Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism - 14

text, p. 75



A good map then, a good mystical philosophy, will leave room for both these ways of interpreting our experience.

So, wave and particle theories can live together.

It will mark the routes by which many different temperaments claim to have found their way to the same end.

Ephesians 4.5-32

one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

It will acknowledge both the aspects under which the patria splendida Truth has appeared to its lovers: the aspects which have called forth the theories of emanation and immanence and are enshrined in the Greek and Latin names of God.

Patria splendida = beautiful home (per google translator)

Deus, whose root means day, shining, the Transcendent Light; and Theos, whose true meaning is supreme desire or prayer—the Inward Love—do not contradict, but complete each other.

As do lovers.

They form, when taken together, an almost perfect definition of that Godhead which is the object of the mystic’s desire: the Divine Love which, immanent in the soul spurs on that soul to union with the transcendent and Absolute Light—at once the source, the goal, the life of created things.


The true mystic—the person with a genius for God—hardly needs a map himself.

You just know.

He steers a compass course across the “vast and stormy sea of the divine.”

It is characteristic of his intellectual humility, however, that he is commonly willing to use the map of the community in which he finds himself, when it comes to showing other people the route which he has pursued.

Sometimes these maps have been adequate.

And sometimes not.

More, they have elucidated the obscure wanderings of the explorer; helped him; given him landmarks; worked out right.

Time after time he puts his finger on some spot—some great hill of vision, some city of the soul—and says with conviction, “Here have I been.”

At other times the maps have embarrassed him, have refused to fit in with his description.

Then he has tried, as Boehme did and after him Blake, to make new ones.

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing (1786)

Such maps are often wild in drawing, because good draughtsmanship does not necessarily go with a talent for exploration.

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