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.
"Beauty is simply Reality seen with the eyes of love."
"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."
"The mystic vision is of a spiritual universe held within the bonds of love."
"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
"This universe is free, self-creative. The divine action floods it: no part is more removed from the Godhead than any other part."
"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 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."
"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."
"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 Divine Love immanent in the heart and in the world comes forth from, and returns to, the Absolute One."
"Everywhere one Being, one Life – this is the goal of activity; the final state of equilibrium towards which the self is moving, or rather struggling, in the dimness and anguish of the Dark Night….The Dark Night is therefore an aspect or incident of the transition from multiplicity to Unity; of that mergence and union of the soul with the Absolute which is the whole object of the mystical evolution of man."
"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 object of the mystic's contemplation is always some aspect of the Infinite Life: of God, the one Reality."
"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 world-process is the slow coming to fruition of that Divine Spark which is latent alike in the Cosmos and in man."
"The Power of God exceeds and fills all." St. Angela of Foligno
"Hints of a marvellous truth, a unity whose note is ineffable peace, shine in created things."
"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 rippling tide of love flows secretly from God into the soul, and draws it mightily back into its source." Mechthild of Magdeburg
"The manifestation of the Eternal Light is renewed without interruption in the hiddenness of the spirit."
"The beauty, the majesty, the divinity of the living World of Becoming holds in its meshes every living thing."
"Trust your deep instincts: use your latent powers. Appropriate that divine creative life which is the very substance of your being. Remake yourself in its interest, if you would know its beauty and its truth. You can only behold that which you are. Only the Real can know Reality."
"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."
"God, since He is all in all – in a sense, IS all – may most easily be found within ourselves."
"The soul of the individual subject is the microcosm of the soul of the world."