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.
"Every visible and invisible creature is a theophany or appearance of God." Erigena
"God, since He is all in all – in a sense, IS all – may most easily be found within ourselves."
"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'
"The world-process is the slow coming to fruition of that Divine Spark which is latent alike in the Cosmos and in man."
"The spirit of God breathes us out from Himself that we may love."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Under the spur of love life draws near to Life."
"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."
"The manifestation of the Eternal Light is renewed without interruption in the hiddenness of the spirit."
"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."
"This gift of 'sonship', this power of free cooperation in the world process, is man's greatest honour."
"All…are called to their origin." Rulman Merswin
"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."
"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
"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."
"The quest of the Absolute is no long journey, but a realization of something which is implicit in the self and in the universe."
"The Power of God exceeds and fills all." St. Angela of Foligno
"'That Which Is', says St. Augustine; 'The One', 'The Supplier of true Life', says Plotinus; 'the energitic Word', says St. Bernard; 'Eternal Light', says Dante; 'the Abyss', says Ruysbroeck; 'Pure Love', says St. Catherine of Genoa – poor symbols of Perfection at the best. But, through and by these oblique utterances, they give us the assurance that the Object of their discovery is one with the object of our quest."
"The spring of the amazing energy which enables the great mystic to rise to freedom and dominate his world, is latent in all of us; an integral part of our humanity."
"I but open my eyes, - and perfection, no more and no less, in the kind I imagined full-fronts me, and God is seen God in the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in the soul and the clod." Robert Browning, 'Saul'
"The flame of living and creative love fills the universe."
"This One is…not merely the Reality of all that is, but also a living and personal Object of Love."