Practical Mysticism

Practical Mysticism

eBook - 2013
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Underhill was a leading authority on modern mysticism. Written just before World War 1, Practical Mysticism reviews the works of the greatest Western mystics, including Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas a Kempis. Underhill brings esoteric subjects onto a practical footing, showing that the profound gifts of mysticism are not only for the few but are within reach of us all. Underhill wants the reader to obtain mystical consciousness and to be able to see eternal beauty.
Publisher: [United States] : Start Publishing LLC : Made available through hoopla, 2013
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital
ISBN: 9781625585028


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Mar 20, 2013

Don’t expect a manual in today’s style on Christian meditation because Practical Mysticism was written a hundred years ago in 1914 by an upper class English lady Evelyn Underhill (1875- 1941). She helped to popularize meditation for ordinary people. “Practical” should be understood as having utility for the many, not esoteric for the few. The author studied the great Christian mystics a few years earlier in her landmark book Mysticism. Instructions from the Christian saints were noted and the author put in everyday language her understanding of how to achieve a religious experience.

Preparation is necessary and these are the first two stages of the mystical life. The last three stages are reaching the goal. The final stage is the Ultimate Fact, the Absolute or God, in the author’s words “Mysticism is the art of union with Reality.” Anyone attempting this book in a serious way should be forewarned that one must use one’s literary, artistic and intuitive skills. This is a beautifully expressed book in cultured English, but not always easy to understand, much less make a part of one’s life.

I gave a lower rating not because I do not admire the author or respect her high standing in the Anglican Church of England, but because today’s generation may find it hard to connect with these writings.


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