Mysticism and Logic
Mysticism at the Dawn of the Modern Age
Mysticism Christian and Buddhist
mysticism ::: n. --> Obscurity of doctrine.
The doctrine of the Mystics, who professed a pure, sublime, and wholly disinterested devotion, and maintained that they had direct intercourse with the divine Spirit, and aquired a knowledge of God and of spiritual things unattainable by the natural intellect, and such as can not be analyzed or explained.
The doctrine that the ultimate elements or principles of knowledge or belief are gained by an act or process akin to feeling or
mysticism ::: n. --> Obscurity of doctrine.
The doctrine of the Mystics, who professed a pure, sublime, and wholly disinterested devotion, and maintained that they had direct intercourse with the divine Spirit, and aquired a knowledge of God and of spiritual things unattainable by the natural intellect, and such as can not be analyzed or explained.
The doctrine that the ultimate elements or principles of knowledge or belief are gained by an act or process akin to feeling or
Mysticism: Any philosophy, doctrine, teaching or belief centered more on the worlds of the Spirit than the material universe, and aimed at the spiritual union or mental one-ness with the Universal Spirit, through intuitive and emotional apprehension of spiritual reality, and through various forms of spiritual contemplation, or disciplines. Mysticism in its simplest and most essential meaning is a type of religion which puts the emphasis on immediate awareness of relation with God, direct and intimate consciousness of Divine Presence. It is religion in its most acute, intense and living stage. The basic idea of all mysticism is that the essence of life and of the world is an all-embracing spiritual substance which is the true reality in the core of all beings, regardless of their outer appearances or activities.
Mysticism ::: A word originally derived from the Greek and having a wide range of meaning in modern Occidentalreligious and philosophical literature. A mystic may be said to be one who has intuitions or intimations ofthe existence of inner and superior worlds, and who attempts to ally himself or to come intoself-conscious communion with them and the beings inhabiting these inner and invisible worlds.The word mysticism, of course, has various shades of significance, and a large number of definitionscould easily be written following the views of different mystical writers on this theme. From thetheosophical or occult point of view, however, a mystic is one who has inner convictions often based oninner vision and knowledge of the existence of spiritual and ethereal universes of which our outerphysical universe is but the shell; and who has some inner knowledge that these universes or worlds orplanes or spheres, with their hosts of inhabitants, are intimately connected with the origin, destiny, andeven present nature of the world which surrounds us.Genuine mysticism is an ennobling study. The average mystic, however, is one who lacks the directguidance derived from personal teaching received from a master or spiritual superior.
Mysticism The doctrine that the nature of reality can be known by direct apprehension, by faculties above the senses, by intuition. “Mysticism demands a faculty above reason, by which the subject shall be placed in immediate and complete union with the object of his desire — a union in which the consciousness of self has disappeared, and in which therefore subject and object are one” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th ed. “Mysticism”). It overlaps in meaning such terms as the Neoplatonic ecstasis, and the theosophy of Iamblichus.
Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition.
Mysticism ; Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews.]
Mysticism]. In occultism the archons are primor¬
Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition.
mysticism, Azrael is the embodiment of evil. In
Mysticism, p. 362, Domiel is mistakenly confused
Mysticism, p. 38.] It is said ( Bereshith Rahha) that the
Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition.]
mysticism, Metatron is the personified Logos.
Mysticism; Muller, History of Jewish Mysticism;
mysticism, the angel of deliverance. [Rf. Abelson,
mysticism ::: Mysticism The belief that one can rise above reason to achieve direct union with God or the Divine through meditation and intuition. In mystical practices, one attempts to merge with God or the Divine through a disciplined quest to achieve enlightenment. Some forms of mysticism include the Kabbalah, Sufism (Islam), Yoga, and Buddhism.
mysticism ::: The pursuit of achieving communion, identity with, or conscious awareness of ultimate reality, the divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight. Traditions may include a belief in the literal existence of dimensional realities beyond empirical perception, or a belief that a true human perception of the world goes beyond current logical reasoning or intellectual comprehension.
3 Sri Aurobindo
3 Aleister Crowley
2 The Mother
1 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
1 Nolini Kanta Gupta
1 M Alan Kazlev
1 Israel Regardie
1 Henri Bergson
1 G K Chesterton
1 Bernhard Guenther
1 Arthur Koestler
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
22 Frederick Lenz
17 G K Chesterton
10 Wilhelm Reich
9 Evelyn Underhill
6 Gilbert K Chesterton
6 Elie Wiesel
5 Ayn Rand
4 Ursula K Le Guin
4 Tom Robbins
4 Timothy J Keller
4 Thomas Merton
4 Hazrat Inayat Khan
4 Fritjof Capra
4 Eric Maisel
4 Carl Sagan
4 Bertrand Russell
3 Vernon Howard
3 Thomas Jefferson
3 Richard Rohr
3 Michael Pollan
3 Jack London
3 Florence Nightingale
3 Fernando Pessoa
3 Erich Fromm
3 Albert Schweitzer
3 Albert Einstein
3 Alan W Watts
2 William Ralph Inge
2 William Gaddis
2 William Butler Yeats
2 Tony Campolo
2 Thomas Moore
2 Swami Vivekananda
2 Stephen Hawking
2 Sam Harris
2 Robert M Pirsig
2 Richard Matheson
2 Richard Dawkins
2 Peter Matthiessen
2 Paul Brunton
2 Oliver Sacks
2 Neal Stephenson
2 Nancy R Pearcey
2 Ken Wilber
2 Katherine Ramsland
2 Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
2 Karl Marx
2 Joyce Higginbotham
2 Jean Maximillien De La Croix de Lafayette
2 Isaac Bashevis Singer
2 Idries Shah
2 Herbert Benson
2 Gordon White
2 George Eliot
2 Frithjof Schuon
2 Frances A Yates
2 Ernest Hemingway
2 Emil M Cioran
2 David Tacey
2 Dan Simmons
2 Dan Eaton
2 Carl McColman
2 Calvin Coolidge
2 Bhagat Singh
2 Betty Smith
2 Benedict XVI
2 Alija Izetbegovi
2 Alejandro Jodorowsky
2 Abraham Kuyper
1:Religion is to mysticism what popularization is to science ~ Henri Bergson,
2:Science will, in all probability,be increasingly impregnatedby mysticism. ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, My Universe (1924) ,
3:A revolutionary mysticism which seems to be the present drive of the Time Spirit. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle The Curve of the Rational Age,
4:Mysticism-Magic and Yoga-is the means, therefore, to a new universal life, richer, greater and more full of resource than ever before, as free as sunlight, as gracious as the unfolding of a rose. It is for man to take. ~ Israel Regardie, The Tree Of Life ,
5:There is a single main definition of the object of all magical Ritual. It is the uniting of the Microcosm with the Macrocosm. The Supreme and Complete Ritual is therefore the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel; or, in the language of Mysticism, Union with God. ~ Aleister Crowley,
6:The truth is that Tolstoy, with his immense genius, with his colossal faith, with his vast fearlessness and vast knowledge of life, is deficient in one faculty and one faculty alone. He is not a mystic; and therefore he has a tendency to go mad. Men talk of the extravagances and frenzies that have been produced by mysticism; they are a mere drop in the bucket. In the main, and from the beginning of time, mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was logic. ...The only thing that has kept the race of men from the mad extremes of the convent and the pirate-galley, the night-club and the lethal chamber, has been mysticism - the belief that logic is misleading, and that things are not what they seem. ~ G K Chesterton, Tolstoy ,
7:The Fire is to be quieted and silenced says the Upanishad. Then we come nearer, to the immediate vicinity of the Truth; an inner hearing opens, the direct voice of Truth - the Word - reaches us to lead and guide. Even so, however, we have not come to the end of our journey; the Word of revelation is not the ultimate Light. The Word too is a clothing, though a luminous clothing - hiranmayam pair am. When this last veil dissolves and disappears, when utter silence, absolute calm and quietude reign in the entire consciousness, when no other lights trouble or distract our attention, there appears the Atman in its own body ; we stand face to face with the source of all lights, the self of the Light, the light of the Self. We are that Light and we become that Light. ~ Nolini Kanta Gupta, The Approach To Mysticism ,
8:This last figure, the White Magician, symbolizes the self-transcending element in the scientist's motivational drive and emotional make-up; his humble immersion into the mysteries of nature, his quest for the harmony of the spheres, the origin of life, the equations of a unified field theory. The conquistadorial urge is derived from a sense of power, the participatory urge from a sense of oceanic wonder. 'Men were first led to the study of natural philosophy', wrote Aristotle, 'as indeed they are today, by wonder.' Maxwell's earliest memory was 'lying on the grass, looking at the sun, and wondering'. Einstein struck the same chord when he wrote that whoever is devoid of the capacity to wonder, 'whoever remains unmoved, whoever cannot contemplate or know the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment, might just as well be dead for he has already closed his eyes upon life'.This oceanic feeling of wonder is the common source of religious mysticism, of pure science and art for art's sake; it is their common denominator and emotional bond. ~ Arthur Koestler,
9:The path of seeking truth within and without is not an easy one. It goes literally against everything we've been told and taught by society and governments. The indoctrination of lies, the conditioning and programming is deep and far reaching. It has been going on for millennia. It takes tremendous effort to wake up from the hypnotic slumber, where most people dream to be awake. At this time of transition, as more and more knowledge is coming to the surface, there is the potential to create a new earth. However, this is also the age of deception for there are forces at work that do not want this to happen. They do their best to vector us away from truth and the most effective way to swallow a lie is to sandwich it between some truth with some emotional hooks. As mentioned many times before, lies are mixed with truth, hence discernment is essential. We need to engage our higher emotional center connecting us to divine intuition and also activate our higher intellect, engaging in sincere, open minded critical thinking, fusing the heart and the mind, mysticism and science. ~ Bernhard Guenther,
10:But before entering into the details of I. A. O. as a magical formula it should be remarked that it is essentially the formula of Yoga or meditation; in fact, of elementary mysticism in all its branches. In beginning a meditation practice, there is always a quiet pleasure, a gentle natural growth; one takes a lively interest in the work; it seems easy; one is quite pleased to have started. This stage represents Isis. Sooner or later it is succeeded by depression-the Dark Night of the Soul, an infinite weariness and detestation of the work. The simplest and easiest acts become almost impossible to perform. Such impotence fills the mind with apprehension and despair. The intensity of this loathing can hardly be understood by any person who has not experienced it. This is the period of Apophis. It is followed by the arising not of Isis, but of Osiris. The ancient condition is not restored, but a new and superior condition is created, a condition only rendered possible by the process of death. The Alchemists themselves taught this same truth. The first matter of the work was base and primitive, though 'natural.' After passing through various stages the 'black dragon' appeared; but from this arose the pure and perfect gold ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA Book 4,
11:subtle ::: In Vedanta (Mandukya Upanishad and later teachings - e.g. Advaita - based on it) "subtle" is used to designate the "dream state" of consciousness, and in Advaita this also includes the Prana, Manas, and Vijnana koshas (= the vehicles of vital force, mind, and higher consciousness) re-interpreted from of the Taittiriya Upanishad.In Tibetan and Tantric Buddhism it refers to an intermediate grade between the "gross" and "very subtle" "minds" and "winds" (vayu = prana).The Sukshma Sthula or Subtle Body is one of the seven principles of man in Blavatskian Theosophy; it is also called the "astral body" (this has little similarity with the astral body of Out of Body experience, because it cannot move far from the gross physical vehicle, it seems to correspond to what Robert Monroe calls the "second body", and identified with the Double or KaIn Sant Mat / Radhasoami cosmology - the Anda (Cosmic Egg) / Sahans-dal Kanwal (Crown Chakra) is sometimes called the Subtle; hence Subtle = AstralThe term Subtle Physical is used somewhat generically by Sri Aurobindo (in Letters on Yoga) to refer to a wider reality behind the external physical.Ken Wilber uses the term Subtle to indicate the yogic and mystic holonic-evolutionary level intermediate between "Psychic" (in his series = Nature Mysticism) and "Causal" (=Realisation"); it includes many psychic and occult experiences and can be considered as pertaining to the Subtle as defined here (although it also includes other realities and experiences that might also be interpreted as "Inner Gross" - e.g. Kundalini as a classic example). ~ M Alan Kazlev, Kheper planes/subtle,
12:Sweet Mother, Sri Aurobindo is speaking about occult endeavour here and says that those who don't have the capacity must wait till it is given to them. Can't they get it through practice? No. That is, if it is latent in someone, it can be developed by practice. But if one doesn't have occult power, he may try for fifty years, he won't get anywhere. Everybody cannot have occult power. It is as though you were asking whether everybody could be a musician, everybody could be a painter, everybody could... Some can, some can't. It is a question of temperament. What is the difference between occultism and mysticism? They are not at all the same thing. Mysticism is a more or less emotive relation with what one senses to be a divine power - that kind of highly emotional, affective, very intense relation with something invisible which is or is taken for the Divine. That is mysticism. Occultism is exactly what he has said: it is the knowledge of invisible forces and the power to handle them. It is a science. It is altogether a science. I always compare occultism with chemistry, for it is the same kind of knowledge as the knowledge of chemistry for material things. It is a knowledge of invisible forces, their different vibrations, their interrelations, the combinations which can be made by bringing them together and the power one can exercise over them. It is absolutely scientific; and it ought to be learnt like a science; that is, one cannot practise occultism as something emotional or something vague and imprecise. You must work at it as you would do at chemistry, and learn all the rules or find them if there is nobody to teach you. But it is at some risk to yourself that you can find them. There are combinations here as explosive as certain chemical combinations. ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1954 ,
13:Thus the eternal paradox and eternal truth of a divine life in an animal body, an immortal aspiration or reality inhabiting a mortal tenement, a single and universal consciousness representing itself in limited minds and divided egos, a transcendent, indefinable, timeless and spaceless Being who alone renders time and space and cosmos possible, and in all these the higher truth realisable by the lower term, justify themselves to the deliberate reason as well as to the persistent instinct or intuition of mankind. Attempts are sometimes made to have done finally with questionings which have so often been declared insoluble by logical thought and to persuade men to limit their mental activities to the practical and immediate problems of their material existence in the universe; but such evasions are never permanent in their effect. Mankind returns from them with a more vehement impulse of inquiry or a more violent hunger for an immediate solution. By that hunger mysticism profits and new religions arise to replace the old that have been destroyed or stripped of significance by a scepticism which itself could not satisfy because, although its business was inquiry, it was unwilling sufficiently to inquire. The attempt to deny or stifle a truth because it is yet obscure in its outward workings and too often represented by obscurantist superstition or a crude faith, is itself a kind of obscurantism. The will to escape from a cosmic necessity because it is arduous, difficult to justify by immediate tangible results, slow in regulating its operations, must turn out eventually to have been no acceptance of the truth of Nature but a revolt against the secret, mightier will of the great Mother. It is better and more rational to accept what she will not allow us as a race to reject and lift it from the sphere of blind instinct, obscure intuition and random aspiration into the light of reason and an instructed and consciously self-guiding will. And if there is any higher light of illumined intuition or self-revealing truth which is now in man either obstructed and inoperative or works with intermittent glancings as if from behind a veil or with occasional displays as of the northern lights in our material skies, then there also we need not fear to aspire. For it is likely that such is the next higher state of consciousness of which Mind is only a form and veil, and through the splendours of that light may lie the path of our progressive self-enlargement into whatever highest state is humanity's ultimate resting-place. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine 1.01 - The Human Aspiration,
14:root of the falsification and withdrawl of divine love ::: At every moment they are moved to take egoistic advantage of the psychic and spiritual influences and can be detected using the power, joy or light these bring into us for a lower life-motive. Afterwards too, even when the seeker has opened to the Divine Love transcendental, universal or immanent, yet if he tries to pour it into life, he meets the power of obscuration and perversion of these lower Nature-forces. Always they draw away towards pitfalls, pour into that higher intensity their diminishing elements, seek to capture the descending Power for themselves and their interests and degrade it into an aggrandised mental, vital or physical instrumentation for desire and ego. Instead of a Divine Love creator of a new heaven and a new earth of Truth and Light, they would hold it here prisoner as a tremendous sanction and glorifying force of sublimation to gild the mud of the old earth and colour with its rose and sapphire the old turbid unreal skies of sentimentalising vital imagination and mental idealised chimera. If that falsification is permitted, the higher Light and Power and Bliss withdraw, there is a fall back to a lower status; or else the realisation remains tied to an insecure half-way and mixture or is covered and even submerged by an inferior exaltation that is not the true Ananda. It is for this reason that Divine Love which is at the heart of all creation and the most powerful of all redeeming and creative forces has yet been the least frontally present in earthly life, the least successfully redemptive, the least creative. Human nature has been unable to bear it in its purity for the very reason that it is the most powerful, pure, rare and intense of all the divine energies; what little could be seized has been corrupted at once into a vital pietistic ardour, a defenceless religious or ethical sentimentalism, a sensuous or even sensual erotic mysticism of the roseate coloured mind or passionately turbid life-impulse and with these simulations compensated its inability to house the Mystic Flame that could rebuild the world with its tongues of sacrifice. It is only the inmost psychic being unveiled and emerging in its full power that can lead the pilgrim sacrifice unscathed through these ambushes and pitfalls; at each moment it catches, exposes, repels the mind's and the life's falsehoods, seizes hold on the truth of the Divine Love and Ananda and separates it from the excitement of the mind's ardours and the blind enthusiasms of the misleading life-force. But all things that are true at their core in mind and life and the physical being it extricates and takes with it in the journey till they stand on the heights, new in spirit and sublime in figure. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 2,
15:SECTION 1. Books for Serious Study Liber CCXX. (Liber AL vel Legis.) The Book of the Law. This book is the foundation of the New Æon, and thus of the whole of our work. The Equinox. The standard Work of Reference in all occult matters. The Encyclopaedia of Initiation. Liber ABA (Book 4). A general account in elementary terms of magical and mystical powers. In four parts: (1) Mysticism (2) Magical (Elementary Theory) (3) Magick in Theory and Practice (this book) (4) The Law. Liber II. The Message of the Master Therion. Explains the essence of the new Law in a very simple manner. Liber DCCCXXXVIII. The Law of Liberty. A further explanation of The Book of the Law in reference to certain ethical problems. Collected Works of A. Crowley. These works contain many mystical and magical secrets, both stated clearly in prose, and woven into the Robe of sublimest poesy. The Yi King. (S. B. E. Series [vol. XVI], Oxford University Press.) The "Classic of Changes"; give the initiated Chinese system of Magick. The Tao Teh King. (S. B. E. Series [vol. XXXIX].) Gives the initiated Chinese system of Mysticism. Tannhäuser, by A. Crowley. An allegorical drama concerning the Progress of the Soul; the Tannhäuser story slightly remodelled. The Upanishads. (S. B. E. Series [vols. I & XV.) The Classical Basis of Vedantism, the best-known form of Hindu Mysticism. The Bhagavad-gita. A dialogue in which Krishna, the Hindu "Christ", expounds a system of Attainment. The Voice of the Silence, by H.P. Blavatsky, with an elaborate commentary by Frater O.M. Frater O.M., 7°=48, is the most learned of all the Brethren of the Order; he has given eighteen years to the study of this masterpiece. Raja-Yoga, by Swami Vivekananda. An excellent elementary study of Hindu mysticism. His Bhakti-Yoga is also good. The Shiva Samhita. An account of various physical means of assisting the discipline of initiation. A famous Hindu treatise on certain physical practices. The Hathayoga Pradipika. Similar to the Shiva Samhita. The Aphorisms of Patanjali. A valuable collection of precepts pertaining to mystical attainment. The Sword of Song. A study of Christian theology and ethics, with a statement and solution of the deepest philosophical problems. Also contains the best account extant of Buddhism, compared with modern science. The Book of the Dead. A collection of Egyptian magical rituals. Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, by Eliphas Levi. The best general textbook of magical theory and practice for beginners. Written in an easy popular style. The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. The best exoteric account of the Great Work, with careful instructions in procedure. This Book influenced and helped the Master Therion more than any other. The Goetia. The most intelligible of all the mediæval rituals of Evocation. Contains also the favourite Invocation of the Master Therion. Erdmann's History of Philosophy. A compendious account of philosophy from the earliest times. Most valuable as a general education of the mind. The Spiritual Guide of [Miguel de] Molinos. A simple manual of Christian Mysticism. The Star in the West. (Captain Fuller). An introduction to the study of the Works of Aleister Crowley. The Dhammapada. (S. B. E. Series [vol. X], Oxford University Press). The best of the Buddhist classics. The Questions of King Milinda. (S. B. E. Series [vols. XXXV & XXXVI].) Technical points of Buddhist dogma, illustrated bydialogues. Liber 777 vel Prolegomena Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticæ Viæ Explicandæ, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicam Sanctissimorum Scientiæ Summæ. A complete Dictionary of the Correspondences of all magical elements, reprinted with extensive additions, making it the only standard comprehensive book of reference ever published. It is to the language of Occultism what Webster or Murray is to the English language. Varieties of Religious Experience (William James). Valuable as showing the uniformity of mystical attainment. Kabbala Denudata, von Rosenroth: also The Kabbalah Unveiled, by S.L. Mathers. The text of the Qabalah, with commentary. A good elementary introduction to the subject. Konx Om Pax [by Aleister Crowley]. Four invaluable treatises and a preface on Mysticism and Magick. The Pistis Sophia [translated by G.R.S. Mead or Violet McDermot]. An admirable introduction to the study of Gnosticism. The Oracles of Zoroaster [Chaldæan Oracles]. An invaluable collection of precepts mystical and magical. The Dream of Scipio, by Cicero. Excellent for its Vision and its Philosophy. The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, by Fabre d'Olivet. An interesting study of the exoteric doctrines of this Master. The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Trismegistus. Invaluable as bearing on the Gnostic Philosophy. The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, reprint of Franz Hartmann. An invaluable compendium. Scrutinium Chymicum [Atalanta Fugiens]¸ by Michael Maier. One of the best treatises on alchemy. Science and the Infinite, by Sidney Klein. One of the best essays written in recent years. Two Essays on the Worship of Priapus [A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus &c. &c. &c.], by Richard Payne Knight [and Thomas Wright]. Invaluable to all students. The Golden Bough, by J.G. Frazer. The textbook of Folk Lore. Invaluable to all students. The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. Excellent, though elementary, as a corrective to superstition. Rivers of Life, by General Forlong. An invaluable textbook of old systems of initiation. Three Dialogues, by Bishop Berkeley. The Classic of Subjective Idealism. Essays of David Hume. The Classic of Academic Scepticism. First Principles by Herbert Spencer. The Classic of Agnosticism. Prolegomena [to any future Metaphysics], by Immanuel Kant. The best introduction to Metaphysics. The Canon [by William Stirling]. The best textbook of Applied Qabalah. The Fourth Dimension, by [Charles] H. Hinton. The best essay on the subject. The Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley. Masterpieces of philosophy, as of prose. ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA Appendix I: Literature Recommended to Aspirants,
16:It does not matter if you do not understand it - Savitri, read it always. You will see that every time you read it, something new will be revealed to you. Each time you will get a new glimpse, each time a new experience; things which were not there, things you did not understand arise and suddenly become clear. Always an unexpected vision comes up through the words and lines. Every time you try to read and understand, you will see that something is added, something which was hidden behind is revealed clearly and vividly. I tell you the very verses you have read once before, will appear to you in a different light each time you re-read them. This is what happens invariably. Always your experience is enriched, it is a revelation at each step. But you must not read it as you read other books or newspapers. You must read with an empty head, a blank and vacant mind, without there being any other thought; you must concentrate much, remain empty, calm and open; then the words, rhythms, vibrations will penetrate directly to this white page, will put their stamp upon the brain, will explain themselves without your making any effort. Savitri alone is sufficient to make you climb to the highest peaks. If truly one knows how to meditate on Savitri, one will receive all the help one needs. For him who wishes to follow this path, it is a concrete help as though the Lord himself were taking you by the hand and leading you to the destined goal. And then, every question, however personal it may be, has its answer here, every difficulty finds its solution herein; indeed there is everything that is necessary for doing the Yoga.*He has crammed the whole universe in a single book.* It is a marvellous work, magnificent and of an incomparable perfection. You know, before writing Savitri Sri Aurobindo said to me, WIKI am impelled to launch on a new adventure; I was hesitant in the beginning, but now I am decided. Still, I do not know how far I shall succeed. I pray for help.* And you know what it was? It was - before beginning, I warn you in advance - it was His way of speaking, so full of divine humility and modesty. He never... *asserted Himself*. And the day He actually began it, He told me: WIKI have launched myself in a rudderless boat upon the vastness of the Infinite.* And once having started, He wrote page after page without intermission, as though it were a thing already complete up there and He had only to transcribe it in ink down here on these pages. In truth, the entire form of Savitri has descended "en masse" from the highest region and Sri Aurobindo with His genius only arranged the lines - in a superb and magnificent style. Sometimes entire lines were revealed and He has left them intact; He worked hard, untiringly, so that the inspiration could come from the highest possible summit. And what a work He has created! Yes, it is a true creation in itself. It is an unequalled work. Everything is there, and it is put in such a simple, such a clear form; verses perfectly harmonious, limpid and eternally true. My child, I have read so many things, but I have never come across anything which could be compared with Savitri. I have studied the best works in Greek, Latin, English and of course French literature, also in German and all the great creations of the West and the East, including the great epics; but I repeat it, I have not found anywhere anything comparable with Savitri. All these literary works seems to me empty, flat, hollow, without any deep reality - apart from a few rare exceptions, and these too represent only a small fraction of what Savitri is. What grandeur, what amplitude, what reality: it is something immortal and eternal He has created. I tell you once again there is nothing like in it the whole world. Even if one puts aside the vision of the reality, that is, the essential substance which is the heart of the inspiration, and considers only the lines in themselves, one will find them unique, of the highest classical kind. What He has created is something man cannot imagine. For, everything is there, everything. It may then be said that Savitri is a revelation, it is a meditation, it is a quest of the Infinite, the Eternal. If it is read with this aspiration for Immortality, the reading itself will serve as a guide to Immortality. To read Savitri is indeed to practice Yoga, spiritual concentration; one can find there all that is needed to realise the Divine. Each step of Yoga is noted here, including the secret of all other Yogas. Surely, if one sincerely follows what is revealed here in each line one will reach finally the transformation of the Supramental Yoga. It is truly the infallible guide who never abandons you; its support is always there for him who wants to follow the path. Each verse of Savitri is like a revealed Mantra which surpasses all that man possessed by way of knowledge, and I repeat this, the words are expressed and arranged in such a way that the sonority of the rhythm leads you to the origin of sound, which is OM. My child, yes, everything is there: mysticism, occultism, philosophy, the history of evolution, the history of man, of the gods, of creation, of Nature. How the universe was created, why, for what purpose, what destiny - all is there. You can find all the answers to all your questions there. Everything is explained, even the future of man and of the evolution, all that nobody yet knows. He has described it all in beautiful and clear words so that spiritual adventurers who wish to solve the mysteries of the world may understand it more easily. But this mystery is well hidden behind the words and lines and one must rise to the required level of true consciousness to discover it. All prophesies, all that is going to come is presented with the precise and wonderful clarity. Sri Aurobindo gives you here the key to find the Truth, to discover the Consciousness, to solve the problem of what the universe is. He has also indicated how to open the door of the Inconscience so that the light may penetrate there and transform it. He has shown the path, the way to liberate oneself from the ignorance and climb up to the superconscience; each stage, each plane of consciousness, how they can be scaled, how one can cross even the barrier of death and attain immortality. You will find the whole journey in detail, and as you go forward you can discover things altogether unknown to man. That is Savitri and much more yet. It is a real experience - reading Savitri. All the secrets that man possessed, He has revealed, - as well as all that awaits him in the future; all this is found in the depth of Savitri. But one must have the knowledge to discover it all, the experience of the planes of consciousness, the experience of the Supermind, even the experience of the conquest of Death. He has noted all the stages, marked each step in order to advance integrally in the integral Yoga. All this is His own experience, and what is most surprising is that it is my own experience also. It is my sadhana which He has worked out. Each object, each event, each realisation, all the descriptions, even the colours are exactly what I saw and the words, phrases are also exactly what I heard. And all this before having read the book. I read Savitri many times afterwards, but earlier, when He was writing He used to read it to me. Every morning I used to hear Him read Savitri. During the night He would write and in the morning read it to me. And I observed something curious, that day after day the experiences He read out to me in the morning were those I had had the previous night, word by word. Yes, all the descriptions, the colours, the pictures I had seen, the words I had heard, all, all, I heard it all, put by Him into poetry, into miraculous poetry. Yes, they were exactly my experiences of the previous night which He read out to me the following morning. And it was not just one day by chance, but for days and days together. And every time I used to compare what He said with my previous experiences and they were always the same. I repeat, it was not that I had told Him my experiences and that He had noted them down afterwards, no, He knew already what I had seen. It is my experiences He has presented at length and they were His experiences also. It is, moreover, the picture of Our joint adventure into the unknown or rather into the Supermind. These are experiences lived by Him, realities, supracosmic truths. He experienced all these as one experiences joy or sorrow, physically. He walked in the darkness of inconscience, even in the neighborhood of death, endured the sufferings of perdition, and emerged from the mud, the world-misery to breathe the sovereign plenitude and enter the supreme Ananda. He crossed all these realms, went through the consequences, suffered and endured physically what one cannot imagine. Nobody till today has suffered like Him. He accepted suffering to transform suffering into the joy of union with the Supreme. It is something unique and incomparable in the history of the world. It is something that has never happened before, He is the first to have traced the path in the Unknown, so that we may be able to walk with certitude towards the Supermind. He has made the work easy for us. Savitri is His whole Yoga of transformation, and this Yoga appears now for the first time in the earth-consciousness. And I think that man is not yet ready to receive it. It is too high and too vast for him. He cannot understand it, grasp it, for it is not by the mind that one can understand Savitri. One needs spiritual experiences in order to understand and assimilate it. The farther one advances on the path of Yoga, the more does one assimilate and the better. No, it is something which will be appreciated only in the future, it is the poetry of tomorrow of which He has spoken in The Future Poetry. It is too subtle, too refined, - it is not in the mind or through the mind, it is in meditation that Savitri is revealed. And men have the audacity to compare it with the work of Virgil or Homer and to find it inferior. They do not understand, they cannot understand. What do they know? Nothing at all. And it is useless to try to make them understand. Men will know what it is, but in a distant future. It is only the new race with a new consciousness which will be able to understand. I assure you there is nothing under the blue sky to compare with Savitri. It is the mystery of mysteries. It is a *super-epic,* it is super-literature, super-poetry, super-vision, it is a super-work even if one considers the number of lines He has written. No, these human words are not adequate to describe Savitri. Yes, one needs superlatives, hyperboles to describe it. It is a hyper-epic. No, words express nothing of what Savitri is, at least I do not find them. It is of immense value - spiritual value and all other values; it is eternal in its subject, and infinite in its appeal, miraculous in its mode and power of execution; it is a unique thing, the more you come into contact with it, the higher will you be uplifted. Ah, truly it is something! It is the most beautiful thing He has left for man, the highest possible. What is it? When will man know it? When is he going to lead a life of truth? When is he going to accept this in his life? This yet remains to be seen. My child, every day you are going to read Savitri; read properly, with the right attitude, concentrating a little before opening the pages and trying to keep the mind as empty as possible, absolutely without a thought. The direct road is through the heart. I tell you, if you try to really concentrate with this aspiration you can light the flame, the psychic flame, the flame of purification in a very short time, perhaps in a few days. What you cannot do normally, you can do with the help of Savitri. Try and you will see how very different it is, how new, if you read with this attitude, with this something at the back of your consciousness; as though it were an offering to Sri Aurobindo. You know it is charged, fully charged with consciousness; as if Savitri were a being, a real guide. I tell you, whoever, wanting to practice Yoga, tries sincerely and feels the necessity for it, will be able to climb with the help of Savitri to the highest rung of the ladder of Yoga, will be able to find the secret that Savitri represents. And this without the help of a Guru. And he will be able to practice it anywhere. For him Savitri alone will be the guide, for all that he needs he will find Savitri. If he remains very quiet when before a difficulty, or when he does not know where to turn to go forward and how to overcome obstacles, for all these hesitations and incertitudes which overwhelm us at every moment, he will have the necessary indications, and the necessary concrete help. If he remains very calm, open, if he aspires sincerely, always he will be as if lead by the hand. If he has faith, the will to give himself and essential sincerity he will reach the final goal. Indeed, Savitri is something concrete, living, it is all replete, packed with consciousness, it is the supreme knowledge above all human philosophies and religions. It is the spiritual path, it is Yoga, Tapasya, Sadhana, in its single body. Savitri has an extraordinary power, it gives out vibrations for him who can receive them, the true vibrations of each stage of consciousness. It is incomparable, it is truth in its plenitude, the Truth Sri Aurobindo brought down on the earth. My child, one must try to find the secret that Savitri represents, the prophetic message Sri Aurobindo reveals there for us. This is the work before you, it is hard but it is worth the trouble. - 5 November 1967 ~ The Mother, Sweet Mother The Mother to Mona Sarkar,
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:I love mysticism - it's such fun. ~ Jerry Hall,
2:Man without mysticism is a monster. ~ Whittaker Chambers,
3:Poetry is the mysticism of mankind. ~ Henry David Thoreau,
4:Without mysticism man can achieve nothing great. ~ Andre Gide,
5:Mysticism is the art of union with Reality. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
6:we were called to an intelligent mysticism. ~ Timothy J Keller,
7:Rationality is simply mysticism misunderstood. ~ Peter Kingsley,
8:The sensual mysticism of entire vertical being. ~ e e cummings,
9:The business and method of mysticism is love. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
10:Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics. ~ Charles Peguy,
11:Honor is the mysticism of legality ~ Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel,
12:Moralism is always the cheap substitute for mysticism. ~ Richard Rohr,
13:The whole planet reeks of mysticism without revelation. ~ Dan Simmons,
14:I believe in mysticism, with an interior goal, ~ Alejandro Jodorowsky,
15:Mysticism is just tomorrow's science dreamed today. ~ Marshall McLuhan,
16:Mysticism is for all, not just for a few special people. ~ Henri Nouwen,
17:Misfortune draws people to religion and mysticism ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer,
18:Religion is to mysticism what popularization is to science ~ Henri Bergson,
19:Mysticism is the passionate longing of the soul for God. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
20:…mysticism –perhaps the main aberration of the human mind. ~ Arthur C Clarke,
21:In mysticism we deal with dreaming and the fields of perception. ~ Frederick Lenz,
22:Mysticism,” he likes to say, “is the antidote to fundamentalism. ~ Michael Pollan,
23:In mysticism, there's more of a sense of adventure, of camaraderie. ~ Frederick Lenz,
24:I took the batteries out my mysticism / And put them in my thinking cap ~ Alex Turner,
25:Mysticism is the function of a mind looking for alternatives to reality. ~ Neal Asher,
26:I started studying mythology, just on my own. Joseph Campbell, mysticism. ~ Antoine Fuqua,
27:Mysticism is the acceptance that everything cannot be logically explained. ~ Frederick Lenz,
28:Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glory. ~ Salvador Dali,
29:Mysticism was merely virility in a state of liquidation; sperm that had gone bad. ~ Pitigrilli,
30:Pseudo-mysticism seeks to evade reality; authentic mysticism wants to live it. ~ Vernon Howard,
31:Mysticism is in fact the only criticism people cannot level against my theory. ~ Albert Einstein,
32:Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science but man needs both. ~ Fritjof Capra,
33:I was raised in a heavily Catholic family. Early and consistent encounters with mysticism. ~ Nic Pizzolatto,
34:Mysticism is the mistake of an accidental and individual symbol for an universal one. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,
35:I'll tell you what: I believe mysticism is a very serious endeavor. One must be equipped for it. ~ Elie Wiesel,
36:The extreme point of mysticism, I hold it now in the real and in my body, like a toilet broom. ~ Antonin Artaud,
37:The journey of consciousness, of mysticism, is to come to know yourself and your own motivations. ~ Caroline Myss,
38:Mysticism is an eclectic mixture of various forms of self-discovery that's primarily experimental. ~ Frederick Lenz,
39:Mysticism is colourful and alluring, but if you are after the truth, science is the best path! ~ Mehmet Murat ildan,
40:Mysticism is not this or that particular cup on the table; it is the water poured into all of them. ~ Vernon Howard,
41:My religion is nature. That’s what arouses those feelings of wonder and mysticism and gratitude in me. ~ Oliver Sacks,
42:The danger in mysticism is that you push yourself too far into the nagual too soon. This is obsession. ~ Frederick Lenz,
43:Was there a logical answer, something he could accept without slipping on banana skins of mysticism? ~ Richard Matheson,
44:God created hand, head, and heart; the hand for the deed, the head for the world, the heart for mysticism. ~ Abraham Kuyper,
45:The basic urge toward mysticism is never, in the unaltered man, clear enough to be recognized for what it is. ~ Idries Shah,
46:I like to say that I practice militant mysticism. I'm really absolutely sure of some things that I don't quite know. ~ Rob Bell,
47:Sufis aim to refine human consciousness. This is Sufi mysticism: not mystification or magic, but a specific Path. ~ Idries Shah,
48:When I play sports, when I dance, when I teach mysticism, I cannot explain, even to myself, how I do what I do. ~ Frederick Lenz,
49:As long as vitalism and spiritualism are open questions so long will the gateway of science be open to mysticism. ~ Rudolf Virchow,
50:Love is a mysticism that wants to be materialized, an impossibility that our dreams always insist must be possible. ~ Fernando Pessoa,
51:I'm a seeker. I'm very much a believer in science. But I do think there are times when science and mysticism intersect. ~ Nicolas Cage,
52:Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. ~ G K Chesterton,
53:The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. ~ G K Chesterton,
54:Being, not Doing, is the first aim of the mystic; and hence should be the first interest of the student of mysticism. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
55:The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of something he cannot understand. ~ G K Chesterton,
56:The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The ~ G K Chesterton,
57:Love is a mysticism that wants to be put into practice, an impossibility that according to our dreams should be possible. ~ Fernando Pessoa,
58:In the main, and from the beginning of time, mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was logic. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
59:The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of something he cannot understand. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
60:Mysticism keeps mankind sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
61:The first is the art of mind-stilling, of emptying consciousness of every thought and form whatsoever. This is mysticism or Yoga. ~ Paul Brunton,
62:All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice. ~ Karl Marx,
63:You must go to Mahometanism, to Buddhism, to the East, to the Sufis Fakirs, to Pantheism, for the right growth of mysticism. ~ Florence Nightingale,
64:If they want me to have mysticism, okay, I’ve got it.
I’m a mystic, but only in my body,
My soul is simple and doesn’t think. ~ Alberto Caeiro,
65:Faith and force ... are corollaries: every period of history dominated by mysticism, was a period of statism, of dictatorship, of tyranny. ~ Ayn Rand,
66:The religion-builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus, so muffled them in mysticism, fancies, and falsehoods. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
67:Mysticism and the supernatural are embedded in the show - it's called 'Da Vinci's Demons' for a reason, and it's not just metaphorical. ~ David S Goyer,
68:Wit is the appearance, the external flash, of fantasy. Hence its divinity and the similarity to the wit of mysticism. ~ Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel,
69:I liked to hear him talk, skipping from one thought to another with his eclectic mix of innocence, wisdom, mild mysticism and earthiness. ~ Fabian Black,
70:Mysticism is, in essence, little more than a certain intensity and depth of feeling in regard to what is believed about the universe. ~ Bertrand Russell,
71:Mysticism is like pure science; it has no use. Mysticism is just the human longing to know… Occult is not science. Occult is just technology. ~ Sadhguru,
72:People call me a mystic, but [humans] really are chock-full of mysticism; that word covers a large area of facts which we cannot understand. ~ Carl Jung,
73:Science and mysticism are very closely related, distinguishable only by their approaches. They have identical goals … but different methods. ~ Anonymous,
74:Mysticism, poor mysticism! When it is oversimplified and underestimated, it comes down from its original sphere and stands beside religion. ~ Sri Chinmoy,
75:Mysticism conceives something transcending experience; religion seeks glimpses of a better good or a worse evil than experience can give. ~ G K Chesterton,
76:Religion, true religion, that which comes from the heart, offers Faith, and in Faith all things are possible. Such religion is pure Mysticism. ~ Anonymous,
77:Any profound view of the world is mysticism. It has, of course, to deal with life and the world, both of which are nonrational entities. ~ Albert Schweitzer,
78:What I don't like today is, to put it coarsely, the phony Hasidism, the phony mysticism. Many students say, "Teach me mysticism." It's a joke. ~ Elie Wiesel,
79:Zen is the fastest method I know of, aside from mysticism, of dissolving the fixations people have about spiritual practice and themselves. ~ Frederick Lenz,
80:I see science and mysticism as two complementary manifestations of the human mind; as its rational and intuitive faculties.
Capra ~ Katherine Ramsland,
81:Full of mysticism—most of it nonsense and all muddled up—but something in him driving him to know more than a natural man is supposed to know. ~ Tony Hillerman,
82:When you consider all saints and prophets as legitimate and no longer differentiate between religions, you have reached the stage of true mysticism. ~ Ostad Elahi,
83:Maybe it wasn't anything remotely to do with religion, mysticism or metaphilosophy after all; maybe it was more banal; maybe it was just...accounting. ~ Iain Banks,
84:'Mysticism' here means, in the literal sense, a change of sensory impressions and organ sensations into something unreal and beyond this world. ~ Wilhelm Reich,
85:Primitive peoples tried to annul death by portraying the human body--we do it by finding substitutes for the human body. Technology instead of mysticism! ~ Max Frisch,
86:There are four principal pathways that lead to enlightement: The yoga of love, the yoga of service, the yoga of knowledge, and the yoga of mysticism. ~ Frederick Lenz,
87:You can increase your capacity to absorb the mystical kundalini. I have 3 or 4 students who are on the path of mysticism, they can absorb more of it. ~ Frederick Lenz,
88:Mysticism has been in the past and probably ever will be one of the great powers of the world and it is bad scholarship to pretend the contrary. ~ William Butler Yeats,
89:Psychology as a science has its limitations, and, as the logical consequence of theology is mysticism, so the ultimate consequence of psychology is love. ~ Erich Fromm,
90:Mysticism and exaggeration go together. A mystic must not fear ridicule if he is to push all the way to the limits of humility or the limits of delight. ~ Milan Kundera,
91:In our culture we are taught to be accessible and open; it signifies a good person. In mysticism it is the opposite, people can scan you and drain you. ~ Frederick Lenz,
92:If you really want to channel all of your energy towards higher mysticism, you should realize that sex does drain a certain amount of your occult energy. ~ Frederick Lenz,
93:The secret of mysticism, therefore, is to feel, think, speak, and act at the same time, for then all that is said, or felt, or done, becomes perfect. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan,
94:The school of awareness is the school of mysticism. Mysticism is the experience of eternity, of that which lies beyond the physical phenomenal experience. ~ Frederick Lenz,
95:Mysticism occurs whenever a human being sees the separation between the natural and the supernatural, between the temporal and the eternal, as overcome. ~ Albert Schweitzer,
96:Atheism is a sort of crippled mysticism, [...] Blind nature has created all that we see, as well as all that we do not see - that's a mystical notion. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer,
97:mysticism is fundamentally irrational and that is its great power and solace. “Proving” mysticism with science is like using a slide-rule to measure wind speed. ~ Gordon White,
98:Suffering predisposes the mind to devoutness; and most young girls, prompted by instinctive tenderness, lean towards mysticism, the obscurer side of religion. ~ Honore de Balzac,
99:I've met a lot of the astronauts, which was such an incredible experience. They're all very macho guys, like fighter pilots, but then there's a mysticism about them. ~ Lily Koppel,
100:The new meaning of soul is creativity and mysticism. These will become the foundation of the new psychological type and with him or her will come the new civilization. ~ Otto Rank,
101:Magic departs from mysticism because it proudly proclaims its unshakeable intention to do noteworthy things in this world, rather than seeking merely to transcend it ~ Gordon White,
102:An undefined “mysticism with nobody there” is not enough. It does not fill the hunger in the human heart for connection with a personal God who knows and loves us. ~ Nancy R Pearcey,
103:Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a real wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
104:Mysticism is the hidden way. It is the most difficult to discuss, because it involves the exploration of perceptual states which are difficult to describe in words. ~ Frederick Lenz,
105:Scott Derrickson breathes humour into a character with a very strong identity in the '60s and '70s, that psychedelia era of Eastern mysticism meeting the West. ~ Benedict Cumberbatch,
106:Mysticism requires the notion of the unknowable, which is revealed to some and withheld from others; this divides men into those who feel guilt and those who cash in on it. ~ Ayn Rand,
107:I confess, that very different from you, I do find sometimes scientific inspiration in mysticism ... but this is counterbalanced by an immediate sense for mathematics. ~ Wolfgang Pauli,
108:...mysticism and empiricism go together in opposition to scholasticism...they base themselves on the non-linear world of experience rather than the linear world of letters. ~ Alan Watts,
109:Mysticism cuts through bullshit, and it takes you right there to the experience. Everything in your life is eventually set up as a pragmatic energy flow into the light. ~ Frederick Lenz,
110:Mysticism is the acquired immunodeficiency of regional ontologies; one catches it through unprotected thought intercourse with the stirred-up concept of the infinite. ~ Peter Sloterdijk,
111:Mysticism is concerned primarily with moving our awareness field from the beginning of the band of perception, the human band, up to the enlightened bands of perception. ~ Frederick Lenz,
112:In mysticism we have to take all the imprinting that has occurred to us and wash it. Then we need to be re-imprinted but in a different way. Without it, we don't survive. ~ Frederick Lenz,
113:All social life is essentially practical. All mysterious which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of the practice. ~ Karl Marx,
114:In my tradition, one must wait until one has learned a lot of Bible and Talmud and the Prophets to handle mysticism. This isn't instant coffee. There is no instant mysticism. ~ Elie Wiesel,
115:Mysticism is the art of union with Reality. The mystic is a person who has attained that union in greater or less degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
116:What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It's close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically. ~ Elie Wiesel,
117:What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It’s close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically. ~ Elie Wiesel,
118:It has become the fashion to talk about Mysticism, even to pose as Mystics, and—need it be said?—those who talk the most on such subjects are those who know the least. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas,
119:But the purpose of philosophy is to rationalize mysticism: not by explaining it away, but by the introduction of novel verbal characterizations, rationally coordinated. ~ Alfred North Whitehead,
120:I believe that there is a certain amount of mysticism that all women should have, that you should never tell all your secrets, that you should never tell everybody all about you. ~ Stevie Nicks,
121:I light candles. I meditate. And I don't believe in anything. By default I move simultaneously towards mysticism and atheism. It's not something that's ever going to get fixed. ~ Vanessa Veselka,
122:I searched through rebellion, drugs, diet, mysticism, religion, intellectualism and much more, only to begin to find that truth is basically simple and feels good, clear and right. ~ Chick Corea,
123:In mysticism we reorder those awarenesses. We combine and recombine them endlessly. We assemble them so we can experience aspects of the universe that most people will never know. ~ Frederick Lenz,
124:A time comes when it isn't enough to read about Buddha, we wish to have that happen to ourselves. That's when we move from the exoteric to the esoteric, from religion to mysticism. ~ Frederick Lenz,
125:In order to pass into other dimensions you need to really understand what is out there. A teacher of mysticism is able to explain how to deal with these other worlds and universes. ~ Frederick Lenz,
126:What I believe in touches many aspects of religious and spiritual thought. Mainly I'm influenced and inspired by the eastern yogi's aspect of mysticism, Which is, I think, the future. ~ Dave Davies,
127:Mysticism: to dwell on the unseen, to withdraw ourselves from the things of sense into communion with God - to endeavour to partake of the Divine nature; that is, of Holiness. ~ Florence Nightingale,
128:I was a new devotee of Eastern mysticism and even though I did not join that particular group, I could well have done. They seemed a bit extreme but I regarded myself as not quite ready. ~ Mary Garden,
129:I teach Zen, tantric mysticism, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, Tibetan mysticism, occultism and psychic development. I also teach poetry and literature, film and many other different things. ~ Frederick Lenz,
130:Think of God and not religion, of ecstasy and not mysticism. The difference between the theoretician of faith and the believer is as great as between the psychiatrist and the psychotic. ~ Emil M Cioran,
131:Think of God and not religion, of ecstasy and not mysticism. The difference between the theoretician of faith and the believer is as great as between the psychiatrist and the psychotic. ~ Emile M Cioran,
132:As a dialectical teacher, I have had many lives where I have taught Zen and Tibetan Buddhism and mysticism. I teach in many different modalites. But the theme that unites them - is love. ~ Frederick Lenz,
133:The initial revelation of any monastery: everything is nothing. Thus begin all mysticisms. It is less than one step from nothing to God, for God is the positive expression of nothingness. ~ Emil M Cioran,
134:The exoteric Islam doesn't interest me more than any other religion. But the mysticism interests me. It's like Hinduism.
[Frithjof Schuon: Messenger of the Perennialist Philosophy DVD] ~ Frithjof Schuon,
135:Mysticism is the study of power, its use, and its abuse. At every moment you are getting stronger or you are growing weaker. At every moment your attention field is increasing or decreasing. ~ Frederick Lenz,
136:Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism, against superstition, against religion misapplied to where it has no business being. ~ Carl Sagan,
137:Mysticism joins and unites; reason divides and separates. People crave belonging more than understanding. Hence the prominent role of mysticism, and the limited role of reason in human affairs. ~ Thomas Szasz,
138:Good and bad, and even the higher good that mysticism finds everywhere, are the reflections of our own emotions on other things, not part of the substance of things as they are in themselves. ~ Bertrand Russell,
139:Any cynicism I possessed has rather had its legs cut out from under it these past few days, but the idea of focusing magical power is beginning to seem a little too New Age mysticism to be real to me. ~ Jonathan Wood,
140:It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
141:I could never be French, I could never become German - I shall always remain American - the essence which is in me is American mysticism just as Davies declared it when he saw those first landscapes. ~ Marsden Hartley,
142:I don't believe in astrology. It's a lot of crap. I just think that's another thing you should throw out the window. Mysticism. Cheap. It's amazing that people still hang on to that after all these years. ~ Mick Jagger,
143:Philosophy is a slow process of logic and logical discourse: A bringing B bringing C and so forth. In mysticism you can jump from A to Z. But the ultimate objective is the same. It's knowledge. It's truth. ~ Elie Wiesel,
144:Mystics understand the roots of the Tao but not its branches; scientists understand its branches but not its roots. Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science; but man needs both. ~ Fritjof Capra,
145:Worshiping the Devil is no more insane than worshiping God...It is precisely at the moment when positivism is at its high-water mark that mysticism stirs into life and the follies of occultism begin. ~ Joris Karl Huysmans,
146:Both science and mysticism describe a force that connects everything together and gives us the power to influence how matter behaves—and reality itself—simply through the way we perceive the world around us. ~ Gregg Braden,
147:The scientific revolution was, in many ways, a by-product of mysticism and magic. In fact, once the tangled origins of modern science are unravelled, it is doubtful whether a ‘scientific revolution’ occurred. ~ John N Gray,
148:I don't think there is any incompatibility between science and mysticism . . . Immanent religion is the only form of religion in which there is no conflict at all, that I can see, between science and religion. ~ Aldous Huxley,
149:I had been a kind of natural mystic my whole life, growing up there in Tennessee next to the river. Somehow, that was important for my consciousness. I still don't study [mysticism]. I just wait for experiences. ~ Coleman Barks,
150:Suzuki also frequently quotes a sentence of Eckhart’s: “The eye wherein I see God is the same eye wherein God sees me” (Suzuki, Mysticism: East and West, p. 50) as an exact expression of what Zen means by Prajna. ~ Thomas Merton,
151:Mysticism conceives something transcending experience; religion seeks glimpses of a better good or a worse evil than experience can give. Reincarnation need only extend experiences in the sense of repeating them. ~ G K Chesterton,
152:The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. ~ G K Chesterton,
153:Herbert Read thought we would need a mystical theory to connect beauty and function. Well, it took one hundred years, but today we have that theory, one based in biology, neuroscience, and psychology, not mysticism. ~ Donald A Norman,
154:Mysticism is the most scientific form of religion, for it bases itself, as does all science, on experience and experiment—experiment being only a specialised form of experience, devised either to discover or to verify. ~ Annie Besant,
155:The cross. He held one in his hand, gold and shiny in the morning sun. This, too, drove the vampires away.
Why? Was there a logical answer, something he could accept without slipping on banana skins of mysticism? ~ Richard Matheson,
156:I am suspicious - first of all, in myself - of adopted mysticisms of glib spirituality, above all of white people's tendency to ... vampirize American Indian, or African, or Asian, or other 'exotic' ways of understanding. ~ Adrienne Rich,
157:I read all of Rider Haggard's books. For me he had the romance of Africa with a little bit of mysticism. I'm delighted to be looked on as his heir and be categorised as an adventure novelist because that's exactly what I am. ~ Wilbur Smith,
158:It's the ones that deal with the inner fear, the unknown realms and the mysticisms that are scary. You had that in the Carpenter version, and you have that in this prequel. It's paying homage, very much, to that. ~ Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje,
159:Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. ~ Richard Dawkins,
160:As an inspiration to the author, I do not think the cat can be over-estimated. He suggests so much grace, power, beauty, motion, mysticism. I do not wonder that many writers love cats; I am only surprised that all do not. ~ Carl Van Vechten,
161:Cant you understand that romanticism is no more an enemy of science than mysticism is? In fact, romanticism and science are good for each other. The scientist keeps the romantic honest and the romantic keeps the scientist human. ~ Tom Robbins,
162:Religious mysticism is intellectual garbage. It’s a vestige of the old superstitious Dark Ages when nobody knew anything...It is one of those delusions that isn’t called insane only because there are so many people involved. ~ Robert M Pirsig,
163:Why is mysticism so important in our time? It is clear that mystics place a great emphasis on experience and that is what the postsecular seeks. Mysticism is the felt, inward experience of spiritual life. ~ David Tacey, The Post-Secular Sacred,
164:The austere empiricism and scholarly imagination of the Warburg style were the very antithesis of the brutal anti-intellectualism and vulgar mysticism threatening to barbarize German culture in the 1920s; this was Weimar at its best. ~ Peter Gay,
165:Dragons are more dangerous, and a good deal commoner, than bears. Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a real wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
166:I don't know what to make of the Muslim mystics, especially those who have come to be known as the Sufis. What do they experience in their mystic experiences? Could they have encountered the same God we do in our Christian mysticism? ~ Tony Campolo,
167:Mysticism—Magic and Yoga—is the means, therefore, to a new universal life, richer, greater and more full of resource than ever before, as free as sunlight, as gracious as the unfolding of a rose. It is for man (and woman) to take. ~ Israel Regardie,
168:For what is Mysticism? It is not the attempt to draw near to God, not by rites or ceremonies, but by inward disposition? Is it not merely a hard word for 'The Kingdom of Heaven is within'? Heaven is neither a place nor a time. ~ Florence Nightingale,
169:Spaniards and Americans are not like Europeans, they are not like Orientals, they have something in common, that is they do not need religion or mysticism not to believe in reality as all the world knows it, not even when they see it. ~ Gertrude Stein,
170:[william] Burroughs, incidentally, took up the slogan that we are "Here to go", which contradicts the tendency in Eastern mysticism to advocate staying where you are because there's nowhere to go anyway. I feel conflicted on this one. ~ Quentin S Crisp,
171:What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. ~ Albert Einstein,
172:Love is the essence of all religion, mysticism, and philosophy, and for the one who has learned this, love fulfills the purpose of religion, ethics, and philosophy, and the lover is raised above all diversities of faiths and beliefs. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan,
173:One idea I explore in my stand-up show is whether, if you try looking at the universe rationally and avoid coping mechanisms like mysticism or religion, you can still be happy knowing you are going to die after a brief time on this spinning ball. ~ Robin Ince,
174:That is beautiful mysticism, it is a—”
“Please not to call it by any name,” said Dorothea, putting out her hands entreatingly. “You will say it is Persian, or something geographical. It is my life. I have found it out and cannot part with it. ~ George Eliot,
175:On any one street people could pray to a variety of deities, Zeus and Jupiter, Isis and Osiris, the Jewish god Yahweh, the Persian god Mithra, or Serapis, a god the Ptolemies introduced to bind themselves to the Egyptians and their mysticism. ~ Gwendolyn Womack,
176:The only thing that has kept the race of men from the mad extremes of the convent and the pirate-galley, the night-club and the lethal chamber, has been mysticism - the belief that logic is misleading, and that things are not what they seem. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
177:Whereas I reject mysticism in its negation of scientific criteria for the furtherance of knowledge, I believe that within an expanded science and mathematics there will be found sufficient mystery ultimately to accommodate even the mystery of mind. ~ Roger Penrose,
178:Hasidim in the twentieth century seemed to know little of the mysticism, the ecstasy, the melancholy and the joy of the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples. Instead, it regressed to the heavy-handedness and the rigidity that Hasidism had come to eradicate. ~ Shulem Deen,
179:I'm not trying to sign people up to a creed, I'm much more interested in the people that disagree. These ideas are powerful but this isn't mysticism in the ordinary sense to be protected by mumblings about faith and all that. This is the real thing. ~ Terence McKenna,
180:Capitalism, gaudy and greedy, has been inherent in western aesthetics from ancient Egypt on. It is the mysticism and glamour of things , which take on a personality of their own. As an economic system, it is in the Darwinian line of Sade, not Rousseau. ~ Camille Paglia,
181:We are fighting for the distinction between sacrifice and mysticism, between energy and violence, between strength and cruelty, for that even finer distinction between the true and the false, between the man of the future and the cowardly gods you revere. ~ Albert Camus,
182:That is a beautiful mysticism - it is a - '
'Please not to call it by any name,' said Dorothea, putting out her hands entreatingly. 'You will say it is Persian, or something else geographical. It is my life. I have found it out, and cannot part with it. ~ George Eliot,
183:If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. ~ Carl Sagan,
184:NUREMBERG, September 5 I’m beginning to comprehend, I think, some of the reasons for Hitler’s astounding success. Borrowing a chapter from the Roman church, he is restoring pageantry and colour and mysticism to the drab lives of twentieth-century Germans. ~ William L Shirer,
185:I love my nation, I cannot see you degraded, weakened any more than you are now. Therefore I am bound for your sake and for truth's to cry, "Hold!" and to raise my voice against this degradation of my race. Give up these weakening mysticism and be strong. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
186:My music, it breathes. It's the mysticism of sound. I'm a sound seeker, and I'm enthralled with it, by what it can do to change the molecules and uplift people. They feel something when we play. I can't take authorship for that. I can take that I'm in service. ~ Charles Lloyd,
187:To meet God or Medusa face to face, even if it means risking everything human in myself. I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and yet somehow survives still intact individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock. ~ Edward Abbey,
188:Mystery and mysticism come from the same root. So they are associated with a sense of darkness, with going into a realm where you don't see very clearly, where things are more obscure and will remain obscure. It is also a realm of silence rather than wordy thought. ~ K Armstrong,
189:There is a single main definition of the object of all magical Ritual. It is the uniting of the Microcosm with the Macrocosm. The Supreme and Complete Ritual is therefore the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel; or, in the language of Mysticism, Union with God. ~ Aleister Crowley,
190:Likewise, if we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. ~ Carl Sagan,
191:The Christian mystic therefore is one for whom God and Christ are not merely objects of belief, but living facts experimentally known first hand; and mysticism for him becomes, in so far as he responds to its demands, a life based on this conscious communion with God ~ Carl McColman,
192:We are at home here. Alienation is unnecessary. Contact with reality at a deep level is part of the Christian's life. He enters into reality, rather than escaping from it. The flight from reality is a mark of Eastern and classical mysticism, not of Christianity. ~ Hans Rookmaaker,
193:One of the most important things to do in a church that wants to nurture and administrate prophetic ministry is to dial down the mysticism and the carnal desire to look superspiritual. We need to keep our eyes off people and remain focused on Jesus and His purpose for us. ~ Mike Bickle,
194:Few are trained in monasticism/ascetic practices & R not prepared to engage in traditional forms of mysticism. But we are hungry to seek such experiences & our desperation to connect with forces beyond the self can & does lead us to the doorway of mystical encounters ~ David Tacey,
195:I avoid the mysticism of my culture. My people know there is a true mechanism that runs through us. Stars were people in our continuum. Mountains were stories before they were mountains. Things were created by story. The words were conjurers, and ideas were our mothers. ~ Terese Marie Mailhot,
196:Racial history is therefore natural history and the mysticism of the soul at one and the same time; but the history of the religion of the blood, conversely, is the great world story of the rise and downfall of peoples, their heroes and thinkers, their inventors and artists. ~ Alfred Rosenberg,
197:The religion of the world, in its right proportions, is not divided into fine shades of mysticism or more or less rational forms of mythology. It is divided by the line between the men who are bringing that message and the men who have not yet heard it, or cannot yet believe it. ~ G K Chesterton,
198:Sufism is not a religion or a philosophy, it is neither deism nor atheism, nor is it a moral, nor a special kind of mysticism, being free from the usual religious sectarianism. If ever it could be called a religion, it would only be as a religion of love, harmony, and beauty. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan,
199:Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished. ~ Tom Robbins,
200:Healing does not come through intense affirmation of divinity, or by simply pouring out love and the expression of a vague mysticism.It comes through mastering an exact science of contact, impression, of invocation plus an understanding of the subtle apparatus of the etheric vehicle. ~ Alice Bailey,
201:In the first place, the ideas of people who are not intellectually free are always in a muddle, and it's extremely difficult to talk to them; and, secondly, they usually love no one, and have nothing to do with women, and their mysticism has an unpleasant effect on sensitive people. I ~ Anton Chekhov,
other than what you have experienced seems absurd. You have had certain visions. Before
them, did not mysticism sound ridiculous? What you've been given has released you from
prison, ten times! And won't this empty desert freedom you feel now someday be confining? ~ Rumi,
203:Briefly and generally stated, mystical theology or Christian mysticism seeks to describe an experienced, direct, non-abstract, unmediated, loving knowing of God, a knowing or seeing so direct as to be called union with God.” Such an experience of God came through “contemplation”—observing ~ Daryl Aaron,
204:The Essentials of Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill: “Mystics know that possessions dissipate the energy which they need for other and more real things; that they must give up ownership, the verb ‘to have,’ if they are to attain the freedom which they seek, and the fullness of the verb ‘to be. ~ Ian Morgan Cron,
205:All true religion, all true morality, all true mysticism have but one object, and that is to act on humanity, collective and individual, in such a manner that it shall correspond efficiently with the great law of development, and co-operate consciously therewith to achieve the end of development. ~ A E Waite,
206:She was carrying an armful of Bibles for her class, and such was her view of life that events which produced heartache in others wrought beatific smiles upon her - an enviable result, although, in the opinion of Angel, it was obtained by a curiously unnatural sacrifice of humanity to mysticism. ~ Thomas Hardy,
207:Unless we proceed cautiously, there might well arise a few generations of mystics who conceive of the orgone metaphysically, divorced from non-living nature and who do not comprehend it from the standpoint of natural science. And it seems to me that we have more than enough mysticism as it is. ~ Wilhelm Reich,
208:To hint to unimaginative people of a horror beyond all human conception—a horror of houses and blocks and cities leprous and cancerous with evil dragged from elder worlds—would be merely to invite a padded cell instead of restful rustication, and Malone was a man of sense despite his mysticism. ~ H P Lovecraft,
209:The tendency to believe vague statements designed to appeal to just about anyone is called the Forer effect, and psychologists point to this phenomenon to explain why people fall for pseudoscience like biorhythms, iridology, and phrenology, or mysticism like astrology, numerology, and tarot cards. ~ David McRaney,
210:The romance of militancy dominated our predecessors; now serious ideas ousted this way of thinking. No more mysticism! No more blind faith! Now realism was our mode of thinking. At times of terrible necessity, we can resort to extreme methods, but violence produces opposite results in mass movements. ~ Bhagat Singh,
211:If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. Figuring out a prudent balance takes wisdom. ~ Carl Sagan,
212:The point behind mysticism is not to dazzle the mind with ecstatic wonders or heady feelings, but to foster real and lasting changes, for the purpose of becoming more like Christ, which is to say, more compassionate, more forgiving, more committed to serving others and making the world a better place. ~ Carl McColman,
213:Bog-lights, vapors of mysticism, psychic Gnosticisms, veils and tissues of words, gibbering subjectivisms, gropings and maunderings, ontological fantasies, pan-psychic hallucinations—this is the stuff, the phantasms of hope, that fills your book shelves.
Come. Your glass is empty. Fill and forget. ~ Jack London,
214:Now that the sadhvi woman is here, perhaps we could let her decide.”
No one would argue with that. Even Gauri bowed her head deferentially. I shifted my feet and attempted some measure of mysticism and authority.
“Does your stomach ail you?” whispered Kamala.
My attempt clearly failed. ~ Roshani Chokshi,
215:Beyond these models of reconciliation, a theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic union with God, which seem at odds with their own spiritual traditions but have much in common with each other. ~ Tony Campolo,
216:A mystic doesn’t say “I believe.” They say “I know.” A true mystic will ironically speak with that self-confidence but at the same time with a kind of humility. So when you see that combination of calm self-confidence, certitude, and humility all at the same time you have the basis for mysticism in general. ~ Richard Rohr,
217:I believe in mysticism, with an interior goal, and you are your own temple and your own priest. I dont believe anymore in religions, because you see today there are religious wars, prejudice, false morals, and the woman is despised. Religion is too old now; its from another century, its not for today. ~ Alejandro Jodorowsky,
218:In reality, the apparent 'objectivity' of modern architecture is merely a mysticism in reverse, a congealed sentimentality disguised as objectivity; moreover one has seen often enough just how quickly this attitude is converted, in its protagonists, into the most changeable and arbitrary of subjectivisms. ~ Titus Burckhardt,
219:Many of my fellow atheists consider all talk of 'spirituality' or 'mysticism' to be synonymous with mental illness, conscious fraud, or self-deception. I have argued elsewhere that this is a problem - because millions of people have had experiences for which 'spiritual' and 'mystical' seem the only terms available. ~ Sam Harris,
220:No word in our language - not even "Socialism" - has been employed more loosely than "Mysticism." The history of the word begins in close connexion with the Greek mysteries. A mystic is one who has been, or is being, initiated into some esoteric knowledge of Divine things, about which he must keep his mouth shut. ~ William Ralph Inge,
221:The historic transition from Novice to Proficient to Adept was said to be accomplished virtually overnight by the progression from marijuana to peyote to lysergic acid. Instant mysticism had arrived. Before the court of law, hippies demanded freedom for LSD the way early Christians demanded freedom for the Eucharist. ~ William Everson,
222:Mysticism is: a. An advanced state of inner enlightenment. b. Union with Reality. c. A state of genuinely satisfying success. d. Insight into an entirely new world of living. e. An intuitive grasp of Truth, above and beyond intellectual reasoning. f. A personal experience, in which we are happy and healthy human beings. ~ Vernon Howard,
223:if I think (and I do) that Deepak Chopra talks nonsense when he tells people about quantum mechanical elixirs of youth, I would first have to be an expert in quantum mysticism. But the problem is that quantum mysticism is (I think) quackery, and that therefore there is no such thing as an “expert” on quantum mysticism. ~ Massimo Pigliucci,
224:If we disregard the political component of Islam and accept religious mysticism, we silently admit dependence and slavery. On the contrary, if we ignore the religious component, we cease to be any moral force. Does it matter if an imperialism is called British, German, or Islamic if it means only a naked power over people and things? ~ Alija Izetbegovi,
225:We admire Sufism in the West for its tolerance, mysticism, and poetry, its ecstatic rituals, its music, even. But it’s also, especially in rural parts, a religion that bears more than a casual resemblance to late medieval Catholicism. It encourages the veneration of saint-like figures at special shrines and their celebration at festivities. ~ Dan Eaton,
226:From Pythagoras (whether by way of Socrates or not) Plato derived the Orphic elements in his philosophy: the religious trend, the belief in immortality, the other-worldliness, the priestly tone, and all that is involved in the simile of the cave; also his respect for mathematics, and his intimate intermingling of intellect and mysticism. ~ Bertrand Russell,
227:Mountaineering is a complex and unique way of life, interweaving elements of sport, art and mysticism. Success or failure depends on the ebb and flow of immense inspiration. Detecting a single rule governing this energy is difficult - it arises and vanishes like the urge to dance and remains as mysterious as the phenomenon of life itself. ~ Wojciech Kurtyka,
228:I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. ~ Albert Einstein,
229:I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. ~ Richard Dawkins,
230:Eastern mysticism embraced both the tangible and the intangible, through the yin and yang of duality. The god Shiva was both the creator and the destroyer of worlds; indeed, one aspect of the deity Nishkala Shiva was the Shiva “without parts”—the void. Through their ability to divorce numerals from physical reality, the Indians invented algebra. ~ Chris Anderson,
231:The God of Christianity does not erase our individual identity but actually affirms it, calling us to become ever more fully the unique individuals we were created to be. Contrary to Eastern mysticism, the goal is not to suppress our desires, but to direct our desires to what truly satisfies—to a passionate love relationship with the ultimate Person. ~ Nancy R Pearcey,
232:Mysticism has been in the past and probably ever will be one of the great powers of the world, and it is bad scholarship to pretend the contrary. You may argue against it but you should no more treat it with disrespect than a perfectly cultivated writer would treat (say) the Catholic Church or the Church of Luther no matter how much he disliked them. ~ William Butler Yeats,
233:For everything that exists I feel a visual affection, an intellectual fondness – nothing in the heart. I have faith in nothing, hope in nothing, charity for nothing. I feel only horror and nausea for the sincere souls of all sincerities and the mystics of all mysticisms, or rather, for the sincerities of all sincere souls and the mysticisms of all mystics. ~ Fernando Pessoa,
234:The Master persistently warned against the attempt to encompass Reality in a concept or a name. A scholar in mysticism once asked, "When you speak of BEING, sir, is it eternal, transcendent being you speak of, or transient, contingent being?" The Master closed his eyes in thought. Then he opened them, put on his most disarming expression, and said, "Yes!" ~ Anthony de Mello,
235:The fact that modern physics, the manifestation of an extreme specialization of the rational mind, is now making contact with mysticism, the essence of religion and manifestation of an extreme specialization of the intuitive mind, shows very beautifully the unity and complementary nature of the rational and intuitive modes of consciousness; of the yang and the yin. ~ Fritjof Capra,
236:The Middle Ages were an era of mysticism, ruled by blind faith and blind obedience to the dogma that faith is superior to reason. The Renaissance was specifically the rebirth of reason, the liberation of man's mind, the triumph of rationality over mysticism - a faltering, incomplete, but impassioned triumph that led to the birth of science, of individualism, of freedom. ~ Ayn Rand,
237:Mysticism, according to its historical and psychological definitions, is the direct intuition or experience of God; and a mystic is a person who has, to a greater or less degree, such a direct experience -- one whose religion and life are centered, not merely on an accepted belief or practice, but on that which the person regards as first hand personal knowledge. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
238:[P]rescientific people... could never guess the nature of physical reality beyond the tiny sphere attainable by unaided common sense. Nothing else ever worked, no exercise from myth, revelation, art, trance, or any other conceivable means; and notwithstanding the emotional satisfaction it gives, mysticism, the strongest prescientific probe in the unknown, has yielded zero. ~ E O Wilson,
239:Father Egan continues to write about everything from the injustice of current wars to the past and future of Catholic mysticism.
In the Catholic Reporter, he publishes an article titled "Celibacy, a Vague Old Cross on Priestly Backs", and explains that it started "only in 1139 when the church no longer wanted to be financially responsible for the children of priests. ~ Gloria Steinem,
240:How deluded we sometimes are by the clear notions we get out of books. They make us think that we really understand things of which we have no practical knowledge at all. I remember how learnedly and enthusiastically I could talk for hours about mysticism and the experimental knowledge of God, and all the while I was stoking the fires of the argument with Scotch and soda. ~ Thomas Merton,
241:In western civilization, the period ruled by mysticism is known as the 'Dark Ages' and the 'Middle Ages'. I will assume that you know the nature of that period and the state of human existence in those ages. The Renaissance broke the rules of the mystics. "Renaissance" means the "rebirth". Few people today will care to remind you that it was a rebirth of reason - of man's mind. ~ Ayn Rand,
242:Healthy mysticism praises acts of letting go, of being emptied, of getting in touch with the space inside and expanding this until it merges with the space outside. Space meeting space; empty pouring into empty. Births happen from that encounter with emptiness, nothingness. . . . Let us not fight emptiness and nothingness, but allow it to penetrate us even as we penetrate it. ~ Matthew Fox,
243:Maybe with chastened humility we could ask if cultures who have lived in close harmony with creation for thousands of years can teach us how to become custodians instead of conquistadors, participants instead of plunderers. For in plundering the planet we have pillaged our souls, leaving us with an emptiness that systematic theology alone cannot fill. So mysticism beckons. We ~ Brian Zahnd,
244:The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ leveled to every understanding, and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticism of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from it's indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power and pre-eminence. ~ Thomas Jefferson,
245:Catholicism is not ritualism; it may in the future be fighting some sort of superstitious and idolatrous exaggeration of ritual. Catholicism is not asceticism; it has again and again in the past repressed fanatical and cruel exaggerations of asceticism. Catholicism is not mere mysticism; it is even now defending human reason against the mere mysticism of the Pragmatists. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
246:In the dominant Western religious system, the love of God is essentially the same as the belief in God, in God’s existence, God’s justice, God’s love. The love of God is essentially a thought experience. In the Eastern religions and in mysticism, the love of God is an intense feeling experience of oneness, inseparably linked with the expression of this love in every act of living. ~ Erich Fromm,
247:Bonaventure’s theology is never about trying to placate a distant or angry God, earn forgiveness, or find some abstract theory of justification. He is all cosmic optimism and hope! Once it lost this kind of mysticism, Christianity became preoccupied with fear, unworthiness, and guilt much more than being included in—and delighting in—an all-pervasive plan that is already in place. ~ Richard Rohr,
248:My education was a huge influence. I trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute at Tisch, which is a huge foundation for young actors. They teach you their methods, and give you the sense that acting is much more tangible than most people think. I think there's a mysticism of what acting is, in the fact that it's this ungraspable, spur-of-the-moment thing that nobody can understand. ~ Roberto Aguire,
249:Through the discovery of Buchner, Biology was relieved of another fragment of mysticism. The splitting up of sugar into CO2 and alcohol is no more the effect of a 'vital principle' than the splitting up of cane sugar by invertase. The history of this problem is instructive, as it warns us against considering problems as beyond our reach because they have not yet found their solution. ~ Jacques Loeb,
250:The mystery of sound is mysticism; the harmony of life is religion. The knowledge of vibrations is metaphysics, the analysis of atoms is science, and their harmonious grouping is art. The rhythm of form is poetry, and the rhythm of sound is music. This shows that music is the art of arts and the science of allsciences; and it contains the fountain of all knowledge within itself. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan,
251:There is little mysticism without an element of transcendence, and conversely, there is no transcendence without a certain degree of egocentrism. It may be that the genesis of these experiences is to be sought in the unique situation of the very young child in relation to adults. The theory of the filial origin of the religious sense seems to us singularly convincing in this connection. ~ Jean Piaget,
252:We become pitiable and ridiculous when we imbibe an unreasoned mysticism in our life without any natural or substantial basis. People like us, who are proud to be revolutionary in every sense, should always be prepared to bear all the difficulties, anxieties, pain and suffering which we invite upon ourselves by the struggles initiated by us and for which we call ourselves revolutionary. ~ Bhagat Singh,
253:Moreover, it is not entirely without significance that true love was, in Platonic philosophy -- but also, as you know, in a whole sector, a whole domain of Christian spirituality and mysticism -- the form par excellence of the true life. Since Platonism, true love and the true life have traditionally belonged together, and to a large extend Christian Platonism will take up this theme. ~ Michel Foucault,
254:Mysticism on this planet evolved only in those places where people learned the technology of being ecstatic by their own nature. This is because only when you are blissful will you be in the highest state of receptivity, and truly willing to explore all aspects of life. Otherwise, you would not dare, because if keeping yourself pleasant is a big challenge, you can’t take on other challenges. ~ Sadhguru,
255:Science has been abused for every conceivable purpose under the sun. Which is all the more reason to deliver the power it grants to as many people as possible, as rapidly as possible, instead of leaving it in the hands of a few. It is not a reason to retreat into fantasy – to declare: knowledge is a cultural artifact, nothing is universally true, only mysticism and obfuscation and ignorance will save us. ~ Greg Egan,
256:The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. ~ Gilbert K Chesterton,
257:There's something nearly mystical about certain words and phrases that float through our lives. It's computer mysticism. Words that are computer generated to be used on products that might be sold anywhere from Japan to Denmark - words devised to be pronounceable in a hundred languages. And when you detach one of these words from the product it was designed to serve, the words acquires a chantlike quality. ~ Don DeLillo,
258:I guess I will say, going back to the Judaism questions, there are mental reflexes or patterns that I think of as Jewish in my own feelings about mysticism and theology.Franz Kafka is someone I very much revere. If I believed in holy texts I'd go to him as a touchstone. Not that I read Kafka all the time at this point. In a way, this is what I most want to talk about and it's the hardest to talk about. ~ Jonathan Raymond,
259:Fantasy is not antirational, but pararational; not realistic but surrealistic, a heightening of reality. In Freud's terminology, it employs primary not secondary process thinking. It employs archetypes which, as Jung warned us, are dangerous things. Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
260:Juanita refused to analyze this process, insisted that it was something ineffable, something you couldn't explain with words. A radical, rosary-toting Catholic, she has no problem with that kind of thing. But the bitheads didn't like it. Said it was irrational mysticism. So she quit and took a job with some Nipponese company. They don't have any problem with irrational mysticism as long as it makes money. ~ Neal Stephenson,
261:emblem. The meditator would place his head between his knees and whisper hymns and repeat the name of a magic emblem. Repetition of the magic emblem was used as the object to dwell upon and would chase away distractions and cause the “demons and hostile angels to flight.” A state of ecstasy was reached, which Gershom G. Scholem, a scholar of Jewish mysticism, has described as “an attitude of deep self-oblivion. ~ Herbert Benson,
262:The East is unfamiliar with those confessions, memoirs, and autobiographies so beloved in the West. There is a clear difference in tonality. One's gaze never lingers on the suffering humanity of Christ, but penetrates behind the kenotic veil. To the West's mysticism of the Cross and its veneration of the Sacred Heart corresponds the eastern mysticism of the sealed tomb, from which eternal life eternal wells up. ~ Paul Evdokimov,
263:There's a principle in Jewish mysticism called tikkun olam, it means, literally, world repair. The idea is that God created the world by containing divine light in vessels, some of which shattered and got scattered all over. It's the job of humanity to help God by finding and releasing those shards of light - through good deeds and acts. Every time we do, God becomes more perfect - and we become a little more like God. ~ Jodi Picoult,
264:All one night we sat, with a friend of his, in a big dark roadhouse outside of Philadelphia, arguing and arguing about mysticism, and smoking more and more cigarettes and gradually getting drunk. Eventually, filled with enthusiasm for the purity of heart which begets the vision of God, I went on with them into the city, after the closing of the bars, to a big speak-easy where we completed the work of getting plastered. ~ Thomas Merton,
265:Thanks to you, the leaders of the University branch—Masters Greenleaf and Smith—are safely out of harm’s way. As to the Northern branch—well, my agent currently describes it as an association of young men, young and unmarried, who gather in the woods from time to time to celebrate elaborate rituals that draw equally from local folklore and a youthful taste for mysticism and indiscriminate copulation. We’re watching them closely. ~ Ellen Kushner,
266:The three values which men had held for centuries and which have now collapsed are: mysticism, collectivism, altruism. Mysticism — as a cultural power — died at the time of the Renaissance. Collectivism — as a political ideal — died in World War II. As to altruism — it has never been alive. It is the poison of death in the blood of Western civilization, and men survived it only to the extent to which they neither believed nor practiced it. ~ Ayn Rand,
267:We got through all of Genesis and part of Exodus before I left. One of the main things I was taught from this was not to begin a sentence with And. I pointed out that most sentences in the Bible began with And, but I was told that English had changed since the time of King James. In that case, I argued, why make us read the Bible? But it was in vain. Robert Graves was very keen on the symbolism and mysticism in the Bible at that time. ~ Stephen Hawking,
268:California was a great place to get over mysticism in the 1960s and 1970s. Such an endless parade of gurus and mystics came through, peddling their wares, that they canceled each other out. They couldn't compete with the drugs, and the drugs canceled each other out as well. Fervent visions, shared to excess, became clanking clichés. All that was left was daily reality, with its endless negotiation, devoid of absolutes, but alive with surprises. ~ Stewart Brand,
269:Mysticism and revolution are two aspects of the same attempt to bring about radical change. Mystics cannot prevent themselves from becoming social critics, since in self-reflection they will discover the roots of a sick society. Similarly, revolutionaries cannot avoid facing their own human condition, since in the midst of their struggle for a new world they will find that they are also fighting their own reactionary fears and false ambitions. ~ Henri J M Nouwen,
270:We got through all of Genesis and part of Exodus before I left. One of the main things I learned from this exercise was not to begin a sentence with "And." When I pointed out that most sentences in the Bible began with "And," I was told that English had changed since the time of King James. In that case, I argued, why make us read the Bible? But it was in vain. Robert Graves at that time was very keen on the symbolism and mysticism in the Bible. ~ Stephen Hawking,
271:Religion, mysticism and magic all spring from the same basic 'feeling' about the universe: a sudden feeling of meaning, which human beings sometimes 'pick up' accidentally, as your radio might pick up some unknown station. Poets feel that we are cut off from meaning by a thick, lead wall, and that sometimes for no reason we can understand the wall seems to vanish and we are suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of the infinite interestingness of things. ~ Colin Wilson,
272:In mysticism, knowledge cannot be separated from a certain way of life which becomes its living manifestation. To acquire mystical knowledge means to undergo a transformation; one could even say that the knowledge is the transformation. Scientific knowledge, on the other hand, can often stay abstract and theoretical. Thus most of today’s physicists do not seem to realize the philosophical, cultural and spiritual implications of their theories. ~ Lois McMaster Bujold,
273:The strongest wish of a vast number of earnest men and women to-day is for a basis of religious belief which shall rest, not upon tradition or external authority or historical evidence, but upon the ascertainable facts of human experience. The craving for immediacy, which we have seen to be characteristic of all mysticism, now takes the form of a desire to establish the validity of the God-consciousness as a normal part of the healthy inner life. ~ William Ralph Inge,
274:The effects of this change were momentous. Truth was no longer to be ascertained by consulting authority, but by inward meditation. There was a tendency, quickly developed, towards anarchism in politics, and, in religion, towards mysticism, which had always fitted with difficulty into the framework of Catholic orthodoxy. There came to be not one Protestantism, but a multitude of sects; not one philosophy opposed to scholasticism, but as many as there ~ Bertrand Russell,
275:I'm painfully aware that the experts in fields like religion and spirituality sometimes feel that bringing mysticism down so far into ordinary life is an insult to the great mystics and makes it all too light and breezy. I feel just the opposite. I believe that one day we'll understand that we've lost out on religion because we made it too lofty and distant. I see it as a simple quality of everyday life, and in that simplicity lie its beauty and importance. ~ Thomas Moore,
276:Some god or Weltgeist has been making a movie out of us for the past six thousand years, and now we have turned a corner on the movie set of reality and have discovered the boards propping up the two-dimensional monuments of human history. The movement of humanism has reached its limit, and now at that limit it is breaking apart into the opposites of mechanism and mysticism and moving along the circumference of a vast new sphere of posthuman thought. ~ William Irwin Thompson,
277:The problem of knowing man is parallel to the religious problem of knowing God. In conventional Western theology the attempt is made to know God by thought, to make statements about God. It is assumed that I can know God in my thought. In mysticism, which is the consequent outcome of monotheism, the attempt is given up to know God by thought, and it is replaced by the experience of union with God in which there is no more room—and no need—for knowledge about God. ~ Erich Fromm,
278:Unchecked, the dominating influences of money and of barren intellectualism would reduce the life of emotions to freezing point. And, unable to grasp the holier benefits of religion, the mysticism of the heart reacts in the art-intoxication. .... In this cold, irreligious and practical age the warmth of this devotion to art has kept alive many higher aspirations of our soul, which otherwise might readily have died, as they did in the middle of the last century. ~ Abraham Kuyper,
279:It is necessary for us to recognize that there is an intelligent mysticism in the life of faith . . . of living union and communion with the exalted and ever-present Redeemer. . . . He communes with his people and his people commune with him in conscious reciprocal love. . . . The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion. ~ Timothy J Keller,
280:It is necessary for us to recognize that there is an intelligent mysticism in the life of faith . . . of living union and communion with the exalted and ever-present Redeemer. . . . He communes with his people and his people commune with him in conscious reciprocal love. . . . The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion.25 ~ Timothy J Keller,
281:Bog-lights, vapors of mysticism, psychic overtones, soul orgies, wailings among the shadows, weird gnosticisms, veils and tissues of words, gibbering subjectivisms, gropings and maunderings, ontological fantasies ... this is the stuff, the phantasms of hope, that fills your book shelves. Look at them, all the sad wraiths of sad mad men and passionate rebels — your Schopenhauers, your Strindbergs, your Tolstois and Nietzsches. Come. Your glass is empty. Fill and forget. ~ Jack London,
282:We rationalize, we dissimilate, we pretend: we pretend that modern medicine is a rational science, all facts, no nonsense, and just what it seems. But we have only to tap its glossy veneer for it to split wide open, and reveal to us its roots and foundations, its old dark heart of metaphysics, mysticism, magic, and myth. Medicine is the oldest of the arts, and the oldest of the sciences: would one not expect it to spring from the deepest knowledge and feelings we have? ~ Oliver Sacks,
283:Fundamental to our analysis is the assumption that the population, as individuals or groups, behaves “rationally,” that it calculates costs and benefits to the extent that they can be related to different courses of action, and makes choices accordingly.…Consequently, influencing popular behavior requires neither sympathy nor mysticism, but rather a better understanding of what costs and benefits the individual or the group is concerned with, and how they are calculated. ~ Malcolm Gladwell,
284:Himmler was an ambitious, sinister, idealistic creature of devious ways. His ideas on human behaviour had been gleaned from animal breeding lectures at agricultural college years before. The SS had certain affinities to the Jesuit monastic orders, an enforced mysticism which even Hitler found slightly ludicrous: in 1940, witnessing the pagan Yule celebration of the SS Leibstandarte at Christmas, he quietly commented to an adjutant that this would never take the place of ‘Silent Night. ~ David Irving,
285:In the Judaic literature, one also finds portrayals of contemplative or meditative exercises. As in other religious literatures, the end purpose here is union with God. The earliest form of mysticism in Judaism is Merkabolism, which dates back approximately to the first century A.D., the time of the Second Temple. Practices of this sect included various forms of asceticism, including fasting. Merkabolism’s meditative exercises focused on body posture and the dwelling upon hymns and a magic ~ Herbert Benson,
286:Our children... have a passionate need for the dimension of transcendence, mysticism, way-outness. We're not offering it to them legitimately. The tendency of the churches to be relevant and more-secular-than-thou does not answer our need for the transcendent. As George Tyrrell wrote about a hundred years ago, "If a [man's] craving for the mysterious, the wonderful, the supernatural, be not fed on true religion, it will feed itself on the garbage of any superstition that is offered to it. ~ Madeleine L Engle,
287:That which the mind in some hidden cove of a Norwegian fjord, or on some lonely island—far out where the mighty sea booms eternally—through centuries had conceived of religious mysticism, and there shaped so as to fit the conditions of life, now sought a natural expression on the open reaches of the prairies.… With these people the feeling of strangeness in this alien land and the utter impossibility of striking new roots here gave to their testimony the tone of deep, rich spiritual experience. ~ O E R lvaag,
288:Kiev, you understand, is a medieval city full of wild superstition and mysticism. It has always been the heart of Russian reaction. The Black Hundreds, may they sink into their graves, have aroused against you the most ignorant and brutal of the masses. They are deathly afraid of Jews and at the same time frighten them to death. This reveals to you something about the human condition. Rich or poor, those of our brethren who can run out of here are running. Some who can’t are already mourning. ~ Bernard Malamud,
289:A number of aspects of mathematics are not much talked about in contemporary histories of mathematics. We have in mind business and commerce, war, number mysticism, astrology, and religion. In some instances, writers, hoping to assert for mathematics a noble parentage and a pure scientific experience, have turned away their eyes. Histories have been eager to put the case for science, but the Handmaiden of the Sciences has lived a far more raffish and interesting life than her historians allow. ~ Eric Temple Bell,
290:Theta clearing is about as practical and simple as repairing a shoe lace. It is nothing to do with hypnotism, voodooism, charalatanism, monkeyism or theosophy. Done, the thetan can do anything a stage magician can do in the way of moving objects around. But this isn't attained by holding one's breath or thinking right thoughts or voting Republican or any other superstitous or mystic practice. So for the reason I brought up, rule out, auditor, any mumbo jumbo or mysticism, spiritualism, or religion. ~ L Ron Hubbard,
291:He had slowed up to avoid the inevitable end of his thought:
"--the frontiers of consciousness." The frontiers that artists must explore were not for her, ever. She was fine-spun, inbred--eventually she might find rest in some quiet mysticism. Exploration was for those with a measure of peasant blood, those with big thighs and thick ankles who could take punishment as they took bread and salt, on every inch of flesh and spirit.
--Not for you, he almost said. It's too tough a game for you. ~ F Scott Fitzgerald,
292:That he knew marked him off as belonging to the sentimental branch of humanity. He couldn't help it: Stoic or Epicurean: Caliph in the harem or Dervish desiccating in the sand: one or the other you must be. And his desire was to be a saint of the Anglican variety… as his mother had been, without convent, ritual, vows, or miracles to be performed by your relics! That sainthood, truly, the Foreign Legion might give you… The desire of every English gentleman from Colonel Hutchinson upwards… A mysticism… ~ Ford Madox Ford,
293:Young people need compassion and guidance, not obscure mysticism. Here are some guidelines for young people: Remember that you are always your own person. Do not surrender your mind, heart, or body to any person. Never compromise your dignity for any reason. Maintain your health with sound diet, hygiene, exercise, and clean living. Don’t engage in drugs or drinking. Money is never more important than your body and mind, but you must work and support yourself. Never depend on others for your livelihood. ~ Ming Dao Deng,
294:The contemplation of nature has two correlative aspects. First, it means appreciating the “thusness” or “thisness” of particular things, persons and moments. We are to see each stone, each leaf, each blade of grass, each frog, each human face, for what it truly is, in all the distinctness and intensity of its specific being. As the prophet Zechariah warns us, we are not to “despise the day of small things” (4:10). “True mysticism”, says Olivier Clément, “is to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary. ~ Kallistos Ware,
295:Brief experiences of sublime absorption, as ordinary as being struck by the brilliant blue of a cloudless sky, may contribute to your sense of being religious. The mystical moments multiply and over time you extend the borders of yourself, you are less prone to protecting yourself, and you have more empathy with the people and the world around you. If you define religion as a strong sense of the divine, your daily mysticism contributes to that sense by drawing you out of yourself into nature and then beyond. ~ Thomas Moore,
296:In the world of Ramon Lull, the brilliant civilisation of the Spanish Moslems, with its mysticism, philosophy, art, and science, was close at hand; the Spanish Jews had intensively developed their philosophy, their science and medicine, and their mysticism, or Cabala. To Lull, the Catholic Christian, occurred the generous idea that an Art, based on principles which all three religious traditions held in common, would serve to bind all three together on a common philosophical, scientific, and mystical basis. ~ Frances A Yates,
297:Among the educated young there is therefore a startling and unprecedented interest in the transformation of human consciousness. All over the Western world publishers are selling millions of books dealing with Yoga, Vedanta, Zen Buddhism, and the chemical mysticism of psychedelic drugs, and I have come to believe that the whole “hip” subculture, however misguided in some of its manifestations, is the earnest and responsible effort of young people to correct the self–destroying course of industrial civilization. ~ Alan W Watts,
298:Another important tradition descends from Pythagoras; who is significant because he stands nearest to the Oriental mystics who must be considered in their turn. He taught a sort of mysticism of mathematics, that number is the ultimate reality; but he also seems to have taught the transmigration of souls like the Brahmins; and to have left to his followers certain traditional tricks of vegetarianism and water-drinking very common among the eastern sages, especially those who figure in fashionable drawing-rooms, ~ G K Chesterton,
299:Often, everywhere we look, we seem to find obstacles and facades and smokescreens, so it was really nice to find things in the world that actually spoke to me. And I felt like Eastern thought really spoke to me. Because it isn't trying to cover up the pain in life; it's trying to deal with it and overcome it in an intelligent way. I think the reason I love Eastern thought so much, and mysticism in general - but especially Buddhism - is because it seems to me an attempt to look life squarely in the face, as it is. ~ Jeff Mangum,
300:In mysticism that love of truth which we saw as the beginning of all philosophy leaves the merely intellectual sphere, and takes on the assured aspect of a personal passion. Where the philosopher guesses and argues, the mystic lives and looks; and speaks, consequently, the disconcerting language of first-hand experience, not the neat dialectic of the schools. Hence whilst the Absolute of the metaphysicians remains a diagram —impersonal and unattainable—the Absolute of the mystics is lovable, attainable, alive. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
301:Mysticism has often been misunderstood as the attempt to escape this simple, phenomenal world to a more pure existence in heaven beyond. This is not mysticism, but Gnosticism. Biblical mysticism is the attempt to exit 'this world' to an alternative reality that pervades the old order. Its goal is to jettison the mind-set that says 'greed is good,' selfishness is normal,' and 'killing is necessary.' Mysticism in biblical terms is not escapism, as so many have caricatured it, but a fight for ethics and social change. ~ Walter Wink,
302:This human need for mysticism – surrender to an unknown truth, union – stands at the helm of all romantic feeling. It is, in essence, the same intimacy known in a mother’s arms; in those who are deprived of the experience, the need freezes and, distorted, it can rent a life. All addiction has as its foundation skewed yearning for the same transcendence. For me, the spell of the material was broken by my brother’s death; after his suicide, all I wanted was the renewal of my connection to the intangible. ~ Antonella Gambotto Burke,
303:At last, in the gray dawn of Civilization the fire in the Soul dies down. The dwindling powers rise to one more, half-successful, effort of creation, and produce the Classicism that is common to all dying Cultures. The soul thinks once again, and in Romanticism looks back piteously to its childhood; then finally, weary, reluctant, cold, it loses its desire to be, and, as in Imperial Rome, wishes itself out of the overlong daylight and back in the darkness of protomysticism in the womb of the mother in the grave. ~ Oswald Spengler,
304:In virtually every spiritual tradition, suffering is seen as a doorway to awakening. In the West, this connection can be seen in the biblical story of Job, as well as the dark night of the soul in medieval mysticism. The transformative power of suffering finds perhaps its clearest expression in the Four Noble Truths espoused by the Buddha. Though suffering and trauma are not identical, the Buddha’s insight into the nature of suffering can provide a powerful mirror for examining the effects of trauma in your life. ~ Peter A Levine,
305:He examined the chess problem and set out the pieces. It was a tricky ending, involving a couple of knights. 'White to play and mate in two moves.' Winston looked up at the portrait of Big Brother. White always mates, he thought with a sort of cloudy mysticism. Always, without exception, it is so arranged. In no chess problem since the beginning of the world has black ever won. Did it not symbolize the eternal, unvarying triumph of Good over Evil? The huge face gazed back at him, full of calm power. White always mates. ~ George Orwell,
306:Dead towns are the Cathedrals of Silence. They, too, have their gargoyles, singular figures, exaggerated, dubious, set in high profile. They stand out from the mass of grey, which takes all it has in the way of character, its twitchings of stagnant life from them. Some have been distorted by solitude, others grimace with a directionless fervour; here there are masks of cherished lust, there faces ceaselessly sculpted and furrowed by mysticism. Human gargoyles, the only figures of interest in this monotonous population. ~ Georges Rodenbach,
307:As Eastern thought has begun to interest a significant number of people, and meditation is no longer viewed with ridicule or suspicion, mysticism is being taken seriously even within the scientific community. An increasing number of scientists are aware that mystical thought provides a consistent and relevant philosophical background to the theories of Contemporary science, a conception of the world in which the scientific discoveries of men and women can be in perfect harmony with their spiritual aims and religious beliefs. ~ Fritjof Capra,
308:Man, in this view, is incapable of looking around him and acknowledging without wincing or worse, without falling down in despair, that he doesn't know anything about ultimate reality. In this view, man is simply too small for such acknowledgments. He fears that he might stop hoping or caring if he learned that the universe was perhaps indifferent to him. Could he feel gratitude for his existence or awe in the face of a starry sky if he suspected that he was neither designed nor loved? He thinks not. Therefore he opts for mysticism. ~ Eric Maisel,
309:I see myself––an angel!––and I die;
the window may be art or mysticism, yet
I long for rebirth in the former sky
where Beauty blooms, my dream being my coronet!
But, alas, our low World is suzerain!
even in this retreat it can be too
loathsome––till the foul vomit of the Inane
drives me to stop my nose before the blue.
O Self familiar with these bitter things,
can the glass outraged by that monster be
shattered? can I flee with my featherless wings––
and risk falling through all eternity? ~ St phane Mallarm,
310:As a mode of perception that often becomes a style of life, paranoia weaves around the vulnerable self or group an air-tight metaphysic and world view. Paranoia is an antireligious mysticism based on the feeling or perception that the world in general, and others in particular, are against me or us. Reality is perceived as hostile. By contrast, the religious mystic experiences the ground of being as basically friendly to the deepest needs of the self. That which is unknown, strange, or beyond our comprehension is with and for rather than against us. ~ Sam Keen,
311:Rational thinking which is free from assumptions ends therefore in mysticism. To relate oneself in the spirit of reverence for life to the multiform manifestations of the will-to-live which together constitute the world is ethical mysticism. All profound world-view is mysticism, the essence of which is just this: that out of my unsophisticated and naïve existence in the world there comes, as a result of thought about self and the world, spiritual self-devotion to the mysterious infinite Will which is continuously manifested in the universe. ~ Albert Schweitzer,
312:Mathematics, natural science, laws, arts, even morality, etc. do not completely fill the soul; there is always a space left over reserved for pure and speculative reason, the emptiness of which prompts us to seek in vagaries, buffooneries, and mysticism for what seems to be employment and entertainment, but what actually is mere pastime undertaken in order to deaden the troublesome voice of reason, which, in accordance with its nature, requires something that can satisfy it and does not merely subserve other ends or the interests of our inclinations. ~ Immanuel Kant,
313:The Barbarian Way was, in some sense, trying to create a volatile fuel to get people to step out and act. It's pretty hard to get a whole group of people moving together as individuals who are stepping into a more mystical, faith-oriented, dynamic kind of experience with Christ. So, I think Barbarian Way was my attempt to say, "Look, underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient." That's what was really the core of The Barbarian Way. ~ Erwin McManus,
314:One phrase of Murray’s resonated particularly, that we were called to an intelligent mysticism. That means an encounter with God that involves not only the affections of the heart but also the convictions of the mind. We are not called to choose between a Christian life based on truth and doctrine or a life filled with spiritual power and experience. They go together. I was not being called to leave behind my theology and launch out to look for “something more,” for experience. Rather, I was meant to ask the Holy Spirit to help me experience my theology. ~ Timothy J Keller,
315:The UFO phenomenon and saga, the first contacts with aliens from extraordinarily advanced civilizations beyond our solar system, and extraterrestrials’ messages, all started with an occult-metaphysical-mysticism-psychical movement created by Maria Orsic, a medium and founder of the Vrilerinnen ( The Vril Society), and based upon messages she claimed she received from extraterrestrials from Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri), which contained technical data and precise instructions on how to build a super “Out of this World” flying machine (UFO). ~ Jean Maximillien De La Croix de Lafayette,
316:I think this fear of insanity is comparable to the fear people once had of falling off the edge of the world. Or the fear of heretics...What's happening is that each year our old flat earth of conventional reason becomes less and less adequate to handle the experiences we have and this is creating wide-spread feelings of topsy-turviness. As a result we're getting more and more people in irrational areas of thought...occultism, mysticism, drug changes and the like...because they feel an inadequacy in classical reason to handle what they know are real experiences. ~ Robert M Pirsig,
317:Christians were tempted to reject time altogether and replace it with mysticism and “spiritual” pursuits, to live as Christians out of time and thereby escape its frustrations; to insist that time has no real meaning from the point of view of the Kingdom which is “beyond time.” And they finally succeeded. They left time meaningless indeed, although full of Christian “symbols.” And today they themselves do not know what to do with these symbols. For it is impossible to “put Christ back into Christmas” if He has not redeemed—that is, made meaningful—time itself. ~ Alexander Schmemann,
318:I see You, Every time I look into Buddha’s eyes. I give myself to You. Every time I alter one of Your 1,000s names. Honestly & fully I love You. Through Christ and Maria, Shiva and Shakti, Krishna and Radha, With every day that passes and every breath I take. I enter gratitude for receiving Your Love. Obeying Your Laws of Truthfulness and Ahimsa, Weaving Prana With hearts and souls of Gaia. Through mysticism, shamanism, sufism, and ecstatic meditations. I yearn to touch You, to feel You, to be You. Within this amazing Journey of Awareness of Your Consciousness. ~ Nata a Nuit Pantovi,
319:She was practically an invalid ever after I could remember her, but used what strength she had in lavish care upon me and my sister, who was three years younger. There was a touch of mysticism and poetry in her nature which made her love to gaze at the purple sunsets and watch the evening stars. Whatever was grand and beautiful in form and color attracted her. It seemed as though the rich green tints of the foliage and the blossoms of the flowers came for her in the springtime, and in the autumn it was for her that the mountain sides were struck with crimson and with gold. ~ Calvin Coolidge,
320:Ever since I was in Amherst College I have remembered how Garman told his class in philosophy that if they would go along with events and have the courage and industry to hold to the main stream, without being washed ashore by the immaterial cross currents, they would someday be men of power. He meant that we should try to guide ourselves by general principles and not get lost in particulars. That may sound like mysticism, but it is only the mysticism that envelopes every great truth. One of the greatest mysteries in the world is the success that lies in conscientious work. ~ Calvin Coolidge,
321:Consider the idea of a God who is essentially sadness and longing, yearning to reveal himself, to know himself through a being who knows him, thereby depending on that being who is still himself - yet who in this sense creates Him. Here we have a vision which has never been professed outside of a few errant knights of mysticism. To profess this essential bipolarity of the divine essence is not to confuse creator and created, creature and creation. It is to experience the irrevocable solidarity between the Fravarti and its Soul, in the battle they undertake for each other`s sake. ~ Henry Corbin,
322:To be sane, he held, was either to be sedated by melancholy or activated by hysteria, two responses which were 'always and equally warranted for those of sound insight'. All others were irrational, merely symptoms of imaginations left idle, of memories out of work. And above these mundane responses, the only elevation allowable, the only valid transcendence, was a sardonic one: a bliss that annihilated the universe with jeers of dark joy, a mindful ecstasy. Anything else in the way of 'mysticism' was a sign of deviation or distraction, and a heresy to the obvious. (“The Medusa”) ~ Thomas Ligotti,
323:A Super-Integral Spirituality has all the features of an Integral Spirituality, plus, among other things, an inherent conjunction of each stage with a given state, giving all of its stages a transpersonal or spiritual flavor (at least the possibility of either gross nature mysticism, subtle deity mysticism, causal formless mysticism, or nondual Unity mysticism). These mystical states are, of course, available to virtually all the lower 1st- and 2nd-tier stages, although there are likely some significant differences in 3rd tier, given its inherent conjunction of structures and states. ~ Ken Wilber,
324:Everything contains the spark of intelligence." From the smallest atom to the largest planetary system, each part of the world contains a form of consciousness or spark of intelligence. In the physical realm, consciousness exhibits as awareness, personality, energetic vibrations, or other characteristics that are in keeping with the particular physical form. Science and mysticism both suggest that consciousness is multidimensional, that it folds and unfolds into physical reality from unseen realms, and its expression in the physical world is only a part of its greater reality. This ~ Joyce Higginbotham,
325:Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reasons for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. The roiling mystery of the world can be analyzed with concepts (this is science), or it can be experienced free of concepts (this is myticism). Religion is nothing more than bad concepts held in place of good ones for all time. It is the denial-at once full of hope and full of fear-of the vastitude of human ignorance. ~ Sam Harris,
326:Science Fiction had made itself a part of the general debate of our times. It has added to the literature of the world ; through its madness and freewheeling ingenuity , it has helped form the new pop music, through its raising of semi religious questions, it has become part of the underworld where drugs, mysticism, God-kicks, and sometimes even murder meet ; and lastly , it has become one of the most popular entertainment in its own rights, a wacky sort of fiction that grabs and engulfs anything new or old for its subject matter, turning it into a shining and often insubstantial wonder. ~ Brian W Aldiss,
327:It’s all a trick,’ he observed. ‘All a rotten trick men play on themselves. They get together and they create this beautiful thing and then they stand back and say, “See, we have souls and insight and holiness and joy. We put it all in this building so we don’t have to bother with it in our everyday lives. We can live as stupidly and brutally as we wish, and stamp down any inclination to spirituality or mysticism that we see in our neighbours or ourselves. Having set it in stone, we don’t have to bother with it any more.” It’s a trick men play on themselves. Just one more way we cheat ourselves. ~ Robin Hobb,
328:I care not for the theoretical symmetry and impregnable logic of your moral code, I care not for the hoary respectability and traditional mysticisms of your theological institutions, I care not for the beauty and solemnity of your rituals and religious ceremonies, I care not even for the reasonableness and unimpeachable fairness of your social ethics,--if it does not turn out better, nobler, truer, men and women,--if it does not add to the world's stock of valuable souls,--if it does not give us a sounder, healthier, more reliable product from this great factory of men--I will have none of it. ~ Anna Julia Cooper,
329:The central feature of the practice of meditation and hard work known as Zen is that, as Matthiessen says, it “has no patience with mysticism, far less the occult.” Nor does it have any time with moralism, the prescriptions or distortions we would impose on the world, obscuring it from our view. It asks, it insists rather, that we take this moment for what it is, undistracted, and not cloud it with needless worries of what might have been or fantasies of what might come to be. It is, essentially, a training in the real…”the Universe itself is the scripture of Zen." Pico Iyer from introduction. ~ Peter Matthiessen,
330:I am tired of this city. I am tired of its pagan pretensions and false histories. Hyperion is a poet’s world devoid of poetry. Keats itself is a mixture of tawdry, false classicism and mindless, boomtown energy. There are three Zen Gnostic assemblies and four High Muslim mosques in the town, but the real houses of worship are the countless saloons and brothels, the huge marketplaces handling the fiberplastic shipments from the south, and the Shrike Cult temples where lost souls hide their suicidal hopelessness behind a shield of shallow mysticism. The whole planet reeks of mysticism without revelation. ~ Dan Simmons,
331:All the terms used in the science books, 'law,' 'necessity,' 'order,' 'tendency,' and so on, are really unintellectual .... The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the terms used in the fairy books, 'charm,' 'spell,' 'enchantment.' They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery. A tree grows fruit because it is a magic tree. Water runs downhill because it is bewitched. The sun shines because it is bewitched. I deny altogether that this is fantastic or even mystical. We may have some mysticism later on; but this fairy-tale language about things is simply rational and agnostic. ~ G K Chesterton,
332:You make the mistake of considering Christianity as something that developed over the course of a few years, from the death of Jesus to the time the gospels were written. But Christianity wasn't new. Only the name was new. Christianity was merely a stage in the meeting, cross-fertilization, metamorphosis of Western logic and Eastern mysticism. Look how the religion itself changed over the centuries, reinterpreting itself to meet changing times. Christianity is just a new name for a conglomeration of old myths and philosophies. All the gospels do is retell the sun myth and garble some of the ideas from the Greeks and Romans. ~ Michael Moorcock,
333:It was the discovery of the quantum universe that changed everything, and that universe was so small and so dynamic that it could not be observed directly. Trying to explain their insights, scientists looked at the language of mysticism. At the subatomic level, the parallels between quantum reality and mysticism were striking. For example, the behavior of light: in some contexts it acted like a wave, in others like a particle. Could it be both? Physicists had no concept for grasping this, so they dispensed with Western logic and embraced paradox. (This is important, too, for the notion of vampires being both living and dead.) ~ Katherine Ramsland,
334:It is certainly clear that despite being a man of religion, Rasputin was also a shrewd opportunist, nor did he ever make any attempt to hide his physical appetites. On arriving in the capital, he did the rounds of the salons of a fin-de-siècle St Petersburg noted for its decadence, pandering to rich society ladies who dabbled in the then-fashionable cults of faith healing, table turning and eastern mysticism, and built a following among them. He was, for his detractors, an easy personality to caricature in his loose peasant blouse and long boots, with his heavy frame, his long oily black hair and beard, and his coarse bulging lips. ~ Helen Rappaport,
335:The Contract had an air of esoteric mysticism when it covered topics related to the universe’s deepest secrets, yet it was gratuitously specific regarding the wrath of Thotash and the penalty for default. Huge swaths of the unholy text were dedicated to the terrors and woes that would fall upon those who failed to meet the Terms, including pestilences of the skin, debilitating afflictions of vital organs, nameless horrors from forgotten dimensions, and the “rain of teeth,” though whose teeth was uncertain. Article VIII, section 3, subsection B was particularly unsettling, assuming one had sufficient familiarity with anatomy to grasp it fully ~ J Zachary Pike,
336:I have sometimes thought that all philosophical disputes could be reduced to an argument between the partisans of “prickles” and the partisans of “goo.” The prickly people are tough-minded, rigorous, and precise, and like to stress differences and divisions between things. They prefer particles to waves, and discontinuity to continuity. The gooey people are tender-minded romanticists who love wide generalizations and grand syntheses. They stress the underlying unities, and are inclined to pantheism and mysticism. Waves suit them much better than particles as the ultimate constituents of matter, and discontinuities jar their teeth like a compressed-air drill. ~ Alan W Watts,
337:We admire Sufism in the West for its tolerance, mysticism, and poetry, its ecstatic rituals, its music, even. But it’s also, especially in rural parts, a religion that bears more than a casual resemblance to late medieval Catholicism. It encourages the veneration of saint-like figures at special shrines and their celebration at festivities. It’s something the fundamentalist mullahs abhor. Just as the Protestants smashed icons, prohibited carnivals, and defaced cathedrals, the Wahhabists insist on a reformed style of Islam, purged of all that. Remember all the TV footage from 1996. When the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, their first task was stamping that stuff out. ~ Dan Eaton,
338:Il serait sans doute assez difficile de le dire exactement, mais il est permis de supposer que, d’une façon ou d’une autre, l’existence de l’ésotérisme est devenue une vérité trop évidente pour qu’on puisse continuer à la passer sous silence ou à soutenir que cet ésotérisme n’est rien d’autre que du mysticisme ; à dire vrai, nous craignons bien d’être nous-même pour quelque chose dans la déconvenue plutôt pénible que cette constatation a dû causer de ce côté, mais c’est ainsi et nous n’y pouvons rien ; il faut bien qu’on en prenne son parti et qu’on tache de s’accommoder de son mieux aux modifications qui surviennent dans les circonstances au milieu desquelles on vit ! ~ Ren Gu non,
339:In a free society, we do not imprison those who violate profound cultural taboos or burn them at the stake. But they must be identified as dangerous radicals, not fit to be counted among the priesthood. The reaction is appropriate. To raise the dread question is to open the possibility that the institutions responsible “for the indoctrination of the young” and the other propaganda institutions may be infected by the most dangerous of plagues: insight and understanding. Awareness of the facts might threaten the social order, protected by a carefully spun web of pluralist mysticism, faith in the benevolence of our pure-hearted leadership, and general superstitious belief. An ~ Noam Chomsky,
340:We talked a little set theory, and then I asked him my last question: “What causes the illusion of the passage of time?”
Gödel spoke not directly to this question, but to the question of what my question meant — that is, why anyone would even believe that there is a perceived passage of time at all.
He went on to relate the getting rid of belief in the passage of time to the struggle to experience the One Mind of mysticism. Finally he said this: “The illusion of the passage of time arises from confusing the given with the real. Passage of time arises because we think of occupying different realities. In fact, we occupy only different givens. There is only one reality. ~ Rudy Rucker,
341:The failure of the fight with the father-dragon, the overwhelming force of spirit, leads to patriarchal castration, inflation, loss of the body in the ecstasy of ascension, and so to a world-negating mysticism. This phenomenon is particularly evident in Gnosticism and Gnostic Christianity. The infiltration of Iranian and Manichaean influences strengthens the martial component in the hero, but because he is still a Gnostic at heart, he remains hostile to the world, the body, materiality, and woman. Although there are certain elements in Gnosis that strive for a synthesis of oppo-sites, these always fly apart in the end; the heavenly side of man triumphs and the earthly is sacrificed. ~ Erich Neumann,
342:Paganism is one of the first religions that deliberately incorporates new perspectives from science, metaphysics, and mysticism into its spirituality and consciously breaks from the traditional Newtonian view of the world. (These concepts are explored further in chapter 5.) Pagans tend to see all parts of the universe-from the smallest atom to the largest planetary system-as sacred and having some form of consciousness or spark of intelligence. Most Pagans believe that this living universe is able to communicate to
all parts of itself on one or more levels, and that these parts can choose to cooperate together for specific ends. Pagans call this cooperation magick.
Paganism ~ Joyce Higginbotham,
343:Désormais, sous prétexte de laïcité, tous les discours se valent : l’erreur et la vérité, le faux et le vrai, le fantasque et le sérieux. Le mythe et la fable pèsent autant que la raison. La magie compte autant que la science. Le rêve autant que la réalité. Or tous les discours ne se valent pas : ceux de la névrose, de l’hystérie et du mysticisme procèdent d’un autre monde que celui du positiviste. Pas plus qu’on ne doit renvoyer dos à dos bourreau et victime, bien et mal, on ne doit tolérer la neutralité, la bienveillance affichée pour la totalité des régimes de discours, y compris ceux des pensées magiques. Faut-il rester neutre ? Doit-on rester neutre ? A-t-on encore les moyens de ce luxe ? Je ne crois pas... ~ Michel Onfray,
344:and by a militant rejection of all later accretions, which included medieval fiqh, mysticism and Falsafah, which most Muslims now regarded as normative. Because the Ottoman sultans did not conform to his vision of true Islam, Abd al-Wahhab declared that they were apostates and worthy of death. Instead, he tried to create an enclave of pure faith, based on his view of the first ummah of the seventh century. His aggressive techniques would be used by some fundamentalists in the twentieth century, a period of even greater change and unrest. Wahhabism is the form of Islam that is still practised today in Saudi Arabia, a puritan religion based on a strictly literal interpretation of scripture and early Islamic tradition. ~ Karen Armstrong,
345:1. Symbology — The employment of various external aids to preserve and develop the religious faculty of man. 2. History — The philosophy of each religion as illustrated in the lives of divine or human teachers acknowledged by each religion. This includes mythology; for what is mythology to one race, or period, is or was history to other races or periods. Even in cases of human teachers, much of their history is taken as mythology by successive generations. 3. Philosophy — The rationale of the whole scope of each religion. 4. Mysticism — The assertion of something superior to sense-knowledge and reason which particular persons, or all persons under certain circumstances, possess; runs through the other divisions also. All ~ Swami Vivekananda,
346:The fire-eater? The swordsman? The gentleman who nearly drowns each night… do you believe they’d be welcomed into the circles you belong to?” He shook his head. “Society scorned them, turned them into freak shows and curiosities, and now they are only interested in cheering because of the glamour of those velvet curtains. The allure of magic and mysticism. Should they encounter those same performers on the street, they would not be so kind or accepting. It is a sad truth that we do not live in a world where differences are accepted. And until such a time, Miss Wadsworth, I will provide a home to the misfits and unwanteds, even if it means losing bits of my soul to that hungry, unsatisfied beast Mr. Barnum has called show business. ~ Kerri Maniscalco,
347:Amanda Feilding, who was born in 1943, is an eccentric as only the English aristocracy can breed them. (She’s descended from the house of Habsburg and two of Charles II’s illegitimate children.) A student of comparative religion and mysticism, Feilding has had a long-standing interest in altered states of consciousness and, specifically, the role of blood flow to the brain, which in Homo sapiens, she believes, has been compromised ever since our species began standing upright. LSD, Feilding believes, enhances cognitive function and facilitates higher states of consciousness by increasing cerebral circulation. A second way to achieve a similar result is by means of the ancient practice of trepanation. This deserves a brief digression. ~ Michael Pollan,
348:When we have rejected the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture, we allow Christians to depend on things other than the Bible as their guide to matters of life and faith. In particular, people begin to depend upon mysticism, upon ways of supposedly knowing God apart from the Bible. They look inward for intrinsic wisdom rather than outward to the Bible for its extrinsic wisdom. They forsake biblical reason in favor of feelings, voices, visions, or other subjective means of supposedly knowing God. This is a deadly error, for spiritual discernment must be founded upon God's objective revelation of himself in Scripture. We can only judge between what is wrong and what is right when we know what God says to be true. We can know this only from Scripture. ~ Tim Challies,
349:It is as if Protestantism by clinging to the Scripture wished to preserve the last faint echoes of God’s Word in a world that has fallen silent, a world where only things speak dumbly, a world delivered over to the silence and ruthlessness of the Absolute, - and in his fear of God the Protestant has realized that it is his own goal before which he cowers. For in excluding all other values, in casting himself in the last resort on an autonomous religious experience, he has assumed a final abstraction of a logical rigour that urges him unambiguously to strip all sensory trappings from his faith, to empty it of all content but the naked Absolute, retaining nothing but the pure form, the pure, empty and neutral form of a 'religion in itself', a 'mysticism in itself'. ~ Hermann Broch,
350:I had another reason for seeking Him, for trying to espy His face, a professional one. God and literature are conflated in my mind. Why this is, I’m not sure. Perhaps because great books seem heavensent. Perhaps because I know that each nove is a puny but very valiant attempt at godlike behavior. Perhaps because there is no difference between the finest poetry and most transcendent mysticism. Perhaps because writers like Thomas Merton, who are able to enter the realm of the spirit and come away with fine, lucid prose. Perhaps because of more secular writers, like John Steinbeck, whose every passage, it seems to me, peals with religiousity and faith. It once occured to me that literature — all art really — is either talking to people about God, or talking to God about people. ~ Paul Quarrington,
351:We'll learn more about how the brain operates, how matter works, and what fills up empty space. But even if we evolve into a smarter, wiser species in possession of a truckload of new scientific knowledge, we will still have
no access to ultimate answers. When a smart person finally admits that some mysteries can't be solved, she can relax and rejoice. When you honor what you know to be true, that nobody knows the ultimate answers, that there
is a difference between what is not yet known and what can't be known, that guesses don't really count, and that easy answers like sitting on a mat or walking in nature may soothe you but answer nothing, then you can leave
mysticism behind. Then you are ready for the answer: that you are obliged to take charge of the project of your life. ~ Eric Maisel,
352:Therefore it is to a practical mysticism that the practical man is here invited: to a training of his latent faculties, a bracing and brightening of his languid consciousness, an emancipation from the fetters of appearance, a turning of his attention to new levels of the world. Thus he may become aware of the universe which the spiritual artist is always trying to disclose to the race. This amount of mystical perception—this “ordinary contemplation,” as the specialists call it—is possible to all men: without it, they are not wholly conscious, nor wholly alive. It is a natural human activity, no more involving the great powers and sublime experiences of the mystical saints and philosophers than the ordinary enjoyment of music involves the special creative powers of the great musician. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
353:Few of us are not in some way infirm, or even diseased; and our very infirmities help us unexpectedly. In the psychopathic temperament we have the emotionality which is the sine qua non of moral perception; we have the intensity and tendency to emphasis which are the essence of practical moral vigor; and we have the love of metaphysics and mysticism which carry one's interests beyond the surface of the sensible world. What, then, is more natural than that this temperament should introduce one to regions of religious truth, to corners of the universe, which your robust Philistine type of nervous system, forever offering its biceps to be felt, thumping its breast, and thanking Heaven that it hasn't a single morbid fiber in its composition, would be sure to hide forever from its self-satisfied possessors? ~ William James,
354:No... it never takes your breath away, telling you things you already know, laying everything out flat, as though the terms and the time, and the nature and the movement of everything were secrets of the same magnitude. They write for people who read with the surface of their minds, people with reading habits that make the smallest demands of them, people brought up reading for facts, who know what's going to come next and want to know what's coming next, and get angry at surprises. Clarity's essential, and detail, no fake mysticism, the facts are bad enough. But we're embarrassed for people who tell too much, and tell it without surprise. How does he know what happened, unless it's one unshaven man alone in a boat, changing I to he, and how often do you get a man alone in a boat, in all this... all this... ~ William Gaddis,
355:Himmler left the Catholic Church in 1936, and as the war later raged he sometimes reflected on Islam’s supposed advantages in motivating soldiers. “Mohammed knew that most people are terribly cowardly and stupid,” he told Kersten in 1942. “That is why he promised every warrior who fights courageously and falls in battle two [ sic ] beautiful women. . . . You may call this primitive and laugh about it . . . but it is based on deeper wisdom. A religion must speak a man’s language.” These reflections have a crackpot quality, as did much of the rest of Himmler’s thinking about the spiritual world, which included an interest in mysticism and the occult. It is, of course, no reflection on the Islamic faith that Himmler read its sacred text so shallowly or that he subscribed to the hoary cliché about Islam’s supposed martial character. ~ Anonymous,
356:Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. Thus he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also. ~ G K Chesterton,
357:The results of that charismatic takeover have been devastating. In recent history, no other movement has done more to damage the cause of the gospel, to distort the truth, and to smother the articulation of sound doctrine. Charismatic theology has turned the evangelical church into a cesspool of error and a breeding ground for false teachers. It has warped genuine worship through unbridled emotionalism, polluted prayer with private gibberish, contaminated true spirituality with unbiblical mysticism, and corrupted faith by turning it into a creative force for speaking worldly desires into existence. By elevating the authority of experience over the authority of Scripture, the Charismatic Movement has destroyed the church’s immune system—uncritically granting free access to every imaginable form of heretical teaching and practice. ~ John F MacArthur Jr,
358:Love and marriage are about work and compromise. They're about seeing someone for what he is, being dissapointed , and deciding to stick around anyway. They're about commitment and comfort, not some kind of sudden, hysterical recognition'. 'That's not what I want. Disspointment and comfort is not what I want'. 'Why not? Because you expect it to be magical and mystical? Because you don't want to work?' 'Why can't it be magical? Why can't it be mystical?' 'Because if you count on magic and mysticism, then as soon as shit happens, as soon as life interferes, as soon as your stepson treats you badly, or your husband's ex-wife has a fit about something, or your baby dies, as soon as life happens, the magic will disappear and you'll be left with nothing. You can't count on magic. Trust me, I know. Sweetheart, little girl, you can't count on magic'. ~ Ayelet Waldman,
359:Modern life seems to recede further and further away from nature, and closely connected with this fact we seem to be losing the feeling of reverence towards nature. It is probably inevitable when science and machinery, capitalism and materialism go hand in hand so far in a most remarkably successful manner. Mysticism, which is the life of religion in whatever sense we understand it, has come to be relegated altogether in the background. Without a certain amount of mysticism there is no appreciation for the feeling of reverence, and, along with it, for the spiritual significance of humility. Science and scientific technique have done a great deal for humanity; but as far as our spiritual welfare is concerned we have not made any advances over that attained by our forefathers. In fact we are suffering at present the worst kind of unrest all over the world. ~ D T Suzuki,
360:This too to remember. If a man writes clearly enough any one can see if he fakes. If he mystifies to avoid a straight statement, which is very different from breaking so-called rules of syntax or grammar to make an effect which can be obtained in no other way, the writer takes a longer time to be known as a fake and other writers who are afflicted by the same necessity will praise him in their own defense. True mysticism should not be confused with incompetence in writing which seeks to mystify where there is no mystery but is really only the necessity to fake to cover lack of knowledge or the inability to state clearly. Mysticism implies a mystery and there are many mysteries; but incompetence is not one of them; nor is overwritten journalism made literature by the injection of a false epic quality. Remember this too: all bad writers are in love with the epic. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
361:This too to remember. If a man writes clearly enough any one can see if he fakes. If he mystifies to avoid a straight statement, which is very different from breaking so-called rules of syntax or grammar to make an efffect which can be obtained in no other way, the writer takes a longer time to be known as a fake and other writers who are afflicted by the same necessity will praise him in their own defense. True mysticism should not be confused with incompetence in writing which seeks to mystify where there is no mystery but is really only the necessity to fake to cover lack of knowledge or the inability to state clearly. Mysticism implies a mystery and there are many mysteries; but incompetence is not one of them; nor is overwritten journalism made literature by the injection of a false epic qulaity. Remember this too: all bad writers are in love with the epic. ~ Ernest Hemingway,
362:La vie sexuelle étroite, misérable, prétendument "apolitique" doit être étudiée dans son rapport avec les problèmes de la société autoritaire. La politique n'a pas pour domaine les déjeuners diplomatiques, mais la vie quotidienne. La conscience sociale est donc indispensable dans la vie quotidienne. Si les 1800 millions d'habitants de la planète parvenaient à comprendre l'action des cent principaux diplomates, tout irait pour le mieux ; la société et les besoins de l'homme ne seraient plus dès lors gouvernés par l'intérêt des armuriers et des politiciens. Mais ces 1800 millions d'hommes seront incapables de maîtriser leur propre destin tant qu'ils n'auront pas pris conscience de leur vie personnelle dans sa modestie. Ce qui les empêche, ce sont ces deux puissances intérieures : le moralisme sexuel et le mysticisme religieux. (p. 35, Préface de la seconde édition) ~ Wilhelm Reich,
363:... det är bra för en människa att meditera över de drömmar hon haft. Då framstår den passiva tron på vetenskapen som en verklighetsflykt lika mycket som mysticismen. Därför är arbete och handling nödvändiga. Men de måste vara grundade på tro. Frågan är hur vi kan skaffa oss en tro värdig livet.
'Jag tror på livet och människorna', hade Ahmed sagt. 'Jag anser det vara min plikt att stödja deras ideal, så länge de är riktiga, för passivitet i det fallet innebär feghet och flykt. Jag anser det också vara min plikt att motarbeta deras ideal, om jag tror att de är felaktiga, för passivitet då innebär förräderi.' Man kunde fråga sig: vad är riktigt och vad är felaktigt? Men kanske tvivlet var ett slags verklighetsflykt liksom mysticismen och den passiva tron på vetenskapen. Likväl: kunde man på samma gång vara en idealisk lärare, en idealisk äkta man och en ständig revoltör? ~ Naguib Mahfouz,
364:In the lifetime of the Catalan philosopher and mystic, Ramon Lull (1232–c. 1316), the Iberian peninsula was the home of three great religious and philosophical traditions. Dominant was Christianity and the Catholic Church, but a large part of the country was still under the rule of the Moslem Arabs; and it was in Spain that the Jews of the Middle Ages had their strongest centre. In the world of Ramon Lull, the brilliant civilisation of the Spanish Moslems, with its mysticism, philosophy, art, and science, was close at hand; the Spanish Jews had intensively developed their philosophy, their science and medicine, and their mysticism, or Cabala. To Lull, the Catholic Christian, occurred the generous idea that an Art, based on principles which all three religious traditions held in common, would serve to bind all three together on a common philosophical, scientific, and mystical basis. ~ Frances A Yates,
365:Psychedelic experiences are notoriously hard to render in words; to try is necessarily to do violence to what has been seen and felt, which is in some fundamental way pre- or post-linguistic or, as students of mysticism say, ineffable. Emotions arrive in all their newborn nakedness, unprotected from the harsh light of scrutiny and, especially, the pitiless glare of irony. Platitudes that wouldn't seem out of place on a Hallmark card flow with the force of revealed truth.
Love is everything.
Okay, but what else did you learn?
No - you must not have heard me; it's everything!
Is a platitude so deeply felt still just a platitude? No, I decided. A platitude is precisely what is left of a truth after it has been drained of all emotion. To resaturate that dried husk with feeling is to see it again for what it is: the loveliest and most deeply rooted of truths, hidden in plain sight. ~ Michael Pollan,
366:The progress of the sciences toward theories of fundamental unity, cosmic symmetry (as in the unified field theory)—how do such theories differ, in the end, from that unity which Plato called “unspeakable” and “indiscribable,” the holistic knowledge shared by so many peoples of the earth, Christians included, before the advent of the industrial revolution made new barbarians of the peoples of the West? In the United States, before spiritualist foolishness at the end of the last century confused mysticism with “the occult” and tarnished both, William James wrote a master work of metaphysics; Emerson spoke of “the wise silence, the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal One . . .”; Melville referred to “that profound silence, that only voice of God”; Walt Whitman celebrated the most ancient secret, that no God could be found “more divine than yourself. ~ Peter Matthiessen,
367:Catholicism is not ritualism; it may in the future be fighting some sort of superstitious and idolatrous exaggeration of ritual. Catholicism is not asceticism; it has again and again in the past repressed fanatical and cruel exaggerations of asceticism. Catholicism is not mere mysticism; it is even now defending human reason against the mere mysticism of the Pragmatists. Thus, when the world went Puritan in the seventeenth century, the Church was charged with pushing charity to the point of sophistry, with making everything easy with the laxity of the confessional. Now that the world is not going Puritan but Pagan, it is the Church that is everywhere protesting against a Pagan laxity in dress or manners. It is doing what the Puritans wanted done when it is really wanted. In all probability, all that is best in Protestantism will only survive in Catholicism; and in that sense all Catholics will still be Puritans when all Puritans are Pagans. ~ G K Chesterton,
368:A: Absorbed in our discussion of immortality, we had let night fall without lighting the lamp, and we couldn't see each other's faces. With an offhandedness or gentleness more convincing than passion would have been, Macedonio Fernandez' voice said once more that the soul is immortal. He assured me that the death of the body is altogether insignificant, and that dying has to be the most unimportant thing that can happen to a man. I was playing with Macedonio's pocketknife, opening and closing it. A nearby accordion was infinitely dispatching La Comparsita, that dismaying trifle that so many people like because it's been misrepresented to them as being old... I suggested to Macedonio that we kill ourselves, so we might have our discussion without all that racket.
Z: (mockingly) But I suspect that at the last moment you reconsidered.
A: (now deep in mysticism) Quite frankly, I don't remember whether we committed suicide that night or not. ~ Jorge Luis Borges,
369:Two moral forces shaped how we think and live in this shining twentieth century: the Virgin, and the Dynamo. The Dynamo represents the desire to know; the Virgin represents the freedom not to know.
What's the Virgin made of? Things that we think are silly, mostly. The peculiar logic of dreams, or the inexplicable stirring we feel when we look on someone that's beautiful not in a way that we all agree is beautiful, but the unique way in which a single person is. The Virgin is faith and mysticism; miracle and instinct; art and randomness.
On the other hand, you have the Dynamo: the unstoppable engine. It finds the logic behind a seeming miracle and explains that miracle away; it finds the order in randomness to which we're blind; it takes the caliper to a young woman's head and quantifies her beauty in terms of pleasing mathematical ratios; it accounts for the secret stirring you felt by discoursing at length on the nervous systems of animals. ~ Dexter Palmer,
370:Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess players do... Perhaps the strongest case of all is this: that only one great English poet went mad, Cowper. And he was definitely driven mad by logic, by the ugly and alien logic of predestination. Poetry was not the disease, but the medicine... He was damned by John Calvin... Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion... The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits... The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason... Materialists and madmen never have doubts... Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have the mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. ~ G K Chesterton,
371:The Ordo Templi Orientis and The Golden Dawn were associated with secret Russian, British and German societies, and especially with Elena Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society, established in New York City in 1875, Rudolph Steiner, the Brüder Des Lichts, and Rudolf von Sebottendorff, founder of Thule Gesellschaft which attracted Adolf Hitler, Himmler, Karl Haushofer, Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels, Rosenberg, Halford John Mackinder, Hans Frank. These secret associations and alliances linked together German and English occultists in a formidable bond. The blend of esoterism, occult and so-called British-German mysticism deeply influenced Hitler; an alarming movement which was in sharp contrast with Maria Orsic’s metaphysical and occultic movement. Many argued that this strong link between British and German occultists, led Adolf Hitler to believe that England will not take a stand against him. Hitler thought that those occultists had a considerable influence in England. ~ Jean Maximillien De La Croix de Lafayette,
372:I consider myself a spiritual atheist. I don't believe in a god but I believe in us - human beings. And I believe there is more goodwill than ill will in the world. If you look at all the religions in the world, they have broadly two components: there are that religion's philosophies and rules for life (which you can agree with or disagree with - applying one's common sense), and then on top of them there is a mysticism. A mystical god that you can never see or meet. If you remove the mysticism, then there are just the philosophies and rules for life that you can agree with or disagree with. I encourage you to remove the mysticism and just apply common sense to the ideas. And there is a rule in every major religion, called the Golden Rule. Essentially: treat other people the way you'd like to be treated yourself. If we all did this, the whole world would work instantaneously. Praying, meditation - fine. But just follow the Golden Rule and the whole world works. Making the world work could be that simple. ~ Eddie Izzard,
373:The choices aren't between a false but soothing mysticism and an acceptance of an indifferent universe. Rather, the choice is between an easy mysticism and genuine mystery. This is a very different choice! It is one that a smart person can embrace and applaud—and even grow excited about. He never again has to bang his head against the brick wall of mystery. He can just let it be mysterious. The mystic has made a poor choice, one that a smart person with a mystical bent will never really feel completely comfortable embracing. The mystic, instead of acknowledging that she has absolutely no clue as to what created the universe or how the universe operates, prefers to act like she understands—and, more than that, that the answer is simple and straightforward. If she has a scientific bent, she turns metaphors from physics into proofs of the existence of gods or of a cosmic consciousness. If she has no scientific bent, she simply opts for whatever occult system or language she is born into or that speaks to her. ~ Eric Maisel,
374:But it is the event horizon around a black hole where the Tull-Toks claim the greatest books are to be found. When a Tull-Tok is tired of browsing through the endless universal library, she drifts toward a black hole. As she accelerates toward the point of no return, the streaming gamma rays and x-rays unveil more and more of the ultimate mystery for which all the other books are but glosses. The book reveals itself to be ever more complex, more nuanced, and just as she is about to be overwhelmed by the immensity of the book she is reading, she realizes with a start that time has slowed down to standstill, and she will have eternity to read it as she falls forever towards a center that she will never reach.
Finally, a book has triumphed over time.
Of course, no Tull-Tok has ever returned from such a journey, and many dismiss their discussion of reading black holes as pure myth. Indeed, many consider the Tull-Toks to be nothing more than illiterate frauds who rely on mysticism to disguise their ignorance. ~ Ken Liu,
375:At the age of twenty, I obtained my first copy of The Eye in the Triangle at an Occult Bookstore in Los Angeles called The Psychic Eye and, naturally, I read it with the greatest enthusiasm and interest, and I excitedly extracted the essentials from its pages. It subsequently left a deep impression upon my mind, and it has continued to influence my life in ways invaluable to my growth as both a man and a magician. Since that first reading, I have read the book a few more times, including recently, and every time it has illumined my understanding of Crowley, his magick and his mysticism in some manner or another useful to my life and magical progress. I have read most published and unpublished works by Israel Regardie, but this book is the one he wrote that moved me the most, finding the greatest meaning and place in the sanctuary of my soul. I feel that The Eye in the Triangle is essential reading material for anyone who is seriously interested in learning about the life, magick and mysticism of Aleister Crowley. ~ David Cherubim,
376:I contemplated her, seeing her young bland face looking at me, now removed as if behind a gauze curtain. She quietly invited me to suffer. There was a great space now, a great silent hall in which this suffering could take place. There was no urgency now, nothing to plan, nothing to achieve. What shall I do with it, I asked her, what shall I do now with my love for you which you so terribly revived by reappearing in my life? Why did you come back, if you could not content me? What can I do now with the great useless machine of my love which has no wholesome work to do? I can do nothing for you any more, my darling. I wondered if I would be fated to live with this love, making of it a shrine which could not now be desecrated. Perhaps when I was living alone and being everyone's uncle like a celibate priest I would keep this fruitless love as my secret chapel. Could I then learn to love uselessly and unpossessively and would this prove to be the monastic mysticism which I had hoped to attain when I came away to the sea? ~ Iris Murdoch,
377:Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. "He that will lose his life, the same shall save it," is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. ~ G K Chesterton,
378:Let it be stated clearly that mysticism is an a-rational type of experience, and in some degree common to all men.
It is an intuitive, self-evident, self-recognized knowledge which comes fitfully to man. It should not be confounded with the instinctive and immediate knowledge possessed by animals and used by them in their adaptations to environment.
The average man seldom pays enough attention to his slight mystical experiences to profit or learn from them. Yet his need for them is evidenced by his incessant seeking for the thrills, sensations, uplifts, and so on, which he organizes for himself in so many ways--the religious way being only one of them. In fact, the failure of religion--in the West, at any rate--to teach true mysticism, and its overlaying of the deeply mystic nature of its teachings with a pseudo-rationalism and an unsound historicity may be the root cause for driving people to seek for things greater than they feel their individual selves to be in the many sensation-giving activities in the world today. ~ Paul Brunton,
379:This last figure, the White Magician, symbolizes the self-transcending element in the scientist's motivational drive and emotional make-up; his humble immersion into the mysteries of nature, his quest for the harmony of the spheres, the origin of life, the equations of a unified field theory. The conquistadorial urge is derived from a sense of power, the participatory urge from a sense of oceanic wonder. 'Men were first led to the study of natural philosophy', wrote Aristotle, 'as indeed they are today, by wonder.' Maxwell's earliest memory was 'lying on the grass, looking at the sun, and wondering'. Einstein struck the same chord when he wrote that whoever is devoid of the capacity to wonder, 'whoever remains unmoved, whoever cannot contemplate or know the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment, might just as well be dead for he has already closed his eyes upon life'.
This oceanic feeling of wonder is the common source of religious mysticism, of pure science and art for art's sake; it is their common denominator and emotional bond. ~ Arthur Koestler,
380:The one created thing which we cannot look at is the one thing in the light of which we look at everything. Like the sun at noonday, mysticism explains everything else by the blaze of its own victorious invisibility. Detached intellectualism is (in the exact sense of a popular phrase) all moonshine; for it is light without heat, and it is secondary light, reflected from a dead world. But the Greeks were right when they made Apollo the god both of imagination and of sanity; for he was both the patron of poetry and the patron of healing. Of necessary dogmas and a special creed I shall speak later. But that transcendentalism by which all men live has primarily much the position of the sun in the sky. We are conscious of it as of a kind of splendid confusion; it is something both shining and shapeless, at once a blaze and a blur. But the circle of the moon is as clear and unmistakable, as recurrent and inevitable, as the circle of Euclid on a blackboard. For the moon is utterly reasonable; and the moon is the mother of lunatics and has given to them all her name. ~ G K Chesterton,
381:There are many other escapes from the empirical, external self, which might seem to be, but are not, contemplation. For instance, the experience of being seized and taken out of oneself by collective enthusiasm, in a totalitarian parade: the self-righteous upsurge of party loyalty that blots out conscience and absolves every criminal tendency in the name of Class, Nation, Party, Race or Sect. The danger and the attraction of these false mystiques of Nation and of Class is precisely that they seduce and pretend to satisfy those who are no longer aware of any deep or genuine spiritual need. The false mysticism of the Mass Society captivates men who are so alienated from themselves and from God that they are no longer capable of genuine spiritual experience. Yet it is precisely these ersatz forms of enthusiasm that are “opium” for the people, deadening their awareness of their deepest and most personal needs, alienating them from their true selves, putting conscience and personality to sleep and turning free, reasonable men into passive instruments of the power politician. ~ Thomas Merton,
382:Since it might appear unusual that a bio-psychiatrist should work as an expert in the realm of non-living nature, I believe it will be helpful to give the following summary:
My present work began in the realm of psychiatry and psychoanalysis, with natural scientific investigations of the energy at work in human emotions.
This led to the discovery of the bio-energy in the living organism, termed organismic orgone energy; and further to the discovery of the same type of a basically physical orgone energy in the atmosphere.
Orgonomy is not psychiatry, but the science of biophysics of the emotions, thus also including psychiatry, and physics in the realm of basic cosmic orgone energy.
It is not mysticism, but natural scientific, experimental investigation, also of mystical emotions and experiences.
Orgone energy is energy before matter (not after matter, as is atomic energy). It is studied by means of Geiger-Müller Counters and other physical instruments.
It follows entirely new, hitherto unknown functional laws of nature, and not the well known mechanical laws of electricity, heat, or mechanics. ~ Wilhelm Reich,
383:...on a number of occasions this book has made reference to magic, and each time you've shaken your head, muttering such criticisms as "What does he mean by 'magic' anyhow? It's embarrassing to find a grown man talking about magic in such a manner. How can anybody take him seriously?" Or, as slightly more gracious readers have objected, "Doesn't the author realize that one can't write about magic? One can create it but not discuss it. It's much too gossamer for that. Magic can be neither described nor defined. Using words to describe magic is like using a screwdriver to slice roast beef."
To which the author now replies, Sorry, freeloaders, you're clever but you're not quite correct. Magic isn't the fuzzy, fragile, abstract and ephemeral quality you think it is. In fact, magic is distinguished from mysticism by its very concreteness and practicality. Whereas mysticism is manifest only in spiritual essence, in the transcendental state, magic demands a steady naturalistic base. Mysticism reveals the ethereal in the tangible. Magic makes something permanent out of the transitory, coaxes drama from the colloquial. ~ Tom Robbins,
384:What is fantasy? On one level, of course, it is a game: a pure pretense with no ulterior motive whatever. It is one child saying to another child, “Let’s be dragons,” and then they’re dragons for an hour or two. It is escapism of the most admirable kind—the game played for the game’s sake.
On another level, it is still a game, but a game played for very high stakes. Seen thus, as art, not spontaneous play, its affinity is not with daydream, but with dream. It is a different approach to reality, an alternative technique for apprehending and coping with existence. It is not antirational but pararational; not realistic, but surrealistic, superrealistic, a heightening of reality. In Freud’s terminology, it employs primary, not secondary process thinking. It employs archetypes, which, Jung warned us, are dangerous things. Dragons are more dangerous, and a good deal commoner, than bears. Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a real wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe. And their guides, the writers of fantasy, should take their responsibilities seriously. ~ Ursula K Le Guin,
385:It is nothing new, these vital lies men tell themselves, muttering and mumbling them like charms and incantations against the powers of Night. The voodoos and medicine men and the devil-devil doctors were the fathers of metaphysics. Night and the Noseless One were ogres that beset the way of light and life. And the metaphysicians would win by if they had to tell lies to do it. They were vexed by the brazen law of the Ecclesiast that men die like the beasts of the field and their end is the same. Their creeds were their schemes, their religions their nostrums, their philosophies their devices, by which they half-believed they would outwit the Noseless One and the Night. "Bog-lights, vapours of mysticism, psychic overtones, soul orgies, wailings among the shadows, weird gnosticisms, veils and tissues of words, gibbering subjectivisms, gropings and maunderings, ontological fantasies, pan-psychic hallucinations—this is the stuff, the phantasms of hope, that fills your bookshelves. Look at them, all the sad wraiths of sad mad men and passionate rebels—your Schopenhauers, your Strindbergs, your Tolstois and Nietzsches. "Come. Your glass is empty. Fill and forget. ~ Jack London,
386:The language of mysticism and spiritual experience cuts a wide swath through the world’s religious traditions, and it presents an alternative theology, that of connection and intimacy. In Christian tradition, Jesus speaks this language when he claims, “The Father and I are one” (John 10: 30), and when he breathes on his followers and fills them with God’s Spirit (20: 22); it appears in the testimony of the apostle Paul, who converts during a mystical encounter with Christ on a road; and it fills the effusive poetry of John the Evangelist, whose vision of God is nothing short of one in which the whole of creation is absorbed into love. When the Bible is read from the perspective of divine nearness, it becomes clear that most prophets, poets, and preachers are particularly worried about religious institutions and practices that perpetuate the gap between God and humanity, making the divine unapproachable or cordoned off behind cadres of priestly mediators, whose interest is in exercising their own power as brokers of salvation. The biblical narrative is that of a God who comes close, compelled by a burning desire to make heaven on earth and occupy human hearts. ~ Diana Butler Bass,
387:If all the world were Christian, it might not matter if all the world were uneducated. But, as it is, a cultural life will exist outside the Church whether it exists inside or not. To be ignorant and simple now -- not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground -- would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether. Most of all, perhaps we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion. A man who has lived in many place is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village: the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune form the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age. ~ C S Lewis,
388:A smart person, one who perhaps had her mind filled with religious ideas as a child but who recognizes that genuine mysteries exist with respect to the origins of the universe, can experience real pain if she opts for an easy mysticism. By the same token, if she refuses to opt for that easy mysticism and announces that she doesn't know ultimate answers and can't know ultimate answers, then she falls prey to the coldness and sadness that come with suspecting that the universe is taking no interest in her. Pain is waiting for her in either case, whether she tries to maintain a mysticism that she can see right through or if she sheds that easy mysticism but then doesn't know how to handle the resultant meaninglessness. As it happens, natural psychology provides a complete, satisfying, and uplifting response to this conundrum, one based on the idea of living the paradigm shift from seeking meaning to making meaning. If, however, she happens not to land on this good idea, she can spend a lifetime mired simultaneously in both unhappy camps, drawn to one mystical or spiritual enthusiasm after another—one year a Catholic, then a Buddhist, then a pagan, then a Taoist, then something with no name but with New Age trappings, and so on—while at the same time paralyzed by the thought that the universe has no meaning. ~ Eric Maisel,
389:PREFACE Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole, including its birth and perhaps its ultimate fate. Not surprisingly, it has undergone many transformations in its slow, painful evolution, an evolution often overshadowed by religious dogma and superstition. The first revolution in cosmology was ushered in by the introduction of the telescope in the 1600s. With the aid of the telescope, Galileo Galilei, building on the work of the great astronomers Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler, was able to open up the splendor of the heavens for the first time to serious scientific investigation. The advancement of this first stage of cosmology culminated in the work of Isaac Newton, who finally laid down the fundamental laws governing the motion of the celestial bodies. Instead of magic and mysticism, the laws of heavenly bodies were now seen to be subject to forces that were computable and reproducible. A second revolution in cosmology was initiated by the introduction of the great telescopes of the twentieth century, such as the one at Mount Wilson with its huge 100-inch reflecting mirror. In the 1920s, astronomer Edwin Hubble used this giant telescope to overturn centuries of dogma, which stated that the universe was static and eternal, by demonstrating that the galaxies in the heavens are moving away ~ Michio Kaku,
390:The [character-]armored, mechanistically rigid person thinks mechanistically, produces mechanistic tools, and forms a mechanistic conception of nature.
The armored person who feels his orgonotic body excitations in spite of his biological rigidity, but does not understand them, is mystic man. He is interested not in "material" but in "spiritual" things. He forms a mystical, supernatural idea about nature.
Both the mechanist and the mystic stand inside the limits and conceptual laws of a civilization which is ruled by a contradictory and murderous mixture of machines and gods. This civilization forms the mechanistic-mystical structures of men, and the mechanistic-mystical character structures keep reproducing a the mechanistic-mystical civilization. Both mechanists and mystics find themselves inside the framework of human structure in a civilization conditioned by mechanistics and mysticism. They cannot grasp the basic problems of this civilization because their thinking and philosophy correspond exactly to the condition they project and continue to reproduce. In order to realize the power of mysticism, one has only to think of the murderous conflict between Hindus and Muslims at the time India was divided. To comprehend what mechanistic civilization means, think of the "age of the atom bomb. ~ Wilhelm Reich,
391:The fascist dictator declares that the masses of people are biologically inferior and crave authority, that basically, they are slaves by nature. Hence, a totalitarian authoritarian regime is the only possible form of government for such people. It is significant that all dictators who today plunge the world into misery stem from the suppressed masses of people. They are intimately familiar with this sickness on the part of masses of people. What they lack is an insight into natural processes and development, the will to truth and research, so that they are never moved by a desire to want to change these facts.
On the other hand, the formal democratic leaders made the mistake of assuming that the masses of people were automatically capable of freedom and thereby precluded every possibility of establishing freedom and self-responsibility in masses of people as long as they were in power. They were engulfed in the catastrophe and will never reappear.
Our answer is scientific and rational. It is based on the fact that masses of people are indeed incapable of freedom, but it does not—as racial mysticism does—look upon this incapacity as absolute, innate, and eternal. It regards this incapacity as the result of former social conditions of life and, therefore, as changeable. ~ Wilhelm Reich,
392:There had been an uprising by the Bondelswaartz in 1922, and general turmoil in the country. His radio experiments interrupted, he sought refuge, along with a few score other whites, in the villa of a local landowner named Foppl. The place was a stronghold, cut off on all sides by deep ravines. After a few months of siege and debauchery, “haunted by a profound disgust for everything European,” Mondaugen went out alone into the bush, ended up living with the Ovatjimba, the aardvark people, who are the poorest of the Hereros. They accepted him with no questions. He thought of himself, there and here, as a radio transmitter of some kind, and believed that whatever he was broadcasting at the time was at least no threat to them. In his electro-mysticism, the triode was as basic as the cross in Christianity. Think of the ego, the self that suffers a personal history bound to time, as the grid. The deeper and true Self is the flow between cathode and plate. The constant, pure flow. Signals - sense data, feeling, memories relocating - are put onto the grid, and modulate the flow. We live lives that are waveforms constantly changing with time, now positive, now negative. Only at moments of great serenity is it possible to find the pure, the informationless state of signal zero.
“In the name of the cathode, the anode, and the holy grid. ~ Thomas Pynchon,
393:L'éducation sexuelle familiale est condamnée à détériorer la sexualité de l'individu. Si tel ou tel individu réussit malgré tout à accéder à une vie sexuelle saine, il le fait d'ordinaire aux dépens des liens familiaux.
La répression des besoins sexuels provoque l'anémie intellectuelle et émotionnelle générale, et en particulier le manque d'indépendance, de volonté et d'esprit critique. La société autoritaire n'est pas liée à la "morale en soi", mais bien plutôt aux altérations de l'être psychique, qui, destinées à l'ancrage de la morale sexuelle, constituent en premier lieu cette structure mentale qui est la base psychique collective de toute société autoritaire. La structure servile est un mixte d'impuissance sexuelle, de détresse, d'aspiration à un appui, à un Führer, de crainte de l'autorité, de peur de la vie et de mysticisme. Elle se caractérise par un loyalisme dévot mêlé de révolte. La peur de la sexualité et l'hypocrisie sexuelle caractérisent le "bourgeois" et son milieu. Les individus ayant cette structure sont inaptes à un mode de vie démocratique, et annihilent tout effort destiné à instituer et à maintenir des organisations régies par des principes véritablement démocratiques. Ils constituent le terrain psychologique sur lequel peuvent proliférer les tendances dictatoriales ou bureaucratiques de dirigeants démocratiquement élus. (p. 140-141) ~ Wilhelm Reich,
394:Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. Thus, he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also. Thus, he believes that children were indeed the kingdom of heaven, but nevertheless ought to be obedient to the kingdom of earth. He admired youth because it was young and age because it was not. It is exactly this balance of apparent contradictions that has been the whole buoyancy of the healthy man. The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid. ~ G K Chesterton,
395:How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Ephesians 4, 14). Having a clear Faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching', looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires. However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. Being an 'Adult' means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today's fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature. It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth. ~ Benedict XVI,
396:Sentences like the following are found in many mystical and reactionary writings though not as clearly formulated as by Hutten:
''Kulturbolschewismus is nothing new. It is based on a striving which humanity has had since its earliest days: the longing for happiness. It is the eternal nostalgia for paradise on earth . . . The religion of faith is replaced by the religion of pleasure.''
We, on the other hand, ask: Why not happiness on earth? Why should not pleasure be the content of life? If one were to put this question to a general vote, no reactionary ideology could stand up.
The reactionary also recognizes, though in a mystical manner, the connection between mysticism and compulsive marriage and family:
''Because of this responsibility (for the possible consequences of pleasure), society has created the institution of marriage which, as a lifelong union, provides the protective frame for the sexual relationship.''
Right after this, we find the whole register of "cultural values" which, in the framework of reactionary ideology, fit together like the parts of a machine:
''Marriage as a tie, the family as a duty, the fatherland as value of its own, morality as authority, religion as obligation from eternity.''
It would be impossible better to describe the rigidity of human plasma! ~ Wilhelm Reich,
397:We are often told, that in the critical periods of history it is the national soul which counts: that "where there is no vision, the people perish." No nation is truly defeated which retains its spiritual self-possession. No nation is truly victorious which does not emerge with soul unstained. If this be so, it becomes a part of true patriotism to keep the spiritual life, both of the individual citizen and of the social group, active and vigorous; its vision of realities unsullied by the entangled interests and passions of the time. This is a task in which all may do their part. 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 realised 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 practise it. It will help them to enter, more completely than ever before, into the life of the group to which they belong. It will teach them to see the world in a truer proportion, discerning eternal beauty beyond and beneath apparent ruthlessness. It will educate them in a charity free from all taint of sentimentalism; it will confer on them an unconquerable hope; and assure them that still, even in the hour of greatest desolation, "There lives the dearest freshness deep down things. ~ Evelyn Underhill,
398:Sometimes, we expect life to work a certain way and when it doesn’t we blame others or see it as a sign, rather than face the pain of the choices we should or shouldn’t have made. Real healing won’t begin until we stop saying, “God prevented this or that.” Often in our attempt to protect ourselves from pain, we leave things to fate and don’t take chances. Or, we don’t work hard enough to keep the blessings we are given. Maybe, we didn't recognize a blessing, until it was too late. Often, it is the lies we tell ourselves that keeps us stuck in a delusion of not being responsible for our lives. We leave it all up to God. The truth is we are not leaves blowing toward our destiny without any control. To believe this is to take away our freedom of choice and that of others. The final stage of grief is acceptance. This can’t be reached through always believing God willed the outcomes in our lives, despite our inaction or actions. To think so is to take the easy escape from our accountability. Sometimes, God has nothing to do with it. Sometimes, we just screwed up and guarded our heart from accepting it, by putting our outcome on God as the reason it turned out the way it did. Faith is a beautiful thing, but without work we can give into a mysticism of destiny that really doesn't teach us lessons or consequences for our actions. Life then becomes a distorted delusion of no accountability with God always to blame for battles we walked away from, won or loss. ~ Shannon L Alder,
399:Thus we arrive at the problem of the relation of religion to the negation of sexual desire. Sexual debility results in a lowering of self-confidence. In one case it is compensated by the brutalization of sexuality, to maintain sexual repression, in the other by rigid character traits. The compulsion to control one's sexuality, to maintain sexual repression, leads to the development of pathologic, emotionally tinged notions of honor and duty, bravery and self-control. But the pathology and emotionality of these psychic attitudes are strongly at variance with the reality of one's personal behavior. The man who attains genital satisfaction, is honorable, responsible, brave, and controlled, without making much of a fuss about it. These attitudes are an organic part of his personality. The man whose genitals are weakened, whose sexual structure is full of contradictions, must continually remind himself to control his sexuality, to preserve his sexual dignity, to be brave in the face of temptation, etc. The struggle to resist the temptation to masturbate is a struggle that is experienced by every adolescent and every child, without exception. All the elements of the reactionary man's structure are developed in this struggle. It is in the lower middle classes that this structure is reinforced most strongly and embedded most deeply. Every form of mysticism derives it's most active energy and, in part, also it's content from this compulsory suppression of sexuality. ~ Wilhelm Reich,
400:Take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. 'He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,' is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if we will risk it on the precipice.
He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. ~ G K Chesterton,
401:And the child, Francie Nolan, was of all the Rommelys and all the Nolans. She had the violent weaknesses and passion for beauty of the shanty Nolans. She was a mosaic of her grandmother Rommely’s mysticism, her tale-telling, her great belief in everything and her compassion for the weak ones. She had a lot of her grandfather Rommely’s cruel will. She had some of her Aunt Evy’s talent for mimicking, some of Ruthie Nolan’s possessiveness. She had Aunt Sissy’s love for life and her love for children. She had Johnny’s sentimentality without his good looks. She had all of Katie’s soft ways and only half of the invisible steel of Katie. She was made up of all of these good and these bad things. She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie’s secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father staggering home drunk. She was all of these things and of something more that did not come from the Rommelys nor the Nolans, the reading, the observing, the living from day to day. It was something that had been born into her and her only—the something different from anyone else in the two families. It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life—the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike. ~ Betty Smith,
402:And the child, Francie Nolan, was of all the Rommelys and all the Nolans. She had the violent weaknesses and passion for beauty of the shanty Nolans. She was a mosaic of her grandmother Rommely's mysticism, her tale-telling, her great belief in everything and her compassion for the weak ones. She had a lot of her grandfather Rommely's cruel will. She had some of her Aunt Evy's talent for mimicking, some of Ruthie Nolan's possessiveness. She had Aunt Sissy's love for life and her love for children. She had Johnny's sentimentality without his good looks. She had all of Katie's soft ways and only half of the invisible steel of Katie. She was made up of all these good and these bad things.
She was made up of more, too. She was the books she read in the library. She was the flower in the brown bowl. Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Kitie's secret, desparing weeping. She was the shame of her father staggering home drunk.
She was all of these things and of something more that did not come from the Rommelys nor the Nolans, the reading, the observing, the living from day to day. It was something that had been born into her and her only- the something different from anyone else in the two families. It was what God or whatever is His equivalent puts into each soul that is given life- the one different thing such as that which makes no two fingerprints on the face of the earth alike. ~ Betty Smith,
403:Charles is difficult to pigeonhole politically. Tony Blair wrote that he considered him a “curious mixture of the traditional and the radical (at one level he was quite New Labour, at another definitely not) and of the princely and insecure.” He is certainly conservative in his old-fashioned dress and manners, his advocacy of traditional education in the arts and humanities, his reverence for classical architecture and the seventeenth-century Book of Common Prayer. But his forays into mysticism and his jeremiads against scientific progress, industrial development, and globalization give him an eccentric air. “One of the main purposes of the monarchy is to unite the country and not divide it,” said Kenneth Rose. When the Queen took the throne at age twenty-five, she was a blank slate, which gave her a great advantage in maintaining the neutrality necessary to preserve that unity. It was a gentler time, and she could develop her leadership style quietly. But it has also taken vigilance and discipline for her to keep her views private over so many decades. Charles has the disadvantage of a substantial public record of strong and sometimes contentious opinions, not to mention the private correspondence with government ministers protected by exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act that could come back to haunt him if any of it is made public. One letter that did leak was written in 1997 to a group of friends after a visit to Hong Kong and described the country’s leaders as “appalling old waxworks. ~ Sally Bedell Smith,
404:Imagine a young Isaac Newton time-travelling from 1670s England to teach Harvard undergrads in 2017. After the time-jump, Newton still has an obsessive, paranoid personality, with Asperger’s syndrome, a bad stutter, unstable moods, and episodes of psychotic mania and depression. But now he’s subject to Harvard’s speech codes that prohibit any “disrespect for the dignity of others”; any violations will get him in trouble with Harvard’s Inquisition (the ‘Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’). Newton also wants to publish Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, to explain the laws of motion governing the universe. But his literary agent explains that he can’t get a decent book deal until Newton builds his ‘author platform’ to include at least 20k Twitter followers – without provoking any backlash for airing his eccentric views on ancient Greek alchemy, Biblical cryptography, fiat currency, Jewish mysticism, or how to predict the exact date of the Apocalypse.
Newton wouldn’t last long as a ‘public intellectual’ in modern American culture. Sooner or later, he would say ‘offensive’ things that get reported to Harvard and that get picked up by mainstream media as moral-outrage clickbait. His eccentric, ornery awkwardness would lead to swift expulsion from academia, social media, and publishing. Result? On the upside, he’d drive some traffic through Huffpost, Buzzfeed, and Jezebel, and people would have a fresh controversy to virtue-signal about on Facebook. On the downside, we wouldn’t have Newton’s Laws of Motion. ~ Geoffrey Miller,
405:The mystics have always stressed the religious aspect of Islam, the rationalists the other one. All the same, both of them have always had difficulties with Islam, simply because it cannot be put into any of their classifications. Take wudu as an example. A mystic will define it as a religious ablution with symbolic meaning. A rationalist will look upon it as a matter of hygiene only. They are both right, but only partly. The defectiveness of the mystic explanation lies in the fact that it lets the hygienic side of wudu become a mere form. Following the same logic in other questions, this approach will reduce Islam to pure religion, by eliminating all physical, intellectual, and social components from it. The rationalists take quite the opposite way. By neglecting the religious side, they degrade Islam to a political movement only, creating a new type of nationalism from it, a so called Islamic nationalism, deprived of ethical-religious substance, empty and equal to all other nationalisms in this regard. To be a Muslim in this case, does not represent an appeal or a duty, a moral or a religious obligation, or any attitude to the universal truth. It means only belonging to a group different from the other one. Islam has never been only a nation. Rather, Islam is a call to a nation, " to enjoin the right and to forbid the wrong" Quran- that is, to perform a moral mission. If we disregard the political component of Islam and accept religious mysticism , we silently admit dependence and slavery. On the contrary, if we ignore the religious component , we cease to be any moral force. ~ Alija Izetbegovi,
406:Now the final dogmatic veil has been eternally torn away, the final mystical spirit is being extinguished. And here stand today's people, defenseless-face to face with the indescribable gloom, on the dividing line of light and darkness, and now no one can protect his heart any longer from the terrifying cold drifting up out of the abyss. Wherever we might go, wherever we might hide behind the barrier of scientific criticism, we feel with all our being the nearness of a mystery, the nearness of the ocean.
There are no limits! We are free and lonely... No enslaved mysticism of a previous age can be compared with this terror. Never before have people felt in their hearts such a need to believe, and in their minds comprehended their inability to believe. In this diseased and irresolvable dissonance, in this tragic contradiction, as well as in the unheard-of intellectual freedom, in the courage of negation, is contained the most characteristic feature of the mystical need of the nineteenth century.
Our time must define in two contrasting features this time of the most extreme materialism and at the same time of the most passionate idealistic outbursts of the spirit. We are witnessing a mighty and all-important struggle between two views of life, between two diametrically opposed worldviews. The final demands of religious feeling are experiencing a confrontation with the final conclusions of the experimental sciences.
The intellectual struggle which filled the nineteenth century could not but be reflected in contemporary literature.
("On The Reasons For The Decline And On The New Tendencies In Contemporary Literature") ~ Dmitry Merezhkovsky,
407:My vocation in life is to wonder about at the nature of the universe. This leads me into philosophy, psychology, religion, and mysticism, not only as subjects to be discussed but also as things to be experienced, and thus I make an at least tacit claim to be a philosopher and a mystic. Some people, therefore, expect me to be their guru or messiah or exemplar, and are extremely disconcerted when they discover my “wayward spirit” or element of irreducible rascality, and say to their friends, “How could he possibly be a genuine mystic and be so addicted to nicotine and alcohol?” Or have occasional shudders of anxiety? Or be sexually interested in women? Or lack enthusiasm for physical exercise? Or have any need for money? Such people have in mind an idealized vision of the mystic as a person wholly free from fear and attachment, who sees within and without, and on all sides, only the translucent forms of a single divine energy which is everlasting love and delight, as which and from which he effortlessly radiates peace, charity, and joy. What an enviable situation! We, too, would like to be one of those, but as we start to meditate and look into ourselves we find mostly a quaking and palpitating mess of anxiety which lusts and loathes, needs love and attention, and lives in terror of death putting an end to its misery. So we despise that mess, and look for ways of controlling it and putting “how the true mystic feels” in its place, not realizing that this ambition is simply one of the lusts of the quaking mess, and that this, in turn, is a natural form of the universe like rain and frost, slugs and snails, flies and disease. When the “true mystic” sees flies and disease as translucent forms of the divine, that does not abolish them. I—making no hard-and-fast distinction between inner and outer experience—see my quaking mess as a form of the divine, and that doesn’t abolish it either. But at least I can live with it. ~ Alan W Watts,
408:In some cases, the reaction to Cantor’s theory broke along national lines. French mathematicians, on the whole, were wary of its metaphysical aura. Henri Poincaré (who rivaled Germany’s Hilbert as the greatest mathematician of the era) observed that higher infinities “have a whiff of form without matter, which is repugnant to the French spirit.” Russian mathematicians, by contrast, enthusiastically embraced the newly revealed hierarchy of infinities. Why the contrary French and Russian reactions? Some observers have chalked it up to French rationalism versus Russian mysticism. That is the explanation proffered, for example, by Loren Graham, an American historian of science retired from MIT, and Jean-Michel Kantor, a mathematician at the Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu in Paris, in their book Naming Infinity (2009). And it was the Russian mystics who better served the cause of mathematical progress—so argue Graham and Kantor. The intellectual milieu of the French mathematicians, they observe, was dominated by Descartes, for whom clarity and distinctness were warrants of truth, and by Auguste Comte, who insisted that science be purged of metaphysical speculation. Cantor’s vision of a never-ending hierarchy of infinities seemed to offend against both. The Russians, by contrast, warmed to the spiritual nimbus of Cantor’s theory. In fact, the founding figures of the most influential school of twentieth-century Russian mathematics were adepts of a heretical religious sect called the Name Worshippers. Members of the sect believed that by repetitively chanting God’s name, they could achieve fusion with the divine. Name Worshipping, traceable to fourth-century Christian hermits in the deserts of Palestine, was revived in the modern era by a Russian monk called Ilarion. In 1907, Ilarion published On the Mountains of the Caucasus, a book that described the ecstatic experiences he induced in himself while chanting the names of Christ and God over and over again until his breathing and heartbeat were in tune with the words. ~ Jim Holt,
409:The differences between religions are reflected very clearly in the different forms of sacred art: compared with Gothic art, above all in its “flamboyant” style, Islamic art is contemplative rather than volitive: it is “intellectual” and not “dramatic”, and it opposes the cold beauty of geometrical design to the mystical heroism of cathedrals. Islam is the perspective of “omnipresence” (“God is everywhere”), which coincides with that of “simultaneity” (“Truth has always been”); it aims at avoiding any “particularization” or “condensation”, any “unique fact” in time and space, although as a religion it necessarily includes an aspect of “unique fact”, without which it would be ineffective or even absurd. In other words Islam aims at what is “everywhere center”, and this is why, symbolically speaking, it replaces the cross with the cube or the woven fabric: it “decentralizes” and “universalizes” to the greatest possible extent, in the realm of art as in that of doctrine; it is opposed to any individualist mode and hence to any “personalist” mysticism.
To express ourselves in geometrical terms, we could say that a point which seeks to be unique, and which thus becomes an absolute center, appears to Islam—in art as in theology—as a usurpation of the divine absoluteness and therefore as an “association” (shirk); there is only one single center, God, whence the prohibition against “centralizing” images, especially statues; even the Prophet, the human center of the tradition, has no right to a “Christic uniqueness” and is “decentralized” by the series of other Prophets; the same is true of Islam—or the Koran—which is similarly integrated in a universal “fabric” and a cosmic “rhythm”, having been preceded by other religions—or other “Books”—which it merely restores. The Kaaba, center of the Muslim world, becomes space as soon as one is inside the building: the ritual direction of prayer is then projected toward the four cardinal points.
If Christianity is like a central fire, Islam on the contrary resembles a blanket of snow, at once unifying and leveling and having its center everywhere. ~ Frithjof Schuon,
410:It's ironic that Juanita has come into this place in a low-tech, black-and-white
avatar. She was the one who figured out a way to make avatars show something
close to real emotion. That is a fact Hiro has never forgotten, because she did
most of her work when they were together, and whenever an avatar looks surprised
or angry or passionate in the Metaverse, he sees an echo of himself or Juanita -
- the Adam and Eve of the Metaverse. Makes it hard to forget.
Shortly after Juanita and Da5id got divorced, The Black Sun really took off.
And once they got done counting their money, marketing the spinoffs, soaking up
the adulation of others in the hacker community, they all came to the
realization that what made this place a success was not the collision-avoidance
algorithms or the bouncer daemons or any of that other stuff. It was Juanita's
faces. Just ask the businessmen in the Nipponese Quadrant. They come here to
talk turkey with suits from around the world, and they consider it just as good
as a face-to-face. They more or less ignore what is being said -- a lot gets
lost in translation, after all. They pay attention to the facial expressions
and body language of the people they are talking to. And that's how they know
what's going on inside a person's head-by condensing fact from the vapor of
Juanita refused to analyze this process, insisted that it was something
ineffable, something you couldn't explain with words. A radical, rosary-toting
Catholic, she has no problem with that kind of thing. But the bitheads didn't
like it. Said it was irrational mysticism. So she quit and took a job with
some Nipponese company. They don't have any problem with irrational mysticism
as long as it makes money.
But Juanita never comes to The Black Sun anymore. Partly, she's pissed at Da5id
and the other hackers who never appreciated her work. But she has also decided
that the whole thing is bogus. That no matter how good it is, the Metaverse is
distorting the way people talk to each other, and she wants no such distortion
in her relationships. ~ Neal Stephenson,
411:and only much later, when Mascha wanted a child, did I realize that love is a deadly poison, a vice, a vice that one wants to see shared, & that if one of the two involved is smitten, the other is often no more than a passive participant, or vixxtim, or possessed. And Moravagine was possessed.
Love is masochistic. These cries & complaints, these sweet alarms. this anguished state of lovers, this suspense, this latent pain that is just below the surface, almost unexpressed, these thousand & one anxieties over the loved one's absence, this feeling of time rushing by, this touchiness, these fits of temper, these long daydreams, this childish fickleness of behavior, this moral torture where vanity & self-esteem, or perhaps honor, upbringing & modesty are at stake, these highs & lows in the nervous tone, these leaps of imagination, this fetishism, this cruel precision of senses, whipping & probing, the collapse, the prostration, the abdication, the self-abasement, the perpetual loss & recovery of one's personality, these stammered words & phrases, these pet-names, this intimacy, these hesitations in physical contact, these epileptic tremors, these successive & even more frequent relapses, this more & more turbulent & stormy passion with its ravages progressing to the point of complete inhibition & annihilation of the soul, the debility of the senses, the exhaustion of the marrow, the erasure of the brain & even the desiccation of the heart, this yearning for ruin, for destruction, for mutilation, this need of effusiveness, of adoration, of mysticism, this insatiability which expresses itself in hyper-irritability of the of mucus membranes, in errant taste, in vasomotor or peripheral disorders, & which conjures up jealousy & vengeance, crimes, prevarications & treacheries, this idolatry, this incurable melancholy, this apathy, this profound moral misery, this definitive & harrowing doubt, this despair--are not all these stigmata the very symptoms of love in which we can first diagnose, then trace with a sure hand, the clinical curve of masochism? ~ Blaise Cendrars,
412:Politics is the science of domination, and persons in the process of enlargement and illumination are notoriously difficult to control. Therefore, to protect its vested interests, politics usurped religion a very long time ago. Kings bought off priests with land and adornments. Together, they drained the shady ponds and replaced them with fish tanks. The walls of the tanks were constructed of ignorance and superstition, held together with fear. They called the tanks “synagogues” or “churches” or “mosques.” After the tanks were in place, nobody talked much about soul anymore. Instead, they talked about spirit. Soul is hot and heavy. Spirit is cool, abstract, detached. Soul is connected to the earth and its waters. Spirit is connected to the sky and its gases. Out of the gases springs fire. Firepower. It has been observed that the logical extension of all politics is war. Once religion became political, the exercise of it, too, could be said to lead sooner or later to war. “War is hell.” Thus, religious belief propels us straight to hell. History unwaveringly supports this view. (Each modern religion has boasted that it and it alone is on speaking terms with the Deity, and its adherents have been quite willing to die—or kill—to support its presumptuous claims.) Not every silty bayou could be drained, of course. The soulfish that bubbled and snapped in the few remaining ponds were tagged “mystics.” They were regarded as mavericks, exotic and inferior. If they splashed too high, they were thought to be threatening and in need of extermination. The fearful flounders in the tanks, now psychologically dependent upon addictive spirit flakes, had forgotten that once upon a time they, too, had been mystical. Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished. Those who witness the dropping of the fourth veil might see clearly what Spike Cohen and Roland Abu Hadee dimly suspected: that not only is religion divisive and oppressive, it is also a denial of all that is divine in people; it is a suffocation of the soul. ~ Tom Robbins,
413:a new teaching appointment required that I become familiar with mysticism in Christianity and other religions. That’s when I realized that these were mystical experiences. Especially important was William James’s classic book The Varieties of Religious Experience, published more than a century ago, still in print, and named by a panel of experts in 1999 as the second most important nonfiction book published in English in the twentieth century. The book combines the elements that made up James himself: a psychologist fascinated by the varieties of human consciousness, and a philosopher pondering what all of this might mean.1 Part of his book is about mystical experiences. Based on James’s study of accounts of such experiences, he concluded that their two primary features are “illumination” and “union.” Illumination has a twofold meaning. The experiences often involve light, luminosity, radiance. Moreover, they involve “enlightenment,” a new way of seeing. “Union” (or “communion”) refers to the experience of connectedness and the disappearance or softening of the distinction between self and world. In addition, James names four other common features: Ineffability. The experiences are difficult, even impossible, to express in words. Yet those who have such experiences often try, usually preceded by, “It’s really hard to describe, but it was like . . .” Transiency. They are usually brief; they come and then go. Passivity. One cannot make them happen through active effort. They come upon one—one receives them. Noetic quality. They include a vivid sense of knowing (and not just intense feelings of joy, wonder, amazement)—a nonverbal, nonlinguistic way of knowing marked by a strong sense of seeing more clearly and certainly than one ever has. What is known is “the way things are” when all of our language falls away and we see “what is” without the domestication created by our words and categories. This way of knowing might be called direct cognition, a way of knowing not mediated through language. Reading James and other writers on mysticism was amazing. In colloquial language, I was blown away. I found my experiences described with great precision. Suddenly, I had a way of naming and understanding them. Moreover, they were linked to the experiences of many people. They are a mode of human consciousness. They happen. And ~ Marcus J Borg,
414:At this stage of the game, I don’t have the time for patience and tolerance. Ten years ago, even five years ago, I would have listened to people ask their questions, explained to them, mollified them. No more. That time is past. Now, as Norman Mailer said in Naked and the Dead, ‘I hate everything which is not in myself.’ If it doesn’t have a direct bearing on what I’m advocating, if it doesn’t augment or stimulate my life and thinking, I don’t want to hear it. It has to add something to my life. There’s no more time for explaining and being ecumenical anymore. No more time. That’s a characteristic I share with the new generation of Satanists, which might best be termed, and has labeled itself in many ways, an ‘Apocalypse culture.’ Not that they believe in the biblical Apocalypse—the ultimate war between good and evil. Quite the contrary. But that there is an urgency, a need to get on with things and stop wailing and if it ends tomorrow, at least we’ll know we’ve lived today. It’s a ‘fiddle while Rome burns’ philosophy. It’s the Satanic philosophy. If the generation born in the 50’s grew up in the shadow of The Bomb and had to assimilate the possibility of imminent self destruction of the entire planet at any time, those born in the 60’s have had to reconcile the inevitability of our own destruction, not through the bomb but through mindless, uncontrolled overpopulation. And somehow resolve in themselves, looking at what history has taught us, that no amount of yelling, protesting, placard waving, marching, wailing—or even more constructive avenues like running for government office or trying to write books to wake people up—is going to do a damn bit of good. The majority of humans have an inborn death wish—they want to destroy themselves and everything beautiful. To finally realize that we’re living in a world after the zenith of creativity, and that we can see so clearly the mechanics of our own destruction, is a terrible realization. Most people can’t face it. They’d rather retreat to the comfort of New Age mysticism. That’s all right. All we want, those few of us who have the strength to realize what’s going on, is the freedom to create and entertain and share with each other, to preserve and cherish what we can while we can, and to build our own little citadels away from the insensitivity of the rest of the world. ~ Anton Szandor LaVey,
415:Finally, in terms of overall spiritual intelligence—which we have been briefly tracking—on the other side of the leading edge of evolution we have 3 or 4 higher, at this point mostly potential, levels of development, including levels of spiritual intelligence. Individually, their basic strcture-rungs are referred to as para-mind, meta-mind, overmind, and supermind; collectively, they are called 3rd tier. What all 3rd-tier structures have in common is some degree of direct transpersonal identity and experience. Further, each 3rd-tier structure of consciousness is integrated, in some fashion, with a particular state of consciousness (often, para-mental with the gross, meta-mental with subtle, overmind with causal/Witnessing, and supermind with nondual, although this varies with each individual’s actual history). Previously, in 1sst and 2nd tier, structures and states were relatively independent. One could have a state center of gravity at gross and yet structurally evolve all the way to Integral without fully objectifying the gross stage (i.e., fully making it an object, fully transcending it). But beginning with the 3rd-tier para-mind, whenever you experience that structure, you also implicitly or intuitively understand or experience the gross realm as objectified, which means that state is intimately connected to the structure at this level, which gives rise, or can give rise, to expanded states such as nature mysticism (this can be experienced at earlier levels but not inherently, and is interpreted according to the Views of those lower levels; but at this level becomes an inherent potential). Likewise, because of the conjunction with the gross state, this level often carries variations of the realization that the physical world is not merely physical, but is rather psychophysical in its true nature. This can also evoke flashes of higher state presences, such as Witnessing states or even nondual. And so on with the subtle state and meta-mind; causal/Witnessing and overmind; and nondual Suchness and supermind. Those states are all “minimally” connected to those structures, in the sesne that, for example, a person at meta-mind might have already and previously moved his or her state center of gravity to subtle, but if not, the person cannot proceed beyond the meta-mind without doing so at this point. And likewise with causal/Witnessing and overmind; and nondual Suchness and supermind. ~ Ken Wilber,
416:How ... how fragile situations are. But not tenuous. Delicate, but not flimsy, not indulgent. Delicate, that's why they keep breaking, they must break and you must get the pieces together and show it before it breaks again, or put them aside for a moment when something else breaks and turn to that, and all this keeps going on. That's why most writing now, if you read it they go on one two three four and tell you what happened like newspaper accounts, no adjectives, no long sentences, no tricks they pretend, and they finally believe that they really believe that the way they saw it is the way it is ... it never takes your breath away, telling you things you already know, laying everything out flat, as though the terms and the time, and the nature and the movement of everything were secrets of the same magnitude. They write for people who read with the surface of their minds, people with reading habits that make the smallest demands on them, people brought up reading for facts, who know what's going to come next and want to know what's coming next, and get angry at surprises. Clarity's essential, and detail, no fake mysticism, the facts are bad enough. But we're embarrassed for people who tell too much, and tell it without surprise. How does he know what happened? unless it's one unshaven man alone in a boat, changing I to he, and how often do you get a man alone in a boat, in all this ... all this ... Listen, there are so many delicate fixtures, moving toward you, you'll see. Like a man going into a dark room, holding his hands down guarding his parts for fear of a table corner, and ... Why, all this around us is for people who can keep their balance only in the light, where they move as though nothing were fragile, nothing tempered by possibility, and all of a sudden bang! something breaks. Then you have to stop and put the pieces together again. But you never can put them back together quite the same way. You stop when you can and expose things, and leave them within reach, and others come on by themselves, and they break, and even then you may put the pieces aside just out of reach until you can bring them back and show them, put together slightly different, maybe a little more enduring, until you've broken it and picked up the pieces enough times, and you have the whole thing in all its dimensions. But the discipline, the detail, it's just ... sometimes the accumulation is too much to bear. ~ William Gaddis,
417:Augustine relates in his Confessions how it was decisive for his own path when he learned that the famous philosopher Marius Victorinus had become a Christian. Victorinus had long refused to join the Church because he took the view that he already possessed in his philosophy all the essentials of Christianity, with whose intellectual premises he was in complete agreement.10 Since from his philosophical thinking, he said, he could already regard the central Christian ideas as his own, he no longer needed to institutionalize his convictions by belonging to a Church. Like many educated people both then and now, he saw the Church as Platonism for the people, something of which he as a full-blown Platonist had no need. The decisive factor seemed to him to be the idea alone; only those who could not grasp it themselves, as the philosopher could, in its original form needed to be brought into contact with it through the medium of ecclesiastical organization. That Marius Victorinus nevertheless one day joined the Church and turned from Platonist into Christian was an expression of his perception of the fundamental error implicit in this view. The great Platonist had come to understand that a Church is something more and something other than an external institutionalization and organization of ideas. He had understood that Christianity is not a system of knowledge but a way. The believers’ “We” is not a secondary addition for small minds; in a certain sense it is the matter itself—the community with one’s fellowmen is a reality that lies on a different plane from that of the mere “idea”. If Platonism provides an idea of the truth, Christian belief offers truth as a way, and only by becoming a way has it become man’s truth. Truth as mere perception, as mere idea, remains bereft of force; it only becomes man’s truth as a way that makes a claim upon him, that he can and must tread. Thus belief embraces, as essential parts of itself, the profession of faith, the word, and the unity it effects; it embraces entry into the community’s worship of God and, so, finally the fellowship we call Church. Christian belief is not an idea but life; it is, not mind existing for itself, but incarnation, mind in the body of history and its “We”. It is, not the mysticism of the self-identification of the mind with God, but obedience and service: going beyond oneself, freeing the self precisely through being taken into service by something not made or thought out by oneself, the liberation of being taken into service for the whole. ~ Benedict XVI,
418:We have seen that imagining an act engages the same motor and sensory programs that are involved in doing it. We have long viewed our imaginative life with a kind of sacred awe: as noble, pure, immaterial, and ethereal, cut off from our material brain. Now we cannot be so sure about where to draw the line between them. Everything your “immaterial” mind imagines leaves material traces. Each thought alters the physical state of your brain synapses at a microscopic level. Each time you imagine moving your fingers across the keys to play the piano, you alter the tendrils in your living brain. These experiments are not only delightful and intriguing, they also overturn the centuries of confusion that have grown out of the work of the French philosopher René Descartes, who argued that mind and brain are made of different substances and are governed by different laws. The brain, he claimed, was a physical, material thing, existing in space and obeying the laws of physics. The mind (or the soul, as Descartes called it) was immaterial, a thinking thing that did not take up space or obey physical laws. Thoughts, he argued, were governed by the rules of reasoning, judgment, and desires, not by the physical laws of cause and effect. Human beings consisted of this duality, this marriage of immaterial mind and material brain. But Descartes—whose mind/body division has dominated science for four hundred years—could never credibly explain how the immaterial mind could influence the material brain. As a result, people began to doubt that an immaterial thought, or mere imagining, might change the structure of the material brain. Descartes’s view seemed to open an unbridgeable gap between mind and brain. His noble attempt to rescue the brain from the mysticism that surrounded it in his time, by making it mechanical, failed. Instead the brain came to be seen as an inert, inanimate machine that could be moved to action only by the immaterial, ghostlike soul Descartes placed within it, which came to be called “the ghost in the machine.” By depicting a mechanistic brain, Descartes drained the life out of it and slowed the acceptance of brain plasticity more than any other thinker. Any plasticity—any ability to change that we had—existed in the mind, with its changing thoughts, not in the brain. But now we can see that our “immaterial” thoughts too have a physical signature, and we cannot be so sure that thought won’t someday be explained in physical terms. While we have yet to understand exactly how thoughts actually change brain structure, it is now clear that they do, and the firm line that Descartes drew between mind and brain is increasingly a dotted line. ~ Norman Doidge,
419:He was the leader of the Prophet David’s army,’ said the Sheikh. ‘David had him killed so that he could marry Nebi Uri’s beautiful wife. Two angels, Mikhail and Jibrael, appeared and asked David why he needed an extra wife when he already had ninety-nine others. You know this story?’ ‘Yes. I think we Christians know Nebi Uri as Uriah the Hittite.’ It was an unlikely tangle of tales: a medieval Muslim saint buried in a much older Byzantine tomb tower had somehow been confused with the Biblical and Koranic Uriah; perhaps the saint’s name was Uriah, and over the passage of time his identity had been merged with that of his scriptural namesake. More intriguing still was the fact that in this city, long famed for the shrines of its Christian saints, the Muslim Sufi tradition had directly carried on from where Theodoret’s Christian holy men had left off. Just as the Muslim form of prayer, with its bowings and prostrations, appears to derive from the older Syriac Christian tradition that I had seen performed at Mar Gabriel, and just as the architecture of the earliest minarets unmistakably derives from the square late-antique Syrian church towers, so the roots of Islamic mysticism and Sufism lie with the Byzantine holy men and desert fathers who preceded them across the Near East. Today the West often views Islam as a civilisation very different from and indeed innately hostile to Christianity. Only when you travel in Christianity’s Eastern homelands do you realise how closely the two religions are really linked. For the former grew directly out of the latter and still, to this day, embodies many aspects and practices of the early Christian world now lost in Christianity’s modern Western incarnation. When the early Byzantines were first confronted by the Prophet’s armies, they assumed that Islam was merely a heretical form of Christianity, and in many ways they were not so far wrong: Islam accepts much of the Old and New Testaments, and venerates both Jesus and the ancient Jewish prophets. Certainly if John Moschos were to come back today it is likely that he would find much more that was familiar in the practices of a modern Muslim Sufi than he would with those of, say, a contemporary American Evangelical. Yet this simple truth has been lost by our tendency to think of Christianity as a Western religion rather than the Oriental faith it actually is. Moreover the modern demonisation of Islam in the West, and the recent growth of Muslim fundamentalism (itself in many ways a reaction to the West’s repeated humiliation of the Muslim world), have led to an atmosphere where few are aware of, or indeed wish to be aware of, the profound kinship of Christianity and Islam. ~ William Dalrymple,
420:And the son bursting into his father's house, killing him, and at the same time not killing him, this is not even a novel, not a poem, it is a sphinx posing riddles, which it, of course, will not solve itself. If he killed him, he killed him; how can it be that he killed him and yet did not kill him--who can understand that? Then it is announced to us that our tribune is the tribune of truth and sensible ideas, and so from this tribune of 'sensible ideas' an axiom resounds, accompanied by an oath, that to call the murder of a father parricide is simply a prejudice! But if parricide is a prejudice, and if every child ought to ask his father, 'Father, why should I love you?'--what will become of us, what will become of the foundations of society, where will the family end up? Parricide--don't you see, it's just the 'brimstone' of some Moscow merchant's wife? The most precious, the most sacred precepts concerning the purpose and future of the Russian courts are presented perversely and frivolously, only to achieve a certain end, to achieve the acquittal of that which cannot be acquitted. 'Oh, overwhelm him with mercy,' the defense attorney exclaims, and that is just what the criminal wants, and tomorrow everyone will see how overwhelmed he is! And is the defense attorney not being too modest in asking only for the defendant's acquittal? Why does he not ask that a fund be established in the parricide's name, in order to immortalize his deed for posterity and the younger generation? The Gospel and religion are corrected: it's all mysticism, he says, and ours is the only true Christianity, tested by the analysis of reason and sensible ideas. And so a false image of Christ is held up to us! With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you,' the defense attorney exclaims, and concludes then and there that Christ commanded us to measure with the same measure as it is measured to us--and that from the tribune of truth and sensible ideas! We glance into the Gospel only on the eve of our speeches, in order to make a brilliant display of our familiarity with what is, after all, a rather original work, which may prove useful and serve for a certain effect, in good measure, all in good measure! Yet Christ tells us precisely not to do so, to beware of doing so, because that is what the wicked world does, whereas we must forgive and turn our cheek, and not measure with the same measure as our offenders measure to us. This is what our God taught us, and not that it is a prejudice to forbid children to kill their own fathers. And let us not, from the rostrum of truth and sensible ideas, correct the Gospel of our God, whom the defense attorney deems worthy of being called merely 'the crucified lover of mankind,' in opposition to the whole of Orthodox Russia, which calls out to him: 'For thou art our God...! ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
421:done to show that this is not so (which is not to say that there are no points of difference between Thomistic and Aristotelian metaphysics). The dominant form of neo-Platonism in medieval Christian thought was Augustinianism. It is little wonder that the Platonic tradition should have seemed agreeable to the early Church Fathers, for it is not difficult to map Christian beliefs and practices into central elements of neo-Platonism. Most fundamentally, just as the Christian distinguishes between the physical cosmos and the eternal kingdom of God, so Plato and his followers distinguish between the material world and the timeless and unchanging realm of immaterial forms. Similarly, Christians commonly distinguish between body and soul and look forward to life after death in which the blessed will enjoy forever the sight of God; while Platonists contrast the mortal frame and the immortal mind that will ascend to eternal vision of the forms. Supreme among these forms is that of the One whose principal aspects are those of truth, beauty and goodness; a trinity-in-unity ready-made to assist Christians struggling with the idea that God is three persons in one divinity. The lesser Platonic forms, including those corresponding to natures experienced in the empirical world, became the ideas out of which God created the world. Even Christian mysticism found its rational warrant in the idea that the most noble experiences consist in inexpressible encounters with transcendental realities. Aristotle came into his own as a philosopher through his rejection of the fundamental tenets of Platonism and through his provision of a more naturalistic and less dualistic worldview. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the enthusiasm for Aristotelianism shown by Aquinas and by his teachers Peter of Ireland and Albert the Great was viewed with suspicion by the Augustinian masters of the thirteenth century. Even so, it is a serious mistake, still perpetrated today, to represent Aristotle as if he were some sort of scientific materialist. In one of the classics of analytical philosophy, Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics, Peter Strawson explains his subtitle by distinguishing between two types of philosophy, writing that ‘descriptive metaphysics is content to describe the actual structure of our thought about the world, [while] revisionary metaphysics is concerned to produce a better structure’.7 He goes on to point out that few if any actual metaphysicians have been wholly of one or other sort, but that broadly speaking Leibniz and Berkeley are revisionary while Aristotle and Kant are descriptive. In these terms Aquinas’s thought and thomist metaphysics are fundamentally ‘descriptive’, notwithstanding that they are at odds with the materialism and scientism which some contemporary philosophers proclaim as enlightened common sense. The words of G.K. Chesterton quoted at the outset of this chapter ~ John Haldane,
422:Rule by decree has conspicuous advantages for the domination of far-flung territories with heterogeneous populations and for a policy of oppression. Its efficiency is superior simply because it ignores all intermediary stages between issuance and application, and because it prevents political reasoning by the people through the withholding of information. It can easily overcome the variety of local customs and need not rely on the necessarily slow process of development of general law. It is most helpful for the establishment of a centralized administration because it overrides automatically all matters of local autonomy. If rule by good laws has sometimes been called the rule of wisdom, rule by appropriate decrees may rightly be called the rule of cleverness. For it is clever to reckon with ulterior motives and aims, and it is wise to understand and create by deduction from generally accepted principles.
Government by bureaucracy has to be distinguished from the mere outgrowth and deformation of civil services which frequently accompanied the decline of the nation-state—as, notably, in France. There the administration has survived all changes in regime since the Revolution, entrenched itself like a parasite in the body politic, developed its own class interests, and become a useless organism whose only purpose appears to be chicanery and prevention of normal economic and political development. There are of course many superficial similarities between the two types of bureaucracy, especially if one pays too much attention to the striking psychological similarity of petty officials. But if the French people have made the very serious mistake of accepting their administration as a necessary evil, they have never committed the fatal error of allowing it to rule the country—even though the consequence has been that nobody rules it. The French atmosphere of government has become one of inefficiency and vexation; but it has not created and aura of pseudomysticism.
And it is this pseudomysticism that is the stamp of bureaucracy when it becomes a form of government. Since the people it dominates never really know why something is happening, and a rational interpretation of laws does not exist, there remains only one thing that counts, the brutal naked event itself. What happens to one then becomes subject to an interpretation whose possibilities are endless, unlimited by reason and unhampered by knowledge. Within the framework of such endless interpretive speculation, so characteristic of all branches of Russian pre-revolutionary literature, the whole texture of life and world assume a mysterious secrecy and depth. There is a dangerous charm in this aura because of its seemingly inexhaustible richness; interpretation of suffering has a much larger range than that of action for the former goes on in the inwardness of the soul and releases all the possibilities of human imagination, whereas the latter is consistently checked, and possibly led into absurdity, by outward consequence and controllable experience. ~ Hannah Arendt,
423:Does an arbitrary human convention, a mere custom, decree that man must guide his actions by a set of principles—or is there a fact of reality that demands it? Is ethics the province of whims: of personal emotions, social edicts and mystic revelations—or is it the province of reason? Is ethics a subjective luxury—or an objective necessity? In the sorry record of the history of mankind’s ethics—with a few rare, and unsuccessful, exceptions—moralists have regarded ethics as the province of whims, that is: of the irrational. Some of them did so explicitly, by intention—others implicitly, by default. A “whim” is a desire experienced by a person who does not know and does not care to discover its cause. No philosopher has given a rational, objectively demonstrable, scientific answer to the question of why man needs a code of values. So long as that question remained unanswered, no rational, scientific, objective code of ethics could be discovered or defined. The greatest of all philosophers, Aristotle, did not regard ethics as an exact science; he based his ethical system on observations of what the noble and wise men of his time chose to do, leaving unanswered the questions of: why they chose to do it and why he evaluated them as noble and wise. Most philosophers took the existence of ethics for granted, as the given, as a historical fact, and were not concerned with discovering its metaphysical cause or objective validation. Many of them attempted to break the traditional monopoly of mysticism in the field of ethics and, allegedly, to define a rational, scientific, nonreligious morality. But their attempts consisted of trying to justify them on social grounds, merely substituting society for God. The avowed mystics held the arbitrary, unaccountable “will of God” as the standard of the good and as the validation of their ethics. The neomystics replaced it with “the good of society,” thus collapsing into the circularity of a definition such as “the standard of the good is that which is good for society.” This meant, in logic—and, today, in worldwide practice—that “society” stands above any principles of ethics, since it is the source, standard and criterion of ethics, since “the good” is whatever it wills, whatever it happens to assert as its own welfare and pleasure. This meant that “society” may do anything it pleases, since “the good” is whatever it chooses to do because it chooses to do it. And—since there is no such entity as “society,” since society is only a number of individual men—this meant that some men (the majority or any gang that claims to be its spokesman) are ethically entitled to pursue any whims (or any atrocities) they desire to pursue, while other men are ethically obliged to spend their lives in the service of that gang’s desires. This could hardly be called rational, yet most philosophers have now decided to declare that reason has failed, that ethics is outside the power of reason, that no rational ethics can ever be defined, and that in the field of ethics—in the choice of his values, of his actions, of his pursuits, of his life’s goals—man must be guided by something other than reason. By what? Faith—instinct—intuition—revelation—feeling—taste—urge—wish—whim Today, as in the past, most philosophers agree that the ultimate standard of ethics is whim (they call it “arbitrary postulate” or “subjective choice” or “emotional commitment”)—and the battle is only over the question or whose whim: one’s own or society’s or the dictator’s or God’s. Whatever else they may disagree about, today’s moralists agree that ethics is a subjective issue and that the three things barred from its field are: reason—mind—reality. If you wonder why the world is now collapsing to a lower and ever lower rung of hell, this is the reason. If you want to save civilization, it is this premise of modern ethics—and of all ethical ~ Anonymous,
424:Finally, we arrive at the question of the so-called nonpolitical man. Hitler not only established his power from the very beginning with masses of people who were until then essentially nonpolitical; he also accomplished his last step to victory in March of 1933 in a "legal" manner, by mobilizing no less than five million nonvoters, that is to say, nonpolitical people. The Left parties had made every effort to win over the indifferent masses, without posing the question as to what it means "to be indifferent or nonpolitical."
If an industrialist and large estate owner champions a rightist party, this is easily understood in terms of his immediate economic interests. In his case a leftist orientation would be at variance with his social situation and would, for that reason, point to irrational motives. If an industrial worker has a leftist orientation, this too is by all mean rationally consistent—it derives from his economic and social position in industry. If, however, a worker, an employee, or an official has a rightist orientation, this must be ascribed to a lack of political clarity, i.e., he is ignorant of his social position. The more a man who belongs to the broad working masses is nonpolitical, the more susceptible he is to the ideology of political reaction. To be nonpolitical is not, as one might suppose, evidence of a passive psychic condition, but of a highly active attitude, a defense against the awareness of social responsibility. The analysis of this defense against consciousness of one's social responsibility yields clear insights into a number of dark questions concerning the behavior of the broad nonpolitical strata. In the case of the average intellectual "who wants nothing to do with politics," it can easily be shown that immediate economic interests and fears related to his social position, which is dependent upon public opinion, lie at the basis of his noninvolvement. These fears cause him to make the most grotesque sacrifices with respect to his knowledge and convictions. Those people who are engaged in the production process in one way or another and are nonetheless socially irresponsible can be divided into two major groups. In the case of the one group the concept of politics is unconsciously associated with the idea of violence and physical danger, i.e., with an intense fear, which prevents them from facing life realistically. In the case of the other group, which undoubtedly constitutes the majority, social irresponsibility is based on personal conflicts and anxieties, of which the sexual anxiety is the predominant one. […] Until now the revolutionary movement has misunderstood this situation. It attempted to awaken the "nonpolitical" man by making him conscious solely of his unfulfilled economic interests. Experience teaches that the majority of these "nonpolitical" people can hardly be made to listen to anything about their socio-economic situation, whereas they are very accessible to the mystical claptrap of a National Socialist, despite the fact that the latter makes very little mention of economic interests. [This] is explained by the fact that severe sexual conflicts (in the broadest sense of the word), whether conscious or unconscious, inhibit rational thinking and the development of social responsibility. They make a person afraid and force him into a shell. If, now, such a self-encapsulated person meets a propagandist who works with faith and mysticism, meets, in other words, a fascist who works with sexual, libidinous methods, he turns his complete attention to him. This is not because the fascist program makes a greater impression on him than the liberal program, but because in his devotion to the führer and the führer's ideology, he experiences a momentary release from his unrelenting inner tension. Unconsciously, he is able to give his conflicts a different form and in this way to "solve" them. ~ Wilhelm Reich,
425: Phi Beta Kappa Poem
SIR, friends, and scholars, we are here to serve
A high occasion. Our New England wears
All her unrivalled beauty as of old;
And June, with scent of bayberry and rose
And song of orioles— as she only comes
By Massachusetts Bay —is here once more,
Companioning our fête of fellowship.
The open trails, South, West, and North, lead back
From populous cities or from lonely plains,
Ranch, pulpit, office, factory, desk, or mill,
To this fair tribunal of ambitious youth,
The shadowy town beside the placid Charles,
Where Harvard waits us through the passing years,
Conserving and administering still
Her savor for the gladdening of the race.
Yearly, of all the sons she has sent forth,
And men her admiration would adopt,
She summons whom she will back to her side
As if to ask, 'How fares my cause of truth
In the great world beyond these studious walls?'
Here, from their store of life experience,
They must make answer as grace is given them,
And their plain creed, in verity, declare.
Among the many, there is sometimes called
One who, like Arnold's scholar gypsy poor,
Is but a seeker on the dusky way,
'Still waiting for the spark from heaven to fall.'
He must bethink him first of other days,
And that old scholar of the seraphic smile,
As we recall him in this very place
With all the sweetest culture of his age,
His gentle courtesy and friendliness,
A chivalry of soul now strangely rare,
And that ironic wit which made him, too,
The unflinching critic and most dreaded foe
Of all things mean, unlovely, and untrue.
What Mr. Norton said, with that slow smile,
Has put the fear of God in many a heart,
Even while his hand encouraged eager youth.
From such enheartening who would not dare speak—
Seeing no truth can be too small to serve,
And no word worthless that is born of love?
Within the noisy workshop of the world,
Where still the strife is upward out of gloom,
Men doubt the value of high teaching —cry,
'What use is learning? Man must have his will!
The élan of life alone is paramount!
Away with old traditions! We are free!'
So folly mocks at truth in Freedom's name.
Pale Anarchy leads on, with furious shriek,
Her envious horde of reckless malcontents
And mad destroyers of the Commonwealth,
While Privilege with indifference grows corrupt,
Till the Republic stands in jeopardy
From following false idols and ideals,
Though sane men cry for honesty once more,
Order and duty and self-sacrifice.
Our world and all it holds of good for us
Our fathers and unselfish mothers made,
With noble passion and enduring toil,
Strenuous, frugal, reverent, and elate,
Caring above all else to guard and save
The ampler life of the intelligence
And the fine honor of a scrupulous code —
Ideals of manhood touched with the divine.
For this they founded these great schools we serve,
Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale,
Amherst and Williams, trusting to our hands
The heritage of all they held most high,
Possessions of the spirit and the mind,
Investments in the provinces of joy.
Vast provinces are these! And fortunate they
Who at their will may go adventuring there,
Exploring all the boundaries of Truth,
Learning the roads that run through Beauty's realm,
Sighting the pinnacles where Good meets God,
Encompassed by the eternal unknown sea!
Even for a little to o'erlook those lands,
The kingdoms of Religion, Science, Art,
Is to be made forever happier
With blameless memories that shall bring content
And inspiration for all after days.
And fortunate they whom destiny allows
To rest within those provinces and serve
The dominion of ideals all their lives.
For whoso will, putting dull greed aside,
And holding fond allegiance to the best,
May dwell there and find fortitude and joy.
In the free fellowship of kindred minds,
One band of scholar gypsies I have known,
Whose purpose all unworldly was to find
An answer to the riddle of the Earth —
A key that should unlock the book of life
And secrets of its sorceries reveal.
This, they discovered, had long since been found
And laid aside forgotten and unused.
Our dark young poet who from Dartmouth came
Was told the secret by his gypsy bride,
Who had it from a master over seas,
And he it was first hinted to the band
The magic of that universal lore,
Before the great Mysteriarch summoned him.
It was the doctrine of the threefold life,
The beginning of the end of all their doubt.
In that Victorian age it has become
So much the fashion now to half despise,
Within the shadow of Cathedral walls
They had been schooled, and heard the mellow chimes
For Lenten litanies and daily prayers,
With a mild, eloquent, beloved voice
Exhorting to all virtue and that peace
Surpassing understanding —casting there
That 'last enchantment of the Middle Age,'
The spell of Oxford and her ritual.
So duteous youth was trained, until there grew
Restive outreaching in men's thought to find
Some certitude beyond the dusk of faith.
They cried on mysticism to be gone,
Mazed in the shadowy princedom of the soul.
Then as old creeds fell round them into dust,
They reached through science to belief in law,
Made reason paramount in man, and guessed
At reigning mind within the universe.
Piecing the fragments of a fair design
With reverent patience and courageous skill,
They saw the world from chaos step by step,
Under far-seeing guidance and restraint,
Emerge to order and to symmetry,
As logical and sure as music's own.
With Spencer, Darwin, Tyndall, and the rest,
Our band saw roads of knowledge open wide
Through the uncharted province of the truth,
As on they fared through that unfolding world.
Yet there they found no rest-house for the heart,
No wells sufficient for the spirit's thirst,
No shade nor glory for the senses starved. . . .
Turning— they fled by moonlit trails to seek
The magic principality of Art,
Where loveliness, not learning, rules supreme.
They stood intoxicated with delight before
The poised unanxious splendor of the Greek;
They mused upon the Gothic minsters gray,
Where mystic spirit took on mighty form,
Until their prayers to lovely churches turned —
(Like a remembrance of the Middle Age
They rose where Ralph or Bertram dreamed in stone);
Entranced they trod a painters' paradise,
Where color wasted by the Scituate shore
Between the changing marshes and the sea;
They heard the golden voice of poesie
Lulling the senses with its last caress
In Tennysonion accents pure and fine;
And all their laurels were for Beauty's brow,
Though toiling Reason went ungarlanded.
Then poisonous weeds of artifice sprang up,
Defiling Nature at her sacred source;
And there the questing World-soul could not stay,
Onward must journey with the changing time,
To come to this uncouth rebellious age,
Where not an ancient creed nor courtesy
Is underided, and each demagogue
Cries some new nostrum for the cure of ills.
To-day the unreasoning iconoclast
Would scoff at science and abolish art,
To let untutored impulse rule the world.
Let learning perish, and the race returns
To that first anarchy from which we came,
When spirit moved upon the deep and laid
The primal chaos under cosmic law.
And even now, in all our wilful might,
The satiated being cannot bide,
But to that austere country turns again,
The little province of the saints of God,
Where lofty peaks rise upward to the stars
From the gray twilight of Gethsemane,
And spirit dares to climb with wounded feet
Where justice, peace, and loving kindness are.
What says the lore of human power we hold
Through all these striving and tumultuous days?
'Why not accept each several bloom of good,
Without discarding good already gained,
As one might weed a garden overgrown —
Save the new shoots, yet not destroy the old?
Only the fool would root up his whole patch
Of fragrant flowers, to plant the newer seed.'
Ah, softly, brothers! Have we not the key,
Whose first fine luminous use Plotinus gave,
Teaching that ecstasy must lead the man?
Three things, we see, men in this life require,
(As they are needed in the universe):
First of all spirit, energy, or love,
The soul and mainspring of created things;
Next wisdom, knowledge, culture, discipline,
To guide impetuous spirit to its goal;
And lastly strength, the sound apt instrument,
Adjusted and controlled to lawful needs.
The next world-teacher must be one whose word
Shall reaffirm the primacy of soul,
Hold scholarship in her high guiding place,
And recognize the body's equal right
To culture such as it has never known,
In power and beauty serving soul and mind.
Inheritors of this divine ideal,
With courage to be fine as well as strong,
Shall know what common manhood may become,
Regain the gladness of the sons of morn,
The radiance of immortality.
Out of heroic wanderings of the past,
And all the wayward gropings of our time,
Unswerved by doubt, unconquered by despair,
The messengers of such a hope must go;
As one who hears far off before the dawn,
On some lone trail among the darkling hills,
The hermit thrushes in the paling dusk,
And at the omen lifts his eyes to see
Above him, with its silent shafts of light,
The sunrise kindling all the peaks with fire.
~ Bliss William Carman,
2 Integral Yoga
15 Aleister Crowley
9 Sri Aurobindo
5 Aldous Huxley
4 The Mother
2 Nolini Kanta Gupta
2 Carl Jung
10 Liber ABA
5 The Perennial Philosophy
5 The Life Divine
5 Magick Without Tears
5 A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah
4 The Secret Doctrine
3 The Synthesis Of Yoga
3 The Mothers Agenda
3 Essays In Philosophy And Yoga
2 Talks With Sri Aurobindo
2 Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness
2 Sex Ecology Spirituality
00.01_-_The_Mother_on_Savitri, #Sweet Mother - Harmonies of Light, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
My child, yes, everything is there: Mysticism, occultism, philosophy, the history of evolution, the history of man, of the gods, of creation, of Nature. How the universe was created, why, for what purpose, what destiny - all is there. You can find all the answers to all your questions there. Everything is explained, even the future of man and of the evolution, all that nobody yet knows. He has described it all in beautiful and clear words so that spiritual adventurers who wish to solve the mysteries of the world may understand it more easily. But this mystery is well hidden behind the words and lines and one must rise to the required level of true consciousness to discover it. All prophesies, all that is going to come is presented with the precise and wonderful clarity. Sri Aurobindo gives you here the key to find the Truth, to discover the Consciousness, to solve the problem of what the universe is. He has also indicated how to open the door of the Inconscience so that the light may penetrate there and transform it. He has shown the path, the way to liberate oneself from the ignorance and climb up to the superconscience; each stage, each plane of consciousness, how they can be scaled, how one can cross even the barrier of death and attain immortality. You will find the whole journey in detail, and as you go forward you can discover things altogether unknown to man. That is Savitri and much more yet. It is a real experience - reading Savitri. All the secrets that man possessed, He has revealed, - as well as all that awaits him in the future; all this is found in the depth of Savitri. But one must have the knowledge to discover it all, the experience of the planes of consciousness, the experience of the Supermind, even the experience of the conquest of Death. He has noted all the stages, marked each step in order to advance integrally in the integral Yoga.
1.00a_-_Introduction, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
I do not think I am boasting unfairly when I say that my personal researches have been of the greatest value and importance to the study of the subject of Magick and Mysticism in general, especially my integration of the various thought-systems of the world, notably the identification of the system of the Yi King with that of the Qabalah. But I do assure you that the whole of my life's work, were it multiplied a thousand fold, would not be worth one tithe of the value of a single verse of The Book of the Law.
1.00_-_Preliminary_Remarks, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
If both parts are thoroughly studied and understood, the pupil will have obtained a real grasp of all the fundamentals and essentials of both Magick and Mysticism.
In the Bhagavadgita a vision of this class is naturally attributed to the apparition of Vishnu, who was the local god of the period. Anna Kingsford, who had dabbled in Hebrew Mysticism, and was a feminist, got an almost identical vision; but called the divine figure which she saw alternately Adonai and Maria.
1.01_-_An_Accomplished_Westerner, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
Historically, it appears that the birth of a new world is often preceded by periods of trial and destruction, but perhaps this is simply a misreading: it may be because the new seeds are already alive that the forces of subversion (or clearing away) are raging. In any event,
Europe was at the peak of its glory; the game seemed to be played in the West. This is how it appeared to Dr. Krishnadhan Ghose, Sri Aurobindo's father, who had studied medicine in England, and had returned to India completely anglicized. He did not want his three sons, of whom Sri Aurobindo was the youngest, to be in the least contaminated by the "steamy and retrograde" Mysticism in which his country seemed to be running to ruin. He did not even want them to know anything of the traditions and languages of India. Sri Aurobindo was therefore provided not only with an English first name, Akroyd,
1.01_-_Foreward, #Hymns to the Mystic Fire, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The preoccupation of the Mystics was with self-knowledge and a profounder world-knowledge; they found out that in man there was a deeper self and inner being behind the surface of the outward physical man, which it was his highest business to discover and know. "Know thyself" was their great precept, just as in India to know the Self, the Atman became the great spiritual need, the highest thing for the human being. They found also a Truth, a Reality behind the outward aspects of the universe and to discover, follow, realise this Truth was their great aspiration. They discovered secrets and powers of Nature which were not those of the physical world but which could bring occult mastery over the physical world and physical things and to systematise this occult knowledge and power was also one of their strong preoccupations. But all this could only be safely done by a difficult and careful training, discipline, purification of the nature; it could not be done by the ordinary man. If men entered into these things without a severe test and training it would be dangerous to themselves and others; this knowledge, these powers could be misused, misinterpreted, turned from truth to falsehood, from good to evil. A strict secrecy was therefore maintained, the knowledge handed down behind a veil from master to disciple. A veil of symbols was created behind which these mysteries could shelter, formulas of speech also which could be understood by the initiated but were either not known by others or were taken by them in an outward sense which carefully covered their true meaning and secret. This was the substance of Mysticism everywhere.
1.01_-_Fundamental_Considerations, #The Ever-Present Origin, #Jean Gebser, #Integral
In summary, it should be said that our description does not deal with a new image of the world, nor with a new Weltanschauung, nor with a new conception of the world. A new Image would be no more than the creation of a myth, since all imagery has a predominantly mythical nature. A new Weltanschauung wouldbe nothing else than a new Mysticism and irrationality, as mythical characteristics are inherent in all contemplation to the extent that it is merely visionary; and a new conception of the world would be nothing else than yet another standard rationalistic construction of the present, for conceptualization has an essentially rational and abstract nature.
1.01_-_Historical_Survey, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
It is often assumed to-day that Judaism and Mysticism stand at opposite poles of thought, and that therefore
Jewish Mysticism is a glaring contradiction in terms.
The erroneous assumption here arises from the antithesis of law and faith as set Up by St. Paul's proselytising men- tality (and in a lesser degree by the rationalist efforts of
Maimonides to square everything with formal Aristotelean principles), falsely stamping Judaism as a religion of un- relieved legalism. Mysticism is the irreconcilable enemy of purely religious legalism.
The great Jewish historian, Graetz, too, holds the unhistoric view that Jewish Mysticism is a morbid and late growth, foreign to the religious genius of Israel, and that it has its origin in the speculations of one Isaac the Blind in Spain somewhere between the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Graetz regards the Qabalah, the Zohar in particular, as a " false doctrine which, although new, styled itself a genuine teaching of Israel " ( History of the Jews,
Vol. Ill, p. 565).
A very similar presentation of the above hypothesis is found in Prof. Abelson's excellent work entitled Jewish
Mysticism, wherein we read that :
1.01_-_How_is_Knowledge_Of_The_Higher_Worlds_Attained?, #Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, #Rudolf Steiner, #Occultism
revive the memory of experiences beyond the border of life and death. Everyone can attain this knowledge; in each one of us lies the faculty of recognizing and contemplating for ourselves what genuine Mysticism, Spiritual Science, Anthroposophy, and Gnosis teach. Only the right means must be chosen. Only a being with ears and eyes can apprehend sounds and colors; nor can the eye perceive if the light which makes things visible is wanting. Spiritual Science gives the means of developing the spiritual ears and eyes, and of kindling the spiritual light; and this method of spiritual training: (1) Preparation; this develops the spiritual senses. (2) Enlightenment; this kindles the spiritual light. (3) Initiation; this establishes intercourse with the higher spiritual beings.
1.01_-_the_Call_to_Adventure, #The Hero with a Thousand Faces, #Joseph Campbell, #Mythology
Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism, A Study in the Nature and Development of
Man's Spiritual Consciousness (New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., 1911), Part II,
1.01_-_The_Human_Aspiration, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
5:Thus the eternal paradox and eternal truth of a divine life in an animal body, an immortal aspiration or reality inhabiting a mortal tenement, a single and universal consciousness representing itself in limited minds and divided egos, a transcendent, indefinable, timeless and spaceless Being who alone renders time and space and cosmos possible, and in all these the higher truth realisable by the lower term, justify themselves to the deliberate reason as well as to the persistent instinct or intuition of mankind. Attempts are sometimes made to have done finally with questionings which have so often been declared insoluble by logical thought and to persuade men to limit their mental activities to the practical and immediate problems of their material existence in the universe; but such evasions are never permanent in their effect. Mankind returns from them with a more vehement impulse of inquiry or a more violent hunger for an immediate solution. By that hunger Mysticism profits and new religions arise to replace the old that have been destroyed or stripped of significance by a scepticism which itself could not satisfy because, although its business was inquiry, it was unwilling sufficiently to inquire. The attempt to deny or stifle a truth because it is yet obscure in its outward workings and too often represented by obscurantist superstition or a crude faith, is itself a kind of obscurantism. The will to escape from a cosmic necessity because it is arduous, difficult to justify by immediate tangible results, slow in regulating its operations, must turn out eventually to have been no acceptance of the truth of Nature but a revolt against the secret, mightier will of the great Mother It is better and more rational to accept what she will not allow us as a race to reject and lift it from the sphere of blind instinct, obscure intuition and random aspiration into the light of reason and an instructed and consciously self-guiding will. And if there is any higher light of illumined intuition or self-revealing truth which is now in man either obstructed and inoperative or works with intermittent glancings as if from behind a veil or with occasional displays as of the northern lights in our material skies, then there also we need not fear to aspire. For it is likely that such is the next higher state of consciousness of which Mind is only a form and veil, and through the splendours of that light may lie the path of our progressive self-enlargement into whatever highest state is humanity's ultimate resting-place.
1.02_-_Karmayoga, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
E HAVE spoken of Karmayoga as the application of
Vedanta and Yoga to life. To many who take their knowledge of Hinduism secondhand this may seem a doubtful definition. It is ordinarily supposed by "practical" minds that Vedanta as a guide to life and Yoga as a method of spiritual communion are dangerous things which lead men away from action to abstraction. We leave aside those who regard all such beliefs as Mysticism, self-delusion or imposture; but even those who reverence and believe in the high things of Hinduism have the impression that one must remove oneself from a full human activity in order to live the spiritual life. Yet the spiritual life finds its most potent expression in the man who lives the ordinary life of men in the strength of the Yoga and under the law of the Vedanta. It is by such a union of the inner life and the outer that mankind will eventually be lifted up and become mighty and divine. It is a delusion to suppose that Vedanta contains no inspiration to life, no rule of conduct, and is purely metaphysical and quietistic. On the contrary, the highest morality of which humanity is capable finds its one perfect basis and justification in the teachings of the Upanishads and the Gita. The characteristic doctrines of the Gita are nothing if they are not a law of life, a dharma, and even the most transcendental aspirations of the
Vedanta presuppose a preparation in life, for it is only through life that one can reach to immortality. The opposite opinion is due to certain tendencies which have bulked large in the history and temperament of our race. The ultimate goal of our religion is emancipation from the bondage of material Nature and freedom from individual rebirth, and certain souls, among the highest we have known, have been drawn by the attraction of the final hush and purity to dissociate themselves from life and bodily action in order more swiftly and easily to reach the goal. Standing like
1.02_-_THE_NATURE_OF_THE_GROUND, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
Like St. Augustine, Eckhart was to some extent the victim of his own literary talents. Le style cest Ihomme. No doubt. But the converse is also partly true. Lhomme cest le style. Because we have a gift for writing in a certain way, we find ourselves, in some sort, becoming our way of writing. We mould ourselves in the likeness of our particular brand of eloquence. Eckhart was one of the inventors of German prose, and he was tempted by his new-found mastery of forceful expression to commit himself to extreme positionsto be doctrinally the image of his powerful and over-emphatic sentences. A statement like the foregoing would lead one to believe that he despised what the Vedantists call the lower knowledge of Brahman, not as the Absolute Ground of all things, but as the personal God. In reality he, like the Vedantists, accepts the lower knowledge as genuine knowledge and regards devotion to the personal God as the best preparation for the unitive knowledge of the Godhead. Another point to remember is that the attributeless Godhead of Vedanta, of Mahayana Buddhism, of Christian and Sufi Mysticism is the Ground of all the qualities possessed by the personal God and the Incarnation. God is not good, I am good, says Eckhart in his violent and excessive way. What he really meant was, I am just humanly good; God is supereminently good; the Godhead is, and his isness (istigkeit, in Eckharts German) contains goodness, love, wisdom and all the rest in their essence and principle. In consequence, the Godhead is never, for the exponent of the Perennial Philosophy, the mere Absolute of academic metaphysics, but something more purely perfect, more reverently to be adored than even the personal God or his human incarnationa Being towards whom it is possible to feel the most intense devotion and in relation to whom it is necessary (if one is to come to that unitive knowledge which is mans final end) to practise a discipline more arduous and unremitting than any imposed by ecclesiastical authority.
1.02_-_The_Pit, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
Victorians so simple, objective, and intelligible-such as matter, energy, space, etc.-have completely failed to resist analysis. A few modern thinkers, seeing clearly the absolute debacle in which the old positivist science was bound to lead them, the breaking up of this icy expanse of frozen thought, determined at all costs to find a modus vivendi for
Athena. This necessity was emphasized in the most surprising way by the result of the Michelson-Morley experiments, when Physics itself calmly and frankly offered a contradiction in terms. It was not the metaphysicians this time who were picking holes in a vacuum. It was the mathematicians and the physicists who found the ground completely cut away from under their feet. It was not enough to replace the geometry of Euclid by those of Riemann and Lobatchevsky and the mechanics of Newton by those of Einstein, so long as any of the axioms of the old thought and the definitions of its terms survived. They deliberately abandoned positivism and materialism for an indeterminate Mysticism, creating a new mathematical philosophy and a new logic, wherein infinite-or rather transfinite-ideas might be made commensurable with those of ordinary thought in the forlorn hope that all might live happily ever after. In short, to use a Qabalistic nomenclature, they found it incumbent upon themselves to adopt for inclusion of terms of Ruach (intellect) concepts which are proper only to Neschamah (the organ and faculty of direct spiritual apperception and intuition). This same process took place in Philosophy years earlier. Had the dialectic of Hegel been only. half understood, the major portion of philosophical speculation from the Schoolmen to
Kant's perception of the Antinomies of Reason would have been thrown overboard.
1.02_-_The_Two_Negations_1_-_The_Materialist_Denial, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
1:THE AFFIRMATION of a divine life upon earth and an immortal sense in mortal existence can have no base unless we recognise not only eternal Spirit as the inhabitant of this bodily mansion, the wearer of this mutable robe, but accept Matter of which it is made, as a fit and noble material out of which He weaves constantly His garbs, builds recurrently the unending series of His mansions.
2: Nor is this, even, enough to guard us against a recoil from life in the body unless, with the Upanishads, perceiving behind their appearances the identity in essence of these two extreme terms of existence, we are able to say in the very language of those ancient writings, "Matter also is Brahman", and to give its full value to the vigorous figure by which the physical universe is described as the external body of the Divine Being. Nor, - so far divided apparently are these two extreme terms, - is that identification convincing to the rational intellect if we refuse to recognise a series of ascending terms (Life, Mind, Supermind and the grades that link Mind to Supermind) between Spirit and Matter. Otherwise the two must appear as irreconcilable opponents bound together in an unhappy wedlock and their divorce the one reasonable solution. To identify them, to represent each in the terms of the other, becomes an artificial creation of Thought opposed to the logic of facts and possible only by an irrational Mysticism.
3:If we assert only pure Spirit and a mechanical unintelligent substance or energy, calling one God or Soul and the other Nature, the inevitable end will be that we shall either deny God or else turn from Nature. For both Thought and Life, a choice then becomes imperative. Thought comes to deny the one as an illusion of the imagination or the other as an illusion of the senses; Life comes to fix on the immaterial and flee from itself in a disgust or a self-forgetting ecstasy, or else to deny its own immortality and take its orientation away from God and towards the animal. Purusha and Prakriti, the passively luminous Soul of the Sankhyas and their mechanically active Energy, have nothing in common, not even their opposite modes of inertia; their antinomies can only be resolved by the cessation of the inertly driven Activity into the immutable Repose upon which it has been casting in vain the sterile procession of its images. Shankara's wordless, inactive Self and his Maya of many names and forms are equally disparate and irreconcilable entities; their rigid antagonism can terminate only by the dissolution of the multitudinous illusion into the sole Truth of an eternal Silence.
1.03_-_PERSONALITY,_SANCTITY,_DIVINE_INCARNATION, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
St. Bernards doctrine of the carnal love of Christ has been admirably summed up by Professor tienne Gilson in his book, The Mystical Theology of St Bernard. Knowledge of self already expanded into social carnal love of the neighbour, so like oneself in misery, is now a second time expanded into a carnal love of Christ, the model of compassion, since for our salvation He has become the Man of Sorrows. Here then is the place occupied in Cistercian Mysticism by the meditation on the visible Humanity of Christ. It is but a beginning, but an absolutely necessary beginning Charity, of course, is essentially spiritual, and a love of this kind can be no more than its first moment. It is too much bound up with the senses, unless we know how to make use of it with prudence, and to lean on it only as something to be surpassed. In expressing himself thus, Bernard merely codified the teachings of his own experience; for we have it from him that he was much given to the practice of this sensitive love at the outset of his conversion; later on he was to consider it an advance to have passed beyond it; not, that is to say, to have forgotten it, but to have added another, which outweighs it as the rational and spiritual outweigh the carnal. Nevertheless, this beginning is already a summit.
Can the many fantastic and mutually incompatible theories of expiation and atonement, which have been grafted onto the Christian doctrine of divine incarnation, be regarded as indispensable elements in a sane theology? I find it difficult to imagine how anyone who has looked into a history of these notions, as expounded, for example, by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, by Athanasius and Augustine, by Anselm and Luther, by Calvin and Grotius, can plausibly answer this question in the affirmative. In the present context, it will be enough to call attention to one of the bitterest of all the bitter ironies of history. For the Christ of the Gospels, lawyers seemed further from the Kingdom of Heaven, more hopelessly impervious to Reality, than almost any other class of human beings except the rich. But Christian theology, especially that of the Western churches, was the product of minds imbued with Jewish and Roman legalism. In all too many instances the immediate insights of the Avatar and the theocentric saint were rationalized into a system, not by philosophers, but by speculative barristers and metaphysical jurists. Why should what Abbot John Chapman calls the problem of reconciling (not merely uniting) Mysticism and Christianity be so extremely difficult? Simply because so much Roman and Protestant thinking was done by those very lawyers whom Christ regarded as being peculiarly incapable of understanding the true Nature of Things. The Abbot (Chapman is apparently referring to Abbot Marmion) says St John of the Cross is like a sponge full of Christianity. You can squeeze it all out, and the full mystical theory (in other words, the pure Perennial Philosophy) remains. Consequently for fifteen years or so I hated St John of the Cross and called him a Buddhist. I loved St Teresa and read her over and over again. She is first a Christian, only secondarily a mystic. Then I found I had wasted fifteen years, so far as prayer was concerned.
1.04_-_GOD_IN_THE_WORLD, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
These phrases about the unmoving first mover remind one of Aristotle. But between Aristotle and the exponents of the Perennial Philosophy within the great religious traditions there is this vast difference: Aristotle is primarily concerned with cosmology, the Perennial Philosophers are primarily concerned with liberation and enlightenment: Aristotle is content to know about the unmoving mover, from the outside and theoretically; the aim of the Perennial Philosophers is to become directly aware of it, to know it unitively, so that they and others may actually become the unmoving One. This unitive knowledge can be knowledge in the heights, or knowledge in the fulness, or knowledge simultaneously in the heights and the fulness. Spiritual knowledge exclusively in the heights of the soul was rejected by Mahayana Buddhism as inadequate. The similar rejection of quietism within the Christian tradition will be touched upon in the section, Contemplation and Action. Meanwhile it is interesting to find that the problem which aroused such acrimonious debate throughout seventeenth-century Europe had arisen for the Buddhists at a considerably earlier epoch. But whereas in Catholic Europe the outcome of the battle over Molinos, Mme. Guyon and Fnelon was to all intents and purposes the extinction of Mysticism for the best part of two centuries, in Asia the two parties were tolerant enough to agree to differ. Hinayana spirituality continued to explore the heights within, while the Mahayanist masters held up the ideal not of the Arhat, but of the Bodhisattva, and pointed the way to spiritual knowledge in its fulness as well as in its heights. What follows is a poetical account, by a Zen saint of the eighteenth century, of the state of those who have realized the Zen ideal.
1.04_-_The_Paths, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
readers to The Problems of Mysticism , by Dr. Silberer, in which book will be found valuable material. At the same time I am not to be understood as endorsing the entirety of
Silberer's conclusions. As I have indicated. Problems of
Mysticism may intimate to the careful reader how the association might have ensued.
Vav is its pronunciation, and means a " Nail ". It is used as a symbol of the phallus. This usage is confirmed by the Zodiacal sign of The Bull, which, as already pointed out, is a glyph of the universal reproductive force. The phallus, in the Mysticism of the Qabalah, is a creative symbol of a creative reality, the magical will. As an aid to the comprehension of this idea I quote from Jung's Psych- ology of the Unconscious for a definition :
1.05_-_Adam_Kadmon, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
are unfamiliar with the general conceptions held in mystic- ism as very strange indeed. But the idea of an inner man using a mind and body as instruments for the obtaining of experience and thus self-consciousness is inherent in every mystical system that has seen the light of the Sun. The classifications of the nature of man used by the various schools of Mysticism are tabulated on the opposite chart, using the ten Sephiros as the basis for comparison.
The Ruach is the false or empirical ego. It is that part of us which names itself " I ", and it is just that principle which is not " I ". Its moods change with the passing of the years. More, its contents are never the same from one minute to another. The destruction of the glamorous bondage which the Ruach exerts over us, thus permitting the light of the Nescharnah and the higher principles to shine through to illumine our minds and our daily lives, is one of the all-important tasks of Mysticism. In fact, the abnegation of this false ego ( bitol hoyesh) is the essential accomplishment of all spiritual development.
1.06_-_The_Ascent_of_the_Sacrifice_2_The_Works_of_Love_-_The_Works_of_Life, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
It is here that the emergence of the secret psychic being in us as the leader of the sacrifice is of the utmost importance; for this inmost being alone can bring with it the full power of the spirit in the act, the soul in the symbol. It alone can assure, even while the spiritual consciousness is incomplete, the perennial freshness and sincerity and beauty of the symbol and prevent it from becoming a dead form or a corrupted and corrupting magic; it alone can preserve for the act its power with its significance. All the other members of our being, mind, life-force, physical or body consciousness, are too much under the control of the Ignorance to be a sure instrumentation and much less can they be a guide or the source of an unerring impulse. Always the greater part of the motive and action of these powers clings to the old law, the deceiving tablets, the cherished inferior movements of Nature and they meet with reluctance, alarm or revolt or obstructing inertia the voices and the forces that call and impel us to exceed and transform ourselves into a greater being and a wider Nature. In their major part the response is either a resistance or a qualified or temporising acquiescence; for even if they follow the call, they yet tend - when not consciously, then by automatic habit - to bring into the spiritual action their own natural disabilities and errors. At every moment they are moved to take egoistic advantage of the psychic and spiritual influences and can be detected using the power, joy or light these bring into us for a lower life-motive. Afterwards too, even when the seeker has opened to the Divine Love transcendental, universal or immanent, yet if he tries to pour it into life, he meets the power of obscuration and perversion of these lower Natureforces. Always they draw away towards pitfalls, pour into that higher intensity their diminishing elements, seek to capture the descending Power for themselves and their interests and degrade it into an aggrandised mental, vital or physical instrumentation for desire and ego. Instead of a Divine Love creator of a new heaven and a new earth of Truth and Light, they would hold it here prisoner as a tremendous sanction and glorifying force of sublimation to gild the mud of the old earth and colour with its rose and sapphire the old turbid unreal skies of sentimentalising vital imagination and mental idealised chimera. If that falsification is permitted, the higher Light and Power and Bliss withdraw, there is a fall back to a lower status; or else the realisation remains tied to an insecure half-way and mixture or is covered and even submerged by an inferior exaltation that is not the true Ananda. It is for this reason that Divine Love which is at the heart of all creation and the most powerful of all redeeming and creative forces has yet been the least frontally present in earthly life, the least successfully redemptive, the least creative. Human nature has been unable to bear it in its purity for the very reason that it is the most powerful, pure, rare and intense of all the divine energies; what little could be seized has been corrupted at once into a vital pietistic ardour, a defenceless religious or ethical sentimentalism, a sensuous or even sensual erotic Mysticism of the roseate coloured mind or passionately turbid life-impulse and with these simulations compensated its inability to house the Mystic Flame that could rebuild the world with its tongues of sacrifice. It is only the inmost psychic being unveiled and emerging in its full power that can lead the pilgrim sacrifice unscathed through these ambushes and pitfalls; at each moment it catches, exposes, repels the mind's and the life's falsehoods, seizes hold on the truth of the Divine Love and Ananda and separates it from the excitement of the mind's ardours and the blind enthusiasms of the misleading life-force. But all things that are true at their core in mind and life and the physical being it extricates and takes with it in the journey till they stand on the heights, new in spirit and sublime in figure.
1.07_-_The_Farther_Reaches_of_Human_Nature, #Sex Ecology Spirituality, #Ken Wilber, #Philosophy
--- THE TRANSPERSONAL DOMAINS
--- LANGUAGE AND Mysticism
LANGUAGE AND Mysticism
In this regard, another common objection is that mystical or contemplative experiences, because they cannot be put into plain language, or into any language for that matter, are therefore not epistemologically grounded, are not "real knowledge." But this simply bypasses the problem of what linguistically situated knowledge means in the first place. Saussure, as I mentioned earlier, maintained that all linguistic signs have two components, the signifier and the signified, often represented as S/S. The signifier is the written or spoken symbol or sound, the material component of the sign (such as the physical ink forms written on this page, or the physical air vibrations as you speak). The signified is what comes to your mind when you see or hear the signifier.
But both the hermeneutical Left-Hand path and the structuralist Right-Hand path agreed that signs can only be understood contextually (whether in the context of shared cultural practices that provide the foreknowledge or background or context for common interpretation, or in the context of shared nonindividual linguistic structures. I argued in chapter 4 that both of these approaches are equally important-they represent the interior and the exterior of the linguistic holon-and indeed even Foucault came to this understanding).12
All of which relates to Mysticism in this way: the word dog has a shared meaning to you and to me because that sign exists in a shared linguistic structure and a shared cultural background of social and interpretive practices. But what if you had never seen a real dog? What then?
I could of course describe one to you, but the word will be meaningless unless there are some points of shared experience that will allow you to "call up" in your mind the same signified that I mean with the signifier "dog." (Substitute the word Buddha-nature for dog and you can see the importance of this line of thought for mystical experience, which we will explore in a minute.) The hermeneuticists are quite right in that regard: the same linguistic structures that you and I share are not enough, in themselves, to give you the proper signified. You and I have to share a common lived experience in order to assume identical signification.
And thus, so what if spiritual experiences can't be captured in words either? They are no more and no less handicapped in this regard than any other experience. If I say "dog" and you've had the experience, you know exactly what I mean. If a Zen master says "Emptiness," and you've had that experience, you will know exactly what is meant. If you haven't had the experience "dog" or the experience "Emptiness," merely adding more and more words will never, under any circumstances, convey it.
Thus, if we are going to level that charge at Mysticism, then we must level it at dogginess and sunsetness and every other experience that happens to come our way. (This is really the cheapest of the cheap shots fired at Mysticism.)
Conversely, words do just fine as signifiers for experience, whether mundane or spiritual, if we both, you and I, have had similar experiences in a context of shared background practices. Zen masters talk about Emptiness all the time! And they know exactly what they mean by the words, and the words are perfectly adequate to convey what they mean, if you have had the experience (for what they mean can only be disclosed in the shared praxis of zazen, or meditation practice).
VALIDITY CLAIMS OF Mysticism:
If I want to know whether it is raining or not, I go to the window and look out, and sure enough, rain. But perhaps I am mistaken, or perhaps my eyesight is poor. Would you check? You go to the window and yes, rain.
Each of these stages follows the same patterns and shows the same developmental characteristics as all the other stages of consciousness evolution: each is a holon following the twenty tenets (a new differentiation/integration, a new emergence with a new depth, a new interiority, etc.); each possesses a new and higher sense of self existing in a new and wider world of others, with new drives, new cognitions, new moral stances, and so forth; each possesses a deep structure (basic defining pattern) that is culturally invariant but with surface structures (manifestations) that are culturally conditioned and molded; and each has a new and higher form of possible pathology (with the exception of the unmanifest "end" point, although even that is not without certain possible complications in its manifestation).
I have elsewhere given preliminary descriptions of the deep structures (and pathologies) of each of these four major stages.22 Instead of repeating myself, I have for this presentation simply chosen four individuals who are especially representative of these stages, and will let them speak for us. They are (respectively) Ralph Waldo Emerson, Saint Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, and Sri Ramana Maharshi. Each also represents the type of Mysticism typical at each stage: nature Mysticism, deity Mysticism, formless Mysticism, and nondual Mysticism (each of which we will discuss).
And each represents a form of tomorrow, a shape of our destiny yet to come. Each rode time's arrow ahead of us, as geniuses always do, and thus, even though looming out of our past, they call to us from our future.
1.07_-_The_Three_Schools_of_Magick_2, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
Mysticism, both Catholic and Protestant, made a further attempt to free Christianity from the dark cloud of iniquity. They joined hands with the Sufis and the Vedantists. But this again led to the mere denial of the reality of evil. Thus drawing away, little by little, from clear appreciation of the facts of Nature, their doctrine became purely theoretical, and faded away, while the thundercloud of sin settled down more heavily than ever.
1.08_-_The_Depths_of_the_Divine, #Sex Ecology Spirituality, #Ken Wilber, #Philosophy
For the Over-Soul is also experienced as the World Soul, since self and world are here finding a "common fountain, common source."8 The Over-Soul (or World Soul) is an initial apprehension of the pure Witness or aboriginal Self, which starts to emerge, however haltingly, as an experiential reality at this psychic stage.9 (We will see how Emerson treats this Witness in a moment.)
With the Over-Soul, the World Soul, it is not that individuality disappears, but that-once again-it is negated and preserved in a deeper and wider ground, a ground that conspicuously includes all of nature and its glories. This cosmic consciousness is sometimes referred to as "nature Mysticism," but that is a somewhat misleading term. For this psychic-level Mysticism embraces not just nature but also culture, and calling it "nature Mysticism" confuses it with a merely biocentric regression, an ecocentric indissociation, and this is not at all what Emerson has in mind (as we will see).
But since the Over-Soul is an experienced identity with all manifestation, it is an identity that most definitely and exuberantly embraces nature; and, to that degree, it begins to undercut the subject/object dualism.10 Emerson explains:
To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. . . . Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear. . . . Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life,-no disgrace, no calamity, which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground,-my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,-all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.12
What distinguishes this profound "nature Mysticism" from a simple nature indissociation or ecocentric immersion or biospheric regression (which would be egocentric and anthropocentric, as we have seen) is the realization that nature is not Spirit but an expression of Spirit, radiant and glorious and perfect in its own way, but an expression nonetheless. Emerson says nature is not spirit but a symbol of spirit. Emerson is not regressing to fulcrum-2
(biocentric immersion and nondifferentiation)! Emerson is very clear on this distinction between nature regression, on the one hand, and a Mysticism that also embraces nature, on the other-and this distinction rather upsets his environmentalist fans, who seem to want to equate a finite and temporal nature with an infinite and eternal Spirit:
Beauty in nature is not ultimate. It is the herald of inward and eternal beauty, and is not alone a solid and satisfactory good. . . .
At the same time, as Emerson points out, this does not mean that nature is apart from Spirit or divorced from
Spirit or alien to Spirit-that is a common belief in the mythic structure (Campbell called it "mythic dissociation"), but it finds no place in genuine psychic Mysticism. All of nature, every nook and cranny, is in Spirit, bathed by Spirit, awash in Spirit; there is no point in nature that is not totally permeated and enveloped by Spirit.
These distinctions are crucial, because they allow us to distinguish carefully and clearly between three quite different worldviews on the relation between nature and spirit:
The second is mythic dissociation, where nature and spirit are ontologically separate or divorced; very "otherworldly."
The third is psychic Mysticism: nature is a perfect expression of spirit (or as Spinoza put it, nature is a subset of spirit);16 "otherworldly" and "this-worldly" are united and conjoined.
With reference to the third: One of the major and defining characteristics of psychic-level Mysticism is that it is a conscious identity with physiosphere and biosphere and noosphere-it does not simply privilege the biosphere; it is no mere geocentric/egocentric indissociation and regression. Even though this Mysticism often takes its glorious exultation in the wonders of nature, nonetheless, as Emerson constantly emphasizes, this is "the Self of nation and of nature"-that is, the mystical union of matter, life, and culture, not merely a biospheric immersion. Were it only the Self of nature and not also of nation (culture and morality), then it would be a perfectly regressive, dualistic, and amoralist stance, glorifying merely an egocentric joy in finding oneself vitally reflected in the biosphere (and the rain whispers in its ear, I am here for you).
Rather, it is the union of the human moral endeavor with the display of nature as given that so distinguishes "nation-nature" Mysticism from the narcissistic "nature worship" of mere sentimentalism (the technical points of this argument are given in note 16). This is most definitely not an ecological self; it is an Eco-Noetic Self, "The Self of nation and of nature," the Over-Soul that is the World Soul.17
Indeed, if nature means the biosphere, and Nature (or Spirit) means the All, means the physiosphere and the biosphere and the noosphere and their Ground, then Emerson's point is very simple: the worshipers of nature are the destroyers of Nature.
Emerson, then, is singing songs to Nature, not nature. And that is why he maintains that nature immersion and nature worship prevent the realization of Nature, or the Spirit within and beyond, which transcends all, embraces all. And this is what he means by "nature-nation" Mysticism: the biosphere and the noosphere united in the theosphere, or the Over-Soul that is simultaneously the World Soul.
And so he arrives at the very true conclusion: nature worshipers are the destroyers of Nature, the destroyers of
But when, following the invisible steps of thought, we come to inquire, Whence is matter? and Whereto? many truths arise to us out of the recesses of consciousness. We learn that the highest is present to the soul of man; that the dread universal essence, which is not wisdom, or love, or beauty, or power, but all in one, and each entirely, is that for which all things exist, and that by which they are; that spirit creates; that behind nature, throughout nature, spirit is present; one and not compound it does not act upon us from without, that is, in space and time, but spiritually, or through ourselves: therefore, that spirit . . . does not build up nature around us, but puts it forth through us, as the life of the tree puts forth new branches and leaves through the pores of the old.18
That Spirit does not build up nature around us, but puts forth nature through us: there is the profound difference between nature/nation Mysticism and mere biocentric immersion; there is the telling difference between the EcoNoetic Self and the merely ecological self; there is the difference between transcendence and regression.
Here, then, is a summary of the widely accepted interpretation of Emerson's view: (1) nature is not Spirit but a symbol of Spirit (or a manifestation of Spirit); (2) sensory awareness in itself does not reveal Spirit but obscures it; (3) an ascending or transcendental current is required to disclose Spirit; (4) Spirit is understood only as nature is transcended (i.e., Spirit is immanent in nature, but fully discloses itself only in a transcendence of nature-in short,
Spirit transcends but includes nature). Those points are largely uncontested by Emerson scholars [see the Eye of Spirit, chapter 11, note 2].
In concluding this brief survey of the psychic level and the cosmic consciousness of nature-nation Mysticism, there are two points I would like to emphasize. The first is that, as I think is now obvious, this new going within has resulted in a new going beyond: a new and higher interior identity (Over-Soul) accompanied by a new and wider embrace of others (World Soul)-a single Soul embracing the physiosphere, biosphere, and noosphere in one loving caress.19
Once again we go within and fall without to find this time . . . an actual cosmic consciousness. But this movement itself is in no way any different from all the previous stages that we have examined, all of which were "selfdevelopment through self-transcendence," a new going within to a deeper and wider beyond.
At the subtle level, this process of "interiorization" or "within-and-beyond" intensifies-a new transcendence with a new depth, a new embrace, a higher consciousness, a wider identity-and the soul and God enter an even deeper interior marriage, which discloses at its summit a divine union of Soul and Spirit, a union prior to any of its manifestations as matter or life or mind, a union that outshines any conceivable nature, here or anywhere else.
Nature-nation Mysticism gives way to Deity Mysticism, and the God within announces itself in terms undreamt of in gross manifestation, with a Light that blinds the sun and a Song that thunders nature and culture into stunned and awestruck silence.
Nature lovers here scream "Foul!," as if beyond the glories of nature there should be no other glory, as if the visible and tangible scene exhausted the wonders of the Kosmos, as if in all the worlds and possible worlds through all eternity, their beloved nature alone should be allowed to shine.
1.08_-_The_Historical_Significance_of_the_Fish, #Aion, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
Job. 24 Job puts the problem in unequivocal terms, and Chris-
tianity gave an equally unequivocal answer. Jewish Mysticism,
on the other hand, went its own way, and its speculations hover
1.08_-_The_Ladder, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
" The entire body of teachings of religio-philosophic movements have as their avowed or hidden purpose, the expansion of consciousness. This also is the aim of Mysticism of every age and of every faith, the aim of occultism and of the Oriental Yoga."
In connection with theurgical practice and ceremonial generally, having little concern for goetic obscurations, there is a remark or two in Mr. Waite's Studies in Mysticism which are not a little profound, and are worthy of quotation in this place.
" I do not believe that Mysticism is a mere mental aberration.
The reader will have noted that within these pages I have made no mention of what is commonly known as
Nature-Mysticism ; nor of its advocates, those earnest people who have discovered the inner fastnesses of Nature through the quiet contemplation of lovely landscapes, with their noble green trees which elevate themselves as in adoration to the heavens above and whose laced frondage sways gently with the passing of mild breezes, their lush meadows of emerald hue, and their gentle brooks that wind their unwearying way through field and pasture to Mother
Sea. In reality^ that does not belong to the province that I originally contemplated illustrating within the pages of this book, although it can be simply and briefly demon- strated that the experience even here is capable of analysis, being induced by an unconscious application of the funda- mental principles laid down above. The wealth and luxuriant variety of the overwhelming beauty of Wide
He now approaches the greatest crisis of his career.
Having acquainted himself with all technical methods of magick and meditation, and become expert in the handling of all these weapons, he must harmonize them (since his grade is in Tipharas - Harmony) and use them as his experience and instinct dictate to perform the central operation of all Mysticism and Magick - the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian
Angel ; the discovery of his True Will, and the ascertaining of the heavenly orb which he as a Star must follow. This is the essential work of every man ; none other ranks with it either for personal progress, or the ability to help one's fellow-man, or to solve the problems of existence. This crisis, and one other yet to be described, is a necessary feature in his mystical career, one which is an absolute essential to his Quest.
Prof. Martin Buber, in his splendid work on Jewish
Mysticism, speaks of a greater type of Tsaddik whose ecstasies and spiritual intoxications have ceased. Why have they ceased ? Because the beatification and ecstasy is continuous and does not proceed in the Buach, but in the Supernal Sephiros, where " abide " the Real
Potencies and Spiritual elements of a man. Hence the possessor of any one of these three grades which appertain to the Inner College of Masters is styled a Tsaddik, but his
1.12_-_The_Superconscient, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
A second, even more important observation commands our attention. To return to the rocket analogy: the rocket can break through the earth's atmosphere at any point, taking off either from New York or from the equator, and still reach the sun. There is no need to climb Mt. Everest to set up the launching pad! Similarly, the yogi can realize cosmic consciousness in any point, or at any level, of his being in his mind, in his heart, and even in his body because the cosmic Spirit is everywhere, in every point of the universe. The experience can begin anywhere, at any level, by concentrating on a rock or a sparrow, an idea, a prayer, a feeling, or what people scornfully call an idol. Cosmic consciousness is not the highest point of human consciousness; we do not go above the individual to reach it, but outside. It is hardly necessary to ascend in consciousness, or to become Plotinus, in order to attain the universal Spirit. On the contrary, the less mental one is, the easier it is to experience it; a shepherd beneath the stars or a fisherman of Galilee has a better chance at it than all the philosophers of the world put together. What, then, is the use of all this development of consciousness if folk-like Mysticism works better? We must admit that either we are all on the wrong track, or else those mystical escapades do not represent the whole meaning of evolution. On the other hand, if we accept that the proper evolutionary course is that of the peak figures of earthly consciousness Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven, Alexander the Great, Dante we are still forced to acknowledge that none of these great men has been able to transform life. Thus, the summits of the mind or the heart do not give us, any more than the cosmic summits, the key to the riddle and the power to change the world: another principle of consciousness is required. But it must be another principle without any break in continuity with the others, because if the line is broken or if the individual is lost, we fall back into cosmic or mystical dispersion, thereby losing our link with the earth. To be conscious of Oneness and of the Transcendent is certainly an indispensable basis for any realization (without which we might as well try to build a house without foundations), but it must be done in ways that respect evolutionary continuity; it must be an evolution, not a revolution. In other words, we must get out without getting out. Instead of a rocket that ends up crashing on the sun, we need a rocket that harpoons the Sun of the supreme consciousness and is able to bring it down to all points of our earthly consciousness: The ultimate knowledge is that which perceives and accepts God in the universe as well as beyond the universe and the integral Yoga is that which, having found the Transcendent, can return upon the universe and possess it, retaining the power freely to descend as well as ascend the great stair of existence.171 This double movement of ascent and descent of the individual consciousness is the basic principle of the supramental discovery. But in the process Sri Aurobindo was to touch an unknown spring which would change everything.
1.15_-_Index, #Aion, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
mysterium iniquitatis, 44, 86
Mysticism, Jewish, 108
mythologem: of Amen, 206; dying
1.17_-_Astral_Journey_Example,_How_to_do_it,_How_to_Verify_your_Experience, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
The unusual word "unassuaged" is very interesting. People generally suppose that "will" is the slave of purpose, that you cannot will a thing properly unless you are aiming at a definite goal. But this is not the case. Thinking of the goal actually serves to distract the mind. In these few words is included the whole method without all the bombastic piety of the servile doctrine of Mysticism about the surrender of the Will. Nor is this idea of surrender actually correct; the will must be identified with the Divine Will, so-called. One wants to become like a mighty flowing river, which is not consciously aiming at the sea, and is certainly not yielding to any external influence. It is acting in conformity with the law of its own nature, with the Tao. One can describe it, if necessary, as "passive love"; but it is love (in effect) raised to its highest potential. We come back to the same thing: when passion is purged of any "lust of result" it is irresistible; it has become "Law." I can never understand why it is that mystics fail to see that their smarmy doctrine of surrender actually insists upon the duality which they have set out to abolish!
1.25_-_SPIRITUAL_EXERCISES, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
In the Orient the systematization of mental prayer was carried out at some unknown but certainly very early date. Both in India and China spiritual exercises (accompanied or preceded by more or less elaborate physical exercises, especially breathing exercises) are known to have been used several centuries before the birth of Christ. In the West, the monks of the Thebaid spent a good part of each day in meditatioq as a means to contemplation or the unitive knowledge of God; and at all periods of Christian history, more or less methodical mental prayer has been largely used to supplement the vocal praying of public and private worship. But the systematization of mental prayer into elaborate spiritual exercises was not undertaken, it would seem, until near the end of the Middle Ages, when reformers within the Church popularized this new form of spirituality in an effort to revivify a decaying monasticism and to reinforce the religious life of a laity that had been bewildered by the Great Schism and profoundly shocked by the corruption of the clergy. Among these early systematizers the most effective and influential were the canons of Windesheim, who were in close touch with the Brethren of the Common Life. During the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries spiritual exercises became, one might almost say, positively fashionable. The early Jesuits had shown what extraordinary transformations of character, what intensities of will and devotion, could be achieved by men systematically trained on the intellectual and imaginative exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, and as the prestige of the Jesuits stood very high, at this time, in Catholic Europe, the prestige of spiritual exercises also stood high. Throughout the first century of the Counter-Reformation numerous systems of mental prayer (many of them, unlike the Ignatian exercises, specifically mystical) were composed, published and eagerly bought. After the Quietist controversy Mysticism fell into disrepute and, along with Mysticism, many of the once popular systems, which their authors had designed to assist the soul on the path towards contemplation. For more detailed information on this interesting and important subject the reader should consult Pourrats Christian Spirituality, Bede Frosts The Art of Mental Prayer, Edward Leens Progress through Mental Prayer and Aelfrida Tillyards Spiritual Exercises. Here it is only possible to give a few characteristic specimens from the various religious traditions.
1.51_-_How_to_Recognise_Masters,_Angels,_etc.,_and_how_they_Work, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
She was very unsatisfactory as a clairvoyant; she resented these precautions. She was a quick-tempered and impulsive woman, always eager to act with reckless enthusiasm. My cold scepticism no doubt prevented her from doing her best. Ab-ul-Diz himself constantly demanded that I should show "faith," and warned me that I was wrecking my chances by my attitude. I prevailed upon him, however, to give adequate proof of his existence, and his claim to speak with authority. The main purport of his message was to instruct me to write a book on my system of Mysticism and Magick, to be called Book 4, and told me that by means of this book, I should prevail against public neglect. I saw no objection to writing such a book; on quite rational grounds, it was a proper course of action. I therefore agreed to do so. But Ab-ul-Diz was determined to dictate the conditions in which the book should be written; and this was a difficult matter. He wanted us to travel to an appropriate place. On this point I was not wholly satisfied with the result of my cross-examination. I know now that I was much to blame throughout. I was not honest either with him, myself, or Virakam. I allowed material considerations to influence me, and I clung oh triple fool! to my sentimental obligations towards Laylah.
1.83_-_Epistola_Ultima, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
- Works by Aleister Crowley referred to in this volume -
BOOK 4, PART I A concise and clear treatise on Yoga and Mysticism. Book 4 parts I and II reprinted in one volume by Weiser; they may also be found in the "Blue Brick" edition of Magick (Weiser, 1994, 1997)
BOOK 4, PART II An introductory treatise on the practice of Magick.
HEART OF THE MASTER, The A sublime Masterpiece, describing a vision given upon the Holy Hill of Sidi Bou Said. Has been reprinted in the 1970s by 93 Publishing, in the 1980s by Mandrake of Thame, and in the 1990s by New Falcon.
KONX OM PAX Four invaluable treatises and a preface on Mysticism and Magick. Reprinted Chicago: Teitan Press, 1990.
LIBER ARARITA This book describes in magical language a very secret process of initiation. In Equinox III (9) (The Holy Books of Thelema).
2.00_-_BIBLIOGRAPHY, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
. The Flowering of Mysticism (New York, 1939).
. Mysticism East and West (London, 1932).
. Consult Inges Christian Mysticism, Rufus Joness Studies in Mystical Religion and Pourrats Christian Spirituality.
UNDERHILL, EVELYN. Mysticism (London, 1924).
2.03_-_The_Eternal_and_the_Individual, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The cosmic being can only know and possess the transcendent unity by ceasing to be cosmic; the individual can only know and possess the cosmic or the transcendental unity by ceasing from all individuality and individualisation. Or if unity is the one eternal fact, then cosmos and individual are non-existent; they are illusions imposed on itself by the Eternal. That may well involve a contradiction or an unreconciled paradox; but I am willing to admit a contradiction in the Eternal which I am not compelled to think out, rather than a contradiction here of my primary conceptions which I am compelled to think out logically and to practical ends. I am on this supposition able either to take the world as practically real and think and act in it or to reject it as an unreality and cease to think and act; I am not compelled to reconcile contradictions, not called on to be conscious of and conscious in something beyond myself and world and yet deal from that basis, as God does, with a world of contradictions. The attempt to be as God while I am still an individual or to be three things at a time seems to me to involve a logical confusion and a practical impossibility." Such might well be the attitude of the normal reason, and it is clear, lucid, positive in its distinctions; it involves no extraordinary gymnastics of the reason trying to exceed itself and losing itself in shadows and half-lights or any kind of Mysticism, or at least there is only one original and comparatively simple Mysticism free from all other difficult complexities. Therefore it is the reasoning which is the most satisfactory to the simply rational mind. Yet is there here a triple error, the error of making an unbridgeable gulf between the Absolute and the relative, the error of making too simple and rigid and extending too far the law of contradictions and the error of conceiving in terms of Time the genesis of things which have their origin and first habitat in the Eternal.
2.15_-_Reality_and_the_Integral_Knowledge, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
For there are subjective domains of our being which lie behind the obvious surface; these have to be fathomed and whatever is ascertained must be admitted within the scope of the total reality.
An inner range of spiritual experience is one very great domain of human consciousness; it has to be entered into up to its deepest depths and its vastest reaches. The supraphysical is as real as the physical; to know it is part of a complete knowledge. The knowledge of the supraphysical has been associated with Mysticism and occultism, and occultism has been banned as a superstition and a fantastic error. But the occult is a part of existence; a true occultism means no more than a research into supraphysical realities and an unveiling of the hidden laws of being and Nature, of all that is not obvious on the surface. It attempts the discovery of the secret laws of mind and mental energy, the secret laws of life and life-energy, the secret laws of the subtle-physical and its energies, - all that Nature has not put into visible operation on the surface; it pursues also the application of these hidden truths and powers of Nature so as to extend the mastery of the human spirit beyond the ordinary operations of mind, the ordinary operations of life, the ordinary operations of our physical existence.
In the spiritual domain, which is occult to the surface mind in so far as it passes beyond normal and enters into supernormal experience, there is possible not only the discovery of the self and spirit, but the discovery of the uplifting, informing and guiding light of spiritual consciousness and the power of the spirit, the spiritual way of knowledge, the spiritual way of action. To know these things and to bring their truths and forces into the life of humanity is a necessary part of its evolution. Science itself is in its own way an occultism; for it brings to light the formulas which Nature has hidden and it uses its knowledge to set free operations of her energies which she has not included in her ordinary operations and to organise and place at the service of man her occult powers and processes, a vast system of physical magic, - for there is and can be no other magic than the utilisation of secret truths of being, secret powers and processes of Nature. It may even be found that a supraphysical knowledge is necessary for the completion of physical knowledge, because the processes of physical Nature have behind them a supraphysical factor, a power and action mental, vital or spiritual which is not tangible to any outer means of knowledge.
2.19_-_The_Planes_of_Our_Existence, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
2:In the ordinary Yoga of knowledge it is only necessary to recognise two planes of our consciousness, the spiritual and the materialised mental; the pure reason standing between these two views them both, cuts through the illusions of the phenomenal world, exceeds the materialised mental plane, sees the reality of the spiritual; and then the will of the individual Purusha unifying itself with this poise of knowledge rejects the lower and draws back to the supreme plane, dwells there, loses mind and body, sheds life from it and merges itself in the supreme Purusha, is delivered from individual existence. It knows that this is not the whole truth of our existence, which is much more complex; it knows there are many planes, but it disregards them or pays little attention to them because they are not essential to this liberation. They indeed rather hamper it, because to live on them brings new attractive psychical experiences, psychical enjoyments, psychical powers, a new world of phenomenal knowledge the pursuit of which creates stumbling-blocks in the way of its one object, immergence in Brahman, and brings a succession of innumerable way-side snares on the road which leads to God. But since we accept world-existence, and for us all world-existence is Brahman and full of the presence of God, these things can have no terrors for us; whatever dangers of distraction there may be, we have to face and overcome them. If the world and our own existence are so complex, we must know and embrace their complexities in order that our self-knowledge and our knowledge of the dealings of Purusha with its prakriti may be complete. If there are many planes, we have to possess them all for the Divine, even as we seek to possess spiritually and transform our ordinary poise of mind, life and body.
3:The ancient knowledge in all countries was full of the search after the hidden truths of our being and it created that large field of practice and inquiry which goes in Europe by the name of occultism, -- we do not use any corresponding word in the East, because these things do not seem to us so remote, mysterious and abnormal as to the occidental mentality; they are nearer to us arid the veil between our normal material life and this larger life is much thinner. In India,428a Egypt, Chaldea, China, Greece, the Celtic countries they have formed part of various Yogic systems and disciplines which had once a great hold everywhere, but to the modern mind have seemed mere superstition and Mysticism, although the facts and experiences on which they are founded are quite as real in their own field and as much governed by intelligible laws of their own as the facts and experiences of the material world. It is not our intention here to plunge into this vast and difficult field of psychical knowledge.428b But it becomes necessary now to deal with certain broad facts and principles which form its framework, for without them our Yoga of knowledge cannot be complete. We find that in the various systems the facts dealt with are always the same, but there are considerable differences of theoretic and practical arrangement, as is natural and inevitable in dealing with a subject so large and difficult. Certain things are here omitted, there made all-important, here understressed, there over-emphasised; certain fields of experience which are in one system held to be merely subordinate provinces, are in others treated as separate kingdoms. But I shall follow here consistently the Vedic and Vedantic arrangement of which we find the great lines in the Upanishads, first because it seems to me at once the simplest and most philosophical and more especially because it was from the beginning envisaged from the point of view of the utility of these various planes to the supreme object of our liberation. It takes as its basis the three principles of our ordinary being, mind, life and matter, the triune spiritual principle of Sachchidananda and the link principle of vijnana, supermind, the free or spiritual intelligence, and thus arranges all the large possible poises of our being in a tier of seven planes, -- sometimes regarded as five only, because, only the lower five are wholly accessible to us, -- through which the developing being can rise to its perfection.
4:But first we must understand what we mean by planes of consciousness, planes of existence. We mean a general-settled poise or world of relations between Purusha and prakriti, between the Soul and Nature. For anything that we can call world is and can be nothing else than the working out of a general relation which an universal existence has created or established between itself, or let us say its eternal fact or potentiality and the powers of its becoming. That existence in its relations with and its experience of the becoming is what we call soul or Purusha, individual soul in the individual, universal soul in the cosmos; the principle and the powers of the becoming are what we call Nature or prakriti. But since being, conscious-force and delight of being are always the three constituent terms of existence, the nature of a world is really determined by the way in which prakriti is set to deal with these three primary things and the forms which it is allowed to give to them. For existence itself is and must always be the stuff of its own becoming; it must be shaped into the substance with which Force has to deal. Force again must be the power which works out that substance and works with it to whatever ends; Force is that which we ordinarily call Nature. Again the end, the object with which the worlds are created must be worked out by the consciousness inherent in all existence and all force and all their workings, and the object must be the possession of itself and of its delight of existence in the world. To that all the circumstances and aims of any world-existence must reduce themselves; it is existence developing its terms of being, its power of being, its conscious delight of being; if these are involved, their evolution; if they are veiled, their self-revelation.
2.24_-_The_Evolution_of_the_Spiritual_Man, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Occultism is in its essence man's effort to arrive at a knowledge of secret truths and potentialities of Nature which will lift him out of slavery to his physical limits of being, an attempt in particular to possess and organise the mysterious, occult, outwardly still undeveloped direct power of Mind upon Life and of both Mind and Life over Matter. There is at the same time an endeavour to establish communication with worlds and entities belonging to the supraphysical heights, depths and intermediate levels of cosmic Being and to utilise this communion for the mastery of a higher Truth and for a help to man in his will to make himself sovereign over Nature's powers and forces. This human aspiration takes its stand on the belief, intuition or intimation that we are not mere creatures of the mud, but souls, minds, wills that can know all the mysteries of this and every world and become not only Nature's pupils but her adepts and masters. The occultist sought to know the secret of physical things also and in this effort he furthered astronomy, created chemistry, gave an impulse to other sciences, for he utilised geometry also and the science of numbers; but still more he sought to know the secrets of supernature. In this sense occultism might be described as the science of the supernatural; but it is in fact only the discovery of the supraphysical, the surpassing of the material limit, - the heart of occultism is not the impossible chimera which hopes to go beyond or outside all force of Nature and make pure phantasy and arbitrary miracle omnipotently effective. What seems to us supernatural is in fact either a spontaneous irruption of the phenomena of other-Nature into physical Nature or, in the work of the occultist, a possession of the knowledge and power of the higher orders or grades of cosmic Being and Energy and the direction of their forces and processes towards the production of effects in the physical world by seizing on possibilities of interconnection and means for a material effectuality. There are powers of the mind and the life-force which have not been included in Nature's present systematisation of mind and life in matter, but are potential and can be brought to bear upon material things and happenings or even brought in and added to the present systematisation so as to enlarge the control of mind over our own life and body or to act on the minds, lives, bodies of others or on the movements of cosmic Forces. The modern admission of hypnotism is an example of such a discovery and systematised application, - though still narrow and limited, limited by its method and formula, - of occult powers which otherwise touch us only by a casual or a hidden action whose process is unknown to us or imperfectly caught by a few; for we are all the time undergoing a battery of suggestions, thought suggestions, impulse suggestions, will suggestions, emotional and sensational suggestions, thought waves, life waves that come on us or into us from others or from the universal Energy, but act and produce their effects without our knowledge. A systematised endeavour to know these movements and their law and possibilities, to master and use the power or Nature-force behind them or to protect ourselves from them would fall within one province of occultism: but it would only be a small part even of that province; for wide and multiple are the possible fields, uses, processes of this vast range of little explored Knowledge.
In modern times, as physical Science enlarged its discoveries and released the secret material forces of Nature into an action governed by human knowledge for human use, occultism receded and was finally set aside on the ground that the physical alone is real and mind and life are only departmental activities of Matter. On this basis, believing material Energy to be the key of all things, Science has attempted to move towards a control of mind and life processes by a knowledge of the material instrumentation and process of our normal and abnormal mind and life functionings and activities; the spiritual is ignored as only one form of mentality. It may be observed in passing that if this endeavour succeeded, it might not be without danger for the existence of the human race, even as now are certain other scientific discoveries misused or clumsily used by a humanity mentally and morally unready for the handling of powers so great and perilous; for it would be an artificial control applied without any knowledge of the secret forces which underlie and sustain our existence. Occultism in the West could be thus easily pushed aside because it never reached its majority, never acquired ripeness and a philosophic or sound systematic foundation. It indulged too freely in the romance of the supernatural or made the mistake of concentrating its major effort on the discovery of formulas and effective modes for using supernormal powers. It deviated into magic white and black or into a romantic or thaumaturgic paraphernalia of occult Mysticism and the exaggeration of what was after all a limited and scanty knowledge. These tendencies and this insecurity of mental foundation made it difficult to defend and easy to discredit, a target facile and vulnerable. In Egypt and the East this line of knowledge arrived at a greater and more comprehensive endeavour: this ampler maturity can be seen still intact in the remarkable system of the Tantras; it was not only a many-sided science of the supernormal but supplied the basis of all the occult elements of religion and even developed a great and powerful system of spiritual discipline and self-realisation. For the highest occultism is that which discovers the secret movements and dynamic supernormal possibilities of mind and life and spirit and uses them in their native force or by an applied process for the greater effectivity of our mental, vital and spiritual being.
Occultism is associated in popular idea with magic and magical formulae and a supposed mechanism of the supernatural.
Stoic and Epicurean, which were dynamic not only for thought but for conduct of life and developed a discipline, an effort at inner perfection of the being; this reached a higher spiritual plane of knowledge in later Christian or Neo-pagan thought-structures where East and West met together. But later on the intellectualisation became complete and the connection of philosophy with life and its energies or spirit and its dynamism was either cut or confined to the little that the metaphysical idea can impress on life and action by an abstract and secondary influence. Religion has supported itself in the West not by philosophy but by a credal theology; sometimes a spiritual philosophy emerges by sheer force of individual genius, but it has not been as in the East a necessary adjunct to every considerable line of spiritual experience and endeavour. It is true that a philosophic development of spiritual thought is not entirely indispensable; for the truths of spirit can be reached more directly and completely by intuition and by a concrete inner contact. It must also be said that the critical control of the intellect over spiritual experience can be hampering and unreliable, for it is an inferior light turned upon a field of higher illumination; the true controlling power is an inner discrimination, a psychic sense and tact, a superior intervention of guidance from above or an innate and luminous inner guidance. But still this line of development too is necessary, because there must be a bridge between the spirit and the intellectual reason: the light of a spiritual or at least a spiritualised intelligence is necessary for the fullness of our total inner evolution, and without it, if another deeper guidance is lacking, the inner movement may be erratic and undisciplined, turbid and mixed with unspiritual elements or one-sided or incomplete in its catholicity. For the transformation of the Ignorance into the integral Knowledge the growth in us of a spiritual intelligence ready to receive a higher light and canalise it for all the parts of our nature is an intermediate necessity of great importance.
But none of these three lines of approach can by themselves entirely fulfil the greater and ulterior intention of Nature; they cannot create in mental man the spiritual being, unless and until they open the door to spiritual experience. It is only by an inner realisation of what these approaches are seeking after, by an overwhelming experience or by many experiences building up an inner change, by a transmutation of the consciousness, by a liberation of the spirit from its present veil of mind, life and body that there can emerge the spiritual being. That is the final line of the soul's progress towards which the others are pointing and, when it is ready to disengage itself from the preliminary approaches, then the real work has begun and the turning-point of the change is no longer distant. Till then all that the human mental being has reached is a familiarity with the idea of things beyond him, with the possibility of an other-worldly movement, with the ideal of some ethical perfection; he may have made too some contact with greater Powers or Realities which help his mind or heart or life. A change there may be, but not the transmutation of the mental into the spiritual being. Religion and its thought and ethics and occult Mysticism in ancient times produced the priest and the mage, the man of piety, the just man, the man of wisdom, many high points of mental manhood; but it is only after spiritual experience through the heart and mind began that we see arise the saint, the prophet, the Rishi, the Yogi, the seer, the spiritual sage and the mystic, and it is the religions in which these types of spiritual manhood came into being that have endured, covered the globe and given mankind all its spiritual aspiration and culture.
When spirituality disengages itself in the consciousness and puts on its distinctive character, it is only at first a small kernel, a growing tendency, an exceptional light of experience amidst the great mass of normal unenlightened human mind, vitality, physicality which forms the outer self and engrosses our natural preoccupation. There are tentative beginnings and a slow evolution and hesitating emergence. An earlier first preliminary form of it creates a certain kind of religiosity which is not the pure spiritual temperament, but is of the nature of mind or life seeking or finding in itself a spiritual support or factor; in this stage man is mostly preoccupied with the utilisation of such contacts as he can get or construct with what is beyond him to help or serve his mental ideas or moral ideals or his vital and physical interests; the true turn to some spiritual change has not come. The first true formations take the shape of a spiritualisation of our natural activities, a permeating influence on them or a direction: there is a preparatory influence or influx in some part or tendency of the mind or life, - a spiritualised turn of thought with uplifting illuminations, or a spiritualised turn of the emotional or the aesthetic being, a spiritualised ethical formation in the character, a spiritualised urge in some life-action or other dynamic vital movement of the nature. An awareness comes perhaps of an inner light, of a guidance or a communion, of a greater Control than the mind and will to which something in us obeys; but all is not yet recast in the mould of that experience. But when these intuitions and illuminations grow in insistence and canalise themselves, make a strong inner formation and claim to govern the whole life and take over the nature, then there begins the spiritual formation of the being; there emerges the saint, the devotee, the spiritual sage, the seer, the prophet, the servant of God, the soldier of the spirit. All these take their stand on one part of the natural being lifted up by a spiritual light, power or ecstasy. The sage and seer live in the spiritual mind, their thought or their vision is governed and moulded by an inner or a greater divine light of knowledge; the devotee lives in the spiritual aspiration of the heart, its self-offering and its seeking; the saint is moved by the awakened psychic being in the inner heart grown powerful to govern the emotional and vital being; the others stand in the vital kinetic nature driven by a higher spiritual energy and turned by it towards an inspired action, a God-given work or mission, the service of some divine Power, idea or ideal. The last or highest emergence is the liberated man who has realised the Self and Spirit within him, entered into the cosmic consciousness, passed into union with the Eternal and, so far as he still accepts life and action, acts by the light and energy of the Power within him working through his human instruments of Nature. The largest formulation of this spiritual change and achievement is a total liberation of soul, mind, heart and action, a casting of them all into the sense of the cosmic Self and the Divine Reality.10 The spiritual evolution of the individual has then found its way and thrown up its range of Himalayan eminences and its peaks of highest nature. Beyond this height and largeness there opens only the supramental ascent or the incommunicable Transcendence.
This then has been up till now the course of Nature's evolution of the spiritual man in the human mental being, and it may be questioned what is the exact sum of this achievement and its actual significance. In the recent reaction towards the life of the mind in Matter, this great direction and this rare change have been stigmatised as no true evolution of consciousness but rather a sublimated crudity of ignorance deviating from the true human evolution, which should be solely an evolution of life-power, the practical physical mind, the reason governing thought and conduct and the discovering and organising intelligence. In this epoch religion was pushed aside as an out-of-date superstition and spiritual realisation and experience discredited as a shadowy Mysticism; the mystic in this view is the man who turns aside into the unreal, into occult regions of a self-constructed land of chimeras and loses his way there. This judgment proceeds from a view of things which is itself bound to pass into discredit, because it depends ultimately on the false perception of the material as alone real and the outward life as alone of importance.
But apart from this extreme materialistic view of things, it can be and is still held by the intellect and the physical mind eager for human life-fulfilment, - and that is the prevalent mentality, the dominant modern trend, - that the spiritual tendency in humanity has come to very little; it has not solved the problem of life nor any of the problems with which humanity is at grips.
2.25_-_The_Higher_and_the_Lower_Knowledge, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Nevertheless, Yoga does not either in its path or in its attainment exclude and throw away the forms of the lower knowledge, except when it takes the shape of an extreme asceticism or a Mysticism altogether intolerant of this other divine mystery of the world-existence. It separates itself from them by the intensity, largeness and height of its objective and the specialisation of its methods to suit its aim; but it not only starts from them, but for a certain part of the way carries them with it and uses them as auxiliaries. Thus it is evident how largely ethical thought and practice, -- not so much external as internal conduct, -- enter into the preparatory method of Yoga, into its aim at purity. Again the whole method of Yoga is psychological; it might almost be termed the consummate practice of a perfect psychological knowledge. The data of philosophy are the supports from which it begins in the realisation of God through the principles of his being; only it carries the intelligent understanding which is all philosophy gives, into an intensity which carries it beyond thought into vision and beyond understanding into realisation and possession; what philosophy leaves abstract and remote, it brings into a living nearness and spiritual concreteness. The aesthetic and emotional mind and aesthetic forms are used by Yoga as a support for concentration even in the Yoga of Knowledge and are, sublimated, the whole means of the Yoga of love and delight, as life and action, sublimated, are the whole means of the Yoga of works. Contemplation of God in Nature, contemplation and service of God in man and in the life of man and of the world in its past, present and future, are equally elements of which the Yoga of Knowledge can make use to complete the realisation of God in all things. Only, all is directed to the one aim, directed towards God, filled with the idea of the divine, infinite, universal existence so that the outward-going, sensuous, pragmatical preoccupation of the lower knowledge with phenomena and forms is replaced by the one divine preoccupation. After attainment the same character remains. The Yogin continues to know and see God in the finite and be a channel of God-consciousness and God-action in the world; therefore the knowledge of the world and the enlarging and uplifting of all that appertains to life comes within his scope. Only, in all he sees God, sees the supreme reality, and his motive of work is to help mankind towards the knowledge of God and the possession of the supreme reality. He sees God through the data of science. God through the conclusions of philosophy. God through the forms of Beauty and the forms of Good, God in all the activities of life. God in the past of the world and its effects, in the present and its tendencies, in the future and its great progression. Into any or all of these he can bring his illumined vision and his liberated power of the spirit. The lower knowledge has been the step from which he has risen to the higher; the higher illumines for him the lower and makes it part of itself, even if only its lower fringe and most external radiation.
3.00_-_Hymn_To_Pan, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
has now, at the suggestion of the Master, entered the harem of a
Turk in order to study Mohammedan methods of Mysticism and
3.00_-_Introduction, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
I found myself at a loss for a name to designate my work, just
as H. P. Blavatsky some years earlier. Theosophy, Spiritualism, Occultism, Mysticism, all involved undesirable connotations.
I therefore chose the name
3.01_-_The_Principles_of_Ritual, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
The Supreme and Complete Ritual is therefore the Invocation of
the Holy Guardian Angel;1 or in the language of Mysticism,
Union with God.2
3.02_-_The_Formulae_of_the_Elemental_Weapons, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
species of samdhi; and this fact alone suffices to link irrefragably
magick with Mysticism.
3.05_-_The_Formula_of_I.A.O., #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
meditation; in fact, of elementary Mysticism in all its branches.
In beginning a meditation practice, there is always1 a quiet
3.1.05_-_A_Vision_of_Science, #Collected Poems, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Yet the weird paradox seemed justified;
Even Mysticism shrank out-mystified.
But the third Angel came and touched my eyes;
3.15_-_Of_the_Invocation, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
2. There is the general metaphysical antithesis that Magick is the Art of the Willto-Live, Mysticism of the Will-to-Die; butTruth comes bubbling to my brim; Life
and Death are one to Him! [Crowley, The Scorpion, Equinox I (6).]
3.2.05_-_Our_Ideal, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
The fourth and last attempt which is as yet only in its slow initial stage is the quiet entry of Eastern and chiefly of
Indian thought into Europe first through the veil of German metaphysics, more latterly by its subtle influence in reawakening the Celtic, Scandinavian and Slavonic idealism, Mysticism, religionism, and the direct and open penetration of Buddhism,
Theosophy, Vedantism, Bahaism and other Oriental influences in both Europe and America.
3.20_-_Of_the_Eucharist, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
elements of the Royal Art.
So far as Mysticism is concerned, the technique is extremely
simple, and has been very simply described in Part I of this Book 4.
They remain brutish, voluble, and uncomprehending.
The technique of Magick is just as important as that of Mysticism,
but here we have a very much more difficult problem, because the
developed and trained with exactly the same rigid discipline as the
brain in the case of Mysticism. The essence of the technique of
Magick is the development of the body of Light which must be
despite the fact that His original inclination is much stronger
towards Magick than towards Mysticism, he is much less competent
in Magick.2 A trace of this can be seen even in His method of
3.6.01_-_Heraclitus, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
but there is a luminous Apollonian as well as an obscure and
sometimes dangerous Dionysian Mysticism, a Dakshina as well
as a Vama Marga of the mystic Tantra. And though no partaker
strikes one as at least an intellectual child of the Mystics and
of Mysticism, although perhaps a rebel son in the house of his
mother. He has something of the mystic style, something of the
intuitive Apollonian inlook into the secrets of existence.
Certainly, as Mr. Ranade says, mere aphorism is not Mysticism; aphorism and epigram are often enough, perhaps usually
a condensed or a pregnant effort of the intellect. But Heraclitus'
is a forerunner; it illustrates the great deficiency of later European thought, such of it at least as has not been profoundly
influenced by Asiatic religions or Asiatic Mysticism. I have tried
to show how often his thought touches and is almost identical
4.01_-_Sweetness_in_Prayer, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
1.: Now that I commence writing about the fourth mansions, it is requisite, as I said,1' to commend myself to the Holy Ghost and to beg Him henceforth to speak for me, that I may be enabled to treat these matters intelligibly. Henceforth they begin to be supernatural and it will be most difficult to speak clearly about them,2' unless His Majesty undertakes it for me, as He did when I explained the subject (as far as I understood it) somewhat about fourteen years ago.3' I believe I now possess more light about the favours God grants some souls, but that is different from being able to elucidate them.4' May His Majesty enable me to do so if it would be useful, but not otherwise.
2.: As these mansions are nearer the King's dwelling they are very beautiful, and so subtle are the things seen and heard in them, that, as those tell us who have tried to do so, the mind There are two kinds of contemplation: acquired or natural, and infused or supernatural. In their widest sense, including many remarkable phenomena of Natural religion, and, of course, the most wonderful manifestations recorded in the Old Testament, they form the system called Mysticism and are the proper object of Mystical theology. Natural or acquired contemplation is based upon an idealistic turn of mind which enables the soul to gaze upon the Godhead (simple gaze, as St. Teresa calls it) without approaching Him by the laborious process of reasoning, and in so doing embraces Him with its affective powers; like a person who, devoid of technical skill, takes in and is enamoured by, the beauty of a painting. Infused contemplation is the highest act of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost of Knowledge and Wisdom. It is often impossible, nor is it always essential, to determine where acquired contemplation ends and infused contemplation begins. But it should be borne in mind that both the one and the other are operations and not merely a passive state or mere fruition. Even the highest form of contemplation, the Beatific Vision, is a supernatural act of the soul, an operation of unending duration. A ship moved by a gentle breeze is rightly said to be actually sailing though the rowers are at rest. cannot give a lucid idea of them to those inexperienced in the matter. People who have enjoyed these favours, especially if it was to any great extent, will easily comprehend me.
3.: Apparently a person must have dwelt for a long time in the former mansions before entering these; although in ordinary cases the soul must have been in the last one spoken of, yet, as you must often have heard, there is no fixed rule, for God gives when, how, and to whom He wills5-the goods are His own, and His choice wrongs no one.6' The poisonous reptiles rarely come into these rooms, and, if they enter, do more good than harm. I think it is far better for them to get in and make war on the soul in this state of prayer; were it not tempted, the devil might sometimes deceive it about divine consolations, thus injuring it far more. Besides, the soul would benefit less, because all occasions of gaining merit would be withdrawn, were it left continually absorbed in God. I am not confident that this absorption is genuine when it always remains in the same state, nor does it appear to me possible for the Holy Ghost to dwell constantly within us, to the same extent, during our earthly exile.
4.1.01_-_The_Intellect_and_Yoga, #Letters On Yoga I, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Argument number one. Mysticism and mystics have always risen in times of decadence, of the ebb of life and their loud quacking is a symptom of the decadence. This argument is absolutely untrue. In the East the great spiritual movements have arisen in the full flood of a people's life and culture or on a rising tide and they have themselves given a powerful impulse of expansion and richness to its thought and art and life; in
Greece the mystics and the mysteries were there at the prehistoric beginning and in the middle (Pythagoras was one of the greatest of mystics) and not only in the ebb and decline; the mystic cults flourished in Rome too when its culture was at high tide; many great spiritual personalities of Italy, France, Spain sprang up
I know it is the Russian explanation of the recent trend to spirituality and Mysticism that it is a phenomenon of capitalist society in its decadence. But to read an economic cause, conscious or unconscious, into all phenomena of man's history is part of the
They come from all countries and it was only a minority who hailed from England or America. Russia is different - unlike the others it had lingered in mediaeval religionism and not passed through any period of revolt - so when the revolt came it was naturally anti-religious and atheistic. It is only when this phase is exhausted that Russian Mysticism can revive and take not a narrow religious but the spiritual direction. It is true that Mysticism a revers, turned upside down, has made Bolshevism
Agenda_Vol_7, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
There is an Italian here, whom I saw the other day with his wife (his wife is nice; he has long hair
and a mystic air... "mystic" is a way of speaking: Mysticism for a theater stage). I didn't find them very
interesting, but they intend to stay here for three or four months. And today, he has written me a letter
Agenda_Vol_8, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
Communism and spirituality.)
"I know it is the Russian explanation of the recent trend to spirituality and Mysticism that it
is a phenomenon of capitalist society in its decadence. But to read an economic cause,
through any period of revolt - so when the revolt came it was naturally anti-religious and
atheistic. It is only when this phase is exhausted that Russian Mysticism can revive and take
not a narrow religious but the spiritual direction. It is true that Mysticism d revere, turned
upside down, has made Bolshevism and its endeavour a creed rather than a political theme
Agenda_Vol_9, #The Mothers Agenda, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
in pessimism because of its material antecedents. Certain antecedents, that is, father and mother, had
been chosen for their great practicality and a very concrete material honesty, but no Mysticism, nothing
of the sort - deliberately. But then, it gave a kind of... not exactly pessimism, but a very sharp vision of
APPENDIX_I_-_Curriculum_of_A._A., #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
The Equinox. ::: The standard Work of Reference in all occult matters. The Encyclopaedia of Initiation.
Liber ABA (Book 4). ::: A general account in elementary terms of magical and mystical powers. In four parts: (1) Mysticism (2) Magical (Elementary Theory) (3) Magick in Theory and Practice (this book) (4) The Law.
Liber II. ::: The Message of the Master Therion. Explains the essence of the new Law in a very simple manner.
The Yi King. (S.B.E. Series, Oxford University Press.) ::: The "Classic of Changes"; gives the initiated Chinese system of Magick.
The Tao Teh King. (S.B.E. Series.) ::: gives the initiated Chinese system of Mysticism.
Tannhauser, by A. Crowley. ::: An allegorical drama concerning the Progress of the soul; the Tannhauser story slightly remodelled.
The Upanishads. (S.B.E. Series.) ::: The Classical Basis of Vedantism, the best-known form of Hindu Mysticism.
The Bhagavad-Gita. ::: A dialogue in which Krishna, the Hindu "Christ", expounds a system of Attainment.
The Voice of the Silence, by H. P. Blavatsky, ::: with an elaborate commentary by Frater O. M.
Raja-Yoga by Swami Vivekananda ::: An excellent elementary study of Hindu Mysticism. His Bhakti-Yoga is also good.
The Shiva Sanhita. ::: A famous Hindu treatise on certain physical practices.
Most valuable as a general education of the mind.
The Spiritual Guide of Molinos. ::: A simple manual of Christian Mysticism.
The Star of the West. (Captain Fuller.) ::: An introduction to the study of the Works of Aleister Crowley.
Kabbala Denudata, von Rosenroth ::: also the Kabbalah Unveiled, by S. L. Mathers. ::: The text of the Kabalah, with commentary. A good elementary introduction to the subject.
Konx om Pax. ::: Four invaluable treatises and a preface on Mysticism and Magick.
The Pistis Sophia. ::: An admirable introduction to the study of Gnosticism.
SECTION 2. ::: Other books, principally fiction, of a generally suggestive and helpful kind
Zanoni, by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. ::: Valuable for its facts and suggestions about Mysticism.
A Strange Story , by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. ::: Valuable for its facts and suggestions about Magick.
The Lore of Proserpine, by Maurice Hewlett. ::: A suggestive enquiry into the Hermetic Arcanum.
En Route, by J. K. Huysmans. ::: An account of the follies of Christian Mysticism.
Sidonia the Sorceress, by Wilhelm Meinhold.
Liber ABA. (4)  - A general account in elementary terms of magical and mystical powers.
1. ::: Mysticism - published.
2. ::: Magick (Elementary Theory)  - published.
Blazing_P3_-_Explore_the_Stages_of_Postconventional_Consciousness, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Darwin, Charles. (1877). A biographical sketch. Mind, 285-295.
Deikman, A. J. (1982) The observing self: Mysticism and psychotherapy. Boston: Beacon.
Descartes, R. (1637/1954). The geometry of Rene Descartes. (D. E. Smith, M. L. Latham,
leadership. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
Underhill, E. (1955). Mysticism. New York: New American Library.
Vaughan, F. (1985). Discovering transpersonal identity. Journal of Humanistic Psychology
Vaughan, F. (1989a). Characteristics of Mysticism. ReVision 12(2): 23.
Vaughan, F. (1989b). True and false mystical experiences: Some distinguishing
BOOK_II._--_PART_III._ADDENDA._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
"Optics"; Buffon, the naturalist; Condillac, the sceptic; Bailly, Lavater, Bernardin de St. Pierre, and,
as a contrast to the two last named -- suspected at least of Mysticism -- Diderot and most of the writers
of the Encyclopaedia. Following these come Kant, the founder of modern philosophy; the poet
about 31,000 years ago Aldebaran was in conjunction with the vernal equinoctial point. The part
assigned to Taurus, even in Christian Mysticism, is too well known to need repetition. The famous
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd/sd2-3-09.htm (8 von 20) [06.05.2003 03:38:06]
BOOK_II._--_PART_II._THE_ARCHAIC_SYMBOLISM_OF_THE_WORLD-RELIGIONS, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
artificially elaborated, full of allusions and reticences, of pretensions (?) to Mysticism and theosophic
insight, and the manner of its expression is such as reminds one more frequently of the phraseology in
[[Vol. 2, Page]] 553 THE DEGRADATION OF THE SYMBOL.
forcibly of this Mysticism of the circle, when he beheld a whirl-wind from which came out "one wheel
upon the earth" whose work "was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel" (ch. i. vv. 4-16). . . .
Egypt, and who adopted their numerical system from the Phoenicians, and later from the Gentiles,
from whom they borrowed most of their Kabalistic Mysticism, adapted, most ingeniously, the Cosmic
and anthropological symbols of the "heathen" nations to their peculiar secret records. If Christian
the Spirit of allegory and Mysticism in the fragments translated and quoted by him, in the above
named work, from Pistis Sophia -- other Orientalists have done far worse. Having neither his
"heel of Achilles" of orthodox Brahmanism is the Adwaita philosophy, whose followers are called by
the pious "Buddhists in disguise"; as that of orthodox Buddhism is Northern Mysticism, as represented
by the disciples of the philosophies of Aryasanga (the Yogacharya School) and Mahayana, who are
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
necessary by the wild and fanciful speculations in which many Theosophists and students of
Mysticism have indulged, during the last few years, in their endeavour to, as they imagined, work out
a complete system of thought from the few facts previously communicated to them.
accounts for the great persecutions set on foot by the Roman Catholic Church against Occultism,
Masonry, and heterodox Mysticism generally.
The days of Constantine were the last turning-point in history, the period of the Supreme struggle that
* There is no nation in the world in which the feeling of devotion or of religious Mysticism is more
developed and prominent than in the Hindu people. See what Max Muller says of this idiosyncracy
BOOK_I._--_PART_III._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
cultured, masses of the profane. To blend the two sciences, the archaic and the modern, requires first
of all the abandonment of the actual materialistic lines. It necessitates a kind of religious Mysticism
and even the study of old magic, which our Academicians will never take up. The necessity is easily
class, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Evening_Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo, #Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Disciple: But that control is not perfect. Another question is: Whether the scientists would come to believe or accept that the whole truth cannot be attained by mind, or would they turn sceptics like the positivists? Could they come to believe in the possibility of higher Knowledge by Mysticism?
Disciple: Christian Mysticism derives its idea of rejoicing in suffering from intense Bhakti devotion. Everything is seen to come from the beloved and welcomed
Sri Aurobindo: Well, that often happens. In ones vital and physical nature there remains a stamp of ones ancestral religion and it comes out at some time. The Christians usually turn towards Catholicism. A Frenchman I forgot his name tried all sorts of things, Mysticism, Tibetan Occultism etc. When he was informed by one of our disciples that these things wont go with Yoga, he abandoned all connection and turned to Catholicism.
Sri Aurobindo: No, perhaps romantic. There can also be a mixture of Mysticism combined with romance. When one deals with Mysticism one has to be very careful, because there are many truths and also many imaginations.
General_Principles_of_Kabbalah, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
the classic work on the Torahs hidden lore and
Many studied and understood the dazzling truths
of Jewish Mysticism. But few could make others under
stand and see. For that, Jewry would have to wait
of his that were printed, give the clearest presentation
ever made of the main teachings of Jewish Mysticism.
Through his words in print, the brilliant light of: kabbalah
study of the Torahs Mysticism, founded by Rabbi Judah
Ashlag 50 years ago.
Liber_111_-_The_Book_of_Wisdom_-_LIBER_ALEPH_VEL_CXI, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Formulae of the Final Attainment, being Archetypes of the Paths of
Magick (the one) and Mysticism (the other) unto the End. From each of
these Eight Works is derived a separate Mode of practical Use, each
Liber_46_-_The_Key_of_the_Mysteries, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
flatter herself that she realizes all the dreams of divine love.
Moreover, the faith of the hierarchical church transforms Mysticism
into realism by the efficacy of her sacraments. No more signs, no more
religious education you would easily become a dangerous sectary, for
you are led on the one hand toward the most exalted Mysticism, and on
the other to the most concentrated obstinacy combined with the greatest
Liber_71_-_The_Voice_of_the_Silence_-_The_Two_Paths_-_The_Seven_Portals, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
begin with, it is assumed throughout that the student is already
familiar with at least the elements of Mysticism. True, you are
supposed to be ignorant of the dangers of the lower iddhi; but there
Liber, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
@Liber ABA/IV (4)  - Magick ::: A general account in elementary terms of magical and mystical powers.
1. ::: Mysticism - published.
2. ::: Magick (Elementary Theory)  - published.
Maps_of_Meaning_text, #Maps of Meaning, #Jordan Peterson, #Psychology
Jung stated at some point that any internal state of contradiction, unrecognized, will be played out in the
world as fate. This statement carries with it the apparent stamp of Mysticism. How could the world play
out a psychological condition (or the refusal to recognize a psychological condition)? Well, the purpose of
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text), #Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
to be a frequent occurrence with him till the last. The state of mind that he had gained may be described
in terms of Christian Mysticism as theopathetic, or in his own words as Bhava-mukhaa state in which
the mind could ever dwell in the Divine both in His absolute and relative aspects, and yet, without the
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
of them had very powerful experiences. The German mystics show more the
knowledge aspect of Mysticism because they are more philosophic-minded.
Boehme and Eckhart are examples. Among the French saints you find more
The Jews have many mystic symbols in their Cabbala. Originally they
had no Mysticism and didn't believe in the immortality of the soul. They believed that God breathes life into you at birth and takes it away at death.
There is no future life or reincarnation. You are rewarded or punished in this
single life on earth. The Jews got their Mysticism from the Chaldeans and
from the Persians. They were captives in Babylon and the Persians freed
them. They got their Mysticism from contact with these peoples.
There is a similarity between Chaldean occultism and Egyptian,
nature there remains a stamp of one's ancestral religion and it comes out after some time. The Christians usually turn towards Roman Catholicism. A
FrenchmanI forget his nametried all sorts of things, European Mysticism, Tibetan occultism, etc., and came into touch with Pavitra. Pavitra
wrote to him, saying that these things wouldn't go with Yoga. The man broke
SATYENDRA: That is the European mentality. They can't bear anything mystic.
SRI AUROBINDO: Yes, Huxley and others are ridiculed for their Mysticism.
SATYENDRA: One thing is queer about Meher Baba. He has never been in want
SRI AUROBINDO: Yes, but the romance was also there. When one deals with
Mysticism one has to be very careful. There is any amount of truth and there
Huxley's After Many a Summer. Anthony West calls it a spiritual failure.
SRI AUROBINDO: West is a rationalist. He won't hear of Mysticism. Anything
that does not favour of rationalism is damned by him.
there is can't be understood by him. He is referring here to the symbolic poems.
SATYENDRA: Yeats has expressed his Irish Mysticism.
SRI AUROBINDO: Those are his early poems. He has expressed other things too.
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_2, #Talks With Sri Aurobindo, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
Golap he is not very keen. The style is very good, the poetry also and it is
suggestive, but it is not a mature work. That is true, I think; her whole concentration was on style and the plot is a sort of Mysticism.
SRI AUROBINDO: Mysticism in a novel? That is good in a short story.
PURANI: And there is plenty of talk and discussion.
generals. They hesitated to act on it while Hitler pursued it boldly, disregarding the advice of the generals.
Hitler is a new type, an infra-rational mystic, representing the dark counterpart of what we are striving to arrive at: a supra-rational Mysticism.
(Looking at Dr. Manilal) Do you know that in his secluded residence he has
The_Act_of_Creation_text, #The Act of Creation, #Arthur Koestler, #Psychology
universe* grew into a separate book of more than six hundred pages; 1
so did another chapter, on Eastern Mysticism. 2 And when at last I
felt ready to write that long-postponed second volume I found that I
patory or self-transcending tendencies. This is not meant in a mystical
sense (though Mysticism certainly belongs to this class of emotion); the
term is merely intended to convey that in these emotional states the
This oceanic feeling of wonder is the common source of religious
Mysticism, of pure science and art for art's sake; it is their common
denominator and emotional bond.
It was indeed this sublimated form of Orphic Mysticism which,
through the Pythagorean revival in Renaissance Italy, inspired the
God himself', 6 wrote Kepler; and the other giants echoed his convic-
tion. The 'oceanic feeling' of religious Mysticism had been distilled
into differential equations; the mind of the anima mundi was reflected
mechanistic universe in the seventeenth century, is significant here
his Mysticism, his music of the spheres, his rational deity demand a
system which has the beauty of a piece of mathematics.' 8
is a step towards the trance-like states induced by the contemplative
techniques of Eastern Mysticism and by certain drugs. The experience
of 'the blending of the finite with the infinite' can become so intense
biotic channels still remain navigable in the dream and other games of
the underground, from which Mysticism, discovery, and art draw their
The dawn of literature, too, was bathed in the twilight of Mysticism
and mythology. 'The recitation of the Homeric poems on the Pana-
tion as discussed earlier on (Book One, XI). The exploratory drive may
combine with the self-transcending Mysticism of a Kepler or with the
self-asserting vanity of a Galileo. Each original artist has an element of
ting spiral, is the direct opposite of the self-transcending aspirations of
other schools of Mysticism the expansion of consciousness in an un-
folding spiral, and its final dissolution in the 'oceanic feeling'. In fact,
plus arrogance minus humility. There seems to be not a trace here of
Mysticism, of 'oceanic feeling'; in contrast to Copernicus, Tycho, and
Kepler, even to Newton and Descartes who came after him, Galileo
but unimaginable'. But this dtimate modesty, derived from a sense
of wonder close to Mysticism, is found in all great scientists even
if hidden by an arrogant facade, and allowed to express itself only on
About Kepler I have said enough, in this book and elsewhere, to
show that Mysticism was the mainspring of his fantastically laborious
life starting with the analogy between God the Father and the Sun,
The Mysticism of Franklin
The_Coming_Race_Contents, #The Coming Race, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
XXIII. Mysticism and Occultism 92
Mysticism AND OCCULTISM
Mysticism is more or less an emotional relation with
what one feels to be a Divine Power it is a relation very
Mysticism AND OCCULTISM 93
Mysticism AND OCCULTISM 95
The_Golden_Bough, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
and Egypt; they were not a product peculiar to the religious
Mysticism of the dreamy East, but were shared by the races of
livelier fancy and more mercurial temperament who inhabited the
The_Logomachy_of_Zos, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
abstractly there is little more from which to build them. What of
Mysticism?- a more enrapt self-indulging, more gaudy, the more
common denominators: fortuitousness and escapism clothed in
The_Way_of_Perfection, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
All; Classic; Mysticism;