On the Mystics and Psychological Growth
I found the most beautiful writings today from the 1920’s, Evelyn Underhill! I had to share!
The great man is rooted in history, plaited up in the life of his own time: absorbs from the human as well as from the spiritual. His feet are in Time, though his head is in Eternity…
If you’d like to read the whole book, The Essentials of Mysticism, here’s a link to a free PDF of it:
It struck me, as I was reading (listening to) this book, I heard the line:
His feet are in Time
though his head is in Eternity
And it immediately reminded me of one of Elliott (Smith)’s lyrics:
With a giant fantasy life
Running round on feet of clay
~ Elliott Smith
Evelyn writes of the importance of the Mystics — to the whole spiritual body (of the “church”) — and how they are like the artist, or the creative genius, who quiets their mind enough to enter into the heavenly realms and translates back to us, in some kind of words, or symbol or song — some conveyance of these beautiful truths of God — or the feeling they got from that place.
They are ever so necessary to wake us up from our slumber! A sleep we do not realize we are within — until they show up in our lives, like a breath of fresh air or a cool mountain spring in the midst of our desert!
If you don’t read all of this book, at least skip ahead to the chapter called “The Mystic as Creative Artist”, in this chapter she writes:
“Ultimately, we owe to the mystics all the symbols, ideas and images of which our spiritual world, as it is thought of by the bulk of men, is constructed. We take its topography from them, at second-hand; and often forget the sublime adventures immortalized in those phrases which we take so lightly on our lips — the Divine Dark, the Beatific Vision, the Eternal Beauty, Ecstasy, Union, Spiritual Marriage, and the rest. The mystics have actually created, from that language which we have evolved to describe and deal with the time-world, another artistic world; a self-consistent and spiritually expressive world of imaginative concepts, like the world of music or the world of colour and form.
They are always trying to give us the key to it, to induct us into its mysterious delights. It is by means of this world,
and the symbols which furnish it, that human consciousness is enabled to actualize its most elusive experiences; and hence it is wholly due to the unselfish labours of those mystics who
have struggled to body forth the realities by which they were possessed, that we are able, to some extent, to enter into the special experiences of the mystical saints; and that they are
able to snatch us up to a brief sharing of their vision, to make us live for a moment “Eternal Life in the midst of Time.””
It was all such beautiful, full, inspiring words… I had to stop by here and leave you a taste!
I was out of the country (Paris!) for a couple weeks and other things (in “life”) have come up — but I usually tweet regularly @DrCherylM and still post some on Facebook — but again, I love to offer more depth of understanding here!
A friend of mine posted on Facebook tonight, his distress of trying to love one dear to him in the midst of an addiction that that person may or may not be willing to part with… He expressed what he saw as the end results of addiction are:
3) or death …
I put these things here, and I continue to work as a psychologist, because I hold onto this idea, perhaps in faith or in knowing that we are all redeemable, and re-covery is for us all, if we choose it! Re-membering ourselves and re-covering our “nakedness” — not in the shame we so readily have known, but in Love, with forgiveness and reconciliation. In remembering a truth that was perhaps vastly crushed out of us in childhood– that we are Loved, dear to our Creator, worth Loving, worth cherishing, worth protecting– worth taking the high road for, worth forgiving and worth giving recovery to. Worth, not from anything we have accomplished and achieved– but because we were created by our Creator whose whole WAY is to Love, who IS Love– who formed us out of Love and calls us back to Love.
I just found this prayer (from the book of common prayer, 1928) — for my friend and for each of us:
O GOD, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly; Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of Wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
As I used to do, so long ago(!)
Here’s a song from a (*Christian) mystic to remind us:
Bob Marley – Could you be Loved
*Marley converted to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity more than 6 months before his death– it’s a beautiful, but lesser known story! I just found someone’s retelling of it here: ( http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/06/bob-marley-orthodox-christian/ )
Much love to you all! You are DEAR Souls, I invite you NOT to forget that Dear Ones! ❤️
Sincerely, Dr Cheryl