the Interior Castle
The Interior Castle or The Mansions
3 Saint Teresa of Avila
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
1:Now let us return to our beautiful and charming castle and discover how to enter it. This appears incongruous: if this castle is the soul, clearly no one can have to enter it, for it is the person himself: one might as well tell some one to go into a room he is already in! There are, however, very different ways of being in this castle; many souls live in the courtyard of the building where the sentinels stand, neither caring to enter farther, nor to know who dwells in that most delightful place, what is in it and what rooms it contains. ~ Saint Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle ,
2:8. Now let us turn at last to our castle with its many mansions. You must not think of a suite of rooms placed in succession, but fix your eyes on the keep, the court inhabited by the King.23' Like the kernel of the palmito,24' from which several rinds must be removed before coming to the eatable part, this principal chamber is surrounded by many others. However large, magnificent, and spacious you imagine this castle to be, you cannot exaggerate it; the capacity of the soul is beyond all our understanding, and the Sun within this palace enlightens every part of it. ~ Saint Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle ,
3:10.: I do not know whether I have put this clearly; self-knowledge is of such consequence that I would not have you careless of it, though you may be lifted to heaven in prayer, because while on earth nothing is more needful than humility. Therefore, I repeat, not only a good way, but the best of all ways, is to endeavour to enter first by the room where humility is practised, which is far better than at once rushing on to the others. This is the right road;-if we know how easy and safe it is to walk by it, why ask for wings with which to fly? Let us rather try to learn how to advance quickly. I believe we shall never learn to know ourselves except by endeavouring to know God, for, beholding His greatness we are struck by our own baseness, His purity shows our foulness, and by meditating on His humility we find how very far we are from being humble. ~ Saint Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle 1.02,
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1:And what is the problem? It is the old problem of the anxious searcher - the mythic in the interior castle, the poet-pilgrim in a dark wood not sure how to proceed. Which way is the right way? ~ Paul Elie,
10 The Interior Castle or The Mansions
2 Sex Ecology Spirituality
1.01_-_Description_of_the_Castle, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
1. Plan of this book. 2. the Interior Castle. 3. Our curable self ignorance. 4. God dwells in the centre of the soul. 5. Why all souls do not receive certain favours. 6. Reasons for speaking of these favours. 7. The entrance of the Castle. 8. Entering into oneself. 9. Prayer. 10. Those who dwell in the first mansion. 11. Entering. 12. Difficulties of the subject.
1.02_-_The_Human_Soul, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
1.07_-_The_Farther_Reaches_of_Human_Nature, #Sex Ecology Spirituality, #Ken Wilber, #Philosophy
--- the Interior Castle
--- the Interior Castle:
1:I have been constantly emphasizing that each stage of evolution, in whatever domain, involves a new emergence and therefore a new depth, or a new interiority, whether that applies to molecules or to birds or to dolphins; and that each new within is also a going beyond, a transcendence, a higher and wider identity with a greater total embrace. The formula is: going within = going beyond = greater embrace. And I want to make very clear exactly what that means.
1.08_-_The_Depths_of_the_Divine, #Sex Ecology Spirituality, #Ken Wilber, #Philosophy
Cosmos and Worlds dissolve, and see Spirit still shining in the Emptiness, never arising, never dissolving, never blinking once in the worlds of created time. "That joy," says Teresa, "is greater than all the joys of earth, and greater than all its delights, and all its satisfactions; and they are apprehended, too, very differently, as I have learned by experience."25
In the Interior Castle, one of the truly great texts of subtle-level development, Teresa describes very clearly the stages of evolution of the "little butterfly," as she calls her soul, to its union with the very Divine, and she does so in terms of "seven mansions," or seven stages of growth.
The first three stages deal with the ordinary mind or ego, "unregenerate" in the gross, manifest world of thought and sense. In the first Mansion, that of Humility, the ego is still in love with the creatures and comforts outside the Castle, and must begin a long and searching discipline in order to turn within. In the second Mansion (the Practice of Prayer), intellectual study, edification, and good company strengthen the desire and capacity to interiorize and not merely scatter and disperse the self in exterior distractions. In the Mansion of Exemplary Life, the third stage, discipline and ethics are firmly set as a foundation of all that is to follow (very similar to the Buddhist notion that sila, or moral discipline, is the foundation of dhyana, or meditation, and prajna, or spiritual insight). These are all natural (or personal) developments.
2.01_-_War., #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
3.01_-_Fear_of_God, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
3.02_-_Aridity_in_Prayer, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
4.01_-_Sweetness_in_Prayer, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
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.: I will now describe, as I promised, the difference between sweetness in prayer and spiritual consolations. It appears to me that what we acquire for ourselves in meditation and petitions to our Lord may be termed 'sweetness in devotion.'7' It is natural, although ultimately aided by the grace of God. I must be understood to imply this in all I say, for we can do nothing without Him. This sweetness arises principally from the good work we perform, and appears to result from our labours: well may we feel happy at having thus spent our time. We shall find, on consideration, that many temporal matters give us the same pleasure-such as unexpectedly coming into a large fortune, suddenly meeting with a dearly-loved friend, or succeeding in any important or influential affair which makes a sensation in the world. Again, it would be felt by one who had been told her husband, brother, or son was dead, and who saw him return to her alive. I have seen people weep from such happiness, as I have done myself. I consider both these joys and those we feel in religious matters to be natural ones. Although there is nothing wrong about the former, yet those produced by devotion spring from a more noble source-in short, they begin in ourselves and end in God. Spiritual consolations, on the contrary, arise from God, and our nature feels them and rejoices as keenly in them, and indeed far more keenly, than in the others I described. The first three mansions of the Interior Castle correspond with the 'first water,' or the prayer of Meditation, explained in ch. xi-xiii. of the Life; the fourth mansion, or the prayer of Quiet, with the 'second water,' Life, ch. xiv. and xv.; the fifth mansion, or the prayer of Union, with the 'third water,' Life, ch. xvi. and xvii.; and the sixth mansion, ecstasy, etc., with the 'fourth water,' Life, ch. xviii.-xxi.
5.: O Jesus! how I wish I could elucidate this point! It seems to me that I can perfectly distinguish the difference between the two joys, yet I have not the skill to make myself understood; may God give it me! I remember a verse we say at Prime at the end of the final Psalm; the last words are: 'Cum dilatasti cor meum'-'When Thou didst dilate my heart:8' To those with much experience, this suffices to show the difference between sweetness in prayer and spiritual consolations; other people will require more explanation. The sensible devotion I mentioned does not dilate the heart, but generally appears to narrow it slightly; although joyful at seeing herself work for God, yet such a person sheds tears of sorrow which seem partly produced by the passions. I know little about the passions of the soul, or I could write of them more clearly and could better define what comes from the sensitive disposition and what is natural, having passed through this state myself, but I am very stupid. Knowledge and learning are a great advantage to every one.
4.02_-_Divine_Consolations., #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
4.03_-_Prayer_of_Quiet, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
2.: The King, Who holds His court within it, sees their good will, and out of His great mercy desires them to return to Him. Like a good Shepherd, He plays so sweetly on His pipe, that although scarcely hearing it they recognize His call and no longer wander, but return, like lost sheep, to the mansions. So strong is this Pastor's power over His flock, that they abandon the worldly cares which misled them and re-enter the castle.
3.: I think I never put this matter so clearly before. To seek God within ourselves avails us far more than to look for Him amongst creatures; Saint Augustine tells us how he found the Almighty within his own soul, after having long sought for Him elsewhere.28' This recollection helps us greatly when God bestows it upon us. But do not fancy you can gain it by thinking of God dwelling within you, or by imagining Him as present in your soul: this is a good practice and an excellent kind of meditation, for it is founded on the fact that God resides within us;29' it is not, however, the prayer of recollection, for by the divine assistance less labour in entering within oneself than in rising above oneself and therefore it appears to me that when the soul is ready and fit for either, you ought to do the former, because the other will follow without any effort, and will be all the more pure and spiritual; however, follow what course your soul prefers as this will bring you more grace and benefit,' (Tr. ix, ch, viii). Some editors of the Interior Castle think that St. Teresa refers to the following passage taken from the Confessions of St. Augustine: 'Too late have I loved Thee, O Beauty, ever ancient yet ever new! too late have I loved Thee! And behold, Thou wert within me and I abroad, and there I searched for Thee, and, deformed as I was, I pursued the beauties that Thou hast made. Thou wert with me, but I was not with Thee. Those things kept me far from Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, could have had no being' (St. Augustine's Confessions, bk. x, ch. xxvii.). The Confessions of St. Augustine were first translated into Spanish by Sebastian Toscano, a Portuguese Augustinian. This edition, which was published at Salamanca in 1554, was the one used by St. Teresa. St. Teresa quotes a passage which occurs in a pious book entitled Soliloquia, and erroneously attributed to St. Augustine: 'I have gone about the streets and the broad ways of the city of this world seeking Thee, but have not found Thee for I was wrong in seeking without for what was within.' (ch. xxxi.) This treatise which is also quoted by St. John of the Cross, Spiritual Canticle, stanza i. 7, Ascent of Mount Carmel, bk. i. ch. v. 1, appeared in a Spanish translation at Valladolid in 1515, at Medina del Campo in 1553, and at Toledo in 1565. every one can practise it, but what I mean is quite a different thing. Sometimes, before they have begun to think of God, the powers of the soul find themselves within the castle. I know not by what means they entered, nor how they heard the Shepherd's pipe; the ears perceived no sound but the soul is keenly conscious of a delicious sense of recollection experienced by those who enjoy this favour, which I cannot describe more clearly.
4.: I think I read somewhere30 that the soul is then like a tortoise or sea-urchin, which retreats into itself. Those who said this no doubt understood what they were talking about; but these creatures can withdraw into themselves at will, while here it is not in our power to retire into ourselves, unless God gives us the grace. In my opinion, His Majesty only bestows this favour on those who have renounced the world, in desire at least, if their state of life does not permit their doing so in fact. He thus specially calls them to devote themselves to spiritual things; if they allow Him power to at freely He will bestow still greater graces on those whom He thus begins calling to a higher life. Those who enjoy this recollection should thank God fervently: it is of the highest importance for them to realize the value of this favour, gratitude for which would prepare them to receive still more signal graces. Some books advise that as a preparation for hearing what our Lord may say to us we should keep our minds at rest, waiting to see what He will work in our souls.31' But unless His Majesty has begun to suspend our faculties, I cannot understand how we are to stop thinking, without doing ourselves more harm than good. This point has been much debated by those learned in spiritual matters; I confess my want of humility in having been unable to yield to their opinion.32
6.08_-_Intellectual_Visions, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
6.09_-_Imaginary_Visions, #The Interior Castle or The Mansions, #Saint Teresa of Avila, #Christianity
The_Way_of_Perfection, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
by petition, touching incidentally upon the themes of Recollection, Quiet and Union. Though
nowhere expounding them as fully as in the Life or the Interior Castle, she treats them with equal
sublimity, profundity and fervour and in language of no less beauty. Consider, for example, the apt
Lit.: "of those." P. Baez wrote in the margin "of the mansions" using the word which is thus translated in the titles of the seven
main divisions of the Interior Castle. T. has: "of the houses."