The work of a noted British authority on mysticism, it is divided into two parts: the first provides an introduction to the general subject of mysticism and its relation to metaphysics, psychology, theology, magic, and symbolism. The second and longer part contains a detailed study of the nature and development of spiritual or mystical consciousness, including such topics as the awakening of the self, the purification of the self, voices and visions, introversion, ecstasy and rapture, the dark night of the soul, and the unitive life. An interesting appendix provides a historical sketch of European mysticism from the beginning of the Christian era to the death of Blake.
Richly documented with material drawn from such great mystics as St. Teresa, Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, and William Blake, this remarkable study will be of immense interest to students, psychologists, theologians — anyone interested in this extremely personal and powerful form of spiritual life.
The Cloud of Unknowing offers an approach to contemplative life that finds holiness at a level deeper than physical experience and beyond language or image. The author advises placing all thought and mental imagery behind a metaphorical "cloud of forgetting" while seeking to love the divine. Hidden from the infinite consciousness by a "cloud of unknowing," divine love can be reached through monologistic prayer — a single-word prayer, like a mantra, that assists in abandoning all extraneous thought. Seekers can thus attain an inner silence, where they may "be still and know the sacred."
The author's spiritual gifts, combined with his humorous and straightforward approach, offer a view of divinity that never loses the common touch. Written in everyday language and edited by a popular authority on mysticism, this venerable work can be understood and appreciated by any reader.
Covering the whole development of the Christian Church from St. Paul to the present century, the author illustrates the differing backgrounds and approach of many of the great mystics such as St. Augustine of Hippo, whose writings helped to create the Church's understanding of its mystical character; and St. Francis of Assisi, whose example proved an inspiration to many. The book gives much more than an opportunity to "meet" the great mystics: it also provides a framework for the analysis of true mysticism and false, contrasting Catherine of Sienna, a girl of the people whose transcendental mysticism benefited many in an age of ecclesiastical degradation, with the well-born and beautiful Madame Guyon, whose excesses brought mysticism into disrepute. Evelyn Underhill illuminates the whole of her subject by drawing attention to the differences of approach that can bring mortals along the road to the divine, from the zealous militancy of a Loyola to the passivity of the Quietists.
This absorbing study by one of the great writers on mysticism covers every aspect of the subject and gives a clear understanding of the mystics' world in writing that is both informative and stimulating.
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Evelyn Underhill kept notebooks during her crucial mid-life years, while she was a successful writer and scholar. These private documents comprise one soul's journey in the life of the Spirit, yet with a universal dimension. Underhill's reflections are the only known sustained records of her private life, her doubts and failings, obstacles to growth, and her gradual awakening to God's grace and presence. In his "Foreword" A. M. Allchin writes, "Evelyn Underhill's inner world, which was one of contrasts and conflicts, of darkness as well as light, can stand for the inner world of us all . . . these fragments from her inner story will continue to remind us of the price that was paid for the serenity and wisdom of her latter years."
These notes and journal entries have the immediacy of spiritual autobiography and the detail that give texture to her otherwise elusive life history. In order to be best understood, they need to be viewed within the context of her "public" writings. Her personal speculations and correspondence give depth and nuance to the mystic and theologian now commemorated in the church calendar and read by Christians of many communions.
EVELYN UNDERHILL COLLECTION [16 BOOKS]
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Evelyn Underhill (6 December 1875 – 15 June 1941) was an English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism. In the English-speaking world, she was one of the most widely read writers on such matters in the first half of the 20th century. No other book of its type—until the appearance in 1946 of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy—met with success to match that of her best-known work, Mysticism, published in 1911. Before undertaking many of her better known expository works on mysticism, she first published a small book of satirical poems on legal dilemmas, The Bar-Lamb's Ballad Book, which received a favorable welcome. Underhill then wrote three highly unconventional though profoundly spiritual novels. Like Charles Williams and later, Susan Howatch, Underhill uses her narratives to explore the sacramental intersection of the physical with the spiritual. She then uses that sacramental framework very effectively to illustrate the unfolding of a human drama. Her novels are entitled The Grey World (1904), The Lost Word (1907), and The Column of Dust (1909). In her first novel, The Grey World, described by one reviewer as an extremely interesting psychological study, the hero's mystical journey begins with death, and then moves through reincarnation, beyond the grey world, and into the choice of a simple life devoted to beauty, reflecting Underhill's own serious perspective as a young woman.
ABBA: MEDITATIONS BASED ON THE LORD’S PRAYER
CONCERNING THE INNER LIFE
MYSTICISM: A STUDY IN THE NATURE AND DEVELOPMENT OF MAN’S SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS
THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING
THE ESSENTIALS OF MYSTICISM
THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT AND THE LIFE OF TO-DAY
THE MIRACLES OF OUR LADY SAINT MARY
THE MYSTERY OF SACRIFICE: A MEDITATION ON THE LITURGY
THE MYSTIC WAY: A PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY IN CHRISTIAN ORIGINS
THE MYSTICS OF THE CHURCH
THE SCHOOL OF CHARITY: MEDITATIONS ON THE CHRISTIAN CREED
THE SPIRAL WAY: BEING MEDITATIONS UPON THE FIFTEEN MYSTERIES OF THE SOUL’S ASCENT
PUBLISHER: AETERNA PRESS