January and Mysticism

To all the people who actually had the faith to look back at this blog after me ignoring it for a month, thanks, and happy new year! (Four weeks late)

Christmas and the new year have a way of throwing me off my normal rhythms and it takes me a bit to get back into the swing of things. But here I am, and it’s good to be thinking through my keyboard again.

Having gotten Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism for Christmas, I’ve actually had quite a bit to think about. Far from being a book full of misty speculation on the meaning of transcendence, this book is the kind that takes you by the shoulders and makes you sit down and think. Just in the first chapter, my whole understanding of reality was challenged when she pointed out that each person experiences sensory reality in a subjective way. And though I might argue that we can all touch and feel the books sitting round us, or the house in which we live, what are the elements that make up that reality? A bunch of atoms compressed together? (Or, according to the new superstring theory, which I find fascinating, a bunch of dancing strings?)

Not that physical reality isn’t incredibly important. But the point of it all was that beyond the daily reality that we know so well but that is, really quite subjective, beyond even our own limited understanding of spirituality, there is living spiritual reality of love and life that we barely even dream of. And it is where the things we most value in life come from; beauty, love and, her term, religion. So I was reading this in Starbucks the other day, (talk about contrasting concrete reality with the spiritual!), and afterwards turned to my Bible for a bit of study, and came upon 1 Corinthians 2, and was amazed indeed:

“but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory…”things which the eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him…”
The realization that there is a glory out there beyond my wildest imaginations is something that I often lose, but the shock of rediscovering it is always bracing to my soul. And as I sat there in Starbucks, sipping a cappuccino and contemplating the mysteries of God, I felt renewed in my desire to live life with a mind more set on the Eternal.
It’s just a beginning, and I will probably have much more mental food to chew on as I read this two-inch thick book. But it is making me think about life in a new way. Anyway, since this is all quite jumbled in my mind, you’ll be doing well if you can make sense of it. But it is what I am contemplating lately, which is rather amusing since January always catches me with many very commonplace, unspiritual things I must do. But it’s good to remember again the something beyond. And especially to endeavor to live there at least part of the time.
Before long, I may be a mystic myself.


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3 responses to “January and Mysticism

  1. Midsummer

    I’m intrested please tell me more of your thoughts as they come.

  2. blackbeltkat

    Sarah the mistic. . .has quite a ring to it don’t you think!? I can’t wait to see you very soon Sarah!!! Love you bunches!!!!

  3. Foolish Knight

    Hurrah! Count me amongst the faithful, it’s so good to read something from you again. The internet needs writer/thinkers like you, thank you and keep at it!

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