Mysticism

The Mystic Way 1: Phases of the Mystical Life

In this series we’ll explore ‘The Mystic Way’ as outlined by Evelyn Underhill in her classic text Mysticism: A Study of the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness. This is her attempt to describe the general process involved in practising mysticism and the contemplative life. There are many different types of personalities found among… Continue reading The Mystic Way 1: Phases of the Mystical Life

Mysticism

The Mystic Way 2: Awakening of the Self

Last time we looked at an overview of the phases of the mystical life using extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism. Here we continue the extracts with an exploration of the first phase on the path: the awakening of the transcendental consciousness: “This awakening…is a disturbance of the equilibrium of the self, which results in the… Continue reading The Mystic Way 2: Awakening of the Self

Mysticism

The Mystic Way 3: Purification of the Self

Last time we looked at how the mystic enters onto the path through the awakening of the Self using extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism. Here we continue to explore the mystical process in the second phase of the path: “Here then, stands the newly awakened self: aware, for the first time, of reality, responding to… Continue reading The Mystic Way 3: Purification of the Self

Mysticism

The Mystic Way 4: Purification of the Self – Detachment

Last time we introduced the second phase of the path and the need for purification of the Self. Here we continue the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism with a closer look at the process of purification through detachment and the stripping of any aspect of the self that stands between the mystic and realisation of… Continue reading The Mystic Way 4: Purification of the Self – Detachment

Mysticism

The Mystic Way 5: Purification of the Self – Mortification

Last time we looked at the process of purification through detachment. Here we continue the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism with a closer look at the process of purification through mortification and the adjustment of the character of the mystic to bring the self closer to God: “By mortification, I have said, is to be… Continue reading The Mystic Way 5: Purification of the Self – Mortification

Mysticism

The Mystic Way 6: Illumination of the Self

Last time we looked at how the Self is purified through mortification after awakening. Here we continue with the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism to introduce the third phase of the mystic path: “In illumination we come to that state of consciousness which is popularly supposed to be peculiar to the mystic: a form of… Continue reading The Mystic Way 6: Illumination of the Self

Mysticism

The Mystic Way 7: Illumination of the Absolute

Last time we introduced the third phase of the mystic path where the mind is illuminated by a new perspective of Reality. Here we continue the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism to explore the first type of illumination: consciousness of the Absolute, or a sense of the presence of God: “This consciousness, in its various… Continue reading The Mystic Way 7: Illumination of the Absolute

Mysticism

The Mystic Way 8: Illuminated Vision of the World

Last time we looked at the illumination of the Absolute on the mystic path. Here we continue the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism and explore the second type of illumination, that of the temporal world: “Closely connected with the sense of the “Presence of God,” or power of perceiving the Absolute, is the complementary mark… Continue reading The Mystic Way 8: Illuminated Vision of the World

Mysticism

The Mystic Way 9: Voices and Visions

Last time we looked at the illumination of the world on the mystic path. Here we continue the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism and explore the third type of illumination, which is often misunderstood – even by mystics themselves – but especially by others: “We now come to that eternal battle-ground, the detailed discussion of… Continue reading The Mystic Way 9: Voices and Visions

Dark Night of the Soul · Mysticism

The Mystic Way 10: The Dark Night of the Soul

Last time we looked at the experience of Voices and Visions. Here we continue the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism to explore the fourth phase of the Mystic Way, as outlined in part 1. This phase marks the final and complete purification of the Self, often called the Dark Night of the Soul: “The most… Continue reading The Mystic Way 10: The Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul · Mysticism

The Mystic Way 11: Forms of the Dark Night

Last time we introduced the fourth phase of the Mystic Way, that of the Dark Night of the Soul. Here we continue the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism to explore some of the forms which the dark night can take during this process of the purification of the self: “(A) To those temperaments in which… Continue reading The Mystic Way 11: Forms of the Dark Night

Dark Night of the Soul · Mysticism

The Mystic Way 12: Ego Death in the Dark Night

Last time we looked at some of the forms of the Dark Night of the Soul. Here we continue the extracts from Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism to explore the final and most challenging step of the dark night, that of the death of the self: “The various torments and desolations of the Dark Night constitute this… Continue reading The Mystic Way 12: Ego Death in the Dark Night