Saturday, November 01, 2014

"[W]hen these full-grown, fully vital mystics try to tell us about the life they have achieved, it is always an intensely active life that they describe. They say...that they 'go up and down the ladder of contemplation.' They stretch up towards the Point, the unique Reality to which all the intricate and many-coloured lines of life flow, and in which they are merged; and rush out towards those various lives in a passion of active love and service. This double activity, this swinging between rest and work--this alone, they say, is truly the life of man; because this alone represents on human levels something of that inexhaustibly rich yet simple life, 'ever active yet ever at rest,' which they find in God. ... Therefore contemplation, even at its highest, dearest, and most intimate, is not to be for you an end in itself. It shall only be truly yours when it impels you to action: when the double movement of the Transcendent Love, drawing inwards to unity and fruition, and rushing out again to creative acts, is realised in you. You are to be a living, ardent tool with which the Supreme Artist works: one of the instruments of His self-manifestation, the perpetual process by which His Reality is brought into concrete expression." 

-- Evelyn Underhill, Practical Mysticism


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