Thursday, June 14, 2012

Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism - 13

Sat yesterday in The Varsity, post-GALAS steering committee meeting, munching on a slaw dog and an orange freeze, pondering Immanence vs. Emanation in the theology of mysticism. Various big names in the theology of mysticism world--Dionysius, Dante(!), Leuba, Teresa of Avila, Boehme, Tauler, Philo, even Plotinus--come down on one side or the other, but even in mysticism, there are trolls who must have it that their conclusion is right and the other is wrong. Probably not original to me, but couldn't it be like the particle and wave theories of light, in that both are helpful, depending on which behaviors of light one is attempting to understand or describe? For me, immanence is preferable, keeping in mind the danger of slippage into pantheism. Immanence is preferable because it is how our ineffable Eternal One chose to reveal to us in the very immanence of Jesus. In this construct,

"earth is literally 'crammed with heaven.'" p. 72 [see also, Gerard Manley Hopkins: "THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;. It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil."]

"'God,' says Plotinus, 'is not external to anyone, but is present with all things, though they are ignorant that he is so.'" p. 72

"...if God be truly immanent in the material world it is either sin or folly to refuse that world in order that we may find Him..." p. 73

1 John 4.20:

Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters,* are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister* whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen

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