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by Evelyn Underhill


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Evelyn Underhill was an English writer and pacifist known for her many works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism. She was one of the most widely read writers on such matters in the first half of the twentieth century

Evelyn Underhill was an English writer and pacifist known for her many works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism. She was one of the most widely read writers on such matters in the first half of the twentieth century. No other book of its type - until the appearance in 1946 of Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy - met with success to match that of her best-known work, Mysticism, published in 1911. Evelyn Underhill was an English writer and pacifist known for her many works on religion and spiritual practice.

Practical Mysticism book. Practical Mysticism is a work by one of the foremost 20th century Christian mystics, Evelyn Underhill. Her book, Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness, is the authoritative text of modern mysticism. This shorter work, Practical Mysticism, is an abridged version of Underhill's theology, and a perfect starting point for immersion into Practical Mysticism is a work by one of the foremost 20th century Christian mystics, Evelyn Underhill.

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LibriVox recording of Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People by Evelyn Underhill. Read in English by Carla Arnell Underhill’s definition of mysticism, her exploration of the stages of spiritual progress along the mystical path, and her argument about the practical application of mysticism for ordinary people.

Underhill was a leading authority on modern mysticism. Underhill brings esoteric subjects onto a practical footing, showing that the profound gifts of mysticism are not only for the few but are within reach of us all. Underhill wants the reader to obtain mystical consciousness and to be able to see eternal beauty. Categories: Religion\Esoteric, Mystery.

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Practical Mysticism - Evelyn Underhill. Yet, the title deliberately chosen for this book-that of Practical Mysticism-means nothing if the attitude and the discipline which it recommends be adapted to fair weather alone: if the principles for which it stands break down when subjected to the pressure of events, and cannot be reconciled with the sterner duties of the national life.

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By. EVELYN UNDERHILL. AUTHOR OF. "Mysticism", "The Mystic Way", "Immanence: A Book of Verses". If the doors of perception were cleansed,everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. Yet, the title deliberately chosen for this book-that of "Practical" Mysticism-means nothing if the attitude and the discipline which it recommends be adapted to fair weather alone: if the principles for which it stands break down when subjected to the pressure of events, and cannot be reconciled with the sterner duties of the national life. To accept this position is to reduce mysticism to the status of a spiritual plaything.

The most lucid description of mysticism and contemplation yet written. One of the basic books of spiritual aspiration. As the author writes, "The spiritual life is part of every man's life, and until he has realized it he is not a complete human being." She then outlines the essential practices of mysticism.

Comments: (4)

Narim
Evelyn Underhill was a British Catholic writer of mystical topics from the turn of the twentieth century to her death in the 1940s. She was extremely popular for a time, becoming the most widely read modern mystic writing for popular audiences.

Her 1915 book, Practical Mysticism, is a case in point. Geared toward a general audience, Underhill set about to show that mystical contemplation is an active pursuit, not a monastic calling which takes men and women out of society.

Yet Underhill performs some very standard mystic moves. She sets forth a program of contemplation to enable a person to move beyond their ego, their common perceptions of reality, and toward a wider, grander vision.

She does not view the goal of mysticism as the merger of the person with God, but with something she calls Reality. It is the goal of both dropping the individual ego and its concerns, cleansing the perceptions of the human mind, and enabling a person to have a clearer, wider vision of the nature of the universe.

In this sense, she is very much a precursor to more New Age versions of mysticism. She combines Christian ideas of mystical thinking (especially the medieval The Cloud of Unknowing) with post-Kantian philosophy. This is far less dry than it sounds. Underhill provides a very compelling, rich and loving account of the mystical pursuit.
Hatе&love
About 100 years ago British scholar and spiritual writer Evelyn Underhill was fully immersed in engaging people in the life of the spirit in practical ways--giving retreats, providing individual spiritual guidance and public talks. This scholar of mysticism, whose survey of the topic, "Mysticism, A Study on Nature and Spiritual Consciousness," is a classic, intended this modest volume however for ordinary people, not scholars or those already versed in the subject. She intended it also to provide a solid basis for understanding what mysticism really is. Her most general definition was "Mysticism is the art of union with reality."

Arguing that mysticism is the most practical of approaches to life, she proceeds from this definition to explaining how those not having at least a partial view or life akin to artists or poets often miss much of reality, caught up as they are in a limited often unreflective interpretation of experience. Thus the real "facts" of their experience are continually constrained because they rarely immerse themselves enough in everyday experience to notice much of what's going on around them or inside themselves.

Far from being an escape from the dreadful times during which she wrote this study, when Britain was entering World War I, Underhill sees true mysticism as necessary for right thinking and right acting, especially in such times. In a way she anticipates by half a century a thesis of Roman Catholic theologian and Jesuit priest Karl Rahner, who held that with the disintegration of much of Christian culture in the West after the two Great Wars, only by being mystics could Christians really sustain Christianity.

From this premise Underhill proceeds to detail the process necessary for the ordinary person to attain this union on a regular basis. First she tries to convince those not particularly interested in doing so by a number of arguments and illustrations, many of details certainly drawn from her pre-World War I British culture, but which remain familiar enough in substance to apply even today. She explains the stages involved in this ever increasing ability of the ordinary person to become a `mystic,' progressing from meditation and recollection through self-knowledge, weaning the self away from attachments both material and spiritual and increasing receptive to transcending the self and accepting the union of the self with the Absolute, however one imagines or names this union.

In the process of Underhill's guided instruction (and she intends this to be a practical guide for someone actually trying what she describes) she translates many of the classic terms of spiritual writings on the subject into more common parlance, or picks out quotes that clearly do this. She for example quotes St. Teresa of Avila's directions for beginners in such a process of beginning prayer, namely that the process is gradual and that it is sufficient to "just look" at reality. Finally Underhill describes the condition of one who is thus continually engaged in this process of contemplation as one not isolated or freed from cares or sufferings or troubles, but freed to exercise 'creative responsibility' in the practical world.

I recommend this book for anyone seeking to honestly look at what is truly real in this world.
Runeterror
Taking things for granted is a veil that must be rent and Ms. Underhill's little book contributes to that liberation of mind which lets "divine sensation have its way" through "a directness of apprehension" which sees the Eternal in the midst of Time. According to Ms. Underhill, "mysticism is the art of union with Reality" and "a mystic is a person who has attained that union in a greater or less degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment." With this definition, she leads the "normal person" of common consciousness on to understanding the uncommon path of the mystic whose consciousness is more intense, more extended and, therefore, more open to the REAL since it embraces life AS IT IS in a sacred and liberated way. But such apprehension must come only through self-simplification, a purification of both the senses and the will. What begins in "active" self-discipline through the first and second stages of contemplation continues with the third stage of effortless "infusion" and passive suffering, called by St. John of the Cross "the dark night of the soul". This last stage is necessary to "complete the decentralization of one's character, test the purity of one's love, and perfect one's education in humility." The last fragments of narrow-minded selfhood are destroyed and the perfect peace of absolute surrender to Divine Reality, enveloped in a union of love, is manifest. "God's action takes the place of man's activity."
Ms. Underhill's book is saturated with an experiential understanding of the great mystics which are referenced and quoted throughout. Names such as Plotinus, St. Teresa, St. John of the Cross, Kabir, Bonaventura, Ruysbroeck (her favorite mystic), Richard of St. Victor, Julian of Norwich, (Pseudo-)Dionysius, Thomas a Kempis, and anonymous works such as The Cloud of Unknowing and The Theologia Germanica all find their place alongside poets such as Keats, Whitman, and Blake. Before tackling Ms. Underhill's much thicker masterpiece "Mysticism", this slender volume is a fine place to start. It was a memorable reading experience and will always be readily available for reference.
BlessСhild
Read this to understand one human's attempts to know the mind of the universe. Don't read this if you want some kind of instruction on how to develop your own connection to that Intelligence. A pretty book nonetheless.
Practical Mysticism download epub
Theology
Author: Evelyn Underhill
ISBN: 0898041430
Category: Christian Books & Bibles
Subcategory: Theology
Language: English
Publisher: Ariel Pr; Reprint edition (October 1988)
Pages: 192 pages