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 "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'

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

3 "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."

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

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

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

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

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

9 "Free and conscious cooperation in the great life of the All alone can make personal life worth living."

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

11 "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'

12 "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."

13 "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."

14 "Hints of a marvellous truth, a unity whose note is ineffable peace, shine in created things."

15 "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'

16 "'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."

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

18 "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."

19 "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."

20 "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."

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

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

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 "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."

25 "All…are called to their origin." Rulman Merswin

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite