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 "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."

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

3 "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'

4 "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'

5 "'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."

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

8 "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."

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

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

11 "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."

12 "This One is…not merely the Reality of all that is, but also a living and personal Object of Love."

13 "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."

14 "There is – must be – contact in an intelligible where between every individual self and the Supreme Self, the Ultimate."

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 "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."

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

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

20 "The flame of living and creative love fills the universe."

21 "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."

22 "Beauty is simply Reality seen with the eyes of love."

23 "Natural magnetism…will draw the pilgrim irresistibly along the road from the Many to the One."

24 "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."

25 "Nothing is to be seen but a ground which rests upon itself, everywhere one Being, one Life."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite