Saturday, July 21, 2012

Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism - 20 (I think of it every month)

I am learning what "fear of the Lord" means in reading this book, in that approaching the book reminds me of Moses' approach to the burning bush. What is this strange sight that I see? There are so many riches within its pages, I am hesitant to read it in any other milieu than complete silence and long stretches of that. If I read it too fast, with too many distractions, I will miss so much. If I read it and savor it slowly, in blessed long silence, I will miss so much, but less, I suppose. There's nothing for it but to slog on and resign myself to reading it more than once, to catch the missed morsels on the second or fourteenth round.

Thank you to the giver of this book for a way to cherish that which is eligible to be cherished.

Chugging along, then, the three principle images by which mystics describe their experiences:

  • PILGRIMAGE (Mystic Quest; Grail): "That kingdom which is both near and far..."
  • SEARCH FOR LOVER/SOUL MATE (Marriage of the Soul): "No lover seeks union with his beloved, But his beloved is also seeking union with him."
  • ASCETICISM/PURITY ("Great Work")

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