Mysticism Evelyn Underhill This is a classic work in the field of spiritual consciousness studies. Underhill writes of the awakening, purification and training of the self in its ascent of the path which leads to the blessedness of the Unitive life.
"To say that God is Infinite is to say that He may be apprehended and described in an infinity of ways. That Circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere, may be approached from every angle with a certainty of being found."
"Every visible and invisible creature is a theophany or appearance of God." Erigena
"This One is…not merely the Reality of all that is, but also a living and personal Object of Love."
"The end and object of 'inward alchemy' will be the raising of the whole self to the condition in which conscious and permanent union with the Absolute takes place."
"The mystic vision is of a spiritual universe held within the bonds of love."
"There is a root or depth in you from whence all these faculties come forth as lines from a centre, or as branches from the body of a tree. The depth is called the centre, the fund, or bottom of the soul. This depth is the unity, the Eternity, I had almost said the infinity of your soul, for it is so infinite that nothing can satisfy it, or give it any rest, but the infinity of God." William Law (1688-1761), English clergyman, 'The Spirit of Prayer'
"God, since He is all in all – in a sense, IS all – may most easily be found within ourselves."
"I have ascended higher than myself, and lo! I have found the Word above me still. My curiosity has led me to descend below myself also, and yet I have found Him still at a lower depth. If I have looked without myself, I have found that He is beyond that which is outside of me; and if within, He was at an inner depth still. And thus have I learned the truth of the words I have read, 'In Him we live and move and have our being.'" St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 'Cantica Canticorum, Sermon lxxiv
"Divine Love, 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 object of the mystic's contemplation is always some aspect of the Infinite Life: of God, the one Reality."
"The beauty, the majesty, the divinity of the living World of Becoming holds in its meshes every living thing."
"The rippling tide of love flows secretly from God into the soul, and draws it mightily back into its source." Mechthild of Magdeburg
"The spirit of God breathes us out from Himself that we may love."
"There is – must be – contact in an intelligible where between every individual self and the Supreme Self, the Ultimate."
"All mystical thinkers agree in declaring that there is a mutual attraction between the Spark of the Soul, the free divine germ in man, and the Fount from which it came forth."
"Whoever in Love's city enters, finds but room for One, and but in One-ness, Union." Jalalu'd Din, 'Wisdom of the East Series'
"The 'sense of God' is not a metaphor. Innumerable declarations prove it to be a consciousness as sharp as that which other men have of colour, heat, or light."
"The soul of the individual subject is the microcosm of the soul of the world."
"This gift of 'sonship', this power of free cooperation in the world process, is man's greatest honour."
"More and more, as we study and collate all the available evidence, this fact – this law – is borne in on us: that the general movement of human consciousness, when it obeys its innate tendency to transcendence, is always the same. There is only one road from Appearance to Reality."
"Natural magnetism…will draw the pilgrim irresistibly along the road from the Many to the One."
"The Divine Love immanent in the heart and in the world comes forth from, and returns to, the Absolute One."
"No transmutation without fire, say the alchemists: No cross, no crown, says the Christian. All the great experts of the spiritual life agree – whatever their creeds, their symbols, their explanations – in describing this stress, tribulation, and loneliness, as an essential part of the way from the Many to the One; bringing the self to the threshold of that completed life which is to be lived in intimate union with Reality."
"Symbols form the rallying-points about which are gathered a whole group of ideas and intuitions. Their presence – sometimes the sudden thought of them – will be enough, in psychological language, to provoke a discharge of energy along some particular path: that is to say, to stir to life all those ideas and intuitions which belong to the self's consciousness of the Absolute, to concentrate vitality on them, and introduce the self into that world of perception of which they are, as it were, the material keys."
"Divine Love flows out of the soul and draws her out of herself into the unnamed Being, into her first source, which is God alone."