depression


  7. says:

    This book took me uite a while to read and not at all because it is difficult it isn't I struggled to finish this book due to its inanity Underhill was obviously not a mystic She never had a true mystical experience For had this have been so she would have known that the entirety of her book is pointless That which is the mystic experience is completely outside of language and human conception it is outside of the human And what does Underhill do? She tries to analyze this experience in an all too human way through the lense of what in her day was called ScienceAn example Underhill often speaks of surface intelligence and some deeper mind She continuously embeds herself in such binary hierarchical thought What she fails to realize is that it isn't about any depth of thought or conception but rather a completely other way of thinking and conceiving beyond all conception The mystical transgresses all that is human shattering the organizations and the order that we impose through language and knowledge To see the world in a single flower is to break out of all that is human in our experience truly an impossible act from our all too human standpoint in which all experince is imbedded in concepts and patternsUnderhill finds that all she can do is turn to writers who may have had such an experience and uote from them excessively If you find the writings of St Francis or Teresa enlightening then read them; don't read someone continually rephrasing what they are telling you is already an inadeuate description Underhill is repetitive and not as in a dirge or fugue simply stumbling saying the same words in trying to unify a chaos beyond all speech and thus all unityI wanted to enjoy this book to learn from it Mystical thought is very important to my own thinking But this book and its past popularity are astonishing to me There is so little of mysticism here and so much of the human grasping that the mystics spent their lives distancing themselves from


  8. says:

    This is a wonderful book but one that I'm having to approach as a textbook than reading it straight through Underhill was a genuine genius incredibly well read scholarly and willing to probe deeply into an esoteric subject like mysticism without being a cold materialist The density of her writing is impressive which is why she takes so long to read I've had to buy a couple of books that I can use to follow up on some of her references This is a book that will never be completely read but one that will become a life long resourceOne note I'm reading the 1930 edition of Mysticism I bought the copy originally owned by Edith Randall of Los Angeles who was known for her work in astrology tarot Cool


  9. says:

    this is a work of scholarship on the subject of mysticismit is one of the in depth books i have read about the subjectcovering all the stages of the mystic journey I learned that a mystic always holds love as the highest aim of the work begun in the individualthat no one mystic has ever revealed all of the stages that are present in any single journey toward godthat the stages appear in no particular orderafter the initial contact with the absoluteI love to read this bookits many uotations from known mystics blake theresa fox etc are really interestingmike seely and the acid tong


  10. says:

    Read it