Sunday, October 21, 2012

Evelyn Underhill - Mysticism 26

Dark Night of the Soul

"The human instinct for personal happiness must be killed."  Really?  Is our Declaration of Independence then counter to a mystic life?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." 

"Union: the true goal of the mystic quest...characterized by peaceful joy,..."

"In the mystics of the West, the highest forms of Divine Union impel the self to some sort of active, rather than of passive life: ..."

Matthew 10.39:
Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 

"...a change whereby that self turns from the unreal world of sense in which it is normally immersed, first to apprehend, then to unite itself with Absolute Reality: finally, possessed by and wholly surrendered to this Transcendent Life, becomes a medium whereby the spiritual world is seen in a unique degree operating directly in the world of sense."

I have these impressions, deep within me as I read this book, but they are not amenable to articulate expression.  And I am so very far from being able to live this out.  My only consolation is understanding that these states of being are commendable and desirable and I hope for the beginnings of truly desiring them so that I can, in fact, begin to see how I might operate their truth in the world of sense.