Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 5: Inner Transformation

Last time we looked at the third characteristic of mystical love. In part five, we continue the extracts from Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill, and explore the final characteristic: the need for selfless devotion to a profound inner transformation. Extract:

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Review: Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill

The week Zoe is reading Mysticism: A Study of the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness by Evelyn Underhill.

This is the classic text on mysticism. It explores the subject in depth, and although Underhill focuses mostly on mystical Christianity, she also looks at Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and others too.

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Alan Watts on the Values of Mysticism

There are many people who don’t take mysticism seriously and tend to view mystics with suspicion. In these extracts, Alan Watts talks about this in terms of the use of psychedelics, but the objections to the use of these drugs can also be applied to the experience of the mystic. This is mainly because these experiences are in direct opposition to the values of Western society, whether religious or secular.

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