Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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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.

1 "The Divine Love immanent in the heart and in the world comes forth from, and returns to, the Absolute One."

2 "The manifestation of the Eternal Light is renewed without interruption in the hiddenness of the spirit."

3 "The mystic vision is of a spiritual universe held within the bonds of love."

4 "God, since He is all in all – in a sense, IS all – may most easily be found within ourselves."

5 "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'

6 "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."

7 "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'

8 "Under the spur of love life draws near to Life."

9 "The spirit of God breathes us out from Himself that we may love."

10 "Do but fix your eyes joyously upon yourself, and watch how God plays the game of love within your loving soul." Suso, 'Leban', cap. vi

11 "The object of the mystic's contemplation is always some aspect of the Infinite Life: of God, the one Reality."

12 "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."

13 "The rippling tide of love flows secretly from God into the soul, and draws it mightily back into its source." Mechthild of Magdeburg

14 "Love flings open a door, in order that the larger Life may rush in, and it and the soul be one thing."

15 "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."

16 "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

17 "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."

18 "Every visible and invisible creature is a theophany or appearance of God." Erigena

19 "The soul of the individual subject is the microcosm of the soul of the world."

20 "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."

21 "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."

22 "The world-process is the slow coming to fruition of that Divine Spark which is latent alike in the Cosmos and in man."

23 "The quest of the Absolute is no long journey, but a realization of something which is implicit in the self and in the universe."

24 "This gift of 'sonship', this power of free cooperation in the world process, is man's greatest honour."

25 "The simple vision of pure love, which is marvellously penetrating, does not stop at the outer husk of creation: it penetrates to the divinity which is hidden within." Malaval, 'De l'Oraison Ordinaire'

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite