Mysticism

Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 3: Practical Spiritual Activity

Last time we looked at the difficulties mystics have expressing their experiences, and introduced the four characteristics of mysticism. In part three of our extracts from Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill, she goes into more detail about the first two characteristics. Extract: “(1) Mysticism is practical, not theoretical. “This statement, taken alone, is not, of course,… Continue reading Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 3: Practical Spiritual Activity

Mysticism

Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 2: Ineffable Reality and Symbolism

Last time we looked at the differences between mysticism and magic, as explained by Evelyn Underhill in Mysticism. In part two, we continue the extracts with a look at why mystics have such trouble expressing their experiences in words, and introduce the four characteristics of mysticism. Extract: “The greatest mystics, – Ruysbroeck, St. John of… Continue reading Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 2: Ineffable Reality and Symbolism

Book Reviews

Review: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This week I’m reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig. It’s a curious book: not really a novel, more an excuse to philosophise about anything and everything, and likely to provoke many arguments and lots of feverish thinking. The narrator of the tale sets out on a road trip with… Continue reading Review: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Book Reviews

Review: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

This week I’m reading The Tao of Pooh, a fun little book that explores Taoism through the wisdom of the Bear of Little Brain. Benjamin Hoff uses stories from the classics Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner to introduce the principles of Taoist philosophy, with original illustrations by E.H. Shephard plus loads… Continue reading Review: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

Film & TV

Assassin’s Creed: a film confused by its Gnostic roots

Part of my occasional series on mystical and gnostic themes in Film & TV. The film adaptation of the Ubisoft game Assassin’s Creed had some intriguing possibilities in its mythology so I checked it out. There’s a lot of hoo-ha around the problem of video games making bad movies and many people were optimistic about this… Continue reading Assassin’s Creed: a film confused by its Gnostic roots