MAY 2

1918

BV 5082 .A4 1918 Addison, Charles Morris, 1856-1947. The theory and practice of mysticism

THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF MYSTICISM .

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DUTTON y COMPANY 681 FIFTH AVENUE .. JOHN'S CHURCH.D. NEW YORK E. p. P. STAMFORD.THE THEORY AND PRACTIC| OF MYSTICISM CHARLES MORRIS ADDISON. RECTOR OF ST. CONN. .^^^^ ^^' MAY 2 1918 D.

P. 191 8. Bv E.COPYEIGHT. DUTTON & COMPANY Printed in the antted States of Hmertea .

TO JOHN WALLACE SUTER WITH WHOM I HAVE SOUGHT FOR GOD .

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Sewanee. They were not written for publication but for intimate conferences with younger ministers and young men studying for the ministry. to get to study and practise it. So had I once thought. thought it was a curious abnormality in the religious life of the past. at the Theological Department of the University of the South.PREFACE The this lectures which form the substance of volume were written at the request of the Faculty of the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge and were delivered there in May. Tennessee. This will explain their familiar char- acter. But I have been led by so many unlooked-for . 19 1 5. in November of the same year. because of its growing importance in and for the life of to-day. I was speaking to to friends whom them I wished to it interest in Mysticism. They did not think Mysticism had any mesThey sage for them or for their people. They were given also.

Lowell. For if the Way was open to me. that I felt drawn to get others to start on the same path and to outgo me. In conclusion. minister or layman can walk in it. because I was a missionary and not a professor. M. A. to Messrs. So I wrote out of my own heart and the lectures came out more like sermons than essays. surely any other man.iii Preface and gracious openings to feel differently and to gain so much. and also to Houghton Mifflin Company for similar privileges in connection with the works of C. I wish to express my thanks Burns and Oates for permission to quote from their edition of Francis Thompson's poems. . to the Macmillan Company for of Tennyson and the their permission to give extracts from their editions Matthew Arnold.

. Mother Julian of Norwich V. Heinrich Suso and . Francis of Assisi. . IV.106 149 183 Modern Mysticism Practical Mysticism . The Way Toward God III.CONTENTS I. The Meeting Point St. VI. The Longing for God and tions Its Implica- 3 39 74 II.

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THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF MYSTICISM .

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THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF MYSTICISM THE LONGING FOR GOD AND These learning ITS IMPLICATIONS lectures are concerned with the the- ory of Mysticism only as that how to practise in. Du Prel and Recejac and James and others have made much clearer ''the bases of the mystic knowledge. On the other hand. There has of late been much careful study of Mysticism as a Science. there are 3 many little hand- . I Mysticism as an Art." but their discussions are mainly academic. They are tremendously interesting. to be interested is and its psychological methods. to understand its philosophical and theological assumptions hope. it. may be of What we use in are. but they tend rather to make more intelligent the criticism of Mysticism than to make more Mystics.

give the art of being a Mystic a firmer basis than is afforded by the little tract. it . to explain . and with theological ideas widely at variance with the truths of Christianity. and try to show how the have set forth may be applied to the and by making depend upon scientific foundations. but the thing itself per- And my aim is to get at the thing itself. most of them having more than in the I interest in the body soul. my practical suggestions : — at times attached to sists. to it. and more. an ascetic life. which are founded (some of them) upon very distorted views of psychology. show the implications contained its and having discovered essence. whose authors and tion. upon very weak philosophical presuppositions.4 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism books. a theological heresy. like to I should mediate between these two like to extremes. to seek its foundation in our common human in nature. *'How to Wake the Solar Plexus. have been actual practice of Mysticism. attributed to a few peculiar people a mental aberration. ories they should make use of the the- studies of others. All these. titles I need not menwhich offer you short and easy paths to the practice of Mysticism." Too long has Mysticism been regarded as a peculiar thing.

to proceed to build our study on them. will is show us how Mysticism. as painting and sculpture are founded on man's craving for beauty. as broad as religion itself.The Longing for God and Its Implications 5 its method. say that the cause of Mysticism conscious need of God. Everything else in Mysticism grows It is the art which some men out of this. Only so shall we be kept from drifting into side issues and non-essentials. Such feeling a course will also help us to understand the common and I which binds us practical to the Mystics. and be guided by this golden thread through the psychological intricacies. and modern a thing is man's This makes a very broad foundation. and of certain implications contained in it. not to prove any of them. . but assuming them exactly as Mysticism does. show how the art is to be practised and so make it useful in our lives and in the lives of those to whom we are called to min- ister. Mysticism is founded on man's conscious need of communion with God. In this lecture I purpose to speak of this longing. the individual idiosyncrasies and the theological vagaries which lie in wait for the student of Mysticism. have developed to satisfy this need.

Adam All the way from and Eve. If there called the Book of were no unsatisfied desires in the religious life there would be nothing to promise but the Jews looked forward. cruel sacrifices. the for a Saviour the most prominent characteristic of their Book. but it is there in every The savage with his crude rites and heart. with the promise of a Seed . he does not know. it may not even be clearly known. a longing so deep and so intense that it was well called by one who knew the dryness of the Syrian desert the "thirst" of the soul for the living God. his fetishes and medicine men.6 The Theory and is Practice of Mysticism for Mysticism only one form of religion. Just what the want or whence the satisfaction come. There is a longing in the human heart for God. universal and inextinguishable. It may not always be acknowledged. is The Old Testament Promise. thirst All the is way through. but we know that all he does comes from the outreach of his soul towards something not himself. They are the people of a still unfulfilled prophecy. Their book is an unfinished torso. felt want leads him is to to believe is obis. which his tainable. may not clearly formulate his want. it breaks ofif in the mid. yearned and strained their eyes. — dle of a sentence.

" ^ "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.The Longing for God and Its Implications 7 which should deliver their posterity from the curse of their sin. Psalm 42 3. Isaiah 55:6. ligious life. * call ye upon him while he is near. in a dry and weary land where no water is. :i. . thirsteth for God." find him. The whole drama of the life of Job is the delineation of his strugg^le to find and reach God. earnestly . O God." * • Job 23 :2. John the Baptist. 2. • * Psalm 63 :i. Oh. deepest expressions of the refull are of these longings: "As the hart panteth after the water brooks. and so learn why all his troubles had come upon him: "Even to-day is my complaint bit: ter. seek thee my soul thirsteth for thee. down to that last Old Testament character. my soul When will I flesh come and appear before God?" ^ "O God. my stroke is heavier than ^ my groaning. thou art my God. with his anx"Art thou he that should come ious question or look we for another?" always there is the constant onlooking expectation and desire. so panteth shall I my soul after thee. for the living God. that I knew where I might might come even to his seat. my longeth for thee. that I The Psalms.

as think at times I must. in the lives of such men Kingdon Clifford and George Romanes. who not only God but the very enjoyment of poetry and music out of life. whoever he might be. which was but the visible expression of a desire to reach the ultimate Zeus.8 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism And remember Philip's question: "Lord. and the altar to the Unknown God. The his latter said. before he found the Job's. by physicians and philosophers and poets. and who knew his loss and deplored There are few things more pathetic than the awful void made. — at such times I shall ever feel impossible to avoid . of the appalling contrast between the hallowed glory of that creed which was once mine and the lonely mys- tery of existence as now it I find it. There his it. show us the Father. is Darwin. It is about us by many men of science. by a wrong idea of the nature of the as he and proof required before a man could find God. way (and all words remind us of left with their sublime trust out) : "When at times I think. and it sufficeth us". It is felt persists. The same longing to-day. cases are almost as well The known lost as the texts I have quoted.

of a longing which just missed connection with its object: knew where it in the "Yes. we never shall attain." We Again mortal millions "We but dream we have our wish'd for powers. watery wild. Few have voiced it better than Matthew Arnold. the poet of aloofness. and they miss it and seek to it. Ah some power exists there which is ours ? Some end is there we indeed may gain ?" ! heart for ^ But the proof of the longing of the human God does not depend only upon the p. Ends we seek. . live alone. Thoughts on Religion. in the sea of life enisled. They may not re- peat the world-old cry of Job: *'0h. and they it is gone. Romanes. they may veil garb of scientific research or in the imagery of the poet. With Dotting echoing^ straits between us thrown. regain It is a common condition in these days among many men. 29." ^ for God and Its Implications 9 pang of which my nature is sus- know For such men a glory has departed. But the question is there.: The Longing the sharpest ceptible. that I I might find him". tlie shoreless.

very lonesome.lo The Theory and Practice of Mysticism testimony of others. this unsatisfied yearn- the cause. and sometimes it breaks out fiercely and will not let us alone. the fundamental postulate of Mysticism. We young man in Vivekananda's story who thought he wanted God more than anything. and will be satisfied with noth- ing less than God. most desperately in earnest to satisfy it. Most of the time our spiritual life story. and went to an Indian Sage to learn how to find him. they are only potentially Mystics. Man is incomplete. and that heart find rest in in each of us is restless until God. but there are degrees of desire. have said that all men feel it that the want universal. Our own hearts tell the Sometimes it is weak and does not trouble us. This means that while all men may be religious. who have felt this The Mystics are the people want most keenly and been I is . ing is as I have said. the reason. I think that the only reason you and I are not Mystics is that we do not want God enough. Now. all It is because there it is one it heart in of us and God made for himself. He received no answer to his eager questions until may learn a lesson from the . is same We have felt the longing. and knows it.

Such a state indeed be found in men of very different . is a state of the soul which it is difficult to define." As Emile Boutroux says: "The starting point.The Longing he had gone for God and times. "A breath of air. towards a good which the heart imperatively demands and may which the mind cannot conceive. Then he released him. It is an aspiration towards an unknown object. Its Implications ii Then the Sage rose and took the young man down to the river to bathe with him. And when the young man had recovered the Sage said to him: "What did you want most when you were under the water ?" The young man answered. but which is characterized well enough by the German word Sehnsucht. and while they were in the water the Sage suddenly grasped the young man and held him down under the water till he was almost drowned. the first moment. vague and disturbed. as a passion of the soul . very real and liable to be very infrom his meditation : many tense. or rather very inexplicable. It is a state of desire. very indetermi- nate. as regards both its object and its cause." And the Sage said "When you want God as you wanted that breath of air you will find him.

the more is she drawn toward the Father. as were in a glance or flash." and then from Ruysbroek. And this is the is drawing of the Father. and her desire quickened. it works in the soul. and lastly from the old English mystic writing called "The Cloud of Unknowing": Christ.12 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism characters. "Now mark how the When somewhat Father draweth of this Perfect men unto Good is disit covered and revealed within the soul of man. and thus the soul taught of Him who draweth her unto Himself. that she cannot enter into a union with Him except she come unto Him by the 'International Journal of Ethics. January. And is the stronger this yearn- ing groweth. p." ® Any one who will spend one hour with the Mystics will need no proof of this statement. . In the Mystic pro- found and lasting. and unite herself with the Father. and the more is revealed unto her. 183. and may have very different deit is grees of signification. 1908. the soul conceiveth a long- ing to approach unto the Perfect Goodness. The longing breathes through their every utterance. the more revealed unto her. which gradually forms for itself an idea of the object of its aspiration. Thus is the soul drawn and quickened into a union with the Eternal Goodness. from the "Theologia Germanica. first Let me only quote these passages.

and is invited and constrained by God to partake of it. and of our created spirit towards an uncreated good. and ask thee saying. * The Cloud of Unknowing. and naught but Him. and they can never be "Here there begins an nevermore be satisfied. for they are eager and greedy. you see. but he has also a sense of com- If he did not he could not know his incompleteness. tion and of eternal eflForts. 201- 202. and what wouldest thou have ?' say thou that it is God that thou wouldest if "And have.' " Now in this sense of tained certain implications. need there are conMan is incomplete and knows pleteness. which shall satisfied. •Maeterlinck: Ruysbroek and the Mystics. 'What seekest thou." * any thought rise and will press continually above thee betwixt thee and that darkness. These are the poorest of all men. And as the spirit desires joy. Theologia by Winkworth : pp. faction The want postulates its satis- It implies. p. Him I seek. Trans. eternal hunger. 147-148. while our impotence is likewise eternal. ' and also its own capacity to receive it. . pp." It is the yearning and the inward aspiration of our faculty of love. 90.The Longing life for God and now Its Implications 13 of Christ. it is always longing to realize Be^old then the beginning of an eternal aspirajoy. it. I Behold! she puttcth on ^ tliat life of which have spoken afore. God and our capacity for Germanica. 'Him "> I covet.

(e) While the priority must be on of God. It is a Mystic Way. it We cannot understand together unless we can meet it on its own ground. or man's spiritual relationship to him. there are practical means to be used to gain the end. and the ultimate possibility of our being him in complete and satisfying communion. (d) To obtain this satisfaction there must be some essential relationship between God and the side Man. if in- complete. there must be co-operation by man. there are implied in certain apparently necessary deductions: (a) tion.14 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism God. there follow. certain deductions flow naturally from it. satisfaction short of the Infinite God. i. it. universal and in some men intense. The mere longing The mere longing There can be no implies its satisfac- (b) (c) implies a prior. As in geometry. be given. possession.e. or . and as no Mystic has ever cared to prove the existence of God. in our study of Mysticism. given a certain axiom. if this able to get at longing. only fair to say at once that I make There is my own these presuppositions of Mysticism. so here.

the Philosopher his Absolute.The Longing for God and Its Implications 15 the possibility of intercommunion with him. But for us we must leave aside the fascinating field of Mysticism as it is found among non-Christian systems of religion and thought. the Positivist his Humanity. and confine our study. as our practice must be confined. Jesus Christ no more thought of proving the existence of God takes this than you and I would think of stopping now to prove the existence of the atmosphere in and through which we are speaking and listening . so I feel no need if I it. as it a large subject is. to Christian Mysticism. and assume at once that the longing is not for Nirvana or the Unknowable. for the longing is as wide as humanity and many men have tried to satisfy it in many ways. With sublime confidence our Mysticism God for granted. but for the Christian God. to should never get to my subject were obliged prove every step leading to And it is only fair to add that our subject is not Mysticism in general. even the Mystic his Abyss. to do more than base I this study on these as facts. but the whole enormous. the Buddhist has his Nirvana. It is is but Christian Mysticism. The savage dimly gropes.

16 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism to each other. It can form no term in the formulas of logic.] "Surely.^^ " "There is no demonstration mode of demonstration whose of the being of God. to arrive at it is assumed. p. And more than this he must have known. Christ found God already in- stalled in the heart of man. when we try to put Him far from us as The attempt to prove the existence of God would be like endeavoring to prove that number exists by the use of certain numerals. 5. It is not a truth that is to be counted among the achievements There can be no demonstration of the of human thought. even : 'You cannot prove the existence of a Deity by any reasoning process. multitudinous and manifold. then. that about the he could not bring himself to argue mere existence of the Father in whose Being and Love he perpetually rested. The proofs. All the so-called proofs are only ex- post facto reasonings on facts already given by God. that God cannot be proved." [Mulford: The Republic of God. as : we are slow to perceive. whereas number is used in every we show its existence by using it. the ground and content of all demonstration. possible demonstration all thought. and the arguments merely expositions of his modes of manifestation. are merely his manifestations. by which the reasonableness of his existence is demonstrated after the fact is already known. being of God by man there may be the manifestation of God to man. for there may be nothing in a logical conclusion . : of the Unknowable. and Christ was so sure. object is In every it. the existence of God cannot be demonstrated if He is the W^hole.

to be "one'd" in his deepest nature with God.] "It is with purpose that T use the word assumption. and if God be in your premises. The Psychic Factor. is a satisfaction prepared If. p. It probably never occurred to any one to try to prove the existence of such a God until it was doubted.The Longing for God and Its Implications 17 The this is best proof to experience him. 81-82 (quoting Van Norden. As a matter of history. as John Fiske says. He will not be logically found in your conclusion. it may be said that all mankind. is him touch you. is a relation of which only the subjec- which was not in the premises.) The first inference we draw from this longing of man for God is that such longing . to feel you can have that God is. If He be not in your premises. you have begged the question. pp. this relation of long- ing between is man and the invisible world. implies that there for it. the wisest and the simplest. p. 204). have taken for granted the existence of a Deity.' " [Dresser: The Perfect Whole. which God. (A. more or less Such a postulate has formed a part of all human thinking from primitive ages down to the present time. and doubts on that subject are very modern.] . It is something which men have all along taken for granted. and what the Mystic has actually done. tlie existence of a quasi-human God has always been an assumption or postulate." [Fiske: Through Nature to Cod. Omitting from the account a few score of ingenious philosophers. The Mystic does not care to know anything about God he wants to know God. 164. or deities of a psychical nature similar to that of humanity. and as far as he can.

Nowhere in Nature do we find such maladjustment to environment. Man. and mate. and the objective term. and a prophI say this with all more "The thing we long for. because we want infinitely. Had we not wanted. sure everything is . ecy that he shall be found. is somehow. Nowhere do we find the implantation of a desire which has not somewhere provided for it its complete satisfaction. Whereas now we are infinitely obliged. positiveness . And if want be a treasure. a God. We could never else have enjoyed anything: Our own wants are treasures. is real. and food. of the ass for his master's crib. From Eternity it was requisite that we should want. and crag. we never could have been obliged. The universal healthy longing for God is a proof that there nay. —nay.: i8 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism tive term. even so low as that — are proofs all its somewhere is water. that we are For one transcendant moment. God. of the eagle for his mountain. of the moose for that his mate. Therefore every longing satisfaction is a prophecy and a proof of provided somewhere. then it is something utterly without precedent in the whole history of creation. for every thirst has and to thirst is to postulate the drink. is non-existent. some time. drink. The longing of the duck for the water." ^^ ""Wants are the bands and cements between God and us.

'Thou wouldst not seek me hadst thou not already found me. will be even as you have willed it. But he who seeks finds has already found. pp." [Hocking. and to Sabatier this thought light ." [Traherne: Centuries of Meditations. For had we not been obliged by having our wants satisfied. . It is of is an old observation of religious : ex- perience. Your belief becomes (as an evidence of your character not of your — proved to him.' The religiousness of man's nature is world comes back to us as a quality pre-resident there is this not Impute then to the world a the whole illusion of reality? to the substance of his revelation. And so. will Fichte held) learning. but may be thus understood. 147. never find Him. us. we could never have enjoyed His eternal Blessedness. . and feel His enjoyments. The Meaning of God in Human Experiwaits his assent till He who God is — ence. p. Whatever we impute — living beneficence: the world will not reject this imputation.' said Pascal. So the mind grows through the longing to know. 34-35-1 ligious truth. whereby we Him. that "In accord with this conjecture as to the position of reit is determined by the movement will-to-believe.The Longing for God and Its Implications 19 Everywhere in this Hfe satisfaction means and stagnation means death. And had we not been created to love Him." stagnation. namely. the Wants are the ligatures between God and sinews live in that convey Senses from Him into us. "In the physical world hunger is a mark of health and the want of appetite proclaims disease. written that he who is seeks finds the connecinfallible tion between seeking and finding infallible. that the seeking brings the finding with it.] . came 'like a flash of the whole the solution of a problem that had long appeared insoluble. we should not have been created to love Him. so the spirit is dead if it has no longing. Such it connection may be many-wise understood.

for more of his life. . speaking from 'In that thou hast sought me. of his power. crying ever for more intimate knowledge of Christ and more and more of the fulness of God. on whatever radiant height he be." and wherever hended. "I am come have it may have life. thou hast already found me. ''He hath set Eternity in their As Augustine says. but also a present." And St. and that they may more abundantly.) Next." ^^ it. for ever closer that they communion with him. 3:11. They are seeking a PresGod's side. this intense desire to know more of God.20 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism It is the mood of hope. Paul said: I I "Brethren. though not yet understood. may he is still pressing on with unsatisfied longings and quenchless ardor towards loftier summits. (B. "Eccles. more of the divine likeness in the soul. partial possession. in to There must be something of the Infinite us or we could not know enough about it long for heart. the only hopeful sign. but we see him after that. count not myself to have apprepress on. of his holiness. this longing not only implies a satisfaction to be provided in the future." The Mystics themselves realize this.

it able to love it One whom loved it had not yet found. and on that might love though as- suredly it would not have sought Him without having some degree of love for Him previously. already within them. p. 35. than it or. as to my sight." ^* I : now so blind And *• it is not so far a cry as Song of Songs. and I had him and wanted him: and this is and should be our common working in this life. then are we stirred by the same grace. to seek with great desire to see him more blessedfully. that we can never seek God until what time that he of his goodAnd when we see ness sheweth him to us. . Bernard : "Mother Juliana: Revelations of Divine Love. p." ^* And "For in the most beautiful language Mother Juliana of Norwich expresses the same idea: saw him and sought him for we be and so unwise.: The Longing ence which is for God and Its Implications 21 St. at least Him less account was seeking Him that Him with an increased affection. Hear Bernard Songs" in his Homilies on the "Song of "I sought after sirous to love. it seems to St. for Him whom my it soul was de- was not then wished to do. 28. And thus I saw him and sought him. ought of him graciously.

That But . God really follows the finding It is of us by God. we not are seeking something which. p. in a very small measure. mother's love before the And so when out our hands for holiness already. live. because of the positive presence and finite Being. however. . Vol. In the conif this trast with this goal be so.22 The Theory and Practice o£ Mysticism our first own day and our own homing Royce. because he has suggested himself to us that we immediately realize our seeking love. I. We we seek. is a fact. we have we could know how to long for When we cry out for the living God. the child's. the result of his prior. We seek a city still out of sight. then already we is actually possess something of finite Being even in our if seeking ^^ for the readi- ness to seek already something of an ata poor one. or it. "It is this instinct that who says: we for the merely articulate when we talk of true Being means something for us." is tainment. even The atmosphere you and I stretch before the lungs. thing of which we are crying for some- The search for we have just caught a glimpse. It is need and crave ** its satisfaction. consciousness of this inner meaning of even our poorest ideas. the Individual. Royce : The World and i8i.

: The Longing for God and Its Implications 23 (C. O Lord. " Gertrude More Spiritual Exercises. that she whilst may gain Thee? What Thou givest not Thyself. the longing for him cannot be satisfied with anything less than the Infinite.) Having this glimpse of the Infinite God. "I desire not that which comes forth from thee. to find two angels which presented themselves instead of Thee? Verily. but art that one thing which is only necessary and which alone can satisfy our souls? Was it any comfort to Mary Magdalene." ^^ "Alas. my Lord alone. "Catherine of Genoa. too great for our belief. For that soul that hath set her whole love and desire on Thee can never find any true satisfaction but only in it Thee. Vita e Dottrina. God. I dung say." '' As "O the poet Faber says majesty unspeakable and dread! Wert thou less mighty than thou art. VI. I cannot think was any joy unto her. O sweetest love. what is al Thou canst give to a loving soul which sigheth and panteth for Thee and esteemeth al things as is al. but only I desire Thee. when she sought Thee. p. : . cap. No demigods will do. Thou wast. 26. Too little for our heart.

) And then again this longing the proof of our divinity and capacity. not long for anything if We could we ourselves had reached finality. satisfy. It is and they are not our all." ^* ''Surely he that seeketh will not rest God perfectly he him finally in the is in of any angel or saint that remembrance Heaven. are not here? Why do we seek things that Why do we not sing through because these days are the the world as the bluebird sings through the spring days? bird's is all. nor our ears with their hearing. p. Our intellects are not filled with their knowledge nor our hearts with their —great. are greater than our qualification for perfect They do not we know.. which makes us superior to the beasts of the "Poems. We beautiful as these satisfactions are they are not enough for us. and so our eyes are not satisfied with their seeing. and being made divine and That lies just in this sense of want. p. " The Cloud of UnknoixAng. 20. 24 The Theory and "But greatness which Practice of Mysticism is infinite makes room For all tilings in its lap to lie We should be crushed by a magnificence Short of infinity. This world not our whole environment. love. io6. ." ^' is (D.

" "^ can show himself in : Wendt. self or is more than he shows himto be. and so we do. I am not arguing but only belong together. I John 3:1." de"God does not become the Father. p. is infinitely in his Ethics: "Every man richer in his being than in his perinfinitely formance. The Teachings of Jesus. There is a Sonship in Humanity because there This makes every is a Fatherhood in God. I. 193. Christian Ethics. p. not only because little attached to longa glimpse and a wc have possession already.The LfOnging field is for God and Its Implications 25 just this superior and superb insight insufficiency. II Cor. 3:17. I. 13:5. Eph. clares that "The Teachings of Jesus. but is the Heavenly Father even of those "" who become His sons. God and Man belong together. 82. good thing possible. Some day we And is satisfied not only because satisfaction ing. Vol." Romans 8:10. but because the Infinite finite There is a which is the cause of all the yearning and which makes the yearning muThis the Mystic takes for granted also. not only because we demand and the the Infinite. tual. into our own weakness and shall be satisfied. . real relationship illustrating when I (luute: "" Martensen says. Vol.

26

The Theory and

Practice of Mysticism

trate

"What such experiences may be more compactly

imply and

illus-

stated in terms of

the logic of communication as follows:

In

order that any two beings should establish

communication they must already have something in common."
^^

"As every being
like,

is

capable of attracting
in a

its

way, like God, as bearing within itself some resemblance to its Prototype, the soul is by a strict necessity atIn fact, what tracted to the kindred Deity. belongs to God must, by all means and at any ^^ cost, be preserved for Him." "For nothing can have any longing desire but after its own likeness, nor could anything be made to desire God, but that which came from Him and had the nature of Him." ^^ "The Word became flesh that He might
is,

and humanity

make man
(E.)

capable of receiving Divinity."
lastly:

"^

And

Men have

not lost God.

They have only lost the way to God. God needs to be made real and present before men can be
*"

Hocking

:

The Meaning of God
:

in

Human

Experience,

p. 272.

" Gregory of Nyssa
in Jones'
*'

The Soul and

the Resurrection, quoted
p. 85.

Studies in Mystical Religion, William Law, The Spirit of Love.
:

" Athanasius

Contra Ar.

II, p. 59.

The Longing
satisfied.

for

God and

Its Implications

37

They must exchange

their

ideas

about
ence.

God

for a constant feeling of his pres-

of him.

they must be made aware what Mysticism undertakes to do. It is not vaL^ue, but immediately and intensely practical. The need is real and nothing but reality will satisfy it. It is an Art to be

In some

way

This

is

practised rather than a Science to be reasoned
out.
It

considers that the academic question,

"Is there a the

God ?"

way

to him,

is best answered by showing by obtaining a personal con-

viction of his presence.

And

so the Mystic's

question

is

a personal one:
I

"Where

is

God

and how may

him?" Therefore there is a Mystic way. Men must understand the path call it what you or the process or the rules which will help them to get into comwill munion with God. The trouble with most of
find

us

is

that

we have

not yet

made

this connec-

from lack of desire or from lack of knowledge of the way. Our souls have not yet Such a touch is thrilled at the touch of God. not a casual happening, a matter of luck, or even of temperament. It is real, and the real in us must be developed until like meets like. Cor ad cor loquitur, and we know even as we
tion, either

are known.

The

process

is

called the Mystic


28

The Theory and

Practice of Mysticism
it

Way, and

before treating of

in the

next

lec-

ture I will gather up something of what

we

have been thinking and anticipate something of what we are going to think and try to make
it

into a definition of Mysticism.

While
like all

practical,

have said that Mysticism was most true also, and must be said, that the deepest things in life, it is hard to
I
it is

define.
iDut
is

Definition always tends to clearness,

sometimes we have a knowledge which it not easy to put into words. So Mysticism
It is

almost defies definition.

as undefinable

and yet as recognizable as Beauty, or Love or God, yet still it is possible to get a better understanding of it and to approach some sort of definition which will be true as far as it
goes.

The word Mysticism is commonly used in many connections, and very loosely. Sometimes
it

is

used to denote Symbolism or Al-

legorism, an

undue stress upon poetic form. means the wildest vagaries of Oriental occultism and magic, and sometimes
Sometimes
it

merely the harmless idiosyncrasies of the poor

parson

who

is

only unpractical and cannot balIf

ance his accounts.

we do

not understand a

:

The Longing

for

God and

Its Implications

29

man's theology we think we have condemned it when we have called it mystical. But if we press further for a proper under-

we are met by just as much divergence among those scholars who attempt a definition as among the unthinking
standing of the thing

crowd which does not care
his

for one.

Inge, in

Bampton Lectures on "Christian Mystilist

cism." gives a selected
I

of twenty-six, and

think

I

am

safe in saying that not

more

Perhaps we can best guide ourselves through their confusion by dividing them into four classes 1st: Those which mistake disparagement and abuse for definition, as Noack: "Mysticism is formless speculation"; and Vaughan, who, after spending many "Hours with the Mystics" can only say of them that their principle is "That form of error which mistakes
than two of them agree.
for a divine manifestation the operations of

a merely

human faculty." And then you know Harnack, who, with Hermann and the whole Ritschlian school, bitterly opposes a Mysticism
it

they misunderstand, defines

as "Rationalism
;

applied to a sphere above reason"

while Her-

mann says bluntly that "the Mystic's experience of God is a delusion."

There is a normal and an abnormal love. and while we may learn much from the diversions from the norm. 2nd: Those who would describe Mysticism by its aberrations and excesses. and Max Nordau "Mysticism blurs outlines and makes the transparent opaque." This is perfectly true. or is at least not exactly like." But it is wrong always to define anything by its abnormalities or even by its exaggerations. and so there is a normal and an abnormal Mysticism. 3rd: Those who run to the other extreme and would define Mysticism in such broad and general terms as to merge it into ordinary Christian living and thought. but Mysticism is more than. Cal- . who defines it as consisting "in substituting ecstasy for reason. We must Mystics are fools if we would come into any sympathetic apprehension of their teaching.30 The Theory and It is certain Practice of Mysticism that these statements do not at least believe that not all help us. Homo-sexuality is not love. as with Vic- tor Cousin. rapture for says of it: philosophy". as defines it when Ewald by saying: "Mystical theology begins by maintaining that man has fallen away from God and craves to be again united with him. we must not confound the two nor make the exception the rule.

And Moberly. in that proportion does the Mysticism directly liable to various self become forms of the exaggeration mystical' its and unhealthiness. Had . the Holy Ghost. his great book. is while Christianity which is content to remain 'non- impoverished at the very center of All Christians profess to believe in being. that the trend of our Christian Hving is to be more and more towards Mysticism as its most perfect expression when properly understood and used. in other words. regarded by ordinary Chris- an abnormal by-way or by-re- gion of special experiences rather than as the realization in special fulness of that the central inspiration which is and meaning of all it- Christian life as well practical as contempla- tive. But just now we are seeking a definition that will really dep. and perhaps some us expect. only all Christians un- derstood and lived up to their belief they would all have been Mystics or." as says: "In proportion is Mysticism either claims to be or tians as being. We may all hope. there would have been no Mysticism. in "Atonement and Personality. ." ^^ Such definitions evaporate all that is definite in Mysticism. " Atonement and Personality. 315.The Longing for God and Its Implications 31 vinism or evangelicalism.

the Mystic xv. xv. definitions. p. Mysticism is Jones says. intense and living stage. 4th : Recejac says : "Mysticism claims to be able to know the from dialectics.32 fine The Theory and our subject. Unknowable without help and is persuaded that by means it of love and will reaches a point to which -" thought. Jones says. . hope more. omitting all that it has in common. that bring them close together again. I think. from the last So we may group of which try to tell us something of Mysticism where it is dififerentiated from ordinary forms of Christianity. Ru"Mysticism is simply Religion in its most acute. most truly. both in its philosophy and its practice. on direct and intimate con^^ sciousness of the divine Presence. "The Mystics in Mystical Religion.'' And Rufus M. Studies in Mystical Religion. 7." -^ but we must first distinguish clearly its principles and methods from those which are non-mystical. cannot attain. unaided. as Prof." And Miss " Studies ** *" Underbill says: p. before we can intelligently fus M. The Bases of Knowledge. that "that type of religion which puts the emphasis on immediate awareness of relation with God. p. I Practice of Mysticism hope to show.

he can express this experience least inadequately as a union with the Divine. with the aid of symbols. in the existence of a discoverable real. 28. and yet it T am impelled to do so in the hope that may clear the way for a better understanding of " Underbill Mysticism.'' Schure defines Mysticism as ''The art of finding God in one's self. a spark of true being within the seeking subject. James Thayer Addison : what is to follow. : *" Mysticism in the Fourth Gospel. in that inefifable experience which they call the act of union. especially after call- ing it . capable of immediate ''^ communion with God. the only reality. 26. itself is divine. p. In theological language their theory is of knowledge essentially that the spirit of man. which can.The Longing for God and Its Implications 33 find the basis of their method not in logic but in life." I "^^ hardly dare to add another to the undefinable many definitions of Mysticism. that. fuse itself with and thus apprehend the reality of the sought object. . p." is "Mysticism ence in which ly that is form of religious experi- man so directly and intuitive- conscious of God's presence within him.

for him. To carry this out he believes that by a course of training he may so develop his inmost self call it what you will that his whole nature becomes open and susceptible to God to such a degree that the fact of God's presence within him becomes. I think this is important. and I say that a Christian Mystic is of a Christian who longs for. the supreme reality of his life. the true Mystic not only has this longing fit for God and this determination to himself for God. It is such a personal thing that it prefer to describe not as a system called Mysticism. and who he can have. viz. that definitions. the method. But we must remember while necessary for a science. as the Creed of a Mystic. And — — lastly. that kind believes but in terms of a man. I call tion It your attention to what is in my definiand not in the others.34 The Theory and if I Practice of Mysticism even have to anticipate some of I my state- ments. in this life. are only helpful . This is his supreme purpose. an experience of intimate communion with God. connects the Longing with the Fruition by : a Way. but he perseveres until he accomplishes his purpose and attains real union with God. through Christ.

and it ends at the last by their finding themselves in him. heart are the ones If the pure in who see God. We come to you not as thinkers. 'Ours is an experimental sciits We can but communicate our system. As Coventry Patmore makes them " 'Oh. and best studied in the lives of the Mystics themselves. where so many of us have so far failed. then there in our hearts before we can even see those who have seen him. They have been to the country we only read about. and if we follow it it brings its own reward. Fortunately we do not have to depend upon definitions. but never as doers. Leave your deep and absurd trust in the senses. There is a Mystic Way. with . taste and see !* say they cry in accents of astound- ing certainty and joy. and the atmosphere of their country is so rare that we cannot breathe it suddenly. and if we choose must be some purity we can follow it. in establishing direct communion with God.: The Longing for an art. nor is it a matter of logical demonstration. cism by defining its It is a life which must make is appeal to our lives. It is open to all who want God enough to put themselves in it. ence. their lives are lived on a plane to which we have not yet reached. for God and Its Implications 35 We can never understand Mystiit. result. They have succeeded.

a small family. little circle of sensa- But here we are. This is evidence which you are bound to bring into account before you can add up the sum for you will find it imtotal of possible knowledge possible to prove that the world. assuring you that we have slipped the knot and are free of those grazinggrounds. have announced to the world their approaching liberty only land which . "unimaginable. yet one that refuses to die out. our results. it is true. with excess of is less bright.36 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism their language of dot and dash. never . with you. she has surely report fact but can never communicate personality. straining frantically at the rope. If philosophy has taught taught you the length of her tether. and the impossibility of attaining to the doubtless admirable grazing One after another. dark. our veracity. have arisen who. that We much be quite candid like : Examine us shall see as as you our ma- chinery. your world of experience so well and logically founded that you dare make of it a standard? Philosophy tells you that it is founded on nothing better Certainly it it than the reports of your sensory apparatus and the traditional concepts of the race. formless." real than that which will is expounded by the youngest and most promising demonstrator of the psycho-chemical universe. We . to be flung back at last into the tion. tics. idealists lies beyond it. which may possibly you anything. for here each man must Is adventure for himself but we defy you to stigmatize our experiences as impossible or invalid. perfect. in any event. as seen by the mys. probably it is im- is illusion . cannot promise you what we have seen.

the Root and the Flower. which truly is Whereas what the calls knows nothing. judices. I trust. SUGGESTED READING Fiske: Through Nature Co. to God. 1904. . world. and to let them tell us what they have done and felt.] Let us accept their invitation to taste and Experiment in all honesty. our study is to be cumulative. Houghton." Aurea Dicta CXXVIII. World. Mifflin Jones: Social Law in the Spiritual John C." because it is the object of pure reason or perception.The Longing for God and Its Implications 37 touches the foundation of things. Like Bergson's Memory. you to carry over to it the few thoughts I have given you to-day. . I beg find it less unfamiliar than you think. So I propose in the next lecture to take them at their word.' ["The Rod. Adventure Start on the Mystic Way. Winston Co. . for God. leave anything behind except. "mysticism" the science of ultimates the science of self" evident Reality. which cannot be "reasoned about. and make up from their testimony a directory of the Way and see I think you will if the path is not inviting. and we cannot see. . our prewhich you know are only unfavorable opinions founded upon ignorance. 1899.

Macmillan & Co. Revell Co. . Fleming: Mysticism in Christianity. Augustine Confessions. Theologia Germanica. : Charles Scrib- ner's Sons. Life. 1904. Inge: Christian Mysticism. 1899. Methuen & Co.38 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism Charles Scribner's Sons. Fleming H. : 1874. RoYCE Sources of Religious Insight. and Love. St. Inge : Light. 1913. 1912. translated by Miss Winkworth.

We saw in the last lecture that he begins with a sense of need. al- though in varying degree.II THE WAY TOWARD GOD The Mystic aims to find God and to com- plete himself in him. granting that this longing is a genuinely human thing. The Mystic believes that this want is not purely subjective. ing less than find God he sets out to God by experience. and sure in his heart that he will arrive. but is part of his di- vine endowment. because he knows that nothwill satisfy is it. to seek to find. And because his de- sire is so intense. So to-day it is our purpose to study how the 39 . and felt by all men. truths which could reasonably be assumed. that to desire to have. And we saw that from this longing grew a number of postulates. but universal. a taste of divinity given to him is whet his appetite for is more . a need not peculiar to himself.

however great. is like God. The hope of success lies in this relationship which we have assumed exists. a development of the self in It is a the attempt to satisfy that hunger.40 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism Mystic proceeds to attain his aim. or better still. until To know that at once reveals the humiliating difiference. Unless man call a process. like. certain means by which man may hold himself open for God to come to him. he cannot find God nor hope to know him. It is a practical way of life. not even a hunger. not a philosophy. means to be used by which reach God. or perhaps call it the secret of that descent into the center of his being that there. But the Mystic knows that the mere fact of relationship is not enough. he becomes more God. is It is but a virtuous one. it is be found already It is the Whatever we Mystic Way. God may it. He like cannot know God a circle. to fit it that . To know more makes likeness and as each touch of Therefore is added comes a I keep repeating that Mysticism not a mere opinion. truer knowledge. certain There are man can we had better say. striving to remake the character. bears his nature.

only a means to an end. which is Sanctity. the fitting of one's self to receive God.* we ac- quire experience of all This at once differentiates Mysticism from the vagueness and visionariness which have to it. and when once it has taken possession of us in ourselves. many of the may dream and Mystic poetize and philosophize. the Mystic cares for purity of heart only that by it he may see God. the at- tainment of the supreme end. but all in the true these are subordinate to the practical aim. p.The it Way Toward God 41 may become worthy to receive the satisfaction it craves. we read the works of the Mystics themselves we discover a certain order in their discipline." Even Sanctity. If In other words. Leuba says is : "One of the marks of the true Mystic 2 the tenacious and heroic energy with which he pursues a definite moral ideal. the perfecting of individual is character. As Recejac says "There is no : other means of getting^ possession of the Absolute than by adapting ourselves first it to it. 35. been ascribed definitions and rules out It we have studied. living union with God. ' p. sometimes set down clearly as a road The Bases of the \fyslic Kttoivledge. 'Quoted in Underbill: Mysticism. 109. .

by pureness and singleness of heart. ing the principle. and also taketh place in three ways to wit. by love. the Creator of all things.: 42 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism for others to follow. The purification concern: . The union belongeth to such as are perfect. I think we shall gain in clearness if we adhere to the larger number. and by the willing endurance of all manner of temptation and trials." [Theologia Gcrtnanica. alike that but in character they are so much we can make which will a composite diagram of them do for our purpose in understandif it do not fit any one Mystic exactly. by the practice of virtue and good works. Miss Underbill compromises on five. 44-45. thirdly. by the eschewal of sin. pass in a threefold wise: by contrition and sorrow for by hearty amendment. Others set forth seven." ^ Ruysbroek calls his three steps the Active Life. in the Mystic Way vary somewhat These steps in number. and by the contemplation of God. and is brought to sin. and also is brought to pass in three ways to wit. sometimes appearing only in the course of a life of devotion. : : . even * "Now be assured that no one can be enlightened unless he be first cleansed or purified and stripped.] by full confession. and the Contemplative Life. the Inward Life. the union. eth those who are beginning or repenting. the purification secondly. Thus there are three stages first. So also no one can be united with God unless he be first enlightened. Trans. by Winkworth pp. the enlightenment. as in the "Theologia Germanica. Some of them have insisted on three. The enlightening belongeth to such as are growing. although he proceeds to subdivide each of these.

The Mystical word following for this is Not but running parallel . The sight of God and Self thus brought together even with the slightest understand- ing of the former. but it need be none the less urgent because vague and diffused. The awakening it of the soul when. Conversion. not only by repudiation but by discipline. that the processes er. gation. that desire for Metanoia. It need not imply a definite consciousness of its Object. then. 2nd. more its or less suddenly. catches a glimpse of goal and undergoes a change ing. gives to the Self that sense of shame we call change we is call Repentance. It is in the level of its liv- the result of what is called in re- ligious phrase. 3rd. the result of which It is the at- often the crudest asceticism. That surely must come first and be real and intense. through which the Mystics in general pass from longing to fruition are these seven: 1st. finite tempt of the and sinful to eliminate. of which we have already treated. 4th. The Longing.— The Way Toward God 43 and by thus subdividing make our steps shortI would say. the imperfections and sins which keep the soul away Pur- from God.

asking nothing. processes all by which the soul. Meditation. and for long field. In utter submission is the soul gives up and. the mountain top 6th. search is It is called Illumination. in which if clear enough to rejoice the a sense of the Divine Presence. then . called Contempla- are the Silence. along with the satisfaction come moments of black despair. last step in mysteriously conIt is the nected with the death of the Self. The is rewarded. Then these glimpses result is some day in a vision soul. But so near are joy and sorrow in life that along with the vision come alternations of darkness.44 The Theory and is Practice of Mysticism with this tion. and sometimes. Purgation. which satisfies. along with the sense of growing union come awful moments the sense of the Divine Presence is lost. Prayer. this In gradually becoming more pure in heart. seen. attunes itself. the . putting itself en rapport with God. It is called the Dark Night of It is or the Mystic Death. 5th. if not yet reached. ])repared for the final step. Joy enters the soul. the next step. at a time. visions and adventures of the soul. even not completely. it will occupy the whole the Soul. when Some- times this state will alternate. Concentration.

We take the Longing for granted. You may call this Conversion. while you will. the setting of the character in a different environment. It is shown. it the Mystic. life on a higher plane. I. but these are very relative terms. It now comes more may also be either sudden or gradual.The 7th. In tracing more in detail these steps the Mystic Way we need not retrace the first. Way Toward God in perfect union. Like a long- dreaded and long-expected death. II. It is Life. The soul recognizes has nothing to do with the acceptance of theological statements. much higher is in de- By so much as the initial longing was in- greater. but with may be the same in essence if it is as the ordinary sort. 45 which cuhninates to God waiting only for the complete preparation of man's soul only those reward it who have endured It is called the by inward joys which to the end can Unitive State. to the earnest soul seek- ing satisfaction. life. Sooner or later. of understand. The its connection goal. the joy that tense. when it comes it is always sudden and yet there is no touch of God which comes to the soul that is . enhanced It is too real for that. gree. there comes the answer back from God.

" The Psychology of the Christian Soul. how many from leadings were given him. St.* * "There are times in Alpine climbing when the stroke of an ice-axe or the shout of a climber will set an avalanche in motion. So. But who "Tolle. lege" and was converted. 163. thoughts and feelings gather until a word will give them life and force to the overthrowing of spirit- ual But the fitting dominions. Au- gustine has told us in his "Confessions. It was not the shout that was fit to move a thousand It was the weight of the snow itself in tons of snow. word must be rightly spoken and the right word is always [Steven an appeal to something already within the soul. too. preparation in twinges of conscience. Paul's is called sudden. Conversion is always both a process and a ings that crisis. and yet all found afterwards to have had their convergence upon that one supreme moment when he heard the words. shall say that even that result was sudden ? As fluences well fix the moment when the rose blooms or the apple ripens. but there must have been came to him in the "goads." many warnmuch St. and uncertainties and longings and regrets. guidances in his Jife's work. equipoise so fine that the least vibration of the air could start it. p. in- from many sources." as he looked back over the course of his life. all unsuspected and unheeded.: 46 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism not long prepared for. withholdings sin.] . principalities and powers.

much more for the influx of the new the new man in Christ Jesus. As the strength of them increased. But these all left their mark and their effect was cumulative. as the waters rose the dam was built higher and higher It is the everlasting to meet and resist them. 108. unflesh appreciated preparation. and we It all depends call that moment Conversion. Thoughts came unbidden and were dismissed. upon the fight the man has made how sudden the defeat seems. The had been and the spirit against Doubts had been fought and longmodes of life were criticised and then acquiesced in. the fight against them increased also.^ It is vic- tory. But "defeat" is not the word the flesh. . lusting against the spirit. p. 47 this ex- To almost every one perience and looks back upon the recollection of a long." [Starbuck: The Psychology of Religion. And then some day the dam bursts and the water of life floods the soul. ings had been stifled. stands self.The Way Toward God who has had it.] "The ideal dawns: the will is exercised in its direction. ^ "Spontaneous awakenings are the fructification of that which has been ripening within the subliminal consciousness. to use. conflict. If the breaking of the dam stands for it the crumbling of the old and lower self. if there comes at the time.

All nature is irradiated with him. begins here. released from the bonds of self. His word. p. new birth." must be heeded. But then these vague raptures which ennew light must not dissipate the personal touch which God has laid upon the soul. begins in All the storm and In its joyous submission to God the soul. And here there is an even deeper joy.. like St. the joy of self -surrender and of service. finally the ideal is unexpectedly realized. The convert hears some definite command." God is seen everywhere and in everything. is given some definite task. "Rise. Paul.48 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism Thus does the second stage of the Mystic Way open. enter into the city and it shall be told thee what thou must do. stress of the past are forgotten. and a joy which unutterable. "My son." were the words to velop the whole world in a failing. as of every Christian. leaps up to find ''all things new.] . 112. In almost all cases when the Mystic has spoken. it is. The function of the will in Conversion then seems to be to give point and direction to the unconscious processes of growth which in turn work out and give back to clear consciousness the revelations striven after. its The is true of the Mystic. It is the awakening of the life it soul. give me thine heart." [Ibid. of a blinding radiance. there is unrest and distress.

Damian. and partly a setting free whom selves. Paul "was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision. Francis began immediately to repair the fabric of St. is them into the extremest as- All that would make life pleasant cut off." So Conversion. then surely Repentance self in the light of the sight of God's Holiness. among some Mystics so deep and infinite difference intense as to lead ceticism. to be complete.The St. before." St. all must end that has in a decision of the will. falling into decay. repair my house. crowning gone St. and to St. but wholly to the Object loved. 13I •"Divine love draws those and this so greatly that they . IV. Then comes the desire for Purification. partly an attempt to avoid the old temptations. This is partly as self-punish- ment for the past. In his light we see light. the social instincts are crushed. Francis came the words from the Crucifix: "Go. involving often a complete change not only of the inward but of the outward life. Then the becomes manifest. Way Toward God 49 Paul." Navies. seizes beyond themit belong no longer to them[Dionysius: Diznnc selves. the flesh is denied. as thou seest. If Conversion is the sight of is God in Christ. the is which.*' III.

is. and even here we must be careful to remember that not all all Mystics are ascetics. the attain- ment of GodJ All this differs from the repentance of the ordinary Christian only in degree. abnormal After years of the most terrible a fair example. he should verily be [The Cloud of Unknowing. and see he has told us.50 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism of the soul for the highest thing. in which all things are clearly seen. when it is foul. all He at once ceased and threw the instruments of his sufferings into a river. when it is clean and when the mirror is foul. to lead a more natural ' life. On a certain Whitsunday a Heavenly messenger appeared to him and ordered him. him behoveth to cleanse his soul. the which is as a mirror." [The Cell of Self -Knowlmeek. Even among is it the ex- tremists their asceticism rary. generally tempoits They outgrow Suso fifteen is character. p. in God's name. edge. 30." . then mayest thou see nothing clearly Avithin. any more than are ascetics Mystics. and right so it is of thy soul. neither thou knowest thyself nor God. and began else.1 . "Meekness see in itself is nought feeling of a man's self as he verily but a true knowing and For surely whoso might and feel himself as he is. speaking of himself in the third person. ii6.] "And wete thou well that he that desireth for to see God. of a vision that he had. p. to continue them no more. more than austerities.

Chap. retained. Ignitum cum Deo Soliloquitim. Chastity and Obedifor Poverty. I:i." says St.The It is the Way Toward God spirit 51 Mystic which underlies the monastic vows of Poverty." ^ It is this that sets the soul free even though possession still may be And Gerlac Petersen says: "Let all things I be forsaken of me so that. Book I. John of the Cross show how high and pure is the Mystic's ideal. "for absence if is not deof that tachment sire the desire remains —but detachment which consists in suppressing de- and avoiding pleasure." "I It one's attitude towards such. True poverty is only the new ence. 4. being pure. John of the Cross. of not being taken captive by the mere show of "Things. all God forsake." ® And truly * again Richard Rolle things for tells us: "If thou see Ill. may be able. am not speaking here of the absence of things. . Miss Underhill's quofrom Rolle and Petersen and St. to suffer want of all those things which the mind of man can desire out in great of or except God himself. inward spaciousness and without any hurt. more * The Ascent of Mount Carmel. As tations way is of looking at Reality. III.

A horrible example is given by that otherThe Mending of Life. thou never so early.52 The Theory and '" Practice of Mysticism what thou despiseth than what thou saketh. They have no value in themselves. wake thou never so long. stop thou thine ears and thy nose never so and do all : the pain to thy or canst think though thou shear away thy membody that thou mayest this would help thee right nought. purity of heart which life he seeks. and if it were lawful to do — as bers. cut thou out thy tongue of thy mouth. It is slight wonder if in some cases he stripped himself of more than was needful. p. 113. God alone. Ch. *• III. The Mystic is after God and so pushes from him everything that would hinder his search. wear . it is not —put thou fast. He thou never so hard. and family need not be re- And a all Obedience is seldom as of the It is to monk to human these. But deny." ^^ Yet will stirring and Of Chastity the Mystic has none of the feeling. Superior. all out thine eyes. It is monkish pudiated. " The Cloud of Unki^oiving. thou never so sharp yea. ." for- rise "Fast thou never so much. rising of sin be in thee. are and whatever else they may do or means to an end.

me in fol- lowing the way of God: my husband died likewise. into direct relation to reality. As we have seen." IV. to turn from the "shows of things" to self God himSo far the by ever completer adjustment. there died who was a great hindrance unto my mother. God everywhere. Mysticism is a life process. God within God "Book of the Ditniie Consolation. the Mystic. We come now to another step where the ways part somewhat. And would ^^ because rid to follow the aforesaid that he I had commenced way and had prayed me of them. however the earth may become irradiated for him with the sense of himself.The Way Toward God who seems 53 wise saintly Angela da Foligno. and in a short time there also died all my God feel children. by the use of means. . a method by which man attempts to put himself. the strivlife. albeit did also some grief. steps have been quite in harmony with those taken by any earnest man. looks for He does not expect to come at p. longing. The ing for a better only as that is are parts of Mysticism human. expect approval by this statement: —"In to that and by God's will. the glimpse of the goal. be he Mystic or not. 5. time. I had great I consolation of their deaths.

have said. with telescope or microscope or by the logical To find God he must retire into his inmost self and there be quiet and look and listen. This is the step called ConIt is. It is and even to that of Illumination. as I templation. Prayer. parallel to that of Purgation. then. and it includes Quiet. which the Mystic tends naturally to practise during the whole of his career which develops step by step with his trances will : — . the common in which the Mystic most characteristic quality of Mysticism. and indeed cannot develop its full powers without an educative process of some kind. By Contemplation I mean the Practice of the Presence of God. Recollection. to and raptures and ecstasies.54 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism processes of reason. These need much careful study if we would understand the theory. and it is a large and varied one. obeys the laws which govern all other forms of genius in being susceptible of culture. those peculiarly mystical tendencies to the hearing of voices and the seeing of visions. For as Miss Underbill says "Transcendental genius. In it are found also medium by which and It is the works. It is not taken alone. This strange art of Contemplation. Silence. and much hard work if we could come to its practice.

the same slow training of the will which lies behind all supreme achievement. on undertakes the — — the skirts of the true seekers of the Absolute and brings discredit on their science.The vision Way Toward God 55 and his love it —demands of the self which same hard. 360. For this end gather in all thy thoughts and by faith press into the Center. It is the want of such training such *super-sensual drill' which is responsible for the mass of vague. as it were."^^ a power of spiritual atten- All the powers of the soul must be gathered and concentrated upon "one point. : p. p. and is the price of all true liberty." '^ "Now the education which tradition has ever prescribed for the Mystic consists in the gradual development of an extraordinary faculty of concentration. "but from thine own activity steadfastly fixing thine eye upon one point. Be thou obedient to this call and be silent before the Lord. . " Underbill : Mysticisni. . tion." says Boehme. ineffectual and sometimes harmful Mysticism which has always existed: the dilute cosmic emotion and limp spirituality which hangs. sitting . dull work. 359. laying hold upon the Word of God which is infallible and which hath called thee. ." ''Cease. " Ibid.

] . but by God's showing mercy to us in Christ."^^ Just as attention was called to the danger. " Boehme Dialogue of the Super-sensual Life. that we can attain anything. that it is not by our willing or running." is Horce Mystica. in the Purgative stage. who keeps His throne and His abode in the bottom of thy soul. by constant sense. and daily experience. of running into the ex- tremes of asceticism and here self -mutilation. we therefore daily wait at the posts of God's heavenly wisdom.] [Isaac Penington "In time of strong temptation. ness One is the active state of spiritual is receptiveness. *'It is : important that we should know." [Molinos Mora Mystica. p. whereby we may and daily do. according to our wisdom and strength. 56. and mercy and love flow in upon us. p. so we should be warned of another common exaggeration which has often brought Mysticism into disrepute. the other —"a mere spiritual lazi- half-hypnotic state of passivity. to feel the gate of mercy and tender love opened to us. obtain what our hearts desire and seek after. 72. that thou : raayest only look at and contemplate God.: 56 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism alone with him in thine inmost and most hidit- den self cell." this perver- Ruysbroek has sternly condemned sion. p. "So being beaten to it. There is danger that this Quiet degenerate into or be mistaken for Quietism. desertion and desolation it necessary for thee to get close into thy centre. 116. blessed be the Lord forever. thy mind being centrally united in and attending his will in the patience of hope.

from condensa- tion . that burning and insatiable peace more which we pursue more and we have found it.The Way Toward God 57 denounce and crush all quietism. of desire. Between the is all peace of the heights and the quietism of the depths there the difference that exists be- tween God and a mistaken creature. per- haps to our surprise. plunging him into that ignorance which is not superior. It is exact opposite of the divine peace. seated within himis This repose simply the laziness and this tranquillity is forgetfulness of God. : at- Mysticism. in order that they may more tranquilly enjoy their false repose they abstain and exterior to activity." ^^ If we have at all understood what is meant by Recollection and Quiet. of that marvelous peace which full is full of activity. p. after full of seeking. the opposite of the peace of the Abyss. but inferior to all knowl- edge. 385. from every interior Such a repose is treason blinds a Quietism God. such a self. we should find. man. useless man remains and inert. that what we had " Quoted in Underbill by Hello. a crime of Icse-majcste. full of affection. These quietists remain in a state of utter passivity. one's self and one's neighbor. or if we should attempt to put these into practice.

of his navel. I need hardly remind you that while this may accompany the Mystic's contemplation. Prayer is asking. but has behind and through it all the intense longing for God. It is possible to let go all hold of the outer world. The whole matter it is plation. Before leaving this step in the Mystic Way touch on some of its results. it is only "the extreme . but it is more largely receiving. a state made familiar by hypnotism. As Godfernaux says. it is talking with God.58 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism in its highest form. but if we would be acceptable conversationalists we must be good listeners. of course carries with results to psychical and psychological. ject or idea Intense absorption upon one ob- may lead to physical trance or cata- lepsy. and is equally important and useful. and to listen for God is to be greatly rewarded. complete and rigid anesthesia. By itself it has no spiritual value. which we know be associated with concentration. it tained to is was Prayer It not the petitionary side of prayer. which have received from many more attention than we must they deserve. it is no part of it. It may accompany anybody's contemplation say. because largely of Contemcomposed of conit centration. to be actually lost in thought.

Nevertheless they do have their value. Boehme was sent into a trance by looking at the reflection of the light seen on a copper kettle. but from its after "As quoted in Underbill: Mysticism. Catherine of Siena. common use of sym- bols to stimulate the Mystic's attention and so special For each some thing or act is used as the help towards gaining the vision or the trance. But this comes not from the ecstasy itself. Francis of Assisi and many others would gaze upon the Crucifix. p. The Holy Communion would do this for St. or involuntary on a raft in mid-ocean. and properly criticised. whether their fasting be voluntary and for righteousness' sake. while St. . The reason is these states of ecstasy and rapture have bulked so large in the history of Mysticism because its subjects have been of such intense nature that in them they have been most extraordinarily induced.The Way Toward God '"^ 59 form of a state which must be classed among the ordinary accidents of conscious life. and in many of them they have been valued above their real worth. 431. They have not realized their earthly origin and have forgotten how easy it is for the starving to see visions." This accounts for the to cause the ecstasy. must be admitted to have great importance.

and the other be enfeebling and morbid. "Thus. a natural thing working upon something given. is must be known by fruits. 216. The same organs tion are used in satisfying both." The ecstasy of which we are speaking is not only physical and psychological. distinguish those results way could we "* Hilton : Scale of Perfection. p. under cover of the Good?" [Recejac: The Bases of the Mystic Knowledge. according to the degree in which the Absolute is infused in the consciousness. 432. p. In the end it is Reason which must give : its other In what from the inferior suggestions which Desire often imposes on the consciousness. and exhilarating. "It all the difference between a healthy appe- tite for nourishing food and the morbid cravof diges- ing for garbage. . p. exalting. yet he would to dis- be a hardy physiologist credit all nutrition who undertook to its by a reference degene- rate forms.] seal of approval to the results of Inspiration. 54.6o The Theory and It Practice of Mysticism its effects. "For I tell thee truly that the Devil hath his con^^ templatives as God hath his. like an idea in the mind or a crucifix before the eyes." ^^ The same person may have two trances. when the mystic eye is pure it sees in God only such things as add to the moral and rational life of humanity. but it is an enhancement of the " Underhill Mysticism. and which can give the subject nothing more than he had before. and one be healthful.

love and will. . the most exalted act of perception of which our nature is capable. Paul. . extracting it it itself from the contradictory throng of sensuous images that might find out . St. what that . overwhelming. Bock VII. through the unification of the whole personality. What tic the object is. It is the comple- tion of the effort. reason. is which is perceived. the Mysthis experience who has had Even can rarely it us. Au"My mind withdrew its thought gustine says : from experience.The Way Toward Gcxi 6i and the means by which. Chap. XVII. revelations may be received. And it thus. with all his powers of ex- pression. the single point of contact with God at the "apex" of the soul. ineffable. The Mystic who tries to tell of it stumbles with the load of the multitude of symbols he is obliged to use. with the flash of one hurried glance. new and higher subject's receptivity. St. what tell the vision or what the voice heard. of That attained to the vision Which Is/' 2« * Confessions. hid behind the statement that was not "lawful" to utter what he had seen in the third Heaven. The vision is sudden. light was wherein was bathed. "the blind intent of stretch- ing" toward God.

forgetting itself. Is it any wonder if joy completely breaks them down?" ^^ "Suso: Lt/?. leaves all its faculties and to all its qualities." - desire follows and pursues. To speak is in the comnatu- mon language. all who then becomes. Chap. the soul rapt by the divine its power of the resplendent being above ral faculties into the nakedness of the Noth- ing. mental knowledge of God. In this rapture the soul disIt it appears. actually is true. Bernard has said.62 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism *'When the soul. in things for the soul. * Ruysbroek Mirrorj p. but not entirely. though there remains an invincible diversity between us. the law of Jesus promises finite "My and shows us the eternal fruition of his divinThere are persons who have an experiity. in a measure. Scripture saith. : 79. a — — less completely. but the can never attain to the infinite. "And this more or whether the soul whether in the body or out of the body is more or less united to God." as St. This forgetfulness of self is. certain qualities of divinity. as the acquires. a certain manner. but does not become divine. dwells in it that radiant darkness. according transformation in God. . LV. Nevertheless.

man can in no wise speak or even stammer." Eckhart was before Tennyson in saying: "The meanest thing that one knows in God for instance. negatively by purification and positively by introspection and concentration and prayer. if we would see what they saw. First. . 189. p. And as the seeing eye makes all the world it sees. not therefore doubt the fact "But these most excellent and divine workings in the soul whereby God doth manifest himself. The Illumination is now a fact. glowing with beauty if in perfect health. But tell must go where they have been. but we need us of. God is found within. then laboriously prepared for.— The I Way Toward God could not 63 could quote even their us. if one could understand a flower as it has its Being in God that would be a — "Angela da FoUgno: Book of Divine Cotisolation. many more such authors know they passages. so one of the first results of Illumination is the illumination of the outer world with the "light that never was on sea or land. They cannot tell We us. dimly longed for." ^^ V. yellow if jaundiced. I hope you have noted all along the apthey tell proach to the fifth step in the Mystic Way which we have now reached.

if. not through tongue of flesh. if any should hear. but He made us that abideth for- having said this. I had a general feeling of buoyancy. and He alone were to speak. : IX.64 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism higher thing than the whole world. and utterly hushed whatever exists only to pass away. be withdrawn. and absorb. every language and every sign. that we might hear His word. joying in that saw. not by them. but by Himself. so our unending life might be such as was that moment of understanding for which we sighed would not this be to enter into the joy of the Lord? [St. and pass beyond herself by not thinking of self. — ourselves. as our study has shown us. "We were saying then: If to any the tumult of the flesh were hushed.] . ^ Juliana of Norwich VIII. the heavens. nor in the dark riddle of a similitude. It was the greatest joy it was ever my lot to experience. and waters and air. and in rapid thought. . and this one catch up. since. hushed too. not through voice of angel. hushed all dreams and imaginary revelations. hushed the phantasies of earth. : Revelations of Divine Love. Augustine: Confessions.] my face must have shone like that of Moses. but were to hear Him whom in these we love. p. Ch. and bury its beholder amidst inward joys." But more truly. touch that Eternal Wisdom that abideth over all." [Starbuck: Psychology of Re"I felt ligion. they then were to be silent. all these are saying. 'We made not ever'. and other visions of kind far unlike. but the spiritual sight my understanding and I I abode with ^'' reverent dread. if this could be continued. having roused our ear to Him who made them. ID. 120. not through sound of thunder. must the illumination be within. The Mystic. His very self without these and even as we now stretch out ourselves. Bk. and the very soul hushed unto herself." dwelled in "And the bodily sight stinted.

Book VII. and I was enabled to do so. There as yet no absorp- tion of the finite by the Infinite.The Way Toward God 65 by contemplation. no "flight of the alone to the Alone. far other from all these. " Angela da Foligno. Nor above my soul. X. but al- ways comes the personality to is whom is the illumination preserved. and with its greatness take up all space. as though the brightness of this should shine out more and more brightly. because I was made by It." [St. for some it is large and light and dazzling. and he that knoweth It. but other. I enThy guidance into my inmost self. XXXIII. attains to a "Vision of the Heart" which means more to him than anything he can see with his eyes. for Thou wert my Helper. yea. Chap. 82.'^ Thus this vision fills the whole being. above my mind. because It made me and I below it. : . it is a knowledge of the deep things of God.] " Dante Paradiso. above the same eye of my soul. which shines for all fiesh nor as it were a greater of the same kind. And I entered and beheld with the eye of my soul (such as it was). the Light Unchangeable not this common light." or * "And being thence admonished to return to myself. nor yet as heaven above earth but higher than I. as oil is : . Sometimes all is light.'® again. above water. and at times even with the diflferent same per- son. He that knoweth the Truth. Augustine: Confessions. knoweth eternity. it was was this light. knoweth what that Light is." But the illumination varies with persons. Not such tered with : .

VI. a psychological law. By them the light is tested. ''humbled yet exultant." All good Christians have to complain of periods of "dryness in prayer.q. common As Star- buck says: *lt is one of the best established laws of the nervous system that it has periods of exhaustion. made ready for the communion with God. as before." still is further pursuit of its aim. : p. it what distinguishes It is is its greater intensity. and is as such. " Starbuck The Psychology of Religion.66 The Theory and it is Practice of Mysticism again small and intimate. the true distinguished from the false. that of reaction. . 204." or of peculiar openness to temptation when their spiritual life seems to be at a low ebb.^* elation felt In every case. only here." Here again we find the state a common one among Christians. p. -^ a period of rest. and can only recuperate by havin. "The Dark Night of the Soul. what comes to the soul is revand strength and enrichment. if exercised continuously in one direction. And if the ordinary * Revelations of Divine Love. 24. as with Mother Juliana of Norwich. and the soul. called Negation. But in between comes the next stage in the Mystic Way. or by some.

.The Christian's Way Toward God 67 weak experiences of God can cause such after. but we must remember that there comes the sense of a real spiritual loss. of course. what must be the intensity of the Mystic's loss of all he held most dear certainly ? and counted on most ly to It is not mere- be thought of as physical or psychological. the lassitude. and these thoughts seemed to my mind to be realities." This is the utmost depth to which the soul can be brought.fatigue. "though without committing them. feel the loss It is far harder now to of the Perfect. The hold on God is loosened. "My God. my God. as I said. It was hard enough to break away from the Imperfect in the soul that it is the Purgative stage. why hast thou forsaken me?" But have in this state there are other feelings which depress nearly as much. There is. the horror as of those who think they have committed the "unpardonable sin. Guyon. which are. the dreadful thought takes possession of abandoned of God. the "aridity" which is so hard to bear a spiritual "ennui" which is — — as real as physical fatigue. the foundations. because I attacks the will." says Mme. the enfeeble- ment. and this weakness Temptations seem to come in "I had thought of all the sins. almost overwhelming force.

it appear always at The alternations of hope and all and darkness. "Not my will. And here this trial has fore. its moral. in her quaint self: depreciation and sense of humor. but Thine. have appeared But here the alternations are more intense and trying. Now it must very selfhood. close. It is not clearly defined. to be swalIt is lowed up in God." will is "Although the exercise of the portant element in Conversion." my heart was occupied by created And Santa Teresa. deeper. claiming nothing. its spiritual purpose. be done. an im- we are con- . if need be. We are drawing fear." These and many others are the forms by which we recognize the Negative state. reaches much as the words.68 felt The Theory and that Practice of Mysticism things. owning nothing. the soul has been with all its illumination and joy." are deeper than "I must work the works of Him that sent me. near the last step. Hereto- itself. of light along the Way. as not willing acceptance It of a duty. it has self its been the give up which has enjoyed. nor does this definite place. with all its purification. as in the second step. says "The Devil then sends so offensive a spirit of bad temper that I think I could eat people up. content. the soul is almost ready for the which is Union.

how feeble any description is. they know. the removing of and self will. step. you not a backward. which are be taken the only remaining barriers between the soul and God. and here even their words fail them. refuses to sist The personal will must be In many cases relief persistently or to come until the person ceases to remake an effort in the direction he ^" desires to go. 69 fronted with the paradox that in the same per- sons who is strive toward the higher self sur- render often necessary before the sense of assurance comes. in their own words. the last vestige of self see. It will not be necessary here to attempt a description at second hand of what is soul with God as understood by the Mystics. and that is to let the Mystics tell us." Thus Negation. As Myers has interpreted St.The Way Toward God life. If we cannot gain the experience for ourselves. and thus are the before the soul can feel last steps to itself *'oned" with God. Paul's "unlawful": "Starbuck: The Psychology of Religion. p. there is only one meant by the union of the way. given up. is really It is a forward. . even as far as their Illumination. 113. VII. as we have seen.

then. Many expressions. I till it. Such state- ments as are condemned in the Mystics may be found in many theologians who are not Mystics. but in all those who ** not only believe but enter upon the Ill.! 70 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism it "O could I tell ye surely would believe O could I only say what I have seen! How should I tell or how can ye receive How. he bringeth you where I have been?" would only call your attention all to the com- mon error of attributing to Mystics the extreme view of some regarding the absorption of the soul in union. all lessons to know will one's for if one knows himself he God. . Book. and knowing God he will God. not in Jesus alone. taken by themselves. the greatest of self. by communion with the may rise to be divine. the danger which so many come perilously near. life Pcedagogus." '' ''From him there began the interweaving of divine and know be made like human nature in order that the hudivine. T. lend color to this view and have brought much discredit upon Mysticism. man. Clement of Alexandria says: "It is. of Pantheism. Chap. But a careful study will show that it is a mistake.

In such the Deity a manner the soul set in the Deity penetrateth through the soul and dwelleth in the soul. possibly of iron. the iron does not cease to iron and the source (or property) its of the fire retaineth own it. be. you do me wrong' "? What they mean is explained by the oft-used simile of Boehme: "I give you an earthly similitude of this. ." Does Eckhart. propriety: it doth not take the iron into then as well as before. The fire so penetrateth and shineth through the iron that it : giveth light. it is Now still . but the divine source (or property) ^^ of the majesty. . but the Deity comprehendeth the soul." "Origen: " Boehme : Contra Celsum. If you do not become God for me. and so also the source (or property) of the is fire. which of itself is dark and black.The Way Toward God ^- 71 And even Athanasius which Jesus taught. p. III. ^. go any farther when he writes: "Our Lord says to every loving soul. the Mystic. The Three-Fold Life of Man." says "He became flesh that we might be made capable of receiving Divinity. but doth not alter only giveth it it (from being a soul). *I became Man for you. 190. yet the soul doth not comprehend the Deity. and it is iron fire in itself. is but it penetrateth (and shineth) through the iron. Behold a bright flame.

and that maketh it one with Him in love and accordance of will. but by a deadly sin. : this is what the spirit longs for. but it is not pantheistic. nevertheless yet in grace they are so knit together that they are but one in spirit. after the word of Saint Paul saying thus: Qui adhccrct Deo unus spiritus est cum is God. ^ "And for that that I would that thou knew what manner of working it is that knitteth man's soul to God." God and the creature can never be confounded. forever inviolable. and all this is for onehead of love and accordance of will and in this onehead is the marriage made between God and the soul. so far from Pantheism is this idea of union that the Mystics claim that they are in this gaining and not losing." . gaining complete freedom.' as IS it one spirit be two and sere in kind. the which shall never be broken. that is to say: 'Who so draweth near to by such a reverent affection touched before. 87-88. illo. gaining at last the perfection of their it. naturally naturally. Union can never distinction The ^* remains Nay. 24. own may personality. "Ruysbroek: Mirror of Eternal Salvation. though all that God and he [The Cell of Self-Knowledge.' That is.I . p. 'he with God. pp.72 The Theory and *'To enjoy Practice of Mysticism God without supreme that intermediary desire. finding self by losing This be paradoxical. though all that the heat and the fervour of this work cease for a time. with a and superBut even if the divine union be effected without medium we must understand become confusion.^^ "The union of the soul with God is far more inward than that of the soul and body.

Although it sinks and sinks Divine Essence. yet it in the eternity of the can never reach the ground. 191 1. Religion. E. Light and Love. Christian. Houghton. To gain which is not confusion. . 1900." the study of that point lecture and ask. Inge. Dutton & Co. Hod- der & Stoughton. The Soul of a 1900." this union. 1910. P. Mifflin Co. that the soul finds herself in the point. Underhill: Mysticism. how stands it with the Does the soul find in God? To this will I answer as it herself or not? soul that is lost appears to me. pp. there must at least be "a point of contact.The ''Now I Way Toward God 73 might ask. itself with where every rational being understands itself. To we will turn in the next Where and how do God and man meet? SUGGESTED READING Starbuck: Gr<\nger : The Psychology of 1900. has left a back upon self to little Therefore God point wherein the soul turns itself and finds itself. 14-15. *Eckhart: Life. Eaton & Mains. Ltd. CoE The Spiritual Life. Steven : The Psychology of the Christian Soul. The Macmillan Co. ^''' and knows it- be a creature. Ames: : The Psychology of Religious Experience. Walter Scott.

74 p. with Job and John. John i:i8.^ The longing it itself is fundamental. Deep calleth unto deep because originally they were one. 40. might find out God. if he will take. just because is implanted. The home *'I is behind the prodigal as well as before him. will lead him home. V. 8.Ill TH^ MEETING POINT We . the mystic have studied the mystic yearning and way man longing for God. it From all that has been said so far may begin to look as though we thought that man. Phillips Sermons. but we must never forget that to God belongs the priority. whereas we believe. there is a path for the prodigal which. and — man seeking God. . that will man cannot/ The man's desire and must be active." * • And Brooks : so he does. Vol. will What he really means to arise and go back my father. to say is. 9. but not only is the Job II 7. by his searching.

at the heart of Mysticism. he runs to meet his son before he arrives. being mutual. have said that Mysticism implies the whole . He must steps at least The to we have discussed in the last lecture have this for their purpose. as we stands out as the distinctive shall see. We must ask now.The Meeting Point 75 father behind his start. Where is the Meeting Point? The search that desire. God finds him. it implies some faculty of the which which I is is at least not the logical faculty mind and even yet a mysterious and little known part of us. man fit cannot be utterly passive. here. we discover one which mark of MystiThis is the fourth step. In a sense. How does man find is God? an child. and in another sense. are working toward each other. It is their prior inherent relationship which creates the desire and which guarantees its satisfaction. this is an exercise of the mind. He doesn't. himself to meet God. but when we come study them carefully cism. we meet the heart of the mystery of God's revelation of himself. which is called Contemplation. then. In other words. There infinite desire in the Father's heart for his and an omnipotent will to accomplish God and man.

but peculiar to a few speIt is rather. the most intense desire. life. necessary to move As Aristotle says: "The intellect . Even in the ordinary man's life. the eager out-going willing to get trol of the it. and yet the old-fashioned names are not slices of but touch and Feeling. fundamental. And certainly the strongest will and the keenest intelis. and co-ordination of the whole In the pursuit of ends the order is that which I have given. No one who does not long intensely can be a is Mystic. Practice of Mysticism man. and the longing the will. that is the combination personality.76 The Theory and Religion. Mysticism. we can at least think Mysticism is not the exercise of some unique faculty which is not common to all men. indicated. We have spoken in the first lecture of the part deIt is sire plays in Mysticism. Will. it lectual pursuit. as I have cially endowed souls. Christianity. I know it is unfashionable to make hard and fast distinctions. and Intellect are useful in dis- tinguishing and discussing certain functions of ourselves about which separately. the exercise of the ordinary man's faculties to their utmost. and then the criticism and conmind is the usual succession. the desire for some good. all make demands on every faculty man possesses.

Repentance and Purgainto tion are acts of the will. The longing gives the im- petus. While it is still perfectly true that the whole man." So in our second moves nothing. is preparatory. and "where a will there's a way. All this. come to the middle step of the common to the It is when we Seven we have described that of the question. the readjustment of the life on a new plane which we call Conversion. even to hands and feet. a faculty known to be a reality itself because by it place . said. then comes the glimpse of the goal. is alone found to be real and satisfying. and then the defining of the purpose of the will some channel commanded by God.The Meeting Point by itself 77 desire. here : we find ourselves at the heart The secret of Mysticism lies claims to have discovered the meeting where God and Man see face to face. as I have It is also Christian life of every man." lecture we spoke of the Way by which the will endeavors to gain its end. must be employed. But everything so far is preparatory. has learned to train and use. every part and faculty. there's Thus urged on by the will decides to act. we are to think now of this one faculty which the Mystic. where the union so long sought and in so many directions. above all men.

claimed also to be a faculty resident in all men and not an endowment of a few geniuses. in that part of us we call familiarly our know so little." ^ own nature that we feel God. first place. and about which we God. a yet. in the cesses of our own nature. They have used microscopes and got up •Oxyrhynchus Logia. but which organ by which it seems that man can get most easily and most perfectly into communication with God. Men many have been trying tried in in all ages to find They have many directions and by methods. Touch is the primal sense. lo. p. him and respond with spirit we do where alone inmost re- spirit can meet soul. They have used telescopes. In the find the Mystics say that ** we God is within us. feel We don't look like him. but to his touch. tnena. in Bernhard Pick. Paralipo- . It Is faculty which we need not name we will describe simply as that this which we must now study. and said that the undevout astronomer was mad. 37.78 its The Theory and Practice of Mysticism It is use real objective effects follow. and whosoever knoweth It is in the deep of our it. we don't we don't act like him. think like him. Verily the kingdom of God himself shall find within you.

connects itself there with the only true idea of God. we cannot go anywhere. Everything that comes to us from our five senses or our brains. and sees then that they belong . thinking out proofs of a probable God. as God is everywhere. at least. and then carries back in the "mind's eye" to the farthest star or to the smallest atom. going on crusades to redeem the city of Jerusalem. or our outward activity. But it is as certainly true that there is no complete satisfaction by any or all of these ways. of philanthropic work. in the farthest star. must report at once back of these to our inmost selves nothing is — ours until it touches our hearts. or plunging into social work. Certainly.The Meeting Point 79 ingenious arguments from design in Nature implying an ingenious Designer. It strongest microscope. without finding glimpses of him. inside or outside. Then again they have looked within as far as their brains. leading lives of strenuous activity. nor through the sees only something when it gets back to the God God in the heart. and concocted interesting and complicated intellectual reasons why God must exist. and then they have gone outside once more and endeavored to find God by doing his will. The eye sees no God which.

followed later by Albertus Magnus.So The Theory and Practice of Mysticism together and prove each other. that we find ourin his image there he can reveal himself to us. who says: enter into one's tereth self. selves made . we will consider it as settled that the descent into our own spirits is at the same time the ascent to God. who has felt no God in himself. astronomer or ploughman. is "As he thinketh in his heart. To the man. So while we will not disparage the It is there. the heavens will always seem empty. so he." and so. is the whole universe — to him. "To mount for he to God is to who inwardly en- and intimately penetrateth into himself . and some which may be heard by the ear. For these are the words of Tertullian. — other ways. we may add. within us can do say that only at some point into complete and satisfactory contact with the Father of Spirits. There our likeness to him seems to be complete. and some which the mind of man can entertain and aspects of reason upon. I we come and there alone. there is the seat of what we call Inspiration the naked and unashamed conversation with God in the cool of the day which we wanderers from Eden are always trying to regain. Now while I do not deny that there are some God which may be seen by the eye.

to embrace and experience God. xxxii." * And Schwab writes. . even in our hearts. nor do we have to go mounts up down know him up. its then the contention of Mysticism is that point of contact with us men is at that place within us where we finite bits of his infinitude strive for holiness It This is seems hardly necessary it. p.. to quote in order to Royce says: "According to Mysticism. the very commonplace of Mysticism." If there is this omnipresence about us and within us which we call God. and yearn for love.The Meeting Point gets St above and beyond himself and surely to God. Being is nothing beyond yourself. "The kingdom of God is within you." And Rufus M. You even now hold it within you in your heart of hearts." We do not have to ascend up into Heaven to bring him down to us.. his living presence in the in: * Studit's in j]fysliial Religion. and in the depths of their being men partake of one central divine life. because we Lord is very nigh us. in his book on Gerson "The whole effort of Mysticism is directed . Jones says: "It establish has been the contention of Mystics that in all ages God himself is the ground of the all soul. infinite in holiness and into Hell to bring that the love.

Thou hast lost Him. and is in thy soul.: 82 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism nermost soul. and you will come upon God in yourself. thou shouldst never have found but so Him again. let them be sure that they walk in the most excellent way: they lay their pipe right up to the fountain. He thy reason. 49. as if He were far away. but where? Soothly in thy house. in thy soul. Nor need you speak loud. or to regale yourself with God. and never quite lost out of "Nevertheless thou art never nearer •Whyte: Santa Teresa. Those who can in this manner shut themselves up in the little heaven of their own hearts. that if thou hadst its lost all thy reason of thy soul by left thee first sin. He is still it. Him till ." While Schure says that Mysticism is "the art of finding God in one's self. Settle yourself in solitude. p." ^ "See then the mercy and courtesy of Jesus. and relate to Him your troubles. that is to say. Nor need you cry for wings like a dove so as to fly to Him. where He dwells Who made heaven and earth. And then entreat Him as your Father." To quote from the Mystics themselves would be to quote from all "You need not go to heaven to see God.

so that thou needst not run to Rome. . nor to Jerusalem to seek Him there. pp. • ' Hilton: The Scale of Perfection. saith: 'Truly Thou art the hidden God. as the Prophet thou hast found Him. that He would suffer Himself to be lost only there. but turn thy thoughts into thy own soul where He is hid. is That But then I myself must be in a state for Him to come and dwell in me. these unquiet noises. and then shalt thou hear thy Lord speak to thee. and bring into thy heart the away love of virtues and full charity.' hid in thy soul. and seek Him there. and all Mystical Rules in all times and countries have been laid down for putting the true Mystical Doctrine. This is the whole aim of the Mystical Life. pp. Him This is His mercy also. Idem. 71-72. and destroy the love of sin and vanity." "Where shall I find God? In myself. that thou canst Therefore put nor hear Him. 72-73." ® "And what hindereth thee that thou canst neither see nor hear Him? in Soothly there is so much din and noise thy heart of vain neither see thoughts and fleshly desires. though He till be lost from thee but thou art not in ." The Meeting Point thou hast found Him. where He may be found. 83 He is in thee.

that That the soul her- our Father who is heaven should dwell in her. Vol." *'But thou. that there is something within us infinitely more estimable than often comes out. pp. II." ^ This gathering up <A the faculties and fixing them upon the kingdom of God within. . so as to enin able her to receive Himself. that God enlarges this 'palace of our soul' by degrees. enter into thy inner cham• Cook : 233-234. self should be heaven. they say. that thus He gives her liberty. an unpublished Volume of Selected Readings from the Mystics. but that the soul must give herself to up absolutely Him for Him to do this. the recalling of the wandering thoughts. put into beautiful language by the Mystics. And of this process they describe the steps.84 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism the soul into such a state. is called Recollection. are commonly made by those who make them all. and assign periods of months and years during which the steps. when thou prayest. the incalculable benefit of this occasional but fre- quent intercourse with the Perfect: conclusion and this is the sum of the whole matter. the concentration of the wavering will. the focusing of the scattered loves. in her Preface to The Life of Florence Nightingale. all upon "one thing. which is God.

'" [Rich. 159. . 6:6. Thy opening and His entering are but one moment. St. pray to thy Father. but the actual touch of God him- — •Matt.'" [Underbill: Mysticism. nor ear heard" they cannot. as we without Him. hart. says Lady Julian. He needst thee a . to know itself. p. Him from a distance. and so directly and intuitively known. There He stands and waits and 'I : " 'In the waits until He finds Thou needst not call is harder thousand times more than thou canst need Him.1 . book of Hidden Things it is written/ says Eckthou stand at the door and knock and wait' He is no farther off needst not seek Him here or there than the door of the heart. and having shut thy door. " 'If the let its first mind would fain ascend and principal study be Benj. They connect with certain manifestations of God." Now if God is to be found within us.' ambition. in another place. who is in secret. incommunicable by any one else. .' Our attainment of the Absolute is not a one-sided 'For our natural will. to wait until thou for Him than for thee. "Eye hath not seen. but a mutual necessity. 'can as little do without us. 'God. who ^ seeth in secret shall recompense thee.The Meeting Point 85 ber. 'is to have God. Victor.' he says. . and thy Father. and the good will of God and we may never cease from longing till we is to have us have Him in fulness of joy. Minor. to the height of science. LXXV. the knowledge we have of Him must be entirely personal. openest thee ready to open and let Him in. There must be some faculty in our nature which is especially adapted to making connection with God.

trying to discover. What is this "sixth by which we men may and must stand face to face with God and re-join our natures to his? Here again we must ask the Mystics themselves. and the discovery and use of a faculty in man which. or combination of acts. The Hindu in — '"John 4: 42. so man at This point least believes. of contact is what makes religion possible. to cover in us that faculty and to use the Mystics. At the start we must take their word ^" although these lecsense. which even Animism must feel. proceeds to use and develop and perfect by the act. This sense is what the — — Mystic is reaching to. . and which he." personal and interior. claim- ing that he has discovered.86 self it The Theory and Practice of Mysticism must come through something in us call what you will made as the eye and ear for its especial purpose. called Contemplation. hav- ing found. connects with God. tures would not be written if the study were only academic and not in order to find the Mystic experience true for ourselves. it dis- as did There has never been an age in any religion which there were not to be found some lives imbued with what we call Mysticism with a sense of an unseen presence.

inherent in man's nature. it sings itself into communion with the Unseen in many of the hymns of Brahminism.— are not these experiences and types of Mysti- monitor whom cism indicating its essence. but in the void where is thought not. The savage. gives the sense if of oneness. not known dent. reaching the spirit real to world through the dream world. the visitations of that spiritual Socrates called his Daemon. It is the very essence of what Socrates and Plato taught. and sitting day after day not in thought. Elisha opening the eyes of the young man that he also might see the vision of the mountain full of horses and chariots of inspiration with its fire. the Indian fakir.The Meeting Point 87 religion is full of it. of personal union. however variously and absurdly each subject would explain them? This power. the prophet's clairvoyance and clairau- . dreaming of his ancestors. which Elijah. not of identity with God. piercing through the whirlwind and fire until the earthquake and the voice as *'a he hears God's sound of gentle stillness". wrapping himself into unconsciousness lost. or used by all but still universally resiwhich connects with God. both equally him. is of the essence of Mysticism.

tius says : church most certainly have a knowledge of things to come." Tatian declares that "our virin the . 12 . to trace the later workings of this same faculty. "Some gins at the distaff utter divine oracles. St. They belong in the church. A ly. "how that he was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man were to utter. II Cor." it " I could multiply examples not superfluous. faculty in What do they show ? man by which he knows intuitiveAnd then the the reason being in abeyance. Some have visions. to the Neo-platonists. to Plotinus and Jamblichus. telling of the experience he had had fourteen years before. truths and else facts incommunicable. but to less ex- aggerated and more orthodox forms. see visions " and sing the holy words that are given :4. Christian church does not have to go outside of itself. bringing to light the secret things of men and expounding the mysteries of God.— 88 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism dience. Paul coming to visions and revela- tions of the Lord. others utter prophecies and heal the sick by laying on of hands and others still speak in many tongues. not only to Montanism and the monkish OmIgna- phalopsychites and Hesychasts.

It is interesting disrepute in day to study the old astrologers. men theinto have built on these all The mystical ologies are what have brought Mysticism ages. Now my point is this: that these are all manifestations of the principle upon which Mysticism is rests. are not very clear about them even to-day.The Meeting Point 89 them". have persisted. in Mysticism. and Tertullian and many more of the Fathers give the same testimony. even toAverroes and Paracelsus are worthy of more attention than they receive. and that because Mysticism always the same (as Harnack says) we are here j^ctting hold of facts which only to-day are having light thrown on them by the advances of a scientific psychology. and that they are the basis of whatever truth and facts and that the same power there may be concerned. As well might we dis- We credit astronomy because All I it had it its origin in astrology. I am not with the theologies facts. or chemistry because was preceded by alchemy. as I said. It matters not that these psychic phenomena were misunderstood at the time. but if we wish to know the truth about the heavens we go to the latest and best . claim is that these are facts.

to the prophets. guiding and inspiring Santa Teresa and Tauler. where he excludes all intellectual apprehensions and abides in the utterly Im" Ennead VI. and that not only ex- plains to us the stars but incidentally explains the old astrologers too. He calls this faculty ''another intellect is different from that which reasons and ^^ de- nominated rational.go The Theory and Practice of Mysticism treatise on astronomy. and is to be seen supporting. illumined St. lieve all that Plotinus We do not need to be- and Dionysius the Are- opagite have to say about their Mysticism even could we understand it. and passes into the truly mystical darkness of ignorance. says: "Then is he delivered from all seeing and being seen. Fenelon and Fox." describing the mystical The pseudo-Dionysius. We accept them as Mystics because they undergo the same exfacts perience and build their theories on the same which once gave insight and foresight Paul on the way to Damascus and St. let me show you what the Mystics call this faculty before we bring it to the bar of modern psychology. adept. To come closer to the subject before us. John in Patmos when he was in the spirit on the Lord's Day. Plotinus is as far back as we need to go. p- .

D. Or if the left eye is fulfilling its office toward outward thin^^s. " De Sales Of the Love of God." says: "It is this sweet calm which S. But these two eyes of the soul of man cannot both perform their work at once. VI. 20. and be as though it were dead. but if the soul shall see with the right eye. . Francis de Sales. of giving life and needful things to the body and ordering and governing it for the best.The Meeting Point palpable and Invisible. " Theoloflia Germanica. the one has the power of seeing into eternity. which is much the same as what she elsewhere ^^ calls a sleep of the active powers. then the left eye must close itself and refrain from working. VIIT." in his Treatise '^ 9I St. Section III. then must the its right eye be hindered in in its contemplation. Cap. that is. Mystic Theology. the other of seeing into time and the creatures. writing. I. Chap. Teresa calls the prayer of quietude." "Dionysius: : working. holding conversa- tion with time and the creatures. Bk. — that ^° is." The author all: of the "Theologia Germanica" gives about the most important statement of "Now the created soul of man hath also two eyes. on the Love of God.of "The Rest of the recollected soul is its Beloved. of perceiving how they differ from each other.

p. pp. On this a . . Inge. that the soul finds herself in the where every rational being understands itself with itself. It is an indwelling and [Eckhart: a living together of the soul in God.] in "Grace never comes If it the intelligence or in the could come in the intelligence or in the will." [Molinos: will. but from Experience it is not invented. appears to me. Life and Love. but received and is therefore most secure and It efficacious. Now I might ask. intimacy. which alone can apprehend God. with most delightful communicated meek and lowly. and plentiful in fruit. The true union between God and the soul takes place which is called the spirit of the soul. not of the theory but of the facts and the actual processes "Mystical knowledge proceeds not from Wit. but proved not read. . Grace unites not to any work. in the little spark. 50. The Spiritual Guide. . how as it stands it with the soul that is lost in God ? the soul find herself or not? To this will I Does answer point. 4-5.: 92 The Theory and This is Practice of Mysticism what the Mystics themselves say. nor by the continual reading of books. of great help. but by the abundant infusion to the of the Holy Spirit." Light. master says : There is something secret about it and thereby he means the spark of the soul. the intelligence and the will would have to tran- scend themselves. enters not into the Soul by the ears.] "The union of the soul with God is far more inward than that of the soul and body. i-s Whose Grace. Although it sinks and sinks in the eternity .

" Inge. Bk. but in all things." writes: names by more modern authorities? "Within us lurks a world whose form we but imperfectly apprehend. a power independent of sense and reason. a power in a certain sense contradicted by sense and reason. I. 14-15. p. pp. 13. "Ribot: Les Maladies. Vol. Chap. \22.] [Eckhart: Light. it 93 can never reach the Therefore God has left a little point wherein the soul turns back upon itself and finds itself. yet j^round. W^ill you bear with me a 1 little farther in I my quotations. and whose working when in particular phases it comes under our obserthese old — vation — surprises us with foreshadowings of unknown depths in our own being. in his "Science of Religion." : who I writes "There not only is in man a faculty which simply the faculty of apprehending the in religion Infinite." ^^ And Ribot says: "The ordinary conscious personality is only a feeble i)ortion of the whole psy^" chological personality. iilc.The Meeting Point of the Divine Essence. \h . which still think necessary that may further explain myself and supplement Lotze. in the ''Alicrocosmus. I. Life and Love. and knows itself to be a creature. yet I suppose a very real power if ^^ Microcosmus." I quote again from Max call MiJller. I.

there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. while it alone is able to overcome both reason and we sense. its own own results. how neither sense nor reason have been able to overcome it. but apand at a touch there in all they are. Lectures on Mysticism. "The Varieties of Religious Experiences. p. is but about one special type of consciousness. definite types of mentality which probably somewhere can have their field of application and adaptation. its own method. Yet they may determine attitudes. We may go through ply the requisite stimulus life without suspecting their existence. 12. whilst all parted from it by the filmiest of it. though they cannot furnish formulas. As the senses are a . their completeness. 388. its totality No be account of the universe in final which leaves these other forms of conthe question. sciousness quite disregarded. own organ of knowledge. screens." ^* As William James says: "Our normal waking consciousness.94 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism see how it has held its own from the beginning of the world. spiritual is a distinct sphere of the human soul its its mov- ing from within." "Quoted " James : in Bjerregaard. having objects. as we call it. p. and open a region though they fail to give a map. them is — for they are so discon^^ How to regard tinuous with ordinary consciousness.

The ternal sense of the right. which receive impressions from that world. They leap instinctively into exercise by the contact of the personality with another and higher personality. 14. The investigation of the evidences.] : : . so the personality has faculties. which have immediate aflinities with the spiritual world. and which become powers in the life through these impressions. but as a living reality which it immediately and intuitively perceives. "Now though these powers use reason in their latter stages and can always vindicate themselves in the court of reason. the strong propension of the reason to find a are moral and religious meaning girdling the course of events. 181. moral and spiritual. it is hension of God and divine things that maintained there is an appreis independent of that which comes to us in the form of propositions and doctrines. may indeed furnish fit occupation for the highest intellects. the analysis and systematic development of the doctrines of religion. p. the thirst for a chief good. in like manner. p. as a heavenly melody falling on the ear.] "And." [Caird University Sermons. they do not work by reasoning. looking out to the exworld. but it is by no such process that the essence of religion wins its way into the soul. p. the instinct of dependence." [Caird University Sermons. 16." [Smith: The Magnetism of Christ. It comes upon the spirit not as a proposition which it has proved. and which may be possessed in fullest measure by the man who could not define or prove a single article of a theological creed.The Meeting Point 95 But we thorities.] "Of all things good and fair and holy there is a spiritual cognizance which precedes and is independent of that knowledge which the understanding conveys. roughly and popularly speaking elements of that spirit- — — ual side. as the splendour of an infinite loveliness breaking on the eye of faith. really need Our own lives furnish us no fortifying with auwith bet- fundamental endowment of the being.

of a single petty experience hoard of petty maxims reasoned out disappears and a new power comes above the threshold of consciousness and takes control ? And when it has sunk once more below the threshold we only with — then discover the bleeding wound or the evi- dence of some superhuman exertion or the sense of a presence which leaves us tingling. with all self-consciousness its self-carefulness. . and the other the immeasurably vaster portion which we seldom see and only a little of tener guess we have. our mind is is really made up of two use. under great emotion same ocean in history — — of grief or joy. able to connect with the in other men. The one the drudge and mentor and director which we know and which gets tired and dies. so we have seen and philosophy nay. of intense excitement. Yet it is this unconscious part which is the very tossing ocean which feeds the little founfull of wrecks tain of our conscious mind and argosies and dead faces and the traces of — vanished generations. able. do we not know this also from dear experience? able to connect with God. What we parts. For have we not known some supreme moment.96 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism call ter proofs. when what its we and call self. of fer- vent prayer.

that . extremes of joy or sorrow. plus the use of this organ and plus also certain rewards or punishments which flow from its use. its These are not Mysticism. with a perfect and positive unanimity. is thus in all respects like any other Christian. and which seems to have the power of receiving The Mystic intimations directly from God." I think have said enough to support my here the peculiarity which distinguishes Mysticism from those forms of point that we have religion lectual. though parts of its process. "Truly 97 God was in this place and 1 knew I it not. We have felt that they were preliminary to Mysticism proper. an abnormal liability to visions and hallucinations. Beyond or underneath the usual course of the Christian life there is in Mysticism the development and use of a faculty which works best when both mind and will are in abeyance.The Meeting Point saying. or which we call the dogmatic or intelwhich we call the ritualistic or in- stitutional. such as unusual nervous sensitiveness. but by-products. We have laid aside the emotions and the will. And they have said. And we have asked the Mystics to tell us what they thought was their secret.

are here concerned only We is with the fact: which is That by the use of a faculty not the logical mind. a faculty which they could cultivate. which seemed to them to be and truest part of their personality. and then that through it came to them a knowledge of God. but having enough body to it to be afterward presented to their own intellect to be reasoned on in the usual way. Few They psychologists would deny differ its existence. field As yet we know too little about it. that for its highest working this faculty needed that the ordinary activities of the brain be stopped. valuation of very widely in their definition and it. in meeting God. All I can say regarding this is that further definition is at present tical beyond our powers.98 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism they used. certain truths positive spiritual mostly when that are received and a com- . generally ineffable and indescribable. something which did not use logical processes that by it the deepest and that this . faculty seemed to them something distinct from their intellect. This it is is a prac- study and for our purpose not necesof the sub- sary to enter the much-debated conscious. and is active quiescent. but gained it not by ratiocination but by intuition. they gained the real knowledge.

lies believe that in this the seat of this faculty back mysIt is we call the sub-consciousness. No. but I see no reason to doubt. We know best that we have eyes by seeing things with them. are to use our minds to try the spirits. 8r. The only proof it may be we have it culti- using it a false one). there is actually and "The subconscious self *• Mind." ^^ Professor James. whether they be of God. is nowadays a well-accredand I believe that in it we have exactly the mediating term required. like every other organ. that ourselves. p. says: whom is no higher ited psychological entity.The Meeting Point gg I munion with God terious field is established. As Hocking says truly: "The misinterpretation of Mysticism here in question is due to the fact that what is a psychological report (and a true one) is taken as a metaphysical statement (and vated. from its eflfects. that something within us is especially formed to meet with God. It is that penumbra of the intellect which Bergson calls Intuition. . 42. is by and this each one of us must do if he would know. than authority. and that. Apart from all religious considerations. it a large field and contains much which We both useful and harmful.

511. that I is moment to may not I be more misunderstood than necessary? am reminded of one of the clearest definitions of Mysticism among the many that are to be found to-day. of mystical experiences. Myers said first 1892 in his essay on the is Subliminal Consciousness written: as true as is when it was 'Each of us in reality an abiding psychical entity far more extensive than he knows. genius seem also to have their origin and in our study of conversion. as it seems. phenomena it of various sorts.— : loo The Theory and more life in Practice of Mysticism total soul literally our than we are at any time aware of. field The exploration of the transmarginal has hardly yet been seriously undertaken. some power of organic expression in abeyance or reserve. p. . but there . It is in the Century Dictionary ''James: Varieties of Religions Experience. inhibit! ve timidities. an individuality which can never express itself completely through any corporeal manifestation. The Self manifests through the organism. But in it many of the performances of . but in what Mr. as Myers calls them. 'dissolutive' silly jingles. Imperfect memories. is always some part of the Self unmanifested and always. we have seen how striking a part invasions life.' Much of the content of this larger back- ground against which our conscious being stands out in relief is insignificant.'' ^^ from this region play in the religious May make I interrupt here for one clearer my own position. enter into for a large part. and of prayer.

The Meeting Point

loi

site poles

"Mysticism and Rationalism represent oppoof theology, Rationalism regarding

the reason as the highest faculty of
the sole arbiter in
all

man and

matters of religious doc-

trine; Mysticism, on the other hand, declaring

that spiritual truth cannot be apprehended by

the logical faculty, nor adequately expressed
in

terms of the understanding."

And
as
it

yet while this definition

is

clear as far
distinc-

goes,
it is

and makes a perfectly true
in that
it

tion,

very incomplete,

gives noth-

ing to supply the defect of the logical faculty.
If ''spiritual truth cannot be

apprehended by
it

the logical faculty,"

how can

be apprehend-

ed?

And

this is the

very secret of Mysticism,

which ought

to be told, even in a dictionary.

The

definition only tells us

what Mysticism

denies.

That's
''that

why

it's

so clear!

Add

these

words,

truth can be also received

and

understood by some function of the subliminal
self," call
it

Intuition, or

whatever you please,

and we have at least made the definition fuller and more correct, even though the claim of the
Mystic should prove to be unfounded.

That

this is the claim of the

Mystic and so

necessary to an understanding of him,

we have

102

The Theory and But
is

Practice of Mysticism

surely seen.

its

relation to Rationalism

may
its

not be so clear.
opposite to Rationalism but not

Mysticism
opponent.

Both are necessary
to see the

to the full

and perfect
ing
is

religion of this earth.

commoner than

But nothtwo set at

variance.

Nothing is commoner than to see Mysticism classed with mere emotionalism.
subliminal self
is

The
life

the seat of the emotions,

as of the true memory.

But

it

has a mental

of

its

own.

"It

is

not the passive, unrea-

soning and irresponsive automaton which people

have believed
see, is

it

to be."

"

The

difficulty,

you

not the old one, between heart and

head, between feeling and knowledge, but beessential, the

tween two kinds of knowledge. And both are knowledge which comes through Scholasticism and the knowledge which comes through Mysticism. The one is mediate and proceeds by logic indirectly; the other is immediate and proceeds deductively from a prior suggestion. This is not the time to discuss
their relative merits; there is certainly a dif-

ference in priority.
if

But you
is

will

pardon

I

add, that which

not called for by

me my

argument, that God's nature seems more akin
'*

Hudson

:

The Law of Psychic Phenomena,

p. 32.

The Meeting Point
to the mystical side of man's nature.

103

He

is

Love, not Logic. Omniscience does not ratiocinate, it simply knows, and the soul, made in the image of God, meets God intuitively (however it may rationalize about Him later), so that we must ask it first, not "are your logical processes correct?" but simply, ''have you seen
aright?

Have you

actually felt

God?" "

" "Now, undoubtedly, religious beliefs, new and old, often do present themselves to the minds of individuals in an intuitive and unaccountable way. They may subsequently be justified at the bar of Reason and yet Reason might never have discovered them for herself. They would never have come into the world unless they had presented themselves at first to some mind or other as intuitions, inspirations, immediate Revelations: and yet (once again) the fact that they so present themselves does not by itself prove them to be true." [Rashdall: Philosophy and Religion, p. 136.] "But just as our primary wide-awake consciousness throws open our senses to the touch of things material, so it is logi:

cally

conceivable that if there be higher spiritual agencies

that can directly touch us, the psychological condition of their

doing so might be our possession of a subconscious region, which alone should yield access to them. The hubbub of the waking life might close a door which, in the dreamy Subliminal, might remain ajar or open." [James: The Varieties of Religious Experience, p. 242.] "The notion of a subconscious self certainly ought not at this point of our inquiry to be held to exclude all notion of a higher penetration. If there be higher powers able to impress us, they may get access to us only through the subliminal door."
[Ibid., p. 243.]

"Disregarding the over-beliefs, and confining ourselves to

what

is

common and

generic,

we have

in

the fact that the

104

^^^ Theory and

Practice of Mysticism

And so we come back to the heart of the matter.

lessons

Leaving for the last lecture any practical we may have found, let us remind ourselves of the point we have reached, the meeting point with God. The Mystic, that he may see God, get any the least glimpse of him, must prepare himself, and having stripped from him everything that would hinder of sight, hearing, touch, even thought, then he comes to the next and most important step of all, that which stamps him as soon as he takes it, as a Mystic, different in this respect from other creatures; he sits down in this utter nakedness and in silence and
without effort at
in
last

waits for

in the "still small voice," or to

God to speak show himself
his
It is the

some vision or

to give

some touch upon
be known.

heart by which he
concentration of
point."
It is

may

all

the powers upon

"one

the "inward look."

In quiet and

in silence the soul

now

attends intently.

By

concentration

sounds have been The efforts of Recollection to bring stilled. the mind and heart and will into harmony have
all

the

little

conscious person is continuous with a wider self through which saving experiences come, a positive content of religious experience, which it seems to me, is literally and objectively true, as far as
it

goes."

[Ibid., p.

51S]

Du James: The Varieties of Religious Experience. the unruly will The attitude is that of listening. . C. and its being becomes one great receptivity. It can say now. for thy servant heareth" and not mistake heavenly sounds for earthly. McClurg & Co. The next move is SUGGESTED READING Prel: The Philosophy of Mysticism. 1908. It is in the ante-room of the Presence. Longmans. Scribner's Sons. Lord. Open A. "Speak. Co. The soul is at peace. 1889. 2 vols. Hudson: The Law of Psychic Phenomena. de Psychologie du Paris. George Redway. Yale University Press. C. Court Publishing Co. Green & Co. The busy thoughts are hushed. 1899. is silenced. God's. No longer is it content to do. Mifflin et & Delacroix: Etudes d'Histoire Mysticisme. 1902. Hocking The Meaning of God in Human Experi: ence. It finds its satis- faction in being. 1912. Jastrow: The Sub-conscious. Recejac: The Bases of the Mystic Knowledge. Felix Alcan. Ribot: Essay on the Creative Imagination. 1906. Houghton.The Meeting Point 105 succeeded and so relax. 1899.

appears.IV ST. but in whatever century tin's we find : them we 1 will find St. to pro- now to study these processes in the lives of some sample Mystics and see out in practice what oretically. has no history. FRANCIS OF ASSISI. HEINRICH SUSO AND MOTHER JULIAN OF NORWICH Having the Mystic discussed in our previous chapters Way. It is a religious exercise which occurs sporadically and unexpectedly throughout history. of course. bearing in mind what ceed we have learned. It is an emergence. not It A an evolution. I think. without a genealogy but with a blessing. certain purposes. like Melchisedec. Mar- words true "All Mystics speak the same 06 . will be interesting. how they bear we have been studying the- It history of Mysticism is an impossibility. it For is helpful to study the Mystics chronologically. and it tried to account for it psychologically.

There have been periods when we can unusual outpouring of the mystical see. and any ." Mysticism is such a personal thing. because they are typical of the life and its process which we have been trying to describe. should be must not expect an ordered evolution. It is embarrassing to have to choose. Francis — Suso — Mother Julian 107 language and come from the same country. see an spirit. Sometimes a low ethical order of things or a time of spiritual dryness will seem to cause a Mystic revival. Sometimes the Mystics appear in ly told that here he groups. and we may or say. And so we may the more readily omit any historical presentation. to time. to discover causes and relations. that the as he should. but just as often they are lonely as well as unexpected figures in the pages of history. that such is due to a reaction against over-intellectualism or against some tight ecclesiastical organization. but just as often it appears with no apparent reason. to see the order- growth of ideas and institutions. because our purpose is practical and we can be helped more by selecting some figures of especial interest and studying them.St. relates so student much more to eternity than who looks to history.

to be a very human thing. They are also so far removed from each other that we cannot trace any influences acting between them. might seem far re- moved from Ages. By seeing our theories translated into life we may understand and practise them the better. Francis of Assisi 182-1226) and Heinrich Suso of Julian of Germany (1300-1365) and Mother Norwich. Francis. I may stand by itself as a ask you to look with ( 1 me at St. and of I think we may gain a wider underof the subject if we take two men and one woman. in England (1343-1413). We will tell their story and see if it be possible to fit them into the scheme we have already laid down. with all its intensity. St. More than any I know he kept himself in His closest touch with everything human. in many of traits of his character and in his mode life. is the typical Mystic of the Middle Yet for this very reason his Mysticism brought into clearer relief and is seen.lo8 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism I choice will seem arbitrary. so that each type. and with Na- . and choose them from different countries and from different centuries. knowledge of men was unusual. but better of those all can speak these standing who interest me most.

his keen insight and common sense. and then. by his Master.^ His and after it was greater to realize. . He simply stepped into the midst of everything that was abhorrent to him and brought with him his unflagging courtesy. 170. especially for the larks. It is not to our purpose to study these larger aspects of his character and work. while his love for the birds.St. like Christ. his love and sympathy. his joyous temperament. and above all. influence over his time was a passion. just went I about doing good. Francis —Suso— Mother Julian 109 ture in her every aspect he had the deepest sympathy. a man who not only made a deep impression on whose influence and who has even now a personal devotion accorded to him which I dare to say is received by no one save the life of his time. his desire to be like Christ. to He ordered his followers always have a plot for flowers in their more useful vegetable gardens. than we are even now beginning He is one of the great men of the world. ing. but one persists after seven centuries. so often forgot- Mirror of Perfection. They can be understood only after thorough knowledge of the conditions which he faced. to ^ speak of this only in passis remind you of what p.

into political of Italy as a how he influenced art how be brought a new temper life. and sometimes astonishingly influential and and successful." He was for a time a soldier fighting against Assisi's enemy. that Theory and Practice of Mysticism it is not incompatible with true Mys- ticism to be extremely practical and constantly busy. in His name was Francis Bernadone. where he hovered between life and death for many . more personal and interior. literature. by his institution of the Order of Tertiaries. Our aim in these lectures is different. how he stands to the lepers John Howard to the prisoners of — England or a Dorothea Dix to the insane of America. and how. son of a rich cloth merchant. the cheeriest man in the dungeon. born his Assisi in 1182. I turn to the man himself. leader in the gay life man in Assisi. above all. Perugia. captured and imprisoned there for a year. is We have not time to show how true this of Francis. ''the best dressed to take over his father's business. sent home to be taken ill with a fever. spending the time in reconciling enmities and singing French chansons. mother probably French. destined of the town.no The ten. he undermined and finally did away with the burden of Feudalism in his own land.

quaintly. Some people know Francis only as the founder of the great order of Brothers Minor. as so often fill we know. little more intercrowd of pallid figures of whose hallucinations and self-inflicted tortures and incredible miracles we read in Golden Legends and Acta Sanctorum. merchant-soldier. It is the first step in the Mystic Way. out of this gay. St. was not the Church his need. Some people think of him only as a half crazy medieval monk. a consistent expression of the Mystic steps are easily traced. —and now then. and so he went back to it again. perhaps a esting than the rest of the life is spirit. yet with dour. But he is a Mystic. And failed to here. Francis — Suso— Mother Julian all iii weeks. the knight errant of the Church. pleasure- loving. Once more he was the leader satisfied . the joy- ousness and sweetness of the former trouba- sublimated and spiritualized into the troubadour of God. Francis begins to emerge. his year's The come out of He had imprisonment and long illness with that sense of something lacking in his life which comes to so many young men and must come to every Mystic. simply. He with his former life and yet he could see nothing else to do. and all his the Franciscans.St.

15: i6a . what wouldst thou have me to do?' 'Return. 'unto thine own country. the lord or the servant?' And when he answered 'the lord/ that other said again unto him: 'Wherefore then dost thou leave the lord for the servant. And when Francis had revealed his whole purpose. and meditating so earnestly And so. •"When his journey therefore he had gone to Spoleto to set forth on and go into Apulia. at early that he could sleep no more that night. wondering at its might. Who had shown him this thing. waking. pp. he began to ponder somewhat.112 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism in processions and dances and banquets. never being stinted of money. and to be told concerning his salvaChanged in his mind is he now. for the vision that thou hast seen behoveth thee to understand in other wise. And just as in the first vision he had been as it were quite carried out of himself for his great joy. Yet none the less anxious about his journey. morn. when he had yielded unto sleep. fusing to go into Apulia. coveting worldly good fortune. to meet proportions.^ where he again fell ill of a fever.' Then. he returned toward Assisi in haste and with gladness and joy exceeding. Francis. he heard while half asleep one asking him whither he desired to proceed. seeketh to mould himself unto the Divine Will. started off. and came back. and retion from himself. weakened and discouraged. awaiting the will of the Lord. he added 'Which can do the better for thee. and it shall be told unto thee what thou shalt do. so in this vision he withdrew within himself entirely. and a rich lord for a poor?' And Francis said: -Lord. he gathered an equipment of princely and But he got no further than Spoleto. he began earnestly to ponder this vision." [Salter: The Legend of St. and having the chance to go to war again with a knightly train to take part in some feud in Apulia.' saith He.

It is vain for us to call him enthusiastic and visionary and laugh at his extravagances. nothing can stop him and he will stop at nothing. and when he breaks loose now and hears his call. gentle indeed but virile. time it was the only way to express himself. and as the end crowns the work. and no one knew when it would break ing Masses in the 700 years from the standard of the time. life. And here we must remember that the Italy of his day was even more intense than it is now. frequenting a cave near Assisi. For two years he went about trying to find . They sinned completely and gorgeously. we must judge as far as we can. When they turned from sin they became ascetics of the severest and most uncompromising sort. attendlittle wayside chapels. as The popular idea weak and negative is totally wrong. we must acknowledge that his way succeeded. For him and his of saints the youngest. In studying such a it. young men whose jealousy he Then for months he wandered about. typical of his time. lived ago. The stream of his intense nature was being dammed up. Men then did nothing by halves. And Francis was a man forth. Francis — Suso^Mother Julian 113 the jeers of the had excited. all of him is He most restless.St.

more more pure than you carrying over could ever imagine. Francis. bustling 'Don't you see the matter with you?' about him as if to awaken him. They thought they had conquered and as in old times. ^ more beautiful.114 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism what his Father's business was. arousing himself and 'I looking at them with a smile which they did not recognize. they proclaimed him King of the Revels. roar. he is thinking of taking a wife?' said one. at its close the guests rushed out into the which they filled with song and upSuddenly they perceived that Francis was no longer with them. and his the Lady Poverty. but plunged in a revery so profound that he seemed to be rooted to the all conscious of that ground and unwas going on. The and feast was prolonged far into the night. were making continual efforts to take "His friends to induce him up his old habits again. 22. Sabatier : The Life of St. 'What is they cried. One day he invited them all to a sumptuous banquet.' answered Francis. in his hand his sceptre of King of Misrule. still holding streets. am thinking of taking a wife rich. .' " He was his troubadour spirit into his Lady Paramour was • to be new life. p. 'Yes. After long searching they found him far behind.

he. as he begins his last . Here was the renunciation. One day. The Church even had a solemn and terrible service for their seclusion from mankind. Peter's. but for one class he had an instinctive and deep-rooted repugnance. and then knelt and kissed his hand. and rode away a free man. the sight of a leper was loathsome. for the lepers were banished from all social intercourse. Years afterward. He turned his horse and went back and gave all he had of money. wrote his will and as he cast a backward glance over the way by which he had been led. Francis — Suso— Mother Julian 115 But as yet he had not known how to declare He went to Rome and sat among the beggars on the steps of St.St. Theirs was a living death. He says. Others agreed with him. on the eve of his death. To this sensitive and fastidious young man even his love for her. He thought he could remain rich and yet understand the poor. the hardest act of self-sacrifice. He really cared for them. Then the dam broke. he sees that this incident was the real turning point the leper of his life. He gave away much money and more sympathy. riding his richly-caparisoned horse around Assist he came suddenly upon a leper and he wheeled his horse and spurred him away in horror.

Attending Mass in it one morning he heard the words in the Gospel for "Take neither gold nor silver nor the day: brass in your purses. the chapel of San Damiano on its the outskirts priest he gave all his perThis done he built a hut by the side of the still smaller chapel of the Portiuncula. He had not heard the personal call." Then suddenly it of Assisi. ." lepers them. but still what to do with himself was not clear. his orders. the clear directions from Christ himself as to what he should He threw away every- . with his little own hands. and began to repair that. that which had seemed to me bitter was changed for me into sweetness of body and soul. thus to begin to do penance when was in sin seemed to me very bitter to see and the Lord himself led me amongst I showed mercy to them. Brother for Francis.ii6 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism Testament: I "The Lord gave it to me. nor scrip for your journey. He dreamed that he was to repair the Church. flashed upon him that he had found do. and This was his conversion. He did not realize the largeness of the work. nor shoes nor staves. the third step in Way. the so he began to repair. and when I left them. a little farther from the town. To sonal property.

and then more. a rich and prominent man of Assisi. not out of a paper constitution but as the direct out- come and influence of a man's life. and he. He took them to a church and opened the Gospel and read the verse to ''Brethren. It was all summed up in doing what St. the gray tunic and It its was rule the real founding of the Order. some very shocking and imitations. Then a real but still simple Rule was set forth. desired only to do what Christ In his life we modern Christians find did. we know. and they jour: neyed to Rome to have it approved by the Pope. but sensible to us unnecessary we see also a very sane and man doing them. Go. then. decided to attach themselves to him and to follow his example. and Pietro. Soon Bernard of Quintavalle. and do as you have heard. Francis — Suso— Mother Julian It 117 thing and put on the commonest dress of the poorest Apennine peasant. a peasant.St. was the taking of the Franciscan habit." It was all Other men came to join as simple as that. these three. this is our life and them and said our Rule and that of all who may join us. So the order of Brothers Minor grew. the rough cord. And was that simple verse. and they certainly . Francis did.

and entirely poor. He could not himself be free and yet be rich.* Asceticism is belief in pain and want for own sakes. Some men can. his heart. hunger. as agreeable in themselves to God and as laying up grace in Heaven. povcontumely are means by which the man who would be free dominates the tyrant within. nakedness. Mirror of Perfection. railing at those who were better this thought. but for utterly to freedom of spirit him there was a and that was royal road to be poor.® Both his poverty and his asceticism are so spontaneous and joyous that they are forever taken out of the gloomy category of Monasticism. a knight errant. cold. Cheerfulness was blessed and sadness damned burden. turer. These things. upon — — He did not set himself to be the judge of the rich. . proletariat. Chap. Francis laying any their stress erty. VIII. Chap. XXVII and Chap. Nowhere do we find St.ii8 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism Open up some very heart-searching questions. he Being an advenmust carry no such He must have his hands. but he had tried He was no child of the it and had failed. off. * ' The Little Flowers. and above all. XCVI. his soul. free. And here his aim was joy as much as that of any epicurean.

Francis —Suso—Mother Julian iig by him. Eager and keen. and fed it sparely. longing to be like Christ with which he started has its symbolical fulfillment in the reception of the Stigmata in the solitude of the Mount and heard "And as he thus marveled it these words: was revealed by him that appeared to him that by divine Providence this vision had been shown in such form to the end that he might understand that not by the martyrdom of the of Alvernia. So we may thankfully omit that from our study of this man and be glad that he shows us how we may Thus we come to the end when the escape. for cise." as he called his body. ever unsatishe had made it willing and swift and But this step we call Purgation was him only an exhilarating knightly exerand natural- All this joyousness of nature ness and absolute freedom from anything that was morbid make Francis' life singularly free from that stage we have called Negation. To be sure. that Dark Night of the Soul which shrouds so many sometimes for many years. in his youthful zeal he rather overdid the mauling of his body.St. his vision He saw . fied until hardy. and he confessed this himself. he spurred and flogged this "Brother Ass.

he. p. his whole strength. passed away to the Lord Jesus Christ. where. » The Mirror of Perfection. 139-4O. p. The union was very nearly complete. CXXIV. Mary of the Angels.I20 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism body but by the enkindling of his mind must he needs be wholly transformed into the express image of Christ crucified in that glorious apparition. Chap. 192. The Life of St. Amen. in the year of our Lord 1227." trying to conceal almost reached. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. following him most perfectly. who. running after him most sweetly. having completed forty years of his age and twenty years of perfect penitence. with his whole mind. . Bonaventura: pp. 'St. His friends tell the story with simple pathos: "And having said this he was carried to St. lives and reigns forever and ever. and at the last reaching him most gloriously. 185." ® Then he came down from '^ the Mount from his nearest friends the "marks of the Lord Jesus. his most ardent desire and fullest affection. his whole soul. The Little Flowers. whom he loved with his whole heart. his goal The wracked body could bear no more and he failed rapidly. on the 4th of the Nones of October." ^ Turn we now to another sample of the same ' The Little Flowers. Francis.

Latinized into Suso. Benedict's Day. living Teutonic than St. "While there he made such great progress in learning that he was about to be promoted to the degree of Doctor of Theology. He became a Dominican monk. Heinrich Suso was born at Ueberlingen. saying: 'Thou knowest well enough already how to give voice to God and cient. but he was forbidden to accept this honor by a voice from God within him. entering the monastery at Constance when he was 13 years old. near Constance. his father's name being von Berg. another troubadour. Seuss. after many years of unceasing labors and sufferings he died at .' From that time forth he began to preach with great zeal and fervor and to devote himself to the conversion of sinners and the guidance of souls along the highest paths of mystical perfection.St. Then he was transferred to Cologne. his called himself — to draw other men to him by thy preaching. later Francis. He was From well born on both sides of his house. Francis —Suso — Mother Julian more than a century 121 Spirit. but of the heavier sort. on 1300. where he studied diligently at the University. St. the families being both noble and an- devotion to his mother he by her name. D. At length. A.

was buried in the cloister of ^ the Dominican convent in that city." He has left us two books from which we must draw all our knowledge of his life save the Paul. on the Feast of the Conversion of St.122 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism Ulm.^*^ Of this book Inge. he published the history of his life. the Blessed Henry Suso. to it Many good were also added by him after her death in her name. in 1365. the rest of it was given to him and he was going to treat it in like manner. in his Bampton Lectures "In his old age. however. and then surreptitiously circulated. and bare facts just recorded. just as she had written instructions it with her own hand. which is one of the most interesting • The Life of xxxi. He wrote his own or rather his experiences related to his friend Elizabeth Stagelin were set down by her "Later on. life. p. 173) says: his death in 1365. 5- . Translator's Preface. *• Suso : Life. he was stopped by a heavenly message from God forbidding it. when he found proved her for to out this ghostly theft. for the most part. he burnt up all of it that was there. p." When. Thus what follows remained unhurt. he re- it and forcing her to give up him all the writing. shortly before (p.

" A writer in the Edinburgh Reviezv (for OcChrist manifested in the inner tober." of a hundred short meditations on the Passion which he had vowed to make. Francis — Suso— Mother all Julian 123 and charming. 1896). He is the Servitor and Eternal Wisdom p. Suso's store of glowing and vivid lanthirst of guage never the soul for fails. says: spirit of this *'In is Suso's narrative the century pictured with a vivid- ness and reality Froissart himself. The hunger and God and the answering love of man have never found a more pure and beautiful expression. These form a short appendix to the book and are not very "He valuable. 21.St." The result he gives us is in dramatic form. . Suso's remarkable. does not surpass. Unlike most Mystics who declare on each occa- sion that "tongue cannot utter" their experiences. and between him and the Eternal Wisdom there " sprang up a tender intercourse. his contemporary. talks " The Little Book of Eternal IVisdom. but in writing them he says: gained many a bright inspiration of divine truth whereof these meditations were a cause.of literary ecstatic gift is autobiographies." He nal wrote himself "The Little Book of EterIts origin w^as a series Wisdom.

Eckhart. versation half is The contreats his sweet. Nevertheless. his soul was still dissipated within him. But they are softened and sweetened and made human by passing through his own heart and being expressed in his beautiful language. And though he had worn the religious habit for the five previous years. had always an unsatisfied feeling withwhenever he turned himself to the ob- . "The first beginning of the Servitor's per- to God took place when he was in his eighteenth year. The servant Master with reverence. that he in him. But we turn away from these. and it seemed to him that if God only preserved him from weightier sins. he was so kept by God the while. which might tarnish his good name. We must trace. The answers of the Eternal Wisdom show an intimate acquaintance with the writings of Dionysius and Thomas Aquinas and Suso's master.124 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism with him and answers his questions. in our study of both the Eternal Wisdom and the Life together the various steps in his Mystic experience which for us are more important than the theological discussions. yet with a quaint and humorous boldness. there was no fect conversion need to be over-careful about ordinary faults.

until the kind set God him free from it by turning him. wondering how it had come over him. p. and another that. Then did the Eternal Wisdom meet him in a spiritual and ineffable form. "A Servant was filled with disgust and dejection of heart on his first setting forth on the uneven ways. and one said this. and it wrought in him with speed a turning away from creatures. and have desired to take her for my spouse. 6. but as to how it was.' These words stand written in the Book of Wisdom. He felt at all times a gnawing reproach within. no one either guessed or came near to guessing it for it was a secret illumination and drawing sent by God. " Life of the Blessed Henry Suso. and lead him through bitter and sweet until she brought him to the right path of di. and have sought her out from my youth. and I became a lover of her beauty. Francis — Suso — Mother Julian 125 jects of his desires. and he was ill at ease amid his restless ways. and are spoken by the beautiful and all-loving Wisdom. and yet he could not help himself. His companions marvelled at the speedy change.St. it and it seemed to him that must be something quite different which could bring peace to his wild heart." *^ " 'Her have I loved. .

pp. I have pursued it ardently many a year. am I it. but I never could grasp it. layed so long? I How many !" a weary way have not wandered ''Eternal Wisdom — Had My I wouldst not have known sibly as done so thou goodness so sen^^ now thou knowest it. — . the game All the time that love is Bternal Wisdom with love. he thus spoke to God: Sweet and tender Lord! from the days of my childhood my mind has sought for something with burning thirst. why didst Thou not show Thyself to me long ago. after well reflecting on his wonderful progress. "Alas. my God.126 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism And. I am is it. without which I can never attain true rest. and this is the game The Servant of love? —But Lord. why hast Thou devine truth. or what is it? Bternal Wisdom Thou art and hast of thy- — — self nothing but imperfection. and yet it is something that attracts my heart and soul. but w^hat it is I have not as yet fully understood. love does not know how dear love "Suso: Eternal Wisdom. for I know not what it is. Lord. what of love. 25-27." or "The Servant Lord! art Thou this thing.

**He had always an unsatisfied feeling within him. then only does love feel how dear ! love was.St. the conversion. of I must . is And then the turning." "He in felt at all times a gnawing reproach with- kind is and yet he could not help himself until the God set him free by turning him. "Suso: Eternal IVtsdom. Lord! — Lord — this is a dreary game. is. The Servant Alas. the beginning of his Alystic Way. 62-63. pp. the awakening. The Servant Lord. Francis —Suso— Mother Julian from 127 but when love separates love. who are these persons? IVidsom— The very purest of all. and in eternity the most like to God. for constancy belongs to eternity." Here we see the longings of Suso's heart." It the usual Christian experience. which are they ? Eternal IVisdom They are the persons Eternal — — — who have fect denied themselves in the most per^* manner. inconstancy never cast aside in any one while time lasts? is Eternal Wisdom In very few persons. Quite early him. The Servant Lord. in his course visions were given tells In Chapter III of his Life he probably the first one of the many.

Heaven. .128 The Theory and it. The powers of his soul were filled full of the sweet taste of Heaven. He went on his way in body and no one saw or took note of anything in him outwardly: but his soul and mind were full even of heavenly marvels. p. not . and it seemed to him as if he were floating in the air. Thou who art my heart's good! Never can this hour pass from my heart." ^^ But along with these glimpses of God's presence within him comes the sight of himself and his sinfulness and unworthiness. Wishes were stilled in him and desires had departed. adding: know not what Heaven is Ah. mind was joyous and blooming. . Practice of Mysticism not describe lest I spoil the beauty of his own his description: "His heart was athirst and yet satisfied. lo. just as when a choice electuary has been poured out of a box. The heavenly glances came again and again in his innermost interior. The box This still keeps the good flavor of it. ''Was there ever a suitor subjected to as hard terms as " Life of the Blessed Henry Suso. heavenly taste remained with him for a long time afterwards and gave him a yearning and longing after God. . He said I afterwards: If this be . . .

in Thy eternal wisdom. 31. Lord. one thing I must say: couldst Thou not have found out some other way. but this whole nature rebels against these words. but he is or against to ^« it. There no wooer but he is a sufferer no lover a martyr. A mere recital of Out of this feeling terities of "Ibid.St. whether with their will . Lord. Remember all the mishaps and vexations which earthly lovers suffer. Therefore it is not unjust that he who aims so high in love should meet with some things repugnant to him. Francis — Suso—Mother Julian 129 these? A is thought from God answered: *By ancient right love and suffering go together. "Eternal IVisdom.' He was greatly strengthened persevere by good inspirations of this sort. and me from their bitter participation? How very wonderful do Thy judgments appear!" is is "The Servant —Woe a dreary pastime! My ^'^ grew all the terrible auswhich Suso is almost the crowning example among Mystics.. to save me and show Thy love for me. p. how shall I ever endure it all? Gentle Lord. some way which would have exempted Thee from Thy great sufferings. 13. . p." me.

the ones as St. creep and shrink from even the thought. And so we feel ourselves shocked reading of what Francis and Suso did to their poor bodies. who pamper themselves and are ministered unto. after the Servitor had led. Probably what their lords and ladies called luxury would be considered hardships by us. The saints of to-day are not the easy livers. the attempt to fit a soul to meet and see God was a worthy one. we feel should not only pity their mistake but also for them a great reverence as for men who. and yet austerity of some sort cannot be avoided even to-day. though mistaken.130 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism flesh his morbidities makes our tender modern St. Instead of wearing a pectoral cross of gold over a swelling clerical waistcoat." In Chapters XVII-XX may be found his own account. They may have mistaken the means. from his eighteenth to his fortieth year. which closes thus: "At length. in letters an inch high. Suso cut with a stylus into his bosom's flesh over his heart. at least dared to the utmost to gain an end we only feebly wish for. the name *7^su. At any rate. We the must not judge others by our Francis and Suso and the standards. a life of . own They used methods of their day.

Read the beautiful Hymn of Suffering in The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom. and they try to let go this and that without discretion. p. and a breaking through his uncrushed natural man. to die or leave off these exercises. is to be managed. Francis —Suso—Mother Julian man 131 exercises. they know not how. 64.St." ^® These sensible words also follow. they try to behold God as all in all. according to the outer as have been in part described above —such —and when his whole frame was now so worn and wasted that nothing remained for him except them and God showed him that all this austerity and all these practices were nothing more than a good beginning. that everything must be let go by him who would attain perfection but they do not understand how this letting-go of things . p. he left way. and to rid them^"Life of the Blessed Henry Suso. to go this and that. and endeavor. let according to their imperfect intelligence. the if he wished to reach perfection. . It is true indeed. with their undisciplined reason. and he saw that he must press on still further in quite another oft". showing growing sense of wherein self-discipline lies: ''The same thing happens with these persons when. 80.

" the higher. is harder school which Angelic Guide thus described by the thither: who conducted him "The youth answered: ply in an entire 'The highest school and the craft which is taught there consist simand perfect detachment from self. either by Himself. This fault arises either or unmortified from unlearned ^^ simplicity craftiness. still humbly using the third person. no matter how God treats him. the one object of his strivings shall ever be to continue always the same by a perpetual giving up of self. describing the new trials which befell him when he outgrew ^^ Life of the Blessed Henry Stiso. just in the way that the dear Christ acted towards his heavenly Father/ " ^^ There are few more distressing or dramatic stories than the Servitor proceeds to tell. or indirectly through creatures. spirit of self-renunciation. 206-207. . and to make God's honor and glory his sole directly aim. whether joyful or sad. or how he feels.. p. pp. how a man may attain to such an abiding that. ""Ibid. as far as human frailty will allow.132 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism selves of all thing's without attending to the necessary distinctions." Then he enters the ''other way. that is to say. 66.

after the time of his "It came sufferings was over. and saw that his body over his heart was clear as crystal. the loss of reputation. The beauty and pathos of the story told by him in Chapter XL ing. and that in the centre of his heart the Eternal was sitting tranquilly. of the regard of friends. into the deepest gloom. is without parallel. he says: to pass once. he still fell. flesh is cutting of the mere childish suffering compared to the false accusations of thievery and deception and adultery. The Angel princes of heaven to answered thus: 'Cast.St. Even with such bright visions as this one to cheer him. . beside whom there sat. and see how God plays his play of love with thy loving soul. In Chapter VI of his Life. that early one in morning he was surrounded spirits.' He looked immediately. a vision by the heavenly Whereupon he sought one of the bright show him the manner of God's secret dwelling in his soul. Francis — Suso— Mother The Julian 133 his lonely self-macerations. in lovely form. Surely in the state his perfect school- called Purgation Suso had nor was he spared the state called The Dark Night of the Soul. a joyous glance into thyself. he tells us. Wisdom. then. the ruin of his Christian influence as a preacher and a teacher.

the Servitor's soul. and pressed close to His Divine heart. with wailing heart and w^eeping eyes. ." three '' in love in the arms of the beloved And then in Chapter interior sufferings XXIII we read of his common to many . This trial clearness of faith.134 full The Theory and Practice of Mysticism of heavenly longing. during which he ceased not. He had such a continuous heaviness of spirit that it was as if a mountain lay upon his heart. was impious imagthe more he fought against them the more perplexed he became. when God deemed that the time was come. he set him entirely free from them and bestowed upon him great steadfastness and "The second interior sufwas an inordinate sadness. God and all the saints for help. lay thus entranced and drowned God. pp. 21-22. A partial cause of this was that his turning away from creatures to God had been carried out with such excessive speed and severity that his bodily frame had suffered greatly from it. . God suffered him to remain under these Christians: "One of these inations against the faith temptations about nine years. to cry to At last. which leaning lovingly towards God's side. ." fering Life of the Blessed Henry Suso. and encircled by God's arms.

" He is Con- and guide to many.: St. it did not mean any excess of visions. p. of his body. The holy man delivered him from it." "- After this plane of serene he comes out on the broad high communion which is called by some the Unitive State. and thus set him free from the hell in which he had so about ten years. With him. and made known to him his suffering. to apply himself also by manifold revelations. any ecstasy. Francis — Suso—Mother Julian 135 lasted for eight years. unlike so many. He was turned from the abuse cell. God urged him. from his lonely lence. he went to the holy Master Eckhart. It seems to have been rather a lessening of the miraculous occurrences of his earlier years. 79- . in attending to his interior "After he had spent many years life. He takes an in- Ibid. long dwelt.. fessor " to the salvation of his neighbor. and made to lead a useful and from sinormal life in the world." was nally the thought that he and that this The third suffering was damned eternaught could avail to put him terrible all among the saved suffering "After had lasted which time he never looked upon himself in any other light than as one damned.

the right and wrong use of Reason. The Book and of his Life.136 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism terest in the career of those he sees falling and becomes the savior of many. p. . as I have said. must He must habitually thing. Eternal Wisdom. of his time. but there a charm about is the statement show- ing the sweet spirit of the of language which man and a beautybeyond that of Eckhart with these words of in- and Tauler. 213." "^ *'How is it that thou so readily forgettest thyself when thou art so perfectly encompassed with the external Good? What is it thy soul seeks in exterior things herself so secretly the ** ** who Kingdom carries within of Heaven?" ^* Life of the Blessed Henry Suso. Let us leave the man his ringing in our ears: "He who terior wishes to dwell in his inmost rid himself of all multiplicity. both of his Little lin." reject all that "If a man is not the one cannot comprehend the matter let him be passive and the matter will comprehend him. become the statement of deep truths about the Nature of God. answering the questions put to him by his spiritual daughter. The theology is is. 63. p. Elizabeth Stageinto sin later chapters.

love. is tliis doctrine Keep thyself secluded from all mankind. and most pracfew words. because. must first of all be cleansed from sin. and use just so much and so many of them as may advance thee to it. "Eternal Wisdom. — The truest. such as poverty. bend them all to this as their end. 123. they all continue in other exercises. fasting. p. thus wilt thou attain to the loftiest pitch of perfection. notice. Francis —Suso— Mother Julian 137 "Spiritual hunger and actual devotion must impel thee to that wishes me more than custom. in a most useful. will more than amply convince thee of all the truth requisite for the attainment of the summit of perfection in a godly life. tical 132. and every other castigation. encircled with self-denial. The soul to feel me interiorly in the recesses of a secluded life and sweetly to enjoy me. And as to other exercises. p. To Hugh "Eternal Wisdom. disenthrall thyself from all that depends on chance or accident. Behold.1 . thou hast Me before thy eyes. wherein with a steady gaze from which thou : never swervest. keep thyself free from the influence of all external things. must be adorned with virtue. and go astray the long years. doctrine in all the Scriptures that. decked out with the red roses of ardent strewn over with the fair violets of humble submission and with the white lilies of ^^ perfect purity." Coming Life I to my third example of the Mystic find myself free of any biographical quote her earliest editor." [Eternal IFisdom.St. that not one person in a thousand comprehends. watching. and direct thy mind at all times on high in secret and divine contemplation. with their end in view.

" out of her longing for more love to God and her trouble over the sight of man's sin and sorrow. she asked of God these three things: First." in the However. few unknowns convey to us as knowledge of their character as this one. Mother Julian was an anchoress.138 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism Cressy (born 1605) in his address to the reader: "I was desirous all to have told thee somewhat I of our virgin compiler of these Revelations. second. the mind of the Passion. Julian in Norwich. thirty years of age. . the 13th day of She was then. a reclear a cluse. she tells us: "This Revelation was made to a simple Christian. living in deadlie flesh Lord 1373." of which four manuscripts have been preserved to us. Bethe year of our Maie. living in a cell attached to the little Norman church of St." ginning with this intense desire. is In the second chapter of her book. she says. unlettered. which called "Revelations of Divine Love. the mark of the true Mystic. "which creature [had] desired before three gifts by the grace of God. but after the search could not discover anything touching her make I could more than book it- what she occasionally sprinkles self.

be not displeased for I will not that I desired of him. and if it be not Thy will.6. Therefore I said 'Lord. For the third [gift] by the grace of God and teaching of Holie Church. That is to say. good Lord. to have of God's gift three wounds. . These twaine desires beforesaid passed from my mind. the wound of kind com- and the wound of wilful longing to Right as I asked the other twaine with a condition. p ." i. and the third dwelled continually. but her life was spared and in the time of recovery came the other gift. Francis — Suso— Mother Julian 139 sickness. the "mind. and if that it be Thy will that I might have it. She thought she was near her end." At the time appointed the sickness came." she tells us.St. and third. "of the Passion and the sickness some bodily was with a condition. "These two desires. the wound of verie contrition.' my youth. so asked I this third mightilie without any condition. thou knowest w^hat I would. ^'^ " Revelations. e. but as thou wilt. for one thought this : This sickness I desired in might have it when I were thirty years old.. the keen imagGod. was not the common use of prayer. that I I conceived a mightie desire to receive three in wounds passion. my life.

that you I woman : ^ Revelations. which. Fifteen of consecutively. She closes an early chapter with these words "And therefore I pray you all. in spite of self-repression and extreme modesty. Then calls through all the years to follow (she speaks once of fifteen and again of twenty years save three months) there er understanding of come to her the ever clearwhat the visions meant which had been vouchsafed. 193. and counsel you for your own profit. ." time as well as discriminating judgment and have no time to introduce you to the as revealed in her book. On the night another shewing. says (p."^ Of all these things. suggestive of great calmness and power of observation and certitude afterwards. shines through all she says. xix).140 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism ination of the passion of her Lord. p. given her in what she elations. "Julian gives a reflection at the careful account. lasting after 9 o'clock of one of the next day came This was "shewings" or revthem came quickly and from about 4 o'clock till morning. as Miss Warrack. Only a careful and repeated reading of it will give you the right understanding of her character. one of her editors. for God's sake.

Hold thee therein. Its It will is repay the most careful study. 24. love and endless goodness would shew it generally in com- shewed to. p. and fifteen years after and more I was answered in ghostly understanding. saying thus: 'What? Wouldst thou wit thy Lord's meaning in this thing? Wit it well: love was his meaning. theme At sums it up in these words: "And from the time that it was shewed I desired oftentimes to wit in what was our Lord's meaning. thou shalt wit more in the same. All her "even Christens" are objects of this 'Ibid. 2ia . But thou shalt never wit therein other without end. Who sheweth it thee? Love." "® It is to the teaching of her book that I would turn.. as Jesus Christ hath shewed it to you. the loving nature of God. Wherefore sheweth He it thee? For Love.. p. fort to us all : for it is God's will that ye take it with a great joy and liking.St.' Thus was I learned that Love was our Lord's meaning. Francis — Suso— Mother Julian it 141 leave the beholding of a wretch that was and mightily wisely and meekly behold in God that of his courtesie." -^ and obliterthe end she ating herself she leaves this teaching for all. " Ibid.

and she could converse with them through her barred window and could join in the prayers and sacraments offered in the little church through the "squint. She differs also in that her life was monastic in the highest degree. : : of the medieval Mystics.142 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism same love. 194) ''And for this knowing are we most blind. had probably two or three rooms. Immediately after no attempt She made any more." which is still in existence. and all should rest in it and return She says (p. Her illness seems to have satisfied her and given her all she felt she needed of bodily infirmity. which. She was immured in her narrow cell. and she had an attendant who cared for her. to induce tions reveal to her. Her knowledge of human nature. there wt fail. She lives the rest of her life in growing appreciation and understanding of what these sixteen Revelait came all the visions she ever had. In this she is very differ- from the type." In marked contrast to Suso and to so many it. Julian lays little stress on ascetic practices. of the ent . Many people must have been attracted to her. however. For some of us believe that God is all mighty and may do all and that He is all wisdom and can do all: but that He is all love and will do all.

and this is and should be our common working in this life as to my sight. And when we see aught of him gVaciously then are we stirred with the same grace to seek. the paradox of saw him and sought him. and I had him and wanted him. no one has so clearly stated the loving priority of God's seeking. Her grasp of the thought is only equalled by her power of expressing it." ^^ Her style. Francis — Suso—Mother Julian 143 thoughts and temptations and sins of men and is women. as this example shows. . And thus I saw him and sought him. is lar£^e. It seems to me that no one has more perfectly caught the strange sensation of having yet longing for God. She begins with the great longing: "For I saw him and sought him. with great desire. and I had him and wanted him". p. to see him more blessed fully. 27. the cause and therethe priority found in these phrases: *1 *" God and Revelations. and her treatment of them wonderfully keen and modern. for we be now so blind and so unwise that we can never seek God till what time that he of his goodness sheweth him to us. is most simple and her use of words constantly apt and illuminating.St.

the beginning of sin was not letted. . and sithen I make thee to beseek it.'p. for then. sin. ." She has a most unmedieval conception of sin. 98. *'Fbid. and thou seekest it. how should it then be that thou shouldst not have thy seeking?' " ^^ And she concludes from this that "for all things that our good Lord maketh *I my am brought our Lord sudmind and shewed these words and all this is my will that us to beseek himself he hath ordained ^"^ it to us from without beginning. First thou have it. that all should have been well. And thus in my folly before this time I often wondered why. And so I be- and methought if sin had not been we should all have been clean and like to our Lord as he made us. But Jesus answered by this word and said 'Sin is behovely but all shall be well.144 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism fore the satisfaction of ours. and held generally in us . . : '^Revelations. 99- p. thought me.. and sithen I make thee to will it. For elsewhere she says denly to said: it : *'And ground of thy beseeking. by the great foresaid wisdom of God. *'And after this our Lord brought to my mind the longing that I had to him before and I saw nothing letted me all but .

. and that her statements are startlingly modern and interesting for their truth to-day as well as for their historical value. 68. In which knowing we shall verily see the cause why he suffered sin to come. 127. ^ Ibid. of the Atonement.. 143. but at the is is end all she can say that she believes she is right. coming out as it does upon the high plane of surely that the Mystic philosophy "And "Ibid. then I saw full it is ready p. all shall Francis — Suso— Mother all Julian 145 shall be well. and the Church. and manner of thing be '^ well. only is me say that there plicity in a freshness and a naive sim- her treatment of the Incarnation." She cannot reconcile the hard doctrines of Holie Church with this sight of sin in the light of God's love. Many chapters are given up to the discussion. p.' " "And in these same words I saw an high marvelous privity hid in God. 70. p. I close wnth this passage.: St.." ^^ We may not study any further. "Cf. ^* In which sight we shall endlessly have joy. and note fine passage on p. but the answer let given "full mistely. which privity he shall openly make and shall be known to us in Heaven.

146 The Theory and and more to Practice of Mysticism to US easie to come to the knowing know our own soul. Macmillan. for he is ground in whom our soul standeth. in Mystical Religion. Jones: Spiritual Reformers in the i6th and i/th Centuries. Revelations. Ltd. of God than . if we will have knowing of our soul and communing and dalliance therewith it behooveth us to seek in it our Lord God in whom it is inclosed. and therefore. . . so that : shall never in for our soul sitteth in God very rest and our soul standeth in God in sure strength. which is the Maker to whom it is oned. God is nearer to us than our own soul. 191 1. and he depart is mean that keepeth the substance it and the sensuality together. G. 150. Macmillan. Plotinus' Select Works. . p. For our soul is so deeply grounded in God and so endlessly treasured that we may not come to the knowing thereof till we have first knowing of God. and our soul is kindly rooted in God in endless love. Translation by Taylor." ^® SUGGESTED READING Jones: Studies 1909. 1914. Bell *' & Sons.

Suso: Life. 1909. London. M. Translation by Winkworth. Longmans. Walter Hilton: The Scale of Perfection. Thomas Baker. London. 1914. Suso: Little Book of Eternal Wisdom. Green London. I\L Dent & Sons. 1897. Methuen & Co. M. 1913. Dent & 2 vols. 1897. of Life. 1916. & Co. 1907. Guyon. the Areopagite. & Co. the Love of God. Gardner St. J. Richard Rolle : . Eckhart: Translation by Field. London. Graham : Santa Teresa. Translation by Parker. 1894. Co. Upham Mme. Ruysbroek: Reflections from the Mirror of a Mystic.. Hodden & Stoughton. 1899. : The Fire of Love and the Mending Methuen & Co. 1908. MoLiNOs: The Spiritual Guide. Scribner's Sons. Sabatier: The Life of St. London. Methuen 1907. James Parker & Co. John of the Cross. 1905. VON Hugel: Dent St. 1907. 1905. J. The Angelus Co. 1906. Martensen : De Sales: Of Boehme. Westminster Art & Book Co. 1885. Catherine of Siena. Ruysbroek: The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage. etc. 1910. Ltd.St. Eveleigh Nash. Lewis: St. C. 1909. Francis —Suso— Mother Julian 147 The Works of Dionyshis. : J. Tauler and twenty-five of his sermons. Catherine of Genoa. Francis of Assist. & Co.

and. Law The Spirit of Prayer. . Revelations of Divine Triibner Co. The Spirit of Love. 1901. 1902. Fox: Journal. Practice of Mysticism : Mother Julian of Norwich Kegan Paul. Trench. London.148 The Theory and Love. . 2 vols.

We are living in the era of the Spirit. conceptions in which it has no place. the study of antiquarian curiosity. but rather will it much attain its full 149 significance in the . It which satisfies only an has not only been the in religious life. unconphenomena. So far Mysticism from be- longing only to the surmounted past. I believe to be a force with which we must reckon increasingly. nected with them. but it it most compelling force is so to-day. but forms the last connection between all So far from It being an obsolete view. much is rather obsolete are those. I quote DuPrel ''Mysticism does not stand be- — : side the other phenomena of Nature.V MODERN MYSTICISM Mysticism is not a mere matter of historical interest. though modern. and there is surely a recrudescence of Mysticism going on all about us a just and justifiable reaction after the century of hard intellectualism and the century of even harder materialism.

xxvi. : . but on the ascertainable facts of It is human experience. Mysticism having no history. 238. p. on authority. being sporadic and yet universal. you feel per- fectly at home with it. from sameness.150 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism future. where and how it is showing itself. is same old thing. p. any one who has studied it carefully and sympathetically can generally recognize it when it appears. Du Prel "Inge: Philosophy of Mysticism. or at least to wise for us to have gained that experiknow how others have gained it. and possibly to enter into the movement ourselves. And this not only for ourselves." ^ ence. As well the Kantian 'Critique of Rea- son' as the physiological theory of sense per- ception and Darwinism point ' to a view of the world into which Mysticism fitted." will be organically It would seem worth while. the * It suffers a per- Harnack's statement. "Here little. You say. then. When you see it here or there. but as ministers in a day when ''thousands are craving for a basis of belief which shall rest not on tradition. and to be able to explain the process. Studies of English Mystics. to see what Mysticism looks like to-day. on historical evidence. early or late." haps.

" found to in its es- all is the way made along. In it. nor be confused by finding it under many different forms. but how different and what different use they make of their Mysticism! So that when we come to study the Mysticism of the present day you have only to look clearly and Mystics. I begin with Philosophy. And yet I should like to say that Kant has done great service to the modern advance of philosophical Mysticism when he used the weapons of intellect against itself. it. It appears in all departments of thought and life. to start with Kant. you will not be surprised to find it. but so was Mother Julian of Norwich. of course. but this might lead to the suspicion that I regarded him as a Mystic. Men of very different characters have been Dante was a Mystic. are both typiWordsworth and Browning were both cal. immured in a cell. as everybody does. in the explana- and in the use of and it tions offered regarding is very various. and St. Mystics. Catherine of Siena. manifestations. That its the same.Modem "Mysticism be true sence it Mysticism is is. One ought here. Paracelsus. moulding the politics of Europe and making the Pope do what she told him. like . and. 151 is always the same.

these fancies again being due to in^ spirations from the Unconscious. Still farther was the way opened by von Hartmann in his "Philosophy of with its own tail. which Modern Philosophy. for another knowledge of Reality which Mysticism has not been slow to take advantage of." and in "The Way Towards the Blessed Life. stung. as he himself taught.fence among these is this: to give to the thing p." is full of mystical thought. the logical mind he opened the way. the Unconscious. deeply grounded in philosophy and Johannean in its theology." He may not have practised dis- what he preached. and therefore entirely unsympathetic Professor Bowen of the Harvard of my day said of him both of ''Hartmann attempts to prove that the germs all philosophy and all revealed religion are to be found in the heated fancies of the Mystics. unmystical." Fichte.: 152 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism the fabled scorpion. especially in his "Characteristics of the Present Day. 456. but he was helping tinctly toward a better grounding of Mysti- cism in the philosophical thought of the age. . The quaint. He says: "One of the most favorite and customary fanatics 'Bowen: is tricks of tongue.

and would be in vain to attempt here any complete enumeration of them. it in order thereby to decry and is it render tricks suspected." ^ The Way Towards go the Blessed Life. men. thou canst find Him wherever thou art. and and nicknames constantly enriched by fresh additions. and eflficient Life. 32. Behold the life of His devoted ones." * "In that which the Holy Man does. and the question that is unanswerable from the mere empty and imaginary conception of God 'What is God?' is here answered: 'He is that which he who is devoted to Him and inspired by Him does. immediate.e. i. p. but in his own.— Modern Mysticism hateful only to them. as He is in Himself? Seek Him not beyond the skies.. Ibid. and thou beholdest Him. the charge that this doctrine which we teach is Mysticism. lives and loves. God appears. p.. Only one of the most common of these odious nicknames I will here notice. resign thyself to Him. and thou wilt find Him within thine — own * • breast. . a to all 153 is name which hateful it. no longer surrounded by shadows nor hidden by a garment.' Wouldst thou behold God face to face. The is existing store of such inexhaustible.

soul breaketh for the longing it hath they my soul waiteth for the Lord. our own Professor Allen and Dr. be honor and glory forever. that in Jonathan in the ultra-Calvinistic fact. Allen in his turn has called attention to the be overlooked.' when there came to him for the first time a sort of inward. dif- . In his "Life of Jonathan Edwards. for the morning. likely to ticism obtained a foothold in this country Edwards Mysand thought of his day. invisible. A sense of the divine glory was.: 154 The Theory and is Practice of Mysticism There in that last passage the distinct echo of Eckhart and Suso. immortal. 'Now unto the King eternal." Professor Allen says (p. He pression in the intense language of the Psalm- 'My . Schleiermacher's influence is also to be reckoned with and is clearly traced through Maurice and Kingsley to . absorption as it were into finds ex- the inmost essence of the divine. sweet delight in God and divine things.' more than who watch "The seeking and the v^aiting were at last rewarded. 24) "We may trace in his experience the un- —union with ist: mistakable marks of the mystic in every age God. He was reading one day the words of Scripture. as it were. the only wise God. Amen.

of mystical states will shed ness. that personal religious experience has its root and centre in mystical states of consciousness. I Whether my treatment more light or dark- shuts do not know. I think. He says. as forever." If William James will not allow himself to be called a Mystic. sweet sense of Christ and the work of redemp- heaven. the vital chapter such states of consciousness ought to form from which the other chap- ters get their light. in him He tion. The Book of Canticles attracted a fit expression for his mood. who in these lectures are treating personal experience as the exclusive subject of our study. alone mountains or some solitary wilderness. swallowed up began to have an inward. conversing sweetly with Christ and wrapt and swallowed up in God. so for us. He thought how happy he should be if he might be wrapt up to God in it were.Modem Mysticism 155 fused through him. and I can speak of them only at sec- me . for my own constitution out from their enjoyment almost entirely. It him as seemed to him as in the if he were in a kind of vision. he is surely the cause of Mysticism in many others. and be. in his "Varieties of Religious Experience": "One may say truly.

but because I need it so that it "must" be true. But though forced I will I . No doubt there is a germ in me of something similar that makes admiring re''James's respect for the mystic cellent instance of his " James: Varieties of Religious Experience. 379- . for he was himself no mystic and always disclaimed having what he called the 'leaky' form of consciousness. show more than sympathy was an exopen mind and empirical point of view.' 'The whole line of testimony on this point (the existence of such an experience) is so strong that I am not able to pooh-pooh it away. and of the paramount im® portance of their function. but there much pathos thing more." He was too clear-sighted and honest to count is himself more than an onlooker. p.: 156 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism to look ond hand. receptive as I can be as objective and I shall and think succeed in convincing you of the reality of the states in question. in his evident longing to be somehis. These words of which are quoted by Professor Pratt. In answer to a certain question in my questionnaire on this point he replies as follows: 'I believe in God not because I have experienced His presence. upon the at least subject so externally.

its influence in the past and portance for the religion of the future: "It is im- the conception of men whose piety has been won after long conflict. It is most indefiAnd yet I nite. 1911. as the sense of an unknown something backing me up. . whose single-minded devotion to an abstraction has resulted from a vast experi' The Hibbert Journal. know that if it should cease there would be a great hush. and rather faint. 'very vague and impossible to describe or put into words. 232. whose thoughts have been dissected by a very keen inner scepticism. yet agrees with him in his high estimate of the value of its Mysticism. it Especially at times of moral crisis comes to me.' 157 This 'something' in him. October. which at least corresponded to the mystic's consciousness of God.' he said. a tune that is always singing in the back of my mind but which I can never identify or whistle or get rid of. or a Beyond. James's colleague Royce. It is. though from him in so many ways.' " "^ differing Moreover..Modern Mysticism sponse. In this it is somewhat like another experience that I have constantly. he once described to me in an- other fashion. p. to be sure. a great void in my life. Something like that is my feeling for God.

It has been the ferment of the faiths. while we may not claim them as Mystics. must be recognized and reckoned with as a most important factor in man's religious life. I conthe but they are valuable as coming from keen observers. the inaccessible refuge of the nobler heretics.158 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism ence of painful complications of life. Mysticism's power lies practice. the teacher. and all more valuable as being in its unprejudiced." These are fess. of the despairing. yet these men. of countless youth who know no metaphysics. through the devotional books. logical We come even closer to the heart of Mysti- cism when we study the philosophies of Eucken and Bergson. it has determined directly or indirectly. in our sense of the ' Royce : The World and the Individual. have come to realize that we must no longer. as in the past.. . Vol. but as a psychoform of religion which to-day. 85. .. the forerunner of spiritual liberty. even more than in the past. I. all statements of outsiders. more than half ® of the technical theology of the Church. from it scientific study. the comforter of those who are weary of finitude. regard as the vagary of a few unbalanced religionists. p. the inspirer through poetry. Here again.

: Modern Mysticism 159 word. here er is to radically alter the conception of man himself. his belief that true knowledge can come only from vital communion with the object This position is taken up especially by Bergson and given standing and popularity to-day. but to one familiar with the Mystic thought. which are characteristic man could never escape from and yet when shut into the monotony of his own sphere he is overwhelmed with a sense of emptiness. to distinguish within him the narrowis and the larger finite life life. Their works and teaching are well known. It will not be necessary to give any restatement of the thought of these two men. the Mystic's turning away from the logical rea- son. In Eucken I will only call your attention to these three passages. these two men are laying foundations in philosophy and psychology for a deeper and truer Mysticism to come. the life that strait- ened and can never transcend itself. and through which he enjoys communion with the immensity and truth of the the infinite . trend of both is clearly in that direction. They are popular teachers largely because they gratify this longing of the modern thinker for the spiritual. the sought. The only possible remedy "It seems as if himself.

level ? all Can a man spiritual On the possibility of his doing so rests to life. to realize the Whole through direct communion and thereby into the • The Meaning and Value of Life." Speaking of Mysticism Eucken says: *'But even when this loss is recognized. this mode of thought remains an indispensable element in all development of independent spirituality. " The Life of the Spirit. for it is the function of religion not only to infuse a sense of the Whole appeal to the work of life. p. p. If we give up the immediate presence of Infinite being in the soul. It not only persists throughout the Middle Ages but comes into prominence in modern times in new shapes and shows powerful even at the present day. our hope of supplying any meaning or value At least we recognize to-day the hopeit ^ lessness of trying to supply from any source external to the individual. 48. that it is still must inevitably and immeand spontaneity.: i6o The Theory and Practice of Mysticism rise to this universe. but foregoing all medium of work. 77- ." ^^ Again Eucken speaks of Mysticism. though not calling it by name. when he says *'But there is a further and more specific the life of the soul diately lose in depth manifestation of religion.

"It is interesting to note that the p. and can never transcend itself. Eucken.Modern Mysticism unsealing the sources of a deeper first life. He and the Gemiith. an mystics. and to an infinite life through which he enjoys communion with immensity and At bottom. he says. to distinguish in man two separate grades of being. i6i So arose a distinctive or characteristic re- ligion and with with it it that complete transcendence of the world which issues in pure inwardness of life. The 'redemptive remaking of personality' in conformity with the transcendent or spiritual life of the universe. the declares there it is a definite transcendental principle in man. also a quickening of the lute in human ^^ nature. 'the narrower and the larger life. spiritual like and heroic.' He invites us. .1 [Underbill: atui Mysticism. most recent teaching of Rudolph Eucken is in this respect a pure and practical mysticism. 64. thought. Further. the heart or core of personality there. 'God and man initially meet. The not a that calls of reality. act. Note also Hermann's words in Eucken Bergson." the stage of finite exist- Where Eucken misses the point by avoiding any discussion of this ''direct communion'* " The Meaning and Value of Life. though his conclusions have not been reached by the mystic's road. by which man may appropriate that infinite life. he says. vivifying at what else Absomust have remained ence. all the books of the the truth of the universe. far excel those of the philoso- pher in lucidity and exactness.'" p. as we have seen. life is for him the central necessity of is human life. . the life that is straitened and finite. 125. but their practical in- structions in the art of self-transcendence. mystics tell us no more and no less. 94. p.

and by omitting. on the contrary. but that only by sympathy can we become on intimate terms with them. He tells us that we cannot know the real things by keeping at a distance from them.i62 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism in- with God. it He is consistent in refusing to ^" let be judged "spatially" and as "static. apparently with tention. " Creative Evolution. any study of experimental religion. plunges us at once into the closest intimacy. p. That far we may study we him and claim him as more into the philosophy of directly a guide Mysticism than any modern thinker. holding himself quite aloof and leaving us with the empty and unanswered question. that Bergson's system. and so by living them know them. We must remember here. but as far as he has gone he seems to me to be opening a way for the use and development in religion of that mysterious part of us we glanced at in the third lecture. . while clear. that penumbra about our logical reason which he calls Intuition." What to its later developments it may lead him when he follows into the realm of religion cannot tell. before we go any further. is incomplete. "Can man rise to this spiritual level?" Bergson. xiv.

Mysticism has been dishis theories. to explain nor do I need to do more than call your attention to what. intuition produces the concepts. 53. deeper. more far-reaching. is the vital point in them. Bergson says that it is through intuition that the great advances in philosophy have been made.Modern Mysticism This is 163 not the place. the knowledge we can get of God by the intellect. have felt and said that they had another faculty. and the great works of art produced. p. credited by philosophers and by the street. for our purpose. Bergson is not ready to go as far as this. This is what the MysThey tics have been laughed at for saying. yet. not the concepts intuition. man in the by both because it was impatient of reason and claimed to use a power or faculty which worked while reason was in abeyance. perhaps. ''spatial thinking. as I said. The New . He contends that theology." is incomplete and unsatisfying. a faculty which really extended to God because it was the God-part of them. that it does not reach Reality. but he claims for intuition the same priority: "Concepts are the deposited sediment of intuition." ^^ it "Intuition. if " Le Roy : could be prolonged beyond a Philosophy of Henri Bergson.

teaching in these words "The implication is that so far as we do know what anything is. . 278." and incomplete. It is the cultivation of this "art" of intui- theme from the very Dr.: i64 The Theory and instants. p. what life is in us and in the universe. Such as it is. lo). while all else is dependent upon analysis. Practice of Mysticism few would not only make the philoso- pher agree with his own thought. what God is. we know it through insight and not by reasoning. but also all philosophers agree with each other. Dodson has summed up the beginning. it is in each sysworth more than the system and ^* This sentence from Bergson's explanation of his troduction to a mystical and in own system in the little "Inis New Philosophy" all distinctly harmony with we have been an abby an intuition. The philosophic view of the world would be tion which has been my " Dodson : Bergson and the Modern Spirit. Intuition is that art of intellectual sympathy by which one transports one's self into the interior of an object in order to become harmonious with what is peculiar to it alone and so studying: "It therefore follows that solute should be apprehended only inexpressible" (p. what we are. fugitive is tem what survives it.

Vaughan with his wonderful poem. '^ developed into intuition. with his "Flaming Heart" the Silu- inspired by Santa Teresa. and instinct. p. Poetry reflects the spirit of an age and is prophetic of that which is to come. so rich is this field. 130." There are fascinating and significant utterances. can answer. : " Dodson Bergson and the Modern Spiritual Reformers. questions which the intellect. "Jones: .^*' The poets are seers inseers." But it is time we turned from the philosoin phers to see Mysticism manifested other men and other ways. Spirit. would give a true and satisfying reply. One is tempted. 321. using scientific ods. to go farther back than would be in strictly honest a lecture called "Modern Mysticism. p. His intellect would look out and ask questions about the material world.Modern Mysticism 165 that of the man in whom both of these complementary powers of the mental Hfe were well developed. and fore- — seers. rist. worthy of more study than they have ever received. also look in The same intellect methwould and ask questions about the heart of life. both of self and of God. Crashaw. in our English poets of the seventeenth century.

and he reached God by the com- ." Wordsworth poet. But we must not study them. but he learned from Swedenborg and Boehme and Law. but to put them into pictures of strange cient of form and color. for too much presses from the last century. there are flashes which have never been excelled. His "An- Days" is as much a poem as his words "To see a world in a grain of sand in a wild flower. has not only tried to ex- press his visions in words. so we may count him as the first of our moderns. All calm as it was bright". is much more than a nature is He is a seer. And heaven Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And eternity in an hour. an acute psychologist. and although much of his art is too strange to be true. of all Mystics. Strange and wild were his mystic outbursts. and Donne and the newly discovered Thomas Traherne. and we must note that he alone. Far his pas- greater than his passion for Nature sion for God. William Blake was living until 1827.i66 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism "I saw Eternity the other night Like a great ring of pure and endless hght.

when our emotions —thus purified are excited to the point of passions. Caroline Spurgeon speaks thus truly of him: "He found that when his mind was freed from preoccupation with disturbing objects. and self-seeking. and train ourselves it is then. that our vision becomes sufficiently clear to enable us to gain actual experience of the 'central peace subsisting forever at the heart of endless agiWhat Wordsworth needed to fix tation. p. which he describes as a 'wise passive'happy stillness of the mind. a small celandine.— a Modern Mysticism 167 mon steps of the Mystic. These were to him what the crucihis gaze — sounding " spurgeon: Mysticism in English Literature. 'little enmities and low desires. It is a purifying process.' or a He will. petty cares. an emptying out of all that is worrying. we may at any moment come across something which will arouse our emotions. w^aterfall.' ness. . a mountain top. 61. stilling of the H and attune our minds to this condition. believed this condition could be deliberately induced by a kind of relaxation of the and by a busy intellect and striving desires.' that he could then reach a condition of equilibrium.' " '^ upon was some natural object. self-asserwe can habitually tive.

nor did ever yield Wilfully to mean cares or low pursuits. 1 68 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism fix was to St. from which I choose only one. when he says I. " But we must still be seeking?" And then in many passages. the Unitive state ^"The Poetical Works of i8o." It is Then come Concentration and Receptivity. Wm. His three It is states are clearly traced: First. pure Mysticism when he says "Nor less I deem that there are Powers Which of themselves our minds impress That we can feed this mind of ours In a wise passiveness. 'mid all this mighty sum Of things for ever speaking. Tamper with conscience from a private aim. "Think you. . Catherine. "Never did in quest of right or wrong. That nothing of itself will come. not conceit. Vol. he describes the consciousness of the Infinite. p. the trampling down telling of passion. Renunciation. Nor was in any public hope the dupe Of selfish passions . II. but truth- with a purpose.: : : . Wordsworth. Frarucis or the bread on the altar to St.

objects of all thought. but he is all the more a proof of my thesis. 169 I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts a sense sublime Of something far more deeply interfused. And the round ocean and the living air. I. Vol. Wordsworth. In In Mcmoriam we have the struggle between the intellect and the heart. 152-153. pp. that all all impels All thinking things. And the blue sky." : The Poetical Works of Wm.: Modern Mysticism "And . and the final victory lies with the latter: the Victorian age. . not the root of the matter — — "A warmth The within the soul would melt freezing reason's colder part."" I need not say much of Tennyson. Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns. And through things. and in the mind of man A motion and a rolls spirit. because he had not the mystical temperament. he is truly representative of and while perhaps he had in him certainly he did not at first he grew steadily into the Mystic thought. Because he was keenly alive to the intellectual movements of his time. like a And man in Stood up and answered *• wrath the heart I have felt.

p. for spirit is he hears And Closer with Spirit can meet he than breathing. clearness. thou. not utter mine and yet no shade of doubt. 48. And nearer than hands and feet. son! for more than once when I revolving in myself The word that is the symbol of myself. and it is all built on the Mystic bases of optimism. and the supremacy of intuition over There is a remarkable resemthe intellect. His work is one consistent whole from beginning to end." until at the last. typical whom I consider the and consistent Mystic of all our poets." I ^'^ turn to Browning. The mortal limit of the Self was loosed. most *" The Works of Tennyson. the supremacy of love over evil. and thro' loss of Self — The gain of such large life as match'd with ours Were Sun to spark unshadowable in words. my Sat all alone. he de- clares : "And more. — Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world. . And past into the Nameless. in the Ancient Sage. VIII. as a cloud I Melts into Heaven. the limbs Were But strange. Vol. touch'd my limbs.— lyo The Theory and it Practice of Mysticism And say: was to the scientists that he dared to "Speak to him.

I could illustrate every trait of her by quotations from Browning's poems. instead of from her Revelations. from her it Yorkshire wilderness. and to say more than places. the same calm optimism." the same trust in the power of intuition. There Mysticism the same sense of unity under diversity. the same insistence on the fact that "Love was his meaning. various expression. for I am a lover of Browning and you know what they are when they get started. I can give you only samples of how many of many minds have been touched by this ing and have given it men feel- strange character." as well as in ''Jo^^^i" nes Agricola." and "A Grammarian's Funeral." But to quote unless fully.: Modern Mysticism 171 blance between him and Mother Julian of Norwich. voices "Last Lines" thus in her . That Emily Bronte. injustice both to To leave Browning and to him now for the rest. From Paracelsus to Asolando you will find is these thoughts appearing in the most unusual "Old Pictures in Florence." "Rabbi Ben Ezra." **A Pillar in Sebzevah" and "A Death in the Desert. the same attitude towards temptation and sin. would be an Mysticism. I dare not begin to quote. in this unless the discussion be carried through.

— As I —undying Hfe— have power earth and in Thee. is As even He "To is within: our spirit The home He think of Is holds most dear. exist in Thee.: 172 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism breast. as which when giving expression to is more Protestant than "But God is Catholic never so far off to be near. Missing my joy. "Though man were gone. forlorn. . Life that in me has rest. and weary. "So all the while I thought myself Homeless. I walked the earth Myself God's sanctuary. left alone. And suns and And Thou wert universes ceased to be." " Faber's Hymns. Every existence would Keble's to all. As to remove His throne beyond Those skies of starry blue. p. as by our side Him almost as untrue." "Two Worlds are Ours" is familiar and Faber is never so sweet and simple his Mysticism. "O God within my Almighty. ^^ 196. ever-present Deity.

and what we would. where it goes. A man becomes aware of his life's flow. a lost pulse of feeling stirs again. we And The then he thinks he knows hills And the sea where his life rose. we know. When. and need only refer to his wonderful poem. as in these lines from "Only "The Buried Life": —but this is rare is When a beloved hand laid in ours. jaded with the rush and glare Of the interminable hours. who is less well known than he ought and who wrote some of the most beautiII. Vol. and he sees The meadows where it glides. and the heart lies plain. the sun. the breeze. to be. And hears its winding murmur." ^^ I Of course Whittier was a Mystic. pp. "The Meet- ing".— Modern Mysticism — 173 Matthew Arnold rather unexpectedly shows ihis side of his character to us occasionally. When Is our world-deafen'd ear A bolt by the tones of a loved voice caress'd is shot back somewhere in our breast. sinks inward. Our eyes can in another's eyes read clear. by Matthew Arnold. And what wc mean. 124-125. And The eye say. . but you might overlook his neighbor in Salem. " Poems.

Thrice stirred below my conscious self. God. p. in the street sometimes. always unforewarned. Touched to a sudden glory round the edge." is distinctly mystical. Tauler and Suso. with swift glimpse Of spacious circles luminous with mind. Our own Lowell touches his deepest note when he speaks of the themes which occupy Eckhart. Vol.174 ful The Theory and Practice of Mysticism sonnets in our language. To which the ethereal substance of his own Seems but gross cloud to make that visible. called I "The Presence. a mother's knee. Or on the hillside. is That beckons and gone. You may remember (and I think he has nothing more beautiful) these lines from *'The Cathedral": "No man can think nor in himself perceive. Sometimes at waking. I. that still pray at morning and at eve. which "Lowell's Poetical Works. —a larger life Upon his own impinging. is have ^^ felt That perfect disenthrallment. mean Jones Very. finer than himself. one of which. Who that hath strive to Would known these visitations fleet make them trite and ritual? past. Thrice in my perhaps have truly prayed." 52— The Cathedral. . IV. Loving those roots that feed us from the And At prizing more than Plato life things I learned that best academe. A grace of being.

and Evelyn Underhill. Yeats."). the thoughts of the old There is the whole Celtic school in MysEng- William Sharpe. E. The eagle plunge to find the air That we ask of the stars in motion If they have rumor of Thee there? "Not where the wheeling systems darken And our benumbed conceiving soars! The drift of pinions. Coventry Patmore. . so much the better: land and Ireland — "O O O world invisible. would we hearken. who is Fiona MacLeod. world intangible. : "The angels keep their ancient places Turn but a stone. and start a wing! 'Tis ye. world unknowable.— — Modern Mysticism 175 But time would fail me to tell of all the poets. 'tis your estranged faces. Inapprehensible. Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors. we touch Thee. this time from the author of "The Hound of Heaven". we view Thee. if you know it already. in great and small. where you will our modern language. That miss the many-splendored thing. William Canton. tics. find. we know Thee. we clutch Thee! "Does the fish soar to find the ocean. But I cannot leave the poets without one more quotation. George Russell ("A.

but Thames. If Mysticism is the use of the whole man. Vol. Not of Gennesareth. p.-^ The talking to the baby as it goes to sleep. including the sub-conscious fantastic. self. 2* And Christ walking on the water. 374. Practice of Mysticism "But (when so sad thou canst not sadder) Cry and upon thy so sore loss — Shall shine the traffic of Jacob's ladder Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross. my Soul. even if some of the results are unmystical. Cry. then in ways. Heaven by the hems. my daughter. the influence of the principles upon which Mysticism is based. strange and even shocking. Francis Thomp- son. : Within You. 226. in the night. is how many many silly and Mysticism rife to-day! of education and moral reform we have within a generation the wonderful development of the psychology of the child mind and the return to and dependence upon the In the field power of suggestion. ." Turning from individuals to certain movements of modern times we may trace. " Hart Preventive Treatment. the insistence on the value of ** all the surroundings of a child's is II. I think.176 The Theory and . "Yea. The Kingdom of God Poems. life. p. —clinging lo. some true and helpful.

calling psychical hygiene." Quimby is the source of all Mrs. Neither of them. about whom Horatio Dresser has written a book called "Health and the Inner Life. and still the classical book on the subject. a power which has always been used. One of the earliest. is now coming to be studied and used as never before. or what is called mind over matter. is being carried on. If you will read the works of Waldstein and Quackenbos and Mason you will see how this psychical education. At the same time was living in this country Phineas P. however. The literature is enormous.Modern Mysticism the sounds 177 tempers and ideals. the power of suggestion." about 1840. In the realm of the purely physical. — all are showing us how will large our little life is. knew that whatever of truth was in their system was founded on the principle of Mysticism. the use of the sub-con- . More and more you stress being laid on what Miinsterberg it distinguishes from psychical therapy. Quimby. is Feuchtersleben's "The This goes back to Dietetics of the Soul. the discovery in after years of some long forgotten fear or degradation. Eddy's teachings. as the poor man and sights. the comes find to be treated. both mental and moral.

and is a fine example of what the sub-conscious self can be led into when entirely unregulated by the reason. for otherwise their intense. It is not known whether that strange woman who said she discovered Chris- tian Science ever studied to reduce her founda- form of a syllogism.' " ^^ But *• this is waste of time. but it that debased It is form of which we call Magic. . the Christian Scientist uses it for the purely selfish pur- pose of relieving a headache or curing constipation or gently ousting a cancer by saying it isn't there.178 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism it scious self. Our bodies are composed of Matter. therefore. It is not Mysticism. Let us see how they look in a syllo- gism: " 'Matter has no existence. 157. monumental and aggressive absurdity would have become as apparent to her as it is to tion principles to the is others. Therefore our bodies have no existence and disease cannot exist in a non-existent body. "It presumed not. or rather as an avenue of approach for God to reach us. But whereas Mysticism uses as a means of reaching God. The Law of Psychic Phenomena. is My point is that Christian Science Hudson: a reversion to a type of p. a matter of credulity and incantation.

Modern Mysticism
Mysticism.

179

There are many other symptoms
all

of more sensible uses of the power which Mysticism holds over the body,

the

way from
and

those queer creatures
called "Volo,"
''Just

who

are publishing books
to be Well,"

and "The Will

How to Wake the Solar Plexus."
acquire large wealth or

Others

give us directions how, by concentration,

we

may

draw

to us just

we want or need. Magic, all of it. But more serious are the movements called New Thought, Mental Healing, all the way up Volumes might to the Emmanuel Movement. be written, as many have been written, all with accounts demonstrating the power of the subthe wife
jective self,
its

through suggestion, over the body,
tissue,

power of modifying function and
and actually healing many

increasing or decreasing the circulation of the
blood,
is

diseases.

It

a sign of the modern Mysticism.

And

then

as to the sphere of religion in
tianity, the evidences are all

about

modern ChrisEvery us.

one of these movements I have spoken of has a tendency to become distinctly religious, if not Christian. Beginning in revolt against the
church, they are steadily returning to Christ.
Christian Science has changed from a dose to

a dogma, from a cure

to

a church.

All over

i8o
this

The Theory and

Practice of Mysticism
little

country and in England

groups of
for

people are gathering together to seek

themselves through the Mystic

God Way, and

are

finding him, not only in sporadic outbreaks of

Buddhism and Bahaism,
pantheism
er,

in

bits of

Oriental
in high-

like

Mr. Bjerregaard's, but
well as

truer

ways men as

women

are meet-

ing in ever larger groups to utilize the powers

of this subliminal

self.

These groups bear
are nameless, but the

many names and some
purpose
is

to his cell

the same that drove the anchorite and the Quaker to his meeting, while the methods are identical with those of the oldThe er Mystics whose way we have traced.

books of devotion written of late are almost all distinctly mystical. Such books of enormous
popularity are Annie Payson Call's "Power Through Repose," and Ralph Waldo Trine's "In Tune with the Infinite." What could be more mystical than this from the heart of the "The great central fact in hulatter's book:

man

life, in

your

life

and

in

mine,

is

the com-

ing into a conscious vital realization of our oneness with this Infinite Life, and the opening of
ourselves fully to this divine inflow."

And

remember,

please, that this

is

not any closet
into the

doctrine, but that the

book has sold

Modern Mysticism

i8i

hundred thousands, and
million people to-day.

is

read by perhaps a
like
it

They

because

it

and homely and modern way, the mystic sense which we all have and which has been hungry for so long. The number of books on Intercessory Prayer and Meditation, the number of reprints of the works of
touches, in a plain

the older Mystics, are
terest in

all

signs of the

new

in-

Mysticism of which I am speaking. I suppose none of us realize how hungry people are to-day for this kind of teaching. T am
being

how very largely it is seems to me it is the duty of the Church to speak to these people, in the name of God, to 'suggest" God to the subliminal self, and so develop a new and a better, because a more clearly understood and more
sure

we do

not realize
It

satisfied.

*

scientifically controlled,

Christian Mysticism.
to

How

the

hope to

Church is attempting show in my next and last

do

this I

lecture.

The

Church is trying in various ways, both to voice and to satisfy this growing need. I have shown, I hope, how universal and how growing it is. It must Interest us to see how we are meeting it, and besides, the Church has much to learn from this movement if it would approach it sympathetically. It would gain as much as it

i82

The Theory and
It

Practice of Mysticism
real-

gave.
ity

would gain a deeper sense of the
real prayer,

of spiritual things, of a

communion with

God through
tics

intercessory prayer which these aberrant

and of the power of Mys-

are using magnificently.

We
selves

who

believe in a Spirit
tell,

and goings we cannot
they may.

whose comings ought to hold our-

open to his breathings, come they whence

SUGGESTED READING
VON Hartman: The Unconscious. Fichte: The Way Towards the Blessed Eucken and Bergson passim
Life.

William Blake Poems. William Wordsworth Poems. Robert Browning: Poems.
:

:

Trine

In Tune with the Infinite. Dresser: The Power of Silence. Brackett The Technique of Rest. Call: Power Through Repose.
:
:

Wood

:

Ideal Suggestion,

to hold itself open to its come they whence they may. failed if I have not made you see that the great Mystics were not psychic freaks but only extreme examples of that life hid with Christ in God which is open. The theory of Mysticism is before us. practice. in greater or less degree. then you must agree with what said in closing my last lecture. If I have not I failed. that does not mean But \\hat I most want to that nobody can. constantly recurring and revivifying I have force in the history of our religion. to but a every child of God. and should study it carefully with its a view to influences.VI PRACTICAL MYSTICISM I HAVE failed utterly if I have not made it clear that Mysticism is not a curious by-path which the student of history need not tread. 183 . that the Christian Church has much to learn from Mysticism. If I have not made tJiaf clear.

you will find practise it. I pass by the Emmanuel Movement and cause I the many Healing Missions. and ask you to see with me how some men are practising it and offerit. their purpose is narrower than my theme.: 184 The Theory and is Practice of Mysticism show that when you do it really understand last Mysticism. ing opportunities for others to practise and then to close with some more intimate suggestions. pert treatment. The world is restless and the revival of interest in Mysticism shows that it is trying to reach some center which is calm. dition in It is only a symptom of a con- which we all find ourselves. be- have already mentioned them and behowever much I am in sympathy with them. very hard not to this And so I call lecture Practical Mysticism. and they deal almost exclusively with the abnormal. The wreckage which crowds their clinics is thrown up from the troubled sea of our modern life and needs special and excause. Eucken voices this need very clearly when he says *' *It is not only at particular points that civilization does not correspond to the demands . I want to speak first of certain exhibitions of the Mystic spirit in the worship and work of the Church to-day.

that unlimited ambition and vanity are characteristic of individuals. that men struggle and boast and strive to outdo one another. but that civilization.Practical Mysticism 185 of spiritual whole. as a in conflict in many ways with those demands. is life. Any one who thinks it all over and reflects upon the difference between the enormous labor which has been expended and the accompanying gain to the essentials of life must either be driven to complete negation new ways and despair. When we take an inside view of life we find that a life of mere bustling routine preponderates. or feverishly exercising all their powers. Hence we do not find any meaning and value in life. that they are always running to and fro. and nothing spiritually elevating. and pressing forward. portant We feel. the wide interval between the varied and im- of work to be done at the circumference and the complete emptiness at the centre. But throughout it all we come upon nothing that gives any real value to life. but in the end a simple huge show in life is which culture reduced to a burlesque. or must seek life and liberating men from the sway of the petty huof guaranteeing a value to . with increasing distress.

the Spiril. which is so confused end so empty. 158-159. which release men from the cares and troubles of time. and that the Indian religions.' " man. If the rush and hurry in these days. then we turn to the blessings offered by the noble men and women who change teach us * how in : to be calm. to re-create. to : * Quoted Eucken Hermann Eucken and Bergson. 33-34. how this feeling of weariness spreads and produces a longing for more persistence. The Life of . are gaining also in the West. pp. pp. takes its toll in physical or nervous or mental exhaustion. ^ many adherents we have Is not this to be connected with the change in vital feeling which described?" This reaching out for more peace and repose in life is evident in many directions. more peace and repose the rush and yet in the in life. it can be easily understood all how men grow tired and weary of and bustle.186 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism But this will force men to resume the ^ quest for inner connections. which sweeps us along breathlessly either with or against our will. It is a remarkable feature of the presis ent day that the old mysticism regaining its power of attraction. And then again he says in another place: is "If this really the case.

and the over-emphasis on the abnormalities have made many feel that the cure must be as peculiar as the disease. and a side issue. and so the cHnics of the workers in the the New Thought Emmanuel Movement.Practical Mysticism 187 the current of our thoughts. to commune with him in prayer. And we are studying the larger issues and uses. very interesting to trace. to be quiet and know. To those who can stultify their intellect even Christian Science brings But its blessing of calm and cheerfulness. widespread as is this nervous exhaustion. They have given us no time to think of God. It is an unconscious plagiarism. and men and women are beginning to feel a loss a loss : . and countless variations of these are crowded. and these days of haste and unrest have had the same effect on the spiritual life as they have had upon the nervous system. For there is in us all the need of God. this mental strain. But the cure is based on the root principle of Mysticism and uses its very methods. Most men are healthy in body and mind. said. The life of the Spirit has been dwindling. and widespread as are its effects in the life of the individual. only a it is as I symptom. those which belong to all men and which we feel are needed by all men.

this longing is the basis of Mysticism. and heard . while various. In response to this. in various ways. in a time apparently so unfavorable. a movement. Here again the methods used. Cyril Hepher of Newcastle-on-Tyne. which is yet the outgrowth of and the re-action from this very period of devotion to material things. I call One of the leaders in this movement is the Rev. we find an intense and growing feeling for God. and for the your attention to them. the people know about. who want not only to As we have Here to- seen from the beginning of these studies. as widespread as the need. day. are just those of the old Mystics. last time. nor even by the ordinary method of Church-going. the religiously restless. many have begun.1 88 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism not to be supplied by any amount of strenuous social service. to guide this longing aright and to satisfy it. but to feel God. And so there has arisen alongside of the ef- weakened and the mentally unbalanced. to provide forts to provide help for the nervously help for the spiritually stunted. A few years ago I met him at the Dean of the Cathedral in house of the Boston. Once more. the seekers for reality in their rela- tion to God.

and another capacity in man's nature. a remarkable Cathedral from the text." Since then Mr. he must learn to bring the busy. a lect for the sake of the spirit. when he would set free the very highest power latent within the soul of man. his body half in the interest of his brain." from which I am permitted to quote "Man is ment when when he has forgotten the existence of . thinking brain intelto a halt he must learn how to still the . he has only hard his lesson when he stands there there is a space still to cover —where the intellect itself comes to silence. When a man has fastened his whole being upon his spiritual development.: Practical Mysticism 189 him tell Misof his experience in conducting sions of Help in New The next Sunday he preached sermon in the Zealand and in Canada. not brought to his highest attainhe has won mental concentration. intellectual. even as on lower plane he had to learn how to still his . begins to appear. Hepher had published his experiences and Fellowship his sermon in a volume called "The of Silence. "There was silence and I heard a voice. a capacity for a yet higher' form of consciousness than the comes to quiescence.

and what not. She the Mother of meditation but there are very few of her children who will take the time to practise it. there are few but would say that the claim of one half-hour a day of silent meditation in the Presence of God is an absurd claim even for the busiest man. to New — though that holy practice of meditation was a thing unknown within the Church of God. in which this The first is in Now. new world who are crying out who are absolutely weary of a religion which cannot give them the power of an immediate contact with the Unseen.igo The Theory and Practice of Mysticism physical organism for the sake of the intellectual. Thought. secret meditation. and who are turning practices. where about two years ago I first experienced . — — you who are finding tion in fellowship. — away their interest to strange Science. this other I way —of medita- wish I could take you with me to a little Church in New Zealand. and you are and right glad am I to practising it here: stand in this pulpit this morning and speak to is . there are thousands of people in the for meditation." "But there is yet another way. to Christian as to Theosophy." "There are two great forms consciousness can be practised.

no student from any school. a little ing on and the dusk was settling over the land. and when at last w-e rose and passed out into the evening light we had been nearer to God than ever I. —no — — grew a deeper sense the work of prayer. never lose a day without It will en- . yet there. a mighty One half-hour sped away. you it. we were still and our souls began to be united with a new and strange sense of human fellowship in that silence. became easy. there WTre no words of preparation: we entered. We had found the strange and mystic power of the fellowship sciousness there — sense of a Divine Presence. as we passed no minister in all the pulpit. and the — of silence. No one spoke. and in all one little word and one tiny prayer were the only sounds that broke the stillness. you are practising here. The there. Someone was unseen. priest at the altar. And that and will it is a sacred privilege. was emptiness save for the Great Presence. ever hard. we knelt.Practical Mysticism 191 little the meditation in fellowship: —a white Church. and out of that congroup. lying presses: in a circle of pines and cy- — the September afternoon was drawinto the silent Church. Once know^n. which soon we perceived. for one. had been before in all my life.

" Zealand expe- . as the world.— 192 The Theory and itself. . ''Men and women of Boston. There are plenty of people who are turning away from the Church why ? They tell us that they fail : — to find a sufficient depth of spiritual reality in our public worship. even to he silent words of the Psalmist. We believe that the res- toration of holy silence into our worship will be gain for the whole people. Practice of Mysticism large souls and and there it will draw to its circle will be found here. many other places in who are learning to exquisite many now in groups of men hear God's voice in that I do not know anything concerning conditions of Church life in America. certain: will not — there gain if is not a Of this I am man amongst us who in part. He speaks again of his New unto God. It may be that my words fall on some ears that are responsive. and I know this: that wherever I have been I have found that men are growing dissatisfied with our Church service. the he can follow. but I know something of them in and holy silence. that — when we assemble for holy worship we may with more vividness enter into the Presence and touch God. They are asking for some greater measure of spiritual depth. England and in New Zealand and in Canada.

:

Practical Mysticism

193

riences in an article in

The Commonwealth.

church were held meetings with a group of Friends (Quakers) and Theosophists.
In a
little

happened word; presently some rose from their knees and sat down. We were but a handful. There was no sound of vocal
prayer.

He thus describes what "We knelt without a

No

leader at faldstool, or altar, but

I cannot put into words what happened, but some aspects of the experience T must try to express. First there came

'Meeting' had begun.

very quietly the sense of a Presence.

The

work of prayer grew
not
resolutely

strangely easy.

We were
upon a

fixing

our
in

thoughts

friend in a far country;

we were

listening to

One
ing.

Who
The

was there
still

the church
to vibrate

—speak-

air

seemed

with this

Presence that could be felt. God was speaking to us, not in words, or voices, but in that speech which does not need to be uttered, yet if I may
saying that mattered so much, as that

was not what He was He was there and we with Him. That was enough. ''Then, again, one perception that grew as the minutes slipped by unnoticed was the sense of fellowship. We in that church were no It was unqueslonger isolated individuals.
say so bold a thing,
it

194

The Theory and

Practice of Mysticism

tionably a corporate act in which

we were

en-

gaged, or rather a corporate experience that

had come to us. "Afterwards I came to understand that this manner of prayer depends on fellowship of mind and creates what it depends on. The Quakers end their meeting by shaking hands
in silence.

The symbol
I

of fellowship cannot

be repressed.
at this

If their experiences are like ours

meeting

can perfectly understand the
enter their meeting too

significance they set on their simple sacrament

of friendship.

They
:

One idea is dominant in every mind that of waiting upon God, waiting for the moving of the Spirit.
in the spirit of unanimity.
.

.

.

"As
ence,

I try in
I

my mind

to

weigh the experior

which

have

told very inadequately, but

at least without conscious exaggeration,

over-statement,
to

what

shall I say of it?

It

was

me

a profoundly

new

experience, dififerent
realization of the

in kind

from other times of
it

Presence, in that

was, as

I think,

the psychic

approach to the

spiritual world.

Those who
spirit-

make excursions
ualists,

into the psychic in other in-

terests than the direct

approach to God,

for example, use methods

very like

Quaker methods.

They use

the association in

Practical Mysticism

195

motionless silence, and they assert that where
there
is lacking unanimity of mind they have no success; a single person who resists the

common

desire of the rest

is sufficient

to pre-

vent any advance.

The seance

is

a Quaker

meeting put to illegitimate uses; but they are alike in their use of the psychic atmosphere which is created in silence and fellowship. To

many

the

word psychic
reply
is,

is

a sufficient condem-

nation.

My

that the

God

Who

made

the spiritual
ture which

made

also the psychic,

and that
a matter
is

there can be no function or capacity of our nais

not for holy uses.

As

of fact the secret of the preacher's influence

often enough the psychic power with which he
is

endowed, which unconsciously he

is

putting

forth.

"I believe our Quiet Meeting to have been

the consecrated use of latent psychic forces

which
to

led directly

and deeply

to the spiritual,

God Himself.
''A third reflection suggests to me, that

use of silence in our
lift it to

own

public worship

more would

in the

a higher spiritual level. In one church North, the silence after the Consecra-

tion of the Blessed

Sacrament

at the

Solemn

196

The Theory and

Practice of Mysticism
is

Eucharist, though but a bare two minutes,

teaching a congregation a

new understanding

of adoration. Since it began to be observed, a marked growth in the acceptance of the Eucharist itself has been observed there. But
this is so

widely advised
that there

now
now

that the only

marvel

is,

is still left

a church in the
holds, that the

land where the superstition

one thing at
services
is

all

cost to be destroyed in choral

silence."

the meetings held by

is shown in Dean Rousmaniere in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, in Boston. The

Much

of the same sort of spirit

Class in Personal Religion emphasizes the

ele-

ment of
prayer.

silence,

and there

is

much

intercessory

He

calls

the silence "directed," for

is observed such a mowhich the worshippers are asked to hold steadily in their minds the thought in the prayer which has happened to be the most real expression of their needs or of their experience. Those who enter into the spirit of these meetings know their power to The work among the calm and comfort.

after each prayer there

ment or two

in

Friends at the Cathedral bring the Spirit, which
little

is

among them needs
into

another attempt to a

more formality of expression,

our

but even more intense. they do is done with the spirit. Ernest C. There is another work of the same sort. Mr. the presence of God seems to brood there. and we should welcome it." in . began the Mission some years ago and still conducts. especially as on his side he is evidently coming to see that we have something to offer him but we have room to receive him while he can hardly accommodate us. Hargrove. which makes some of our social work seem perfunctory and irreligious. and all the paraphernalia of an institutional church.Practical Mysticism 197 which sometimes loses The Quaker has a great contribution to make to us. as some of it is. They have but all a rescue mission for men. It is being done in the Church of the Comforter in Greenwich Village in New The whole atmosphere is saturated York. once a week. and even extends far beyond its borders. The spirit of it permeates the whole parish. and the smallest detail sacramental system. the spirit in the form. A layman. of the parish work is filled with the sense of it. a simple service of short prayers and long silences. with the Mystic spirit. . One of his courses was upon "Discipleship as a Present Day Possibility. giving later an interpretative address.

energizing co-operative silence before God. I hope that slowly. which sounds like the Mystic's Union. and last- Intimacy. Construction and the Prac- of Recollection and Detachment. at 'bright least. such as (following closely.' with much glare of light and crash of organ. you see. the principle will be generally recognized. Way) clearing the ground and purification of con- and heart. the minds of ship stubbornly rooted in many priests as the ideal of worit and corporate devotion. igS The Theory and Practice of Mysticism which he spoke of the inner life as a "life lived in the presence of God and in union with God" of the acts of the Inner Life and of the means of attaining the Inner Consciousness. My own experience has served to show me how even the average parishioner will respond to any effort to supply this need of quiet and ''Some priests silence in worship. But the principle of and hearty services.. long before And I fear will be we get altogether rid of the notion that from beginning to end of a serv- . and brief manly is heart to heart talks. the Mystic science tice ly. A recent writer has said: are finding out and teaching their people to value and apprehend the power of active.

introducing periods for silent prayer and humble listening into public wor- Should it be tried suddenly we know would be troubled and think that the minister had either fainted or was inattentive to his duty and wandering in that the congregation his mind." this idea in the ^ minds of So deeply rooted is priests and people to try the ex- alike that very few care or dare periment of ship. that they may realize the Divine Presence by calm- ing their inner selves and fitting them to •Lawrence Enderwych. is This because they have felt the need in their own hearts and had never realized that the public service in office Church could supply it. will respond at once and see the need and reasonableness of the change. at some early hour. clergy and congregation must be continuously employed in saying or singing something as loudly as possible.Practical Mysticism 199 ice. can be made more helpful by the introduction after the Prayer for the Church Militant and of Holy after the Consecration of the ancient Secretae. The quiet Communion. draw . But the congregation to whom the matter is explained. giving the people time for silence.

brings the sense of God's presence and the knowledge that we are working together with Him for the good of others. human and intercessory. Hymns may be heartily sung and beautiful anthems listened to. but these should lead up to a few words of direction and explanation by the leader. in many ways.20O The Theory and Practice of Mysticism nearer to that Unitive State which the Sacra- ment symbolizes. silence should be kept that all may concentrate their thoughts and desires on the subject prayed for. to an is intense personal co-operation in desiring one thing of the Lord. I am only afraid of pauses in a conversation when I am talking to a stranger and feel awkward . needs. seldom seen after the more formal services of the day. And in ordinary services. This sense of a personal partaking in the prayer. The atti- tude of the people inattention to changed from languid a familiar form of words. and then after each for a space. this worship of the silence can be made use of. and sends us out of His house with a look of joy and strength on our faces. To feel ill at ease in a service of silence is to argue a lack of acquaintance with God. chiefly personal national and petition. and then prayers should be made. or for larger.

here that I must become personal and need not enlarge upon Eucken's words with which I began. I have spoken of the ways some are trying to meet men's needs. With an silent. It is very free and simple. And feel very strongly that a great just now. were there time. and while crowds and co-operation and common worship are helps. which is what the soul wants. Some of I us feel that better things are impending. things will give who have tried these them up. the need is in the soul and must be filled there in utter loneliness. deplore the restlessness of the age. I know there are I some who would It is like to begin. many people are waiting to be shown the way into Mysticism as the remedy for what we deplore. There arc . The need of God is a personal thing. Mysticism brings the soul face to face with God. intimate friend can afford to be In these and in other ways of which tell I could you.Practical Mysticism in his 201 I presence. But there are other and even better ways than these. We all know and practical. 1 think you will see is how all the spirit of Mysticism expressing it- self in the religious life of the Church. Certainly none It seems to be grow- ing.

if I had only you in the theory. and many quotations. My motive you know from the beginning has been practical. We must remember that these mystical and states facts which we have studied are only authoritative for those who have them. I have tried in these lectures is open even to have presented a sequence of the various steps a sample of the general path to be taken by the man who wants God. with much reference to others. We have no right for him. perhaps even of the proselyter. to accept the testimony of these mystical states from any Mystic except as being true That does not make them true for us. this. They are not like mathematical axioms which can be handed from one mind to another and com- mand acceptance because the common human reason cannot deny them. I should be disappointed interested that of the missionary. I would not leave you with only to make it plain that the way I the average normal man.— 2oa The Theory and Practice of Mysticism no intermediaries. whoever he may be. but all I have said has been at second hand. So my last word must be to the individual. entirely uninfluential They must remain and powerless until we experience them ourselves. nor companionships. .

each supplement- Only the great inteland religious geniuses can in themselves combine the two men like Augustine and Eckhart and Phillips Brooks. If it does we know. but if my appeal be one-sided I myself have told you. . to try to use the same processes by which others have succeeded in attaining their desire.Practical Mysticism 203 What we must do. therefore. if we can. or that men were. to try to be the kind to set ourselves in the men they were. that the Church would not lose something. p. each learning from the other.* There are some who will never know. As the world of thoughtful men can be divided into only two classes. I cannot think it is prejudice which ing the other's defect. You will already have discovered my limitations and know on which side I must be classed. some who will never care to know. lectual — makes me * feel that this side is the more im- James : Varieties of Religious Experience. life intellectualists and the Church's so the fullness of the requires the same combination of differing qualities. the intuitionists. is way. the Aristotelians and the Platonists. each respecting the other. and then to see if the same reward will come to us. for I do not mean of to say that if all all men should be Mystics. 422.

Men and women want they want to feel to know God in their hearts Him there as an ever-present help in time of trouble. and to be true leaders we must go on ahead and be able to show that we know the way.. but with the spirit also. 204 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism portant to be emphasized in these days. He had been early trained to a sense of the importance of learning. behooves us to be leaders of men in this their search for God. They apply to religion and its teachers as well as to philosophy and its teachers. To be such as this we must fit ourselves. I am certain the duty rests upon us. not mere stationary finger posts. written a good many years ago. As I unIt derstand the time. but if we will take it and persevere I believe the end is sure. must be built up anew in every . He is speaking of one of the greatest of Mystics: "Eckhart must preach with the understanding — ay. yes. but they are hungry for God. We must be living guides. not to be able to prove Him there in time of controversy. At any rate. I have often wished to quote these words of Professor Royce. but once more these so precious fruits of contemplation must be communicated to others. men are not controversial. The way is not easy. not sceptical.

must always tend. such a technical student may long neglect the renewed examination of his own fundamental principles for the sake their to the development of most remote theoretical consequences. the portrayal of truth. in the man who thus translates.— Practical Mysticism 205 hearer's mind life. Such popular translation of philosophy. in case a man's philosophy means to him in any sense the mirror of life. as the actual outcome. as the very form and body of his religious For all this own personal and meant the one great guidance of object —the salvation of human souls. weaver of philosophical theories may or may not bear in mind the fact that had it not been for the vital perplexities of experience the problems of the immediate issues of life the schools would never have come into ex- — istence. for it is just the most fundamental principle of life that the unlearned inquirer . to a continual renewal and refreshment of his own most The technical fundamental thinking itself. the the perplexed. But the man who wants to make his philosophy of devoting himself immediately interesting to the serious-minded amongst the people must not dwell upon those remoter consequences so much as upon the principles. Accordingly.

266. People naturally begin in phicritical losophy with the most of its issues. 'alone with the divine. ' Perhaps Good and Royce : Studies of Evil. .' can come to be nevertheless in unity with all other spirits. and tremendous to translate such fundamental principles into the speech of your hearer's spiritual experience. daily you too must if But you are experience and must re-state to yourself this abstrusely spiritual truth that lies at the basis of your teries of life as of your hearer's. even in his isolation. in touch with all that lies beneath and above himself." ^ And then very lately he has added these impressive words: "Is such a direct touch with the divine possi- ble? The mystics it of all ages have maintained right? that is possible.2o6 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism desires to get. must become and remain a personal as well as a technical matter with you. well. then. Are they It To an- swer this question adequately the religious paradox. if you are to show him that the most abstruse truth walks daily beside him. would be to solve would be to show whether and how the individual. You must It continually re-initiate yourself into the mys- your own philosophical doctrine. and with all that constitutes the esthis is indeed pos- sence of reality. p.

as we sig- have seen. of devotion. an appeal of the divine spirit diBut. as rectly to the interior light. the way to a higher growth in insight . of hope. by itself. revelation. in moments of peace. on the other if hand. unless to feel the presence of it your has sometimes seemed to you as if the way to the homeland of the spirit were opened to your sight by a revelation as from the divine. know not how it happens. 207 Unless it is possible. all the rest of religious insight is to you a sealed book. And unless. all the mystics confess that.Practical Mysticism sible. Unless you have inwardly felt the need of salvation and have learned to hunger and thirst after spiritual unity and self-possession. but must accept their revelation as an insight without knowing in w^hat precise and if it sense "It it is insight. of illumina- tion. inadequate and in need of supplement. they alone. loses precisely its most intimate nificance. you have seemed Deliverer. of inw^ard vision. unless this privilege has been yours. viewing their experience merely as an individual experience. happens in their own cases. this is possible. follows that individual experience re- mains a source of religious insight as indispensable and as fundamental as it is.

pp. but it is sermon and not mine. go far beyond him development of his truth. we are all members one of another. How shall we practise it? There are no schools for teaching Mysticism. and can have no insight into the I way my of is salvation unless salvation for all thereby learn of the way there my brethren." preaching. of as a fact. as there are schools for teaching Mathematics and Theology. One hesitates to speak of it in and fears the immodesty of pretending But the misto know enough of it to teach it.2o8 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism to you. will be slow and uncertain But on content the other hand. I confess. said in my first lecture. sionary must bear his testimony and be prepared to see in the I many of his converts. public. For. if he is for- tunate enough to have any. It is a personal and very private matter. And men see it no unity of the leged to enter it spirit unless all are privi- it ^ whenever they and know Royce's and love This is it. no one who remains with his merely individual experience of the presence of the divine and of his deliverer. in trying to make clear • what we were going : to think about to- Royce Sources of Religious Insight. has won I the whole of any true insight. 31-34- .

' for therein consisteth the whole business. Of course men have this desire know that. whether. that with the Mystic this longing is much more intense than it is with the Aristotelian. in this life. some degree." The Scale of Perfection. in it. This is his supreme purpose.Practical Mysticism 209 is gether. p. and have said said. What are we aiming at? On what thoughts do our minds heart naturally rest? What is the supreme purpose toward which our efforts as well as tions definitely turn? There will be our aspiranothing but disappointment until these questions are an- swered. we do so desire this intimate communion with God. 151. 1 But I have also and contend. through Christ." Now Mysti- cism all is founded on this longing. Therefore the first thing for us to do to is "to seek the look into ground of our hearts." toward God. as a matter of fact. As Walter Hilton says: "^ ''Ransack thy conscience and look what thy will is. that "a Christian Mystic that kind of believes a Christian who longs for and who he can have an experience of intimate communion with God." ourselves and ask." this "blind stretching of the soul. with entire honesty and the keenest searching. . No one can be a Mystic who has not this ''single intent.

is God. most of you. the want is so diffused that we may feel the emptiness in some place where it is not." that the Mystic believed that by a course of training he could so develop his inmost self * Quoted in Horce Mystica. You seek something with God and do with him just as though you made him a candle with which to look for something and having found it you throw the candle away. it me beg you make thorough. But if you will persist in your search I think you will find.— 2IO If The Theory and you to will Practice of Mysticism let undertake this search. God is not means. then attention to the second part of I call your said my definition. I To carry out this ''will to know God. but a compelling impulse. Like physical hunger. the real satisfaction of your many fickle wishes. but end. that the real answer to your many questions. p. We do not all know what we really want. Too often Eck- words are true of us "Know that when you seek your own you never find God there till you seek God alone. Other wishes may appear superior and you may be too easily discouraged and too entirel}/ acquiescent. 40. ." ^ If you find this desire to be not a vague hart's : : wish. You may not reach your deepest desire at first.

But you will not be daunted if your heart is fixed. a good deal Spiritlater. But before I ask you to take up this way. and when once you "catch the idea" the reading becomes easy and the sympathy grows.Practical Mysticism call it 211 what you will that his whole nature would become open and susceptible to God increasingly. at least. I think you will find your path made easier if you read such a book as Profeswill be able to You sor ual Rufus M. — some Mys- meet him now on his own ground. and this way is open to all who want God enough to walk in it faithfully. for you will meet much at first with which you will not be sympathetic. This makes your first introduction to Mystic literature hard. Mysticism is an Art and has its way of self -development. much will be unintelligible to you. ''the ground of his heart. That is. out of my own experience. and much that you think you understand will be alien if not repulsive. You will be in sympathy. Let me warn you however that such reading must be persevered in. with his purpose. Jones's ''Social Law in the World. If you will allow me to suggest." You are both after the same thing. I want to suggest that you begin at this point to read the writings of tic. ." and then.

St. Santa Teresa and Molinos of Spain. Those whom I like best might sure." which will serve as an introduction to Eckhart and Tauler and Ruysbroek and Suso. Catherine of Siena. and find not appeal to you: sions." sane. Walter Hilton. and principally. Life and Love. and St. Suso and Ruysbroek. But in between. You will be guided.212 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism Evelyn Underhill's fascinating and authoritative v^ork called '^Mysticism. very little ascetic. you should read some real Mystic's real book. whom I have just quoted." w^hich quotes and elaborates and teaches and draws you toward the subject as no other book does. St. selected from the German Mystics. besides Eckhart and Tauin Germany. and that wonderful woman. Mother Julian of Norwich. There is a little book edited by Dr. — to read after these. I am what is best for you in the multitude of riches. and not in the least I dare not begin to tell you what visionary. called 'Xight. Inge. At any rate. Augustine's Confes- Francis of Assisi. Then there is the English Mystic. who will surely grow in your estimation and love if you will give her the chance. I conclude ler. ''Theologia Germanica" is good to begin with. . with his "Scale These are all (or Ladder) of Perfection.

even the lectures about" them. that. As first. This is where we must lay the emphasis for ourselves and for others. will seem to you I trite and tasteless. it he cares for purity of heart only that by he may see God. come back to the Mystic's course of train- ing. That desire comes then follows Conversion. man is converted he reHe repudiates his sin and avail by itself. disciplines his character.Practical Mysticism this advice 213 by asking you to read Mysticism much more than you read about Mysticism. psychological and Biblical and And when a pents and reforms. But even goodness does not To see God there are other veils than sin to be And so we come to the fourth and most important step (for the Mystic) Contemplation. — . After you have read the Mystics themselves. that they are only means. What are the means he uses? We have He insists studied them in the second lecture. I said. It We can- not get away from it is may not be fash- ionable. but divine. His purpose is so clear and intense that he can never worship his tools. the books about them. This is where practice is most imperative and most useful Many repent and have faith but few removed.

takes time. care to give much it time to these exercises. and how half hour a day to Contemplation. "Be . very few. worth at hard it is. so inter- minably loquacious themselves. I repeat. to find how long it does take you. to become perfectly quiet and abso- lutely silent. He is waiting for a decent pause in the conversation. because few understand the necessity of Prayer. You will be astonished. but I that God cannot communi- cate with them because they never give him a chance. they are so busy. with any least as regularity. and studied earthworms after month. Men complain of God's silences and think. It is Is God more God.214 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism reach the fruition of union with God. which take much time and more patience and trouble. of Recollection and Concentration. when you seriously try. easily a good ques- tion to ask ourselves whether. To know God. and few. to worship God. Darwin watched month come at? the tendrils of a vine for years to gain one scientific fact. even a God is much time as that. not only your lips but your soul must be silent. so noisy. to commune with God. of Quiet and Silence. in our search for we have given. the reason is call him inscrutable.

"The Mystic experience prayer or meditation. pipe right up to the fountain. and relate to Him your troubles. Nor need you speak loud. God's presence within him becomes the supreme reality of his life." . I ? 1 know I that I ought to say more. at the end of our comuntil mon search." and I heard a voice. not content. The severes third and last stage in goal. Those who can in this manner shut themselves up in the little heaven of their own hearts. that my last is word must be said. Him. just to point on- ward. *'He per- he accomplishes his purpose. ' not the fruit of conthe soul scious endeavor or self discipline or continued These may fit self '"You need not go to heaven to see God. He attains the union with God. ing. as if He were far away." ^ end abruptly I "There was Do more. or to regale yourwith God." It is here. No. to Nor need you cry for wings like a dove so as to fly and you will come upon God in yourself. but know that don't know any It would not be honest to keep on talkHere 1 must stop and be content.Practical Mysticism still 215 silence and know that I am God. And then entreat Him as your Father. my definition of Mysticism is still my I said. where He dwells Who made heaven and earth. but compelled. let them be sure that they walk in the most excellent way: they lay their Settle yourself in solitude.

hopefully. . yes.2i6 The Theory and Practice of Mysticism it for the gift. xiii. with ab- await that Shewing. Cobb : Mysticism and the Creed." solute assurance *' ^^ Humbly. p. but when I comes it comes from Another.

and to Magic. — The "Of the many recent books which mark the revival of interest in mysticism this is the most thorough and comprehensive. Transcript. purificahistorical — fonner. net $3." The Dial. As a contribution mended. . while the latter. and there is a very complete Bibliographj One Volume. Cloth." New York Evening Post." are chapters on the relations of Mysticism to Vitalism. and training of the . . In the "The Mystic Fact.50 Opinions of the Press "An unusually complete guide to the interior or hidden life. entitled tion. to Psychology. to religious psychology made from an empirical standpoint the book cannot be too highly com.Self in its ascent of the toilsome path which leads to the blessedness of the Unitive Life." deals with the awakening. MYSTICISM A STUDY IN THE NATURE AND DEVELOPMENT OF MAN'S SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS By EVELYN UNDERHILL This remarkable work is divided into two sections the and explanatory and the psychologic. E. "A remarkably detailed and documented study. "The AIystic Way. An Appendix contains an historical sketch of European Mysticism. P. . "The author is a scholar her work will take its Boston Evening place as an authority upon Mysticism. ." . .— — — . admirable alike for its restrained style and for its balanced treatment of a subject which has been so often associated with quite the opposite qualities. . to Theology. The style is fluent and the immense weight of learning is carried easily and without pedantry. 68 1 Fifth (3i." . 8vo. Independent. Avenue BUTTON AND COMPANY New York City . to Symbolism.

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