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Mysticism

  • ... there is a hard clear rationality about Quakers — and, indeed, all mysticism, which, once experienced, makes other ways appear indirect, childish, and crude.

  • Mysticism and creativity have this in common: they require a person to live truthfully at every level of being.

  • One of the keystones of romantic love — and also of the ecstatic religion practiced by mystics — is the powerful desire to become one with the beloved.

  • A mystic is a person who sees the facts as inadequate.

  • I have always been psychic. The walls of any room I walk into talk to me.

    • Ethel Waters,
    • in Ethel Waters with Charles Samuels, His Eye Is on the Sparrow ()
  • O my Lord, the stars are shining and the eyes of men are closed, and kings have shut their doors and every lover is alone with his beloved, and here am I alone with Thee.

    • Rabi'a the Mystic,
    • 8th cent., in Margaret Smith, Rabi'a the Mystic and Her Fellow-Saints in Islam ()
  • Mysticism is the passionate longing of the soul for God ...

    • Evelyn Underhill,
    • in Lucy Menzies, ed., Collected Papers of Evelyn Underhill ()
  • I do not think reading the mystics would hurt you myself: you say you must avoid books which deal with 'feelings' — but the mystics don't deal with feelings but with love which is a very different thing. You have too many 'feelings,' but not nearly enough love.

    • Evelyn Underhill,
    • 1909, in Charles Williams, ed., The Letters of Evelyn Underhill ()
  • The spiritual life is not a special career, involving abstraction from the world of things. It is a part of every man's life; and until he has realized it he is not a complete human being, has not entered into possession of all his powers. It is therefore the function of a practical mysticism to increase, not diminish, the total efficiency, the wisdom and steadfastness, of those who try to practice it.

  • Mystical experiences nearly always lead one to a belief that some aspect of consciousness is imperishable. In a Buddhist metaphor the consciousness of the individual is like a flame that burns through the night. It is not the same flame over time, yet neither is it another flame.

  • The worst danger of the mystic is as always a quest of spiritual privilege leading to aloofness from the common lot.

  • The mystics are the only ones who have gained a glimpse into what is possible when this same capacity [for creation] is used primarily in the service of the individual himself instead of for the creation of art.

    • Beatrice Hinkle,
    • "The Psychology of the Artist," The Re-Creating of the Individual ()
  • If you are ready for mystical experiences, you have them.

  • Is it conceivable that mysticism is a mark of inadequate art?