Monday, September 08, 2008

Mystic Monday

First I want to define the term mystic for those who are unfamiliar with the term. This is one of my favorite definitions (it comes from a book by Marsha Sinetar, and she quotes work done by Evelyn Underhill)

Mystics are in a state of being rather than , like most people, seeking to become. Mysticism is a transformative approach to life, rather than a theoretical "playing" with ideas. It involves spiritual activity, representing the individual's absorption and deepening relationship with God. The activity absolutely influences and dominates the mystic's path and is inseparable from it. Thus mystic and "path" are one. The mystic's dominant life-emotion becomes love. This subjective stance and worldview shows itself in a progressively strengthened dedication of will toward the things of God: the expression of spiritual intent in daily life: service to God through work, relationships and everyday choices; and sacrifices of the physical/mental body all experience and glorify the Divine. (Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics pp 73-75)

Now for our first quote from the mystics. This one is from one of my personal favorites: Meister Eckhart (1260-1372)

He was one of the Rhineland Mystics from Germany and the low Countries in the Middle Ages.

He speaks of a non-anthropomorphic God, formless and imageless a Deus nudus

This is his description of man's ultimate union with God:

"The union of God with the soul is so great that is is scarcely to be believed. And God is in himself so far above that no form of knowledge or desire can ever reach him...Desires is deep, immeasurably so. But nothing that the intellect can grasp and nothing that desire can desire is God. Where understanding and desire end, there is darkness and there God's radiance begins."

This is a God I recognize; This is why after a lifetime of scholarly pursuit Aquinas threw down his pen and was heard to say "It is all straw".

No matter how much we learn We will never fully know,, but we can be with this God in that radiance if we learn to let go and let God. (Ps 46:11)


1 comment:

Hector said...

angelmeg, I just left you a comment but I don't think it worked. This was fabulous! I loved it! Keep it comming. I pray every day that I may be in and be aware of the presence of God every hour of the day. I'm actually there a tiny fraction, but I try again. Mystics have mastered this. God bless!