Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Mystic Way - A Psychological Study in Christian Origins
Evelyn Underhill

1 "Deity, in so far as it is apprehended by human intuition and love, appears to us as a vast, all-encompassing, all-penetrating Reality, which is both transcendent and immanent, static and dynamic, changeless yet changeful, ineffable yet personal."

2 "Only by love can man enter into direct communion with Reality; only by its dynamic power will he raise up the temple in which that Reality can make its home."

3 "As the heightening of mental life reveals to the intellect deeper and deeper levels of reality, so with that movement towards enhancement of the life of spirit….the world assumes not the character of illusion but the character of sacrament; and spirit finds Spirit in the lilies of the field, no less than in the Unknowable Abyss."

4 "When Angela of Foligno says, 'I had comprehension of the whole world, both here and beyond the sea, and the Abyss and all things else; and therein I beheld naught save the divine power in a manner which is verily indescribable, so that through greatness of marvelling the soul cried with a loud voice, saying 'This whole world is full of God' – when we read this, an intuition deep within us replies that it can here recognise the accent of truth."

5 "Life immanent and life transcendent, the Temporal and the Eternal order, are the complementary expressions of a Reality which is one."

6 "As gradually and naturally as the embryo of physical life emerges into the physical world, the germ of real life which is latent in human personality takes form and develops to the mystic climax of perfect participation in the Eternal World."

7 "Throughout the whole course of this struggle [of life] we observe on the side of spirit – or, if you like it better, on the psychic side of life – an unmistakable instinct for transcendence: 'an internal push, which has carried life by more and more complex forms to higher and higher destinies.' (Bergson, 'L'Evolution creatrice')."

8 "Man's will and work are themselves a part of the divine energy."

9 "Man, said St. Bernard [of Clairvaux] is 'a capacity for the Infinite.'"

10 "The movement which He (Christ) initiated…is in essence a genuinely biological rather than a merely creedal or intellectual development of the race. In it, we see life exercising her sovereign power of spontaneous creation: breaking out on new paths."

11 "We are like coals, burned on the hearth of Infinite Love." Ruysbroeck, 'De Septem gradibus amoris', ch. 14

12 "There are no breaks in the World of Becoming; Life, though it be instinct with spontaneity, though it cut new paths for its branching stream in fresh, unimaginable directions, behave in a thousand incalculable ways, ever remains one."

13 "Knowledge of ourselves, which we too easily confuse with knowledge of our sins, means accurate consciousness of our powers as well as of our deficiencies. It means the bringing of all the levels of our nature into the field of consciousness: a complete review of the available material."

14 "The glory of that One Reality [is] ablaze in the humblest of growing things."

15 "Thou art the sky and Thou art the nest as well…..Hidden in the heart of things Thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts, buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness." Rabindranath Tagore, 'Gitanjali'

16 "Be thou drunken in love, for love is all that exists." Jalalu'ddin, 'Divan'

17 "They who see but One in all the changing manifoldness of this universe, unto them belongs eternal truth: unto none else, unto none else." Katha Upanishad

18 "You need not call Him from a distance, your opening and His entering are but one moment."

19 "All is fused into one great work of art, all forms part of one living whole."

20 "I am God, says Love; for Love is God and God is Love. And this soul is God by condition of Love." Ruysbroeck, 'The Mirror of Simple Souls'

21 "Man [is] the thoroughfare of Life upon her upward pilgrimage; self-creative, susceptible of freedom, able to breathe the atmosphere of Reality, to attain consciousness here and now of the Spiritual World."

22 "The movement of the self towards transcendence, its achievement of 'divine humanity', is an organic process."

23 "The destiny to which our human spirit tends is 'freedom': that high level of being, upon which life achieves reality and becomes the self-creative auxiliary of the divine."

24 "We feel, interpenetrating and supporting us, the action of a surging, creative Spirit, which transcends all its material manifestations."

25 "This Life – the divine elan vital – is an energetic spirit, thrusting itself to expression in and through the world."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite