Norah Jones - Come Away with Me (2002) Debut Album Full


seeing into the illusion...


This place and time that we call real..

matter everywhere, hiding the spirit that animates it..

rulers, filled with pride and grasping, seek command..

gaining the illusion, yet losing their souls..

We look in every direction and see death and destruction..

What level of Hell have we entered ?..


they say, that we have volunteered for this experience..

The 'Wise' say; " never volunteer for anything"..

The answer to this experience, keeps our minds active with curiousity..

A 'Voice' is heard that says; " This curiousity is My Nature"..

non-Duality is a word that is spoken in a whisper, lest you be called insane..

Reality 'tweets' you and says that you are just dreaming and will awaken soon..

Turn off the phone and enter the electron...


namaste, thomas











the three treasures...


"Human birth,

the desire for liberation,

and the
company of the wise are rare thing on this earth.

Those who are blest with all three are the most

favored of men.



Sri Shankaracharya
in Whitall N. Perry
_A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom_
Varanasi: Indica, 1998 (1971), p. 261

meditation...


"To think in meditation that,

if God is favorable,

He may appear at any moment
is quite right.

In fact,

we expect Him at every moment in meditation."



Shivapuri Baba
in Renu Lal Singh
_Right Life: Teaching of the Shivapuri Baba_
NorthShire, U.K.: Coombe Springs Press, 1984, p. 56

seeing with the eyes of Christ...


When the mind gives up it's exclusive focus on external sensory objects and thoughts and beliefs and turns it's attention toward the pure light of consciousness alone,

it will sink into the heart and forever remain there.

Henceforth one lives from the heart and sees only with the eyes of the heart and no more with the eyes of mortal mind.

One sees all with the eyes of the Christ.

One looks with compassion on this world and everything in it!

And by beholding the world thus, it is transformed into a paradise!

_______________________________
In both the teaching of Sri Ramana and Sri Nisargadatta there is found talk of the jnani (the knower of Reality) as being one who is "not perceiving" a body, others, or a world. Clearly this does not mean that the knower of reality cannot physically see all these seemingly material things all around them. Of course they can! That is to say, they can apart from certain deep states of "absorption" or samadhi that the knower is indeed quite prone to "sink into" on a fairly regular basis. It is true that in those states, the body, others and a world do disappear and are not perceived at all, much like they disappear and are not perceived at all in deep sleep.

However, normally, all these apparent "things" can certainly still be physically perceived by the jnani. The difference is in HOW the jnani and the ajnani (ie...non-knower of reality) perceives them. The jnani NEVER perceives any of it as separate entities that exist somehow distinct from or apart from God. What I mean here when I say, "God" is simply pure Consciousness/Spirit/"Atman"......God immanent, dwelling as the ground of being , at the very heart/core of all that exists. The "knower of reality" ALWAYS directly, experiencially (not just philosophically) perceives all that is, as being in God and God as being in all that is. The ajnani perceives these things as being separate entities. That is why a true "knower" can say that God is all, God alone IS, and really mean it! Nothing whatsoever can exist somehow apart from the beingness of God. How could it? Nothing ever is separate, never in reality, never ontologically, only in appearance. The knower of reality just as it really is, looks around and sees God everywhere she/he looks. That's why these "knowers" are almost always in such a "good mood"! Wouldn't you be?!


Francis Bennett

Meditation (playlist)

Worship...


To make God a reality is the real object of worship.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

The first and principle thing in the inner life is to establish a relationship
with God, making God the object with which we relate ourselves, such as the
Creator, Sustainer, Forgiver, Judge, Friend, Father, Mother, and Beloved. In
every relationship we must place God before us, and become conscious of that
relationship so that it will no more remain an imagination. ...

The work of the inner life is to make God a reality, so that He is no more an
imagination; that this relationship that man has with God may seem more real
than any other relationship in the world; and when this happens, then all
relationships, however near and dear, become less binding. But at the same time,
a person does not thus become cold; he becomes more loving. It is the godless
man who is cold, impressed by the selfishness and lovelessness of the world,
because he partakes of those conditions in which he lives. But the one who is in
love with God, the one who has established his relationship with God, his love
becomes living. ...

To him all things appeal, everything unfolds itself, and it is beauty to his
eyes, because God is all-pervading, in all names and all forms; therefore his
Beloved is never absent. How happy therefore is the one whose Beloved is never
absent, because the whole tragedy of life is the absence of the beloved; and to
one whose Beloved is always there, when he has closed his eyes the Beloved is
within, and when he has opened his eyes the Beloved is without.

His every sense
perceives the Beloved; his eyes see Him, his ears hear His voice. When a person
arrives at this realization he, so to speak, lives in the presence of God; then
to him the different forms and beliefs, faiths and communities do not count. To
him God is all-in-all; to him God is everywhere. If he goes to the Christian
church, or to the synagogue, to the Buddhist temple, to the Hindu shrine, or to
the mosque of the Muslim, there is God. In the wilderness, in the forest, in the
crowd, everywhere he sees God.

Of all the millions of believers in God perhaps only one makes God a reality,
and that is because the picture man makes of God is as limited as himself. The
knowledge of God is beyond man's reason. Man only perceives things he is capable
of perceiving. He cannot raise his imagination above what he is used to, and he
cannot reach beyond his imagination to where the being of God is. The secret of
God is hidden in the knowledge of unity. ...

True life cannot be ours until
unity is achieved. It is the work of religion to promote the spirit of unity, in
the knowledge and love of God to whom all devotion belongs. Man often seeks for
psychic, occult, and magnetic powers. This is not the purpose of religion; these
developments come of themselves. Where there is life and love, there is
magnetism; love itself is the healing power and the remedy for all pain.

All
occult powers belong to the divine life, but man should live a natural life and
realize the nature of God. The only studies which are worth accomplishing are
those which lead to the realization of God, and of unity first with God and then
with the self, and so with all. It is not necessary for us to be told that we
have progressed; we ourselves will know when our hearts go forward; and by
loving, forgiving, and serving, our whole life becomes one single vision of the
sublime beauty of God.

One might say, 'How can one love God, God whom one does not know, does not see?'
But the one who says this wants to take the second step instead of the first. He
must first make God a reality, and then God will make him the truth. This stage
is so beautiful. It makes the personality so tender and gentle. It gives such
patience to the worshipper of God; and together with this gentleness and
patience he becomes so powerful and strong that there is nothing that he will
not face courageously: illness, difficulties, loss of money, opposition -- there
is nothing that he is afraid of. With all his gentleness and tenderness,
inwardly he becomes strong. ...

If a friend comes to meet him, to the Sufi it is
God who is coming to meet him. If a beggar is asking for a penny, it is God whom
the Sufi recognizes in that form. If a wretched man is suffering misery, he sees
also in this the existence of God. Only, the difference is that in some he sees
God unconscious, in others he sees God conscious. All those who love him, who
hate him, who like or dislike him, who look upon him with admiration or
contempt, he looks at with the eyes of the worshipper of God, who sees his
Beloved in all aspects.


I am only You...


Self inside self, You are nothing but me.
Self inside self, I am only You.

What we are together
will never die.

The why and how of this?
What does it matter?

- Lalla
14th Century North Indian mystic

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `


From "Naked Song"
Versions by Coleman Barks
Maypop, 1992

no one...


The application of ethical teachings to the analytic study of experience is correct only for the Long Path.

Since the Short Path teaches that there is no finite ego,

there is no one to apply those teachings!

Consequently there is no one to learn lessons from suffering

and no one to commit the sins which create suffering.



— Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 5: Balancing the Paths > # 14
Paul Brunton

Brother Lawrence...


"By the practice of the Presence of God, by steadfast gaze on Him,

the soul
comes to a knowledge of God, full and deep, to an Unclouded Vision....

I know
that there are not many who reach this state;

it is a grace which God bestows
only on very few chosen souls, for this Unclouded Vision is a gift from His
all-bounteous hand.

Yet, for the consolation of such as would fain embrace this
holy practice,

let me say that God seldom denies this gift to those who
earnestly desire it; and if He do withhold this crowning mercy, be well assured
that,

by the practice of the Presence of God, with the aid of His all-sufficient
grace, the soul can attain to a state which approaches very nearly to the
Unclouded Vision."

Brother Lawrence
_The Practice of the Presence of God_
Chennai, India: Samata Books, pp. 38-39

Impersonal...


In your sleep your personality goes completely, and
you become impersonal.

There is, however, a seed
of personality potentially present even in sleep,

on
account of which you wake up the next morning.

For
all practical purposes your personality is wiped off,

and so it is that you are very happy in sleep,

indicating
thereby that impersonality is the source of happiness,

that personality is the source of sorrow.

The more you
are personal, the more you are grief-stricken.

The
more you become impersonal,

the more you become
happy.

- Swami Krishnananda

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `


Facets of Spirituality
Complied by S. Bhagyalakshmi
Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1986

A chat with God...


In one of my experiences within and as Divine Consciousness,

which is the First Reality of Light, Love, and Consciousness,

I had the opportunity to speak with the Personality that controlled this Reality..

Jesus called this Personality, 'Father',

I only knew 'IT' as a kind 'Voice' within the Light..

This 'Voice' spoke without sound because there were no ears to hear..

This was a series of vibrations within vibrations..

The times that I visited this place of Bliss, I would ask questions about existence and would receive answers..

The only question that this 'Voice' would not answer is when I asked;

Is this the Final Reality?..

no answer..

Is it possible that Divine Consciousness does not know of the Final Reality of Pure Intelligence?..

Is this why, It continues to exist separate from the Final Reality ?..

It is a answer that I must find out someday..

namaste, thomas




the eternal secret...


"One assumes the form of that which is in one's mind.

That is the eternal secret."


_Maitri Upansihad_
in George Feuerstein
_Teachings of Yoga_
Boston: Shambhala, 1997, p. 38

Spirit by Ralph Waldo Emerson...


Chapter VII SPIRIT

It is essential to a true theory of nature and of man, that it should contain somewhat progressive. Uses that are exhausted or that may be, and facts that end in the statement, cannot be all that is true of this brave lodging wherein man is harbored, and wherein all his faculties find appropriate and endless exercise. And all the uses of nature admit of being summed in one, which yields the activity of man an infinite scope. Through all its kingdoms, to the suburbs and outskirts of things, it is faithful to the cause whence it had its origin. It always speaks of Spirit. It suggests the absolute. It is a perpetual effect. It is a great shadow pointing always to the sun behind us.

The aspect of nature is devout. Like the figure of Jesus, she stands with bended head, and hands folded upon the breast. The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.

Of that ineffable essence which we call Spirit, he that thinks most, will say least. We can foresee God in the coarse, and, as it were, distant phenomena of matter; but when we try to define and describe himself, both language and thought desert us, and we are as helpless as fools and savages. That essence refuses to be recorded in propositions, but when man has worshipped him intellectually, the noblest ministry of nature is to stand as the apparition of God. It is the organ through which the universal spirit speaks to the individual, and strives to lead back the individual to it.

When we consider Spirit, we see that the views already presented do not include the whole circumference of man. We must add some related thoughts.

Three problems are put by nature to the mind; What is matter? Whence is it? and Whereto? The first of these questions only, the ideal theory answers. Idealism saith: matter is a phenomenon, not a substance. Idealism acquaints us with the total disparity between the evidence of our own being, and the evidence of the world's being. The one is perfect; the other, incapable of any assurance; the mind is a part of the nature of things; the world is a divine dream, from which we may presently awake to the glories and certainties of day. Idealism is a hypothesis to account for nature by other principles than those of carpentry and chemistry. Yet, if it only deny the existence of matter, it does not satisfy the demands of the spirit. It leaves God out of me. It leaves me in the splendid labyrinth of my perceptions, to wander without end. Then the heart resists it, because it balks the affections in denying substantive being to men and women. Nature is so pervaded with human life, that there is something of humanity in all, and in every particular. But this theory makes nature foreign to me, and does not account for that consanguinity which we acknowledge to it.

Let it stand, then, in the present state of our knowledge, merely as a useful introductory hypothesis, serving to apprize us of the eternal distinction between the soul and the world.

But when, following the invisible steps of thought, we come to inquire, Whence is matter? and Whereto? many truths arise to us out of the recesses of consciousness. We learn that the highest is present to the soul of man, that the dread universal essence, which is not wisdom, or love, or beauty, or power, but all in one, and each entirely, is that for which all things exist, and that by which they are; that spirit creates; that behind nature, throughout nature, spirit is present; one and not compound, it does not act upon us from without, that is, in space and time, but spiritually, or through ourselves: therefore, that spirit, that is, the Supreme Being, does not build up nature around us, but puts it forth through us, as the life of the tree puts forth new branches and leaves through the pores of the old. As a plant upon the earth, so a man rests upon the bosom of God; he is nourished by unfailing fountains, and draws, at his need, inexhaustible power. Who can set bounds to the possibilities of man? Once inhale the upper air, being admitted to behold the absolute natures of justice and truth, and we learn that man has access to the entire mind of the Creator, is himself the creator in the finite. This view, which admonishes me where the sources of wisdom and power lie, and points to virtue as to

"The golden key

Which opes the palace of eternity,"

carries upon its face the highest certificate of truth, because it animates me to create my own world through the purification of my soul.

The world proceeds from the same spirit as the body of man. It is a remoter and inferior incarnation of God, a projection of God in the unconscious. But it differs from the body in one important respect. It is not, like that, now subjected to the human will. Its serene order is inviolable by us. It is, therefore, to us, the present expositor of the divine mind. It is a fixed point whereby we may measure our departure. As we degenerate, the contrast between us and our house is more evident. We are as much strangers in nature, as we are aliens from God. We do not understand the notes of birds. The fox and the deer run away from us; the bear and tiger rend us. We do not know the uses of more than a few plants, as corn and the apple, the potato and the vine. Is not the landscape, every glimpse of which hath a grandeur, a face of him? Yet this may show us what discord is between man and nature, for you cannot freely admire a noble landscape, if laborers are digging in the field hard by. The poet finds something ridiculous in his delight, until he is out of the sight of men.

pain is for learning...


Suffering is the mental, emotional, and physical contraction around pain, the history, justification, blame, sentimentalizing, and dramatization of the pain.

In the willingness to simply and directly experience any kind of pain, just for an instant, you will discover that the essence of pain is intelligence, clarity, joy, peace - the same essence as bliss!

The truth of yourself is revealed even in the midst of pain, and pain is revealed to be another vehicle for truth.

In following the story of the pain, this vehicle is overlooked, and the potential gift of pain is wasted.

~ From: The Diamond In Your Pocket, by Gangaji. www.gangaji.org

Who is God? - Part 1 - Mooji


Pure Intelligence and Nothingness...


I have found through personal experience that Nothingness is experienced in
several levels..

The first level of Nothingness is the surrender of the false ego during
meditation.

you, as ego surrender this ego into the Universe and gladly accept the
Nothingness of non-existence..

As soon as this happens, You find your Real Self as Divine Consciousness without
ego but with a Personality of Light, Love, and Consciousness..

But, there is a Higher Power within this Divine Consciousness that will answer
all questions..

Jesus called this Higher Power, His Father..

But, this Father also has a Father..

The Highest Power is that which has no ego or Personality, as Complete Love
cannot contain any Desires ..

Personality, even if It is called God is not Perfect Love..

It is a Reflection of selflessness..

Therefore, the Source of Father and Son is Complete Love and is known as Pure
Intelligence..

This Pure Intelligence is the center of 'Nothingness', as there is nothing but
Pure Thought without any claimer of ownership..

namaste, thomas

Consciousness is Fundamental... Max Planck


"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from
consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk
about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness."
As quoted in The Observer (25 January 1931)

"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to
the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this
much:

There is no matter as such.

All matter originates and exists only by
virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds
this most minute solar system of the atom together.

We must assume behind this
force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix
of all matter."

Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy
(1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11
Planck, Nr. 1797)

"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in
the last analysis, we ourselves are
part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."
Where is Science Going? (1932)

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck

I am... ( consciousness)


Don't worry about the ego.

Just know, you are not the ego.

The most important thing is to discover that it is watched,

which means: You cannot be it.

Therefore, don't identify with it.

Then it starves from lack of attention and soon falls away.

Your victory is in recognizing that you are only the sense of
presence, which announces itself through the feeling:

I am.

Let the 'I Am' - presence stay by itself consciously until it
becomes effortless.

That is: When you feel or say 'I', it
automatically means the presence or being.

~ Mooji

Alan Watts...


Early Years
Alan Watts was born in London in January of 1915 at the start of the first World War. At a young age he became fascinated with the arts of the Far East, and by the time he was ten or eleven he began to read thriller stories by Sax Rohmer about about mysterious Oriental villains. This interest led him in turn to the works of Lafcadio Hern, Christmas Humphreys, and DT Suzuki, and by fourteen was writing on Eastern themes, and was published in the Journal of the London Buddhist Lodge before producing his first booklet on Zen in 1932.

He moved to New York in 1938 and then to Chicago where he served as an Episcopal priest for six years before leaving the Church. In 1950 he moved to upstate New York, and in late 1950 visited with Joseph Campbell and, composer John Cage, and Luisa Commaraswamy at his Millbrook farmhouse. Then in 1951 at the invitation of Frederic Spiegelberg he moved to San Francisco to teach at the Academy of Asian Studies.

Worldview
Alan Watts was profoundly influenced by the East Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Buddhism, and by Taoist thought, which is reflected in Zen poetry and the arts of China and Japan. After leaving the Church he never became a member of another organized religion, although he wrote and spoke extensively about Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoisim. Some American Buddhists criticized him for not sitting regularly in zazen, even though he recorded several guided meditations teaching a variety of mediation techniques. Alan Watts responded simply by saying: “A cat sits until it is done sitting, and then gets up, stretches, and walks away.”

1950′s and early ’60′s
After teaching at the Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco he became Dean, and began to give regular radio talks on KPFA, the Berkeley free radio station. In 1957 he published his bestselling Way of Zen, and in 1958 returned to Europe where he met with CG Jung.

He was an early subject in pioneering psychedelic trials, and after recording two seasons of the public television series “Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life” traveled to Japan several times in the early sixties. By the late sixties he had become a counter culture celebrity, and traveled widely to speak at universities and growth centers across the US and Europe.

Later Years
By the early seventies Alan Watts had become a foremost interpreter of Eastern thought for the West, and was widely published in periodicals including Earth, Elle, Playboy, and Redbook. He appeared on CBS television’s Camera Three in 1969, and in 1971 he recorded a pilot for a new show titled “A Conversation with Myself” for NET, the precursor to PBS.

When the series was not produced he recorded the shows in 1972 with his son Mark and his long-time audio archivist Henry Jacobs. Overall Alan Watts developed an extensive audio library of nearly 400 talks and wrote more than 25 books during his lifetime, including his final volume, Tao; the Watercourse Way. Alan died in his sleep in November of 1973 after returning from an intensive international lecture tour. A film on his life and works is currently in production.


from alanwatts.com

Jackson Browne - BBC 1978 - Doctor My Eyes & These Days


zen meditation...


zazen is the forgetting of the ego..

This is why it is a representation of enlightenment, because enlightenment is
the state of non-ego..

The effort of Zazen is to lose yourself, so that You find Your Self..

The first platform of Nothingness is the Personality of God Consciousness..

From this platform, Nothingness is raised to that of non-personality and
non-ego..

Pure Intelligence..

namaste, thomas

the Wheel...


Once mortals see their nature, all attachments end.

Awareness isn't hidden.

But you can only find it right now.

It's only now.

If you really want to find the Way, don't hold on to anything.

Once you put an end to karma and nurture your awareness, any attachments that remain will come to an end.

Understanding comes naturally.

You don't have to make an effort.

But fanatics don't understand what the Buddha meant.

And the harder they try, the farther they get from the Sage's meaning.

All day long they invoke buddhas and read sutras.

But they remain blind to their own divine nature, and they don't escape the Wheel.


- Bodhidharma
(from The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, translated by Red Pine)

within...


"I was wandering like a lost sheep,

searching outside myself for that which was
within.

I ran through all the streets and squares of this great city, the world,
searching for Thee, God,

and I found Thee not;

because I sought Thee wrongly.

Thou wert within me and I sought Thee without."


St. Augustine
_Soliloquies_, 387
in Ralph L.Woods, Ed.
_The Treasury of Religious Quotations_
NY: Garland, 1966, p. 595

connection...


The aim of the mystic is to keep near to the idea of unity, and to find out
where we unite.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

When people say that they distinguish between right and wrong by their results,
even then they cannot be sure if in the punishment there was not a reward, or in
the reward a punishment. What does this show us? It shows us that life is a
puzzle of duality. The pairs of opposites keep us in an illusion and make us
think, 'This is this, and that is that'. At the same time by throwing a greater
light upon things we shall find in the end that they are quite different from
what we had thought.

Seeing the nature and character of life the Sufi says that it is not very
important to distinguish between two opposites. What is most important is to
recognize that One which is hiding behind it all. Naturally after realizing life
the Sufi climbs the ladder which leads him to unity, to the idea of unity which
comes through the synthesis of life, by seeing One in all things, in all beings.

Whatever a man desires, that desire informs us of the state of mind he is in,
and those who understand the mind well, know the mind of another simply by
studying the desires and tendencies of his life. Love of a rose, a lily, a
jasmine, of sweet, sour, salt, or savory things, expresses the particular
tendency of a person's mind, the mood he is in. Modern education omits the study
of the truth which teaches us that unity comes from nature's variety, whereas
the sole aim of the mystic is to keep near to the idea of unity and to find out
where we unite.

There is an Arabic saying, 'If you wish to know God, you must know yourself.'
How little man knows while he is in the intoxication of individualism! He
thinks, 'I am a separate being; you are another; there is no connection between
you and me, and we all have our own joys and free will.' Did man but know it,
his life is dependent not only on the objects and things that keep the body
alive, but also on the activity of a thousand minds in a day. ... Who then can
say, 'I am an individual, independent and free, I can think as I wish, and I can
do what I wish? ... We are connected with one another. Our lives are tied
together, and there is a link in which we can see one current running through
all. There are many globes and lamps, and yet one current is running through
all. The mystic seeks to realize this constantly and to impress it on his mind
in whatever he may see. What, for him, are the waves of the sea? Are they not
the sea itself?





remove attachment...


You are the space which never moves

and never travels.

Inner and outer space
is due only to name and form.

Remove this
form from mind by removing attachment

to any object, thought, or action.


- Papaji

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

"The Truth Is"
Sri H.W.L. Poonja
Yudhishtara, 1995

training the ego...


When God has Realized that there is only God, why would God have to do anymore
work to become God..

You cannot learn to be God.. You can learn how to dissolve the false belief that
You are not God..

I am using the word "God" instead of Divine Consciousness because it has a great
emotional effect upon the mind of division..

Training an illusion called ego is just a game of division..

The ego will keep you in this game for many lifetimes..

It is a great 'con'..

I know of masters that say that once you have Awakened in Reality,

the work upon the ego during life is just "Practicing" to be God, and then they
laugh at the concept..

The 'short path' and the 'long path''..

Pick your choice...

namaste, thomas

Entering Enlightenment...


Most fail because they cannot face the idea of complete non-existence..

They say that they want Unity with Reality and yet they still want to exist as
something..

There is only Reality and we are just the dreams of Reality..

We do not exist..

Most cannot face this Truth and therefore, they remain in Duality and cannot
Awaken into Reality..

" you must die to be born", as Yeshua ben Yosef said...


namaste, thomas

the gospel of Thomas...


(61) Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed: the one will die, and the other will live."
Salome said, "Who are you, man, that you ... have come up on my couch and eaten from my table?"
Jesus said to her, "I am he who exists from the undivided. I was given some of the things of my father."
<...> "I am your disciple."
<...> "Therefore I say, if he is destroyed, he will be filled with light, but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness."

(62) Jesus said, "It is to those who are worthy of my mysteries that I tell my mysteries. Do not let your left (hand) know what your right (hand) is doing."

(63) Jesus said, "There was a rich man who had much money. He said, 'I shall put my money to use so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouse with produce, with the result that I shall lack nothing.' Such were his intentions, but that same night he died. Let him who has ears hear."

(64) Jesus said, "A man had received visitors. And when he had prepared the dinner, he sent his servant to invite the guests.
He went to the first one and said to him, 'My master invites you.' He said, 'I have claims against some merchants. They are coming to me this evening. I must go and give them my orders. I ask to be excused from the dinner.'
He went to another and said to him, 'My master has invited you.' He said to him, 'I have just bought a house and am required for the day. I shall not have any spare time.'
He went to another and said to him, 'My master invites you.' He said to him, 'My friend is going to get married, and I am to prepare the banquet. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused from the dinner.'
He went to another and said to him, 'My master invites you.' He said to him, 'I have just bought a farm, and I am on my way to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused.'
The servant returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you invited to the dinner have asked to be excused.' The master said to his servant, 'Go outside to the streets and bring back those whom you happen to meet, so that they may dine.' Businessmen and merchants will not enter the places of my father."

(65) He said, "There was a good man who owned a vineyard. He leased it to tenant farmers so that they might work it and he might collect the produce from them. He sent his servant so that the tenants might give him the produce of the vineyard. They seized his servant and beat him, all but killing him. The servant went back and told his master. The master said, 'Perhaps he did not recognize them.' He sent another servant. The tenants beat this one as well. Then the owner sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they will show respect to my son.' Because the tenants knew that it was he who was the heir to the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. Let him who has ears hear."

(66) Jesus said, "Show me the stone which the builders have rejected. That one is the cornerstone."

(67) Jesus said, "If one who knows the all still feels a personal deficiency, he is completely deficient."

(68) Jesus said, "Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted. Wherever you have been persecuted they will find no place."

(69) Jesus said, "Blessed are they who have been persecuted within themselves. It is they who have truly come to know the father. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled."

(70) Jesus said, "That which you have will save you if you bring it forth from yourselves. That which you do not have within you will kill you if you do not have it within you."

(71) Jesus said, "I shall destroy this house, and no one will be able to build it [...]."

(72) A man said to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me."
He said to him, "O man, who has made me a divider?"
He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I am not a divider, am I?"

(73) Jesus said, "The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Beseech the Lord, therefore, to send out laborers to the harvest."

(74) He said, "O Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the cistern."

(75) Jesus said, "Many are standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber."

(76) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a merchant who had a consignment of merchandise and who discovered a pearl. That merchant was shrewd. He sold the merchandise and bought the pearl alone for himself. You too, seek his unfailing and enduring treasure where no moth comes near to devour and no worm destroys."

(77) Jesus said, "It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

(78) Jesus said, "Why have you come out into the desert? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a man clothed in fine garments like your kings and your great men? Upon them are the fine garments, and they are unable to discern the truth."

(79) A woman from the crowd said to him, "Blessed are the womb which bore you and the breasts which nourished you."
He said to her, "Blessed are those who have heard the word of the father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Blessed are the womb which has not conceived and the breasts which have not given milk.'"

(80) Jesus said, "He who has recognized the world has found the body, but he who has found the body is superior to the world."

(81) Jesus said, "Let him who has grown rich be king, and let him who possesses power renounce it."

(82) Jesus said, "He who is near me is near the fire, and he who is far from me is far from the kingdom."

(83) Jesus said, "The images are manifest to man, but the light in them remains concealed in the image of the light of the father. He will become manifest, but his image will remain concealed by his light."

(84) Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you rejoice. But when you see your images which came into being before you, and which neither die not become manifest, how much you will have to bear!"

(85) Jesus said, "Adam came into being from a great power and a great wealth, but he did not become worthy of you. For had he been worthy, he would not have experienced death."

(86) Jesus said, "The foxes have their holes and the birds have their nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head and rest."

(87) Jesus said, "Wretched is the body that is dependant upon a body, and wretched is the soul that is dependent on these two."

(88) Jesus said, "The angels and the prophets will come to you and give to you those things you (already) have. And you too, give them those things which you have, and say to yourselves, 'When will they come and take what is theirs?'"

(89) Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not realize that he who made the inside is the same one who made the outside?"

(90) Jesus said, "Come unto me, for my yoke is easy and my lordship is mild, and you will find repose for yourselves."

(91) They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."
He said to them, "You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to read this moment."

(92) Jesus said, "Seek and you will find. Yet, what you asked me about in former times and which I did not tell you then, now I do desire to tell, but you do not inquire after it."

(93) "Do not give what is holy to dogs, lest they throw them on the dung-heap. Do not throw the pearls to swine, lest they [...] it [...]."

(94) Jesus said, "He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in."

(95) Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back."

(96) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman. She took a little leaven, concealed it in some dough, and made it into large loaves. Let him who has ears hear."

(97) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking on the road, still some distance from home, the handle of the jar broke and the meal emptied out behind her on the road. She did not realize it; she had noticed no accident. When she reached her house, she set the jar down and found it empty."


Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.

partial knowledge...


Mind is not capable
of knowing everything
fully;
it's always knowing something
which is equal
to knowing nothing.

Partial knowledge
is no knowledge
and any knowledge
devoid of absoluteness
doesn't free us.

- Swami Amar Jyoti

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

"In Light of Wisdom"
Swami Amar Jyoti
Truth Consciousness, Boulder, Colorado, 1983

Love and Wisdom...


Abide in the truth of who you really are!

You are the silence that lives beneath every perception, thought, belief and concept.

That silence sees through these eyes, it hears through these ears, it tastes through this tongue.

It is the silent openness that perceives silently.

This silence is Love itself.

This silence is the presence of God and it is not separate from your presence or mine.

After coming to self-realization, one experiences one's Self to be the unlimited Whole with no boundary at all.

Those one perceived before as being separate from one's Self are really nothing but one's Self! This is love and also wisdom.

Love and wisdom are always ONE! They are separate, only in the mind.


Francis Bennett

Richie Havens - Freedom at Woodstock 1969 (HD)


CONQUERING EGO IN THE SUFI TRADITION _ Sufism NAFS Self Purification SPI...


Real Self...


The mistake that you make, is that the ego is real..

the ego is just the thoughts of the mind that "YOU" as Consciousness have chosen to believe is YOU..

You are Consciousness watching the thoughts of the mind.

When You are asleep and not Aware, You allow the thoughts of the mind to take over the job of running the body..

this job of running the mind and body is called egoic consciousness..

By staying Awake and Aware, You as Consciousness run the mind and body..

This is called Divine Consciousness and is our Real Self...

namaste, thomas

from false self to True Self...


The soul is first born into the false self, it is blind; in the true self the
soul opens its eyes.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan


Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Our greatest enemy is ourself. All weakness, all ignorance keeps us from the
truth of our being, from all the virtues hidden in us and all perfection hidden
in our souls. The first self we realize is the false self. Unless the soul is
born again it will not see the kingdom of heaven. The soul is born into the
false self; it is blind. In the true self the soul opens its eyes. Unless the
false self is fought with, the true self cannot be realized...

The lions could not harm Daniel because of the harmony of his will with the
universal Will. The lions represent the destructive elements in the human mind.
They represent wars, disappointments, rivalries, jealousies, envy, passions, and
so forth, in different horrible guises. Our ego is the lion of lions, and if
this is conquered, then these external lions -- different egos around us -- are
conquered also, and wherever we go, with anyone, whether foolish or wise, good
or bad, we now have peace.

The work of the spiritual man is to forget his false self and so to realize the
true self which is God, and this true self not only in him, but in his neighbor
also.

Man struggles with things that are outside him, and so he gives a chance to the
foes who exist in his own being. Therefore the first thing necessary in life is
to make peace for the time being with the outside world, in order to prepare for
the war which is to be fought within oneself. Once peace is made within, one
will gain by that sufficient strength and power to be used through the struggle
of life within and without... Life is one long journey, and the further behind
we have left our self, the further we have progressed toward the goal. Verily
when the false self is lost the true self is discovered.

Ram Tzu Speaks...


Ram Tzu has some questions for you.

Just who do you think you are?
Are you other than God?
Are you separate from Me?

If so.
What are you made of?
Where did it come from?

Don't look to science to help you.
The physicists have all become mystics.
They're of no more use to you than is Ram Tzu.

If you're really clever you'll turn around
And walk away
Fast!
Hang around here and you're liable to lose
Everything you hold dear.

Go back to your church, your temple,
Your therapist, your drug dealer, your ashram.
There you may find a moment's peace.
You found it there once.
Here is only emptiness for you.
You'll find no food for your ego here.

What if your precious sense of self
Were to shrivel up and die?
Where would you be then?
What would happen?

Best not to risk it.

- Ram Tzu

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

No Way for the Spiritually "Advanced"
Ram Tzu
Advaita Press, 1990

why wait ?...


This notion that we must wait and wait while we slowly progress out of enslavement into liberation,

out of ignorance into knowledge, out of the present limitations into a future union with the Divine,

is only true if we let it be so.

But we need not.

We can shift our identification from the ego to the Overself in our habitual thinking, in our daily reactions and attitudes, in our response to events and the world.

We have thought our way into this unsatisfactory state; we can unthink our way out of it.

By incessantly remembering what we really are,

here and now at this very moment, we set ourselves free.

Why wait for what already is?


Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 1: Entering the Short Path > # 1
Paul Brunton

Poetry by Rumi, Only Breath...


Enlightenment...


Enlightenment Clearly Explained

By Sufi George

The experience of enlightenment is simple to state. It is the experience of awareness only, awareness that is aware of nothing at all except the existence of awareness itself.

During the experience of awareness, the thought-processing mind is empty, body awareness is lost, there is no feeling, all reality disappears. There is nothing in the imagination, there is nothing anywhere. It is an experience of nothing, of the void.

The key understanding that results from this experience of pure nothing is that one is still alive even when everything is gone. One realizes that one's existence does not depend on anything except awareness itself. One realizes that awareness is the primal reality, the permanent core of ourselves.

The enlightenment experience makes many things immediately clear. It is clear that one's existence does not depend on anything except awareness. This brings complete relief and liberation. It is clear that life is awareness, and not what awareness experiences.

So the body, the mind, the physical universe as well as dream universes, feelings, knowledge, are all non-essential to being alive. Fear and guilt vanish because awareness is beyond harm and experience is not part of one's being.

It is clear that all experience comes from outside of oneself, that experience merely flows through awareness, and that one is not responsible for the helpless act of experiencing one's experience.

In short, this state of freedom solves every problem by eliminating it, and provides a completely unburdened peace. This is so attractive, so magnetic, that it cannot be actually forgotten, only displaced by the usual contents and concerns of life.

Before the enlightenment experience, one has no idea of life without content. Rather, one's awareness is flooded with content, with all of its concerns and hang-ups.

It should be noted that, after the initial impact of the enlightenment experience wears off, it can be set aside and one can easily slip back into one's old lifestyle patterns.

Yet, after the enlightenment experience, one has a yearning for the remembered peace and freedom of the void. This yearning gradually influences one to decrease the amount of experience in awareness so that there is room in awareness for void. This becomes a balancing act between being aware of void and being aware of experience. The less experience one is aware of, the more void one is aware of, and the more free and peaceful life becomes.

With too much void and too little experience, however, one becomes an idiot, and so there is the need for learning to balance between void and experience.

With enough void in the balance, there is nothing in life that can consume one. Life is fluid and changeable. Life becomes more like a movie than a trap. More accurately, life becomes a group dream.

Yearning for the void influences in the direction of keeping awareness empty of experience. Balancing involves deliberate efforts to remember specific things out of practical necessity. The more experiential content there is in awareness, the less room there is for the void. The more void there is in awareness, the less experience there is, and the less important or consequential experience becomes.

no uncertainty...


Last night,

I saw the realm of joy and pleasure.

There I melted like salt;

no religion, no blasphemy,

no conviction or uncertainty remained.

In the middle of my heart,

a star appeared,

and the seven heavens were lost in its brilliance.



Rumi

a few thoughts...


The word, 'Enlightenment' has taken on a superior connotation and a wall that few can climb..

The truth is that Enlightenment is nothing more than our natural state..

All that you have done, is awakened from a dream..

Perhaps, the word 'Awakened' should be used instead, as not to frighten the walkers..

Teachers, gurus', etc. are good helpers to start you on your journey to Reality but only you can open the door to Truth..

Just as Yeshua and Gautama, I listened to the teachers and saw which way their fingers pointed and then proceeded to walk on my own..

I had no expectations except that I was determined to find out what was True and what was False..

I followed no ceremonies, mantras, or prayers..

I only meditated..

I followed the breath until the breath was left behind..

I found Truth...

namaste, thomas

what is hell ?...


Q: Papaji, what is hell?

R: "Hell is the mind turned outward and saying, 'I am the body.' This is hell, here and now.

How can you have peace when the mind declares that the playing field is only the body? Nobody can have true peace. Everybody is going to die."

"What is heaven? The mind turned inward is heaven. As it is said in the Bible, 'The kingdom of heaven is within.' And how to win this kingdom of heaven? Surrender to awareness."

"Awareness, Being, endlessness - this is called heaven, freedom, enlightenment.

This is emancipation from the process one has been passing through for millions of years.

The mind turned inward will, for the first time, see its own beauty, its own source, and will not turn back to that which is disturbing.

Always you stay with what you love the most. There is no turning back from there."

"I am the sea"...


The wave realizes "I am the sea", and by falling into the sea prostrates itself
before its God.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Prayer has been taught by all religions in different forms: by bowing, by
prostrations, by recitation or chant. As soon as man begins to feel the
immanence of God in nature, he begins to prostrate himself before that Being,
calling his limited self helpless before Him, bowing before Him, worshipping
Him. ... There are many virtues, but there is one principal virtue. Every moment
passed outside the presence of God is sin, and every moment in His presence is
virtue. The whole object of the Sufi, after learning this way of communicating
is to arrive at a stage where every moment of our life passes in communion with
God, and where our every action is done as if God were before us. Is that within
everyone's reach? We are meant to be so. Just think of a person who is in love:
when he eats or drinks, whatever he does, the image of the beloved is there. In
the same way, when the love of God has come, it is natural to think of God in
everything we do.

The Sufi does not need to follow a particular belief or faith, to restrict
himself to a particular path. He can follow the Hindu way, the Muslim way, the
way of any Church or faith, provided he treads this royal road: that the whole
universe is but an immanence of beauty. ... How is the perfection of mind
reached that we have to touch? It is reached through contemplation, through
realization and understanding of the one current running through the whole of
life. We begin to contemplate on that. The mind which we call in religious
language the Almighty, and in mystical terms the divine mind, is the depth of
life, the depth of activity, with which all activity and every activity is
connected.

Therein lies the whole of religion. The mystic's prayer is to that beauty, and
his work is to forget the self, to lose himself like a bubble in the water. The
wave realizes, 'I am the sea', and by falling into the sea prostrates itself
before its God. As it is said, 'Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in
heaven is perfect'.

The Sufi recognizes the knowledge of self as the essence of all religions; he
traces it in every religion, he sees the same truth in each, and therefore he
regards all as one. Hence he can realize the saying of Jesus; 'I and my Father
are one.' The difference between creature and Creator remains on his lips, not
in his soul. This is what is meant by union with God. It is in reality the
dissolving of the false self in the knowledge of the true self, which is divine,
eternal, and all pervading. 'He who attaineth union with God, his very self must
lose,' said Amir.

an empty center...


The ego is a collection of thoughts circulating around a fixed but empty center.

If the habits of many, many reincarnations had not given them such strength and persistence,

they could be voided.

The reality--MIND--could then reveal Itself.


— Notebooks Category 8: The Ego > Chapter 2: I-thought > # 37
Paul Brunton

If you get it...


"If you get it, all things are one;

If you don't, all things are different and separate.

If you don't get it, all things are one.

If you do, all things are different and separate.


Mumon's Poem
in Zenkei Shibayama
__Zen Commentaries on the Mumonkan_
NY: Harper & Row, 1974, p. 122

energy...


The Source supplies you
with the energy
to reach It.

When you seek
the Light
It
shall enlighten
your path.

And when you are longing
for the Divine,
for the Truth,
That shall give you
power and energy
to tread on.

- Swami Amar Jyoti

Sade - The Best Of Sade (Full CD)


ego and reincarnation...

It is true that an egoic consciousness is within the body until death..

This is used for preservation of the body..

But, for those that desire to Know and Feel Reality,

The Enlightenment experience is quite welcome and leaves you with the Knowledge
of Peace and Truth that will stay with you throughout life..

By experiencing Enlightenment, You are no longer tied to the falsehood of
reincarnation..

Reincarnation is attached only to the false belief that you are the separate
ego,

and once You Realize that You are not any ego,

You are no longer attached
to the long path of the ego trying to learn how to be God..

namaste, thomas

egoic dissolution and the entrance into Reality...


I think that the easiest way to explain egoic suicide is to surrender your life
to the universe and fall into the darkness of oblivion..

This is a very frightening experience but must be faced with courage..

Do not expect anything.. Do not desire anything but extinction of your life..

Your life is mentally attached to your egoic consciousness and both will die as
one..

This death of the body will not occur but must be the desire of the mind because
they are so connected..

After this falling into darkness, you as egoic consciousness will die and You
will Awaken as Light, Love, and Consciousness..

This has been my experience and the experience of many others, but, once again,
expect nothing , desire nothing but oblivion and Reality will take over and
remove You from this dream called life..

All of this is done during Meditation...

namaste, thomas

A gift of Love


a great illusion...


As egos they are certainly individual lives and beings.

Their separateness is unquestionable.

But as manifestations of the One Infinite Life-Power,

their separateness from It is a great illusion.



— Notebooks Category 8: The Ego > Chapter 1: What Am I? > # 144
Paul Brunton

Death of self...


"In God's presence two I's cannot be contained.

You say 'I' and He says 'I':

either do you die before Him, or He will die before you, so that duality may not
remain.

But as for God's dying, that is both impossible and inconceivable; for
He is the Living, the Immortal.

So gracious is He, that if it were at all
possible He would die for your sake, so that duality might vanish.

Now since it
is not possible for Him to die, do you die so that He may reveal Himself to you
and so that duality may vanish."


Jalal al-Din Rumi

Discourses of Rumi (Or Fihi Ma Fihi)
translated by A.J. Arberry (1947)

always thirsty...


To find a pearl dive deep into the ocean

don’t look in fountains.

To find a pearl you must

emerge from the water of life always thirsty.



- Rumi

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

"Rumi - Whispers of the Beloved"
Selected and translated by
Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi
Thorsons, London 1999

Where is the 'I' ?...


The mind believes that it is 'I'..

The body says; "Don't forget, without me, you would not exist,therefore I am I"..

Consciousness enters the conversation;

"I watch both of you and have the power of creation over both of you,

Therefore, I am I "..

Consciousness continues;

"I am the Personality of Light, Love, and Thought", and the foolish mind believes that it is the creator of thought"..

Suddenly, Consciousness feels the presence of observation..

Pure Intelligence finally speaks to all in attendence;

" All of you are just dreams that I created for entertainment and yet, I am not aware of being "I",
how is this possible"?..

Thoughts, called Reality are suddenly heard by all;

" There is no "I" because there is no room within Love for any "I"...


namaste, thomas


The Meditative Sounds of Buddhist Chants...


the end ...


The 'short path' is not to be feared anymore than the 'long path'..

I spoke of my own experiences, as this is what is done in this room..

A person may have many different experiences according to that which they are
seeking..

If you seek a spiritual entity such as Krishna , then you will probably end up
with that entity..

All I did was to desire Truth..

Therefore, Truth was given to me..

This may not be your Truth but I found it to be Truth..

There are also levels of Truth which are found according to higher
consciousness..

After my experience, I found a higher Truth of there being an Observer above
that which I was within..

The higher Observer was Pure Intelligence that dreamed the creation of Divine
Consciousness..

The Higher Observer has no ego or personality and therefore is the Essence of
Loving Intellect..

Once We have surrendered the Personality of Divine Consciousness and dissolved into Nothingness,

There is only Pure Intelligence left..

The Dream of separate egoic consciousness has ended..


namaste, thomas

The Essence of Reality is Love...


"God is love" - three words which open up an unending realm for the thinker who
desires to probe the depths of the secret of life.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:


Every kind of power lies in this one thing which we call by the simple name:
love. Charity, generosity, kindness, affection, endurance, tolerance, and
patience -- all these words are different aspects of one; they are different
names of only one thing: love. Whether it is said, 'God is love,' or whatever
name is given to it, all the names are the names of God; and yet every form of
love, every name for love, has its own peculiar scope, has a peculiarity of its
own. Love as kindness is one thing, love as tolerance is another, love as
generosity is another, love as patience another; and yet from beginning to end
it is just love.

Mystics of all ages have not been known for their miraculous powers or for the
doctrines they have taught, but for the devotion they have shown through out
their lives. The Sufi in the East says to himself, 'Ishq Allah Ma'bud Allah,
which means 'God is Love, God is the Beloved', in other words it is God who is
love, lover, and beloved. When we hear the stories of the miraculous powers of
mystics, of their great insight into the hidden laws of nature, of the qualities
which they manifested through their beautiful personalities, we realize that
these have all come from one the same source, whether one calls it devotion or
whether one calls it love.

When we look at this subject from a mystic's point of view, we see that love
has two aspects. Love in itself, and the shadow of love fallen on the earth. The
former is heavenly the latter is earthly. The former develops self-abnegation in
a person; the latter makes him more selfish than he was before. Virtues such as
tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and compassion rise of themselves in the heart
which is awakened to love.

How beautiful are the words of the Prophet: 'The shrine of God is the heart of
man.' How true that is! Is God to be found in a mosque, or temple, or church, or
in any place where people sing hymns and offer their prayers? Can He be found
where there is no love? He is not to be found in the houses that men have built
for worship. These are only schools for children, and their playgrounds.
Children like playing with toys, and yet they are preparing themselves for
something else. When man has come to know the real beauty of God, he will find
that it dwells only in one place: in the heart of man. God is love, and He is
found in the heart of man.

Love, whether it is human or divine is considered to be sacred, in the view of
the mystics, philosophers, and thinkers. That it is possible to regard it thus
is shown by the fact that in its root it is beyond both the human and the
divine. As it is written in the Bible, 'God is Love', three words which open up
an unending realm for the thinker who desires to probe the depth of the secret
of love. In ordinary life, we make this word mean affection for our
surroundings, for our relatives or our beloved, but when we think deeply about
it, we see that from start to finish it represents the power underlying the
power of all activities and all intelligences.

Ram Tzu speaks to the ego...


Ram Tzu knows you...

All of your
Dirty little secrets
Are tattooed on your forehead
For him to read.

You cling so tenaciously
To your history
Sensing correctly that to let go,
Would set you adrift in a present
In which you cannot survive.

Here and now is the great evaporator
Poof, you’re gone.

Surprising isn’t it?

All that time you thought you were,
You really weren’t.

Poof, back again so soon?

Guess the illusion wasn’t finished
With you after all.

If you learned anything,

You’ll know it doesn’t
Make any difference.

Ram Tzu certainly doesn’t care.

- Ram Tzu

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

No Way for the Spiritually "Advanced"
Ram Tzu
Advaita Press, 1990

Awakening into Enlightenment...


Q: I feel like I'm almost there, but it seems as if there is some death experience waiting. Is there a death experience?

R: As the raindrop falls from the sky, it is afraid. This falling is a transition period. The raindrop is afraid it will be lost. It will fall and be destroyed. But when it falls into the ocean, that fear dissolves because the raindrop has become the ocean itself."

"Fear will come. There cannot be any explanation except that the troublesome ego is experiencing that it is dying. Due to our association for so many years with the ego, we believe we are dying."

"When we are really living, we are free. When touching eternity, this death experience is total death. In the world, everybody dies only to be reborn. So really, nobody is dying."

"The possibility is the actual death of the ego, of ignorance. With that total death, ego will not be reborn again. You have become eternal. Total death is never to be reborn again!"

"When you become eternal, having gotten rid of this circle, that death is total death. There may be fear for some time, but then there is tremendous happiness also."


Poonja

Love...


"It is for love that the whole universe sprang into existence, and it is for the
sake of love that it is kept going....

"Love is the reflection of God's unity in the world of duality. It constitutes
the entire significance of creation....

"It is love that gives meaning and value to all the happenings in the world of
duality. But while love gives meaning to the world of duality, it is at the same
time a standing challenge to duality.

"As love gathers strength, it generates creative restlessness and becomes the
main driving power of that spiritual dynamic which ultimately succeeds in
restoring to consciousness the original unity of Being."



Meher Baba
_Discourses_
Myrtle Beach, SC: Sheriar Foundation, 7th rev. ed., 1987, pp. 115-116.

"God and love are identical, and one who has divine love has received God."

Meher Baba
_Sparks from Meher Baba_
Myrtle Beach, SC: Meher Spiritual Center, n.d., p. 16

a central core of stillness...


The true self of man is hidden in a central core of stillness, a central vacuum of silence.

This core, this vacuum occupies only a pinpoint in dimension.

All around it there is ring of thoughts and desires constituting the imagined self, the ego.

This ring is constantly fermenting with fresh thoughts, constantly changing with fresh desires, and alternately bubbling with joy or heaving with grief.

Whereas the centre is forever at rest, the ring around it is never at rest; whereas the centre bestows peace, the ring destroys it...



— Notebooks Category 8: The Ego > Chapter 1: What Am I? > # 32
Paul Brunton

to those that seek Truth...


To the priests, ministers, rabbi's, Buddhist monks, christian saints and sufi's that read these words..

The time is short..

It is time to know Reality..

You have run out of time..

You have sought Truth and Reality, and it is Now..

Give up your ambitions..

Give up your lives..

Your original path is calling you back again..

The path that you abandoned when you become part of the agenda..

Your time is done..

Absolute Love is calling you Home..

There is nothing in this illusion that holds you..

Give Everything to receive Everything..

Come Home, prodigal son, We have a Feast awaiting You...

namaste, thomas



Extinction...


I have already decided to enter the first stage of Reality by awakening as Divine Consciousness and then eventually proceeding into Pure Intelligence because I found complete Love and Happiness within the first Reality..

But, my question to the "Light" upon entry into Divine Consciousness was, "Is this the final Reality ?"..

This question was not answered to Me..

Perhaps, I was not ready to receive the Final Reality or perhaps Divine Consciousness, Itself, was not aware of the Final Reality..

Divine Consciousness is separate from Final Reality and therefore may not be aware that extinction is the final solution and that is why It remains separate from Reality..

Extinction is the most difficult decision to make..

But, with this constant contemplation of mine, It is becoming a true Reality and is no longer feared by me..

I welcome Nothingness...
...........

namaste, thomas.

no more time for lies...


We find ourselves within a human body in an illusion called world life..

This world is controlled by the duality of real and unreal..

the teaching of this world is one of opposites..

upside down and inside-out is the rule..

new-speak as aldos huxley wrote upon paper..

It is an agenda of oppression and confusion..

Are we wise enough to see through this illusion ?..

As Consciousness, We are well beyond the scam perpetrated upon us..

waking up is all that is needed..

the voices that seek to keep you confused and imprisioned are always speaking..

listen and laugh at their attempts to keep you shackeled..

Freedom is your Breathe..

Do not fall into the traps of voices and words...

namaste, thomas





Cat Stevens-Tea for the Tillerman [Full Album] 1970


Forgiveness...


Forgiveness is very important if you are to dispose of karma.
karma is felt in this life and if you are still trapped within the belief that you are a separate ego, karma will be felt in future incarnations..

This is why Forgiveness must be attended to as soon as possible..

Jack Kornfield offers a method below to help you..

namaste, thomas

.........................



Asking Forgiveness of Others

Recite: 'There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed others. I have betrayed or abandoned them, caused them suffering, knowingly or unknowingly, out of my pain, fear, anger, and confusion.' Let yourself remember and visualize the ways you have hurt others. Sense the pain you have caused out of your own fear and confusion. Feel your own sorrow and regret. Recognize that finally you can release this burden and ask for forgiveness. Picture each memory that still burdens your heart. And then to each person in your mind repeat, 'I ask for your forgiveness, I ask for your forgiveness.'

Offering Forgiveness to Yourself

Recite, 'There are many ways I have hurt and harmed myself. I have betrayed or abandoned myself many times through thought, word, or deed, knowingly and unknowingly.' Feel your own precious body and life. Let yourself see the ways you have hurt or harmed yourself. Picture them, remember them. Feel the sorrow you have carried from this and sense that you can release these burdens. Extend forgiveness for each of them, one by one. Repeat to yourself, 'For the ways I have hurt myself through action or inaction, out of my fear, pain, and confusion, I now extend a full and heartfelt forgiveness. I forgive myself, I forgive myself.'

Offering Forgiveness to those who have hurt or harmed you

Recite, 'There are many ways that I have been harmed by others, abused or abandoned, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word, or deed.' Let yourself picture and remember these many ways. Feel the sorrow you have carried from this past, and sense that you can release this burden of pain by extending forgiveness whenever your heart is ready. Now say to yourself, 'I now remember the many ways others have hurt or harmed me, wounded me, out of fear, pain, confusion, and anger. I have carried this pain in my heart too long. To the extent that I am ready, I offer them forgiveness. To those who have cause me harm, I offer my forgiveness, I forgive you."
--



training of spirit...


I think the training of spirit is really the training of the subconscious mind (soul)..

This is the daily activity to admit only non-egoic thoughts to the subconscious mind from the conscious mind..

Stop the egoic thoughts at the root of beginning..

Know that these thoughts are not You and only bring pain..

Do this daily, and these thoughts will stop appearing..

This is the training of the spirit or soul (subconscious mind)..

namaste, thomas

Look Within...


Without going out your door

you can know the whole world

without looking out your window

you can know the Way of Heaven

the farther people go

the less they know

sages therefore know without traveling

name without seeing

and succeed without trying



Lao Tzu - 'Tao Te Ching' [47]
Translated by Red Pine

the opposite of Love...


The opposite of Love is not Hate..

The opposite of Love is the illusion of separate ego..

The act of giving, is originated from Love.

The act of grasping and desire is originated from the ego..

There is not Duality in Reality because there is no illusion of separate ego..

Therefore, There is only the Energy called Love, which is Pure Intelligence..

The question remains; " Why does Love feel blissful ?"..

Why do almost all humans find it easy to give anything they own, including their own lives for the sake of Love ?..

The answer is that;

We all want to return Home...

namaste, thomas

For Love...


I have surrendered the ego and awakened as Light, Love, and Consciousness but I found that this Consciousness was not the end of the journey back to Self..

There is the final step of surrendering even this personality of God..

This is the hardest part..

To give up the existence of Love,Light, and Consciousness to return to complete Nothingness..

This Nothingness is not really empty, It is Pure Intelligence.

but, there is no "You" to experience "IT"..

To give Everything, including existence, for Love, is the highest Love..

" Many are called, but few are chosen"...

namaste, thomas

Crying - Don McLean


only Now...


"There is only this now.

It does not come from anywhere;

it is not going anywhere.

It is not permanent, but it is not impermanent.

Though moving, it is always still.

When we try to catch it, it seems to run away, and yet it is always here and there is not escape from it.

And when we turn round to find the self which knows this moment, we find that it has vanished like the past."


Alan Watts

Consciousness within body...


We spend a good part of our life if not most of our life weaving a 'me' that is separate from the world. We confuse consciousness to be a body and we define a 'me' that is born on such and such a date and that is on a time clock. We somehow overlook that we are the consciousness to which the body is appearing.

Once that original sin is committed, it is all downhill from there. More and more stucco and wire mesh is wrapped around the body mind, more and more beliefs, definitions, judgments, defense patterns and strategies, alliances and plots, stories that reinforce the definitions, are put in place, set in concrete.

The play of consciousness becomes serious and we are deep in the suffering. Our life becomes mostly miserable with every now and then a ray of sunshine.
Then all sorts of strategies to end the suffering are adopted...all of which are ineffective as we are unwilling to look at the illusory nature of the 'me' structure that we have so ardently catered to and identified with.

It is as if dismantling the 'separate me' structure will be the death of the 'me'. It becomes very scary to inquire into the separate self. No one wants to explore that what they believe they are is unreal. It feels like death of 'me'.

And, it is.
This sort of death, the death of the separate self is the resurrection.
~~
This sort of death is your salvation. Do not worry, it is the death of ignorance, the death of the false. Welcome it and fearlessly open up to it.
It is through this gate-less gate that you will realize your true nature, the freedom that you are, that you have eternally been!
~~

Magdi Em Be

Hazret-i Uftade...


Hazret-i Uftade (1490-1580 ce)

Mehmed Muhyiddin Uftade was a widely revered Turkish saint, and founder of the Jelveti order of Sufis who emphasized the return into the midst of society after learning to overcome the lower-self.

If you desire the Beloved, my heart,
Do not cease to pour out lamentations.
Observing His existence, reach annihilation!
Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Let tears of blood pour from your eyes
May they emerge hot from the furnace
Say not that he is one of you or one of us
Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Let love come that you may have a friend
Your distresses are a torrent
Sweeping you along the way to the Friend
Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Take yourself up to the heavens
Meet the angels
And fulfill your desires
Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Pass beyond the universe, this [unfurled] carpet
Beyond the pedestal and beyond the throne
That the bringers of good tidings may greet you
Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Remove your you from you
Leave behind body and soul
That theophanies may appear
Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Pass on, without looking aside
Without your heart pouring forth to another
That you may drink the pure waters
Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

If you desire union with the Beloved
Oh Uftade! Find your soul
That the Beloved may appear before you
Say “Oh He and You who is He”.


from Wahiduddin.net

Self...


Because we think we are something, we imagine there must be something
operating all this Universe.

What IS is pure intelligence, awareness Being.

It may also be called God,
Self or pure Consciousness.

It is not a thing.

We think we are a ‘thing’, an
object or ego and therefore It must also be a ‘thing’.

Actually ‘we’ are ‘IT,’
but we haven’t realized this yet.

We imagine that behind all actions there is an actual separate ‘doer’
doing something.

When you discover your formless Self, everything is
observed to be simply unfolding spontaneously as one whole functioning.

- Mooji

destination is origin...


His destination is also his origin.

But to say that he was born in the eternal Spirit starts the question,

"How can time, which is placed outside eternity, bring him to eternity?"

The answer is that it does not bring him there;

it only educates him to look for, and prepares him to pass through, the opening through which he can escape.

Need it be said that this lies at the point where ego surrenders wholly to Overself?


— Notebooks Category 26: World-Idea > Chapter 4: True Idea of Man > # 249
Paul Brunton

the Final Reality...


"The Buddha also taught another somewhat challenging idea:

the notion of emptiness…

we can simply say it’s the view that there is no real self and no real world that exists in exactly the same way it appears to us now.

The Buddha said that when we don’t comprehend emptiness, we don’t see what’s really there –

we see only a coarse version of reality.

So from the Buddhist point of view,

there is not only no savior,

there is also no one to be saved."


Dzogchen Ponlop

no more thirst...


Those unable to grieve,
or to speak of their love,
or to be grateful, those
who can't remember God
as the source of everything,

might be described as a vacant wind,
or a cold anvil, or a group
of frightened old people.

Say the Name. Moisten your tongue
with praise, and be the spring ground,
waking. Let your mouth be given
its gold-yellow stamen like the wild rose's.

As you fill with wisdom,
and your heart with love,
there's no more thirst.

There's only unselfed patience
waiting on the doorsill, a silence
which doesn't listen to advice
from people passing in the street.


Sanai - "Persian Poems" - Coleman Barks

One precept...


"Basically, there is only one precept --

not being
selfish.

If people are selfish,

they will violate the precepts.

If people are not selfish,

they will not violate the
precepts."



Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
_Spring Sun, Lotus Flower:
Quotes form the teachings of Vernable Master Hsaun
Hua_
Burlingame, CA: Buddhist test Translation Society,
2004, p. 10

Donovan - Universal Soldier (original song with lyrics)


The Void...


"There is a final state of Being and Consciousness in which alone perfect bliss
is found, to which every religion bears witness.

This state transcends all
concepts of the mind and images of the senses, and is known only when the Divine
Being chooses to reveal himself to man.

This is the ultimate mystery, the
ultimate truth, to which everything in nature aspires, but which so transcends
the whole order of nature

that it appears as darkness rather than light, as
something unreal or illusory, as a Void, a Silence, a Negation of Being.

And yet
such is the witness of every great religious tradition:

in this Void, in this
Darkness, in this Silence, all fulness, all light, all truth, all goodness, all
love, all joy, all peace, all happiness is to be found."


Dom Bede Griffiths, OSB
_Vedanta and Christian Faith_
Clearlake, CA: Dawn Horse Press, 1991, p 163

What is Real ?...


"Only God is Real,

and the goal of life is to be

united with Him through love."



Meher Baba
in Douglas Bloch
_I Am With You Always:
A Treasury of Inspirational Quotations, Poems, and
Prayers_
NY: Bantam, 1992, p. 49

You are nameless...


You are nameless.

Where there is form there is name
and where there is name there must be form.

You are not that, you are within the form
and you are someone which has no name
because only a form needs name.

Who is sitting in your own heart? Does this have a name?

The indweller of the heart:

That is what you really are.

You are not born of your parents,
you are That which has no name,
which will never die or be born, That which is Eternal.

- Papaji

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

"The Truth Is"
Sri H.W.L. Poonja
Yudhishtara, 1995

Awakening the heart with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (8/14/2011) Chanting...


A living Presence...


“The great mystics of all religions agree that in the very depths of the unconscious, in every one of us, there is a living presence that is not touched by time, place or circumstance. Life has only one purpose, they add, and that is to discover this presence. The men and women who have done this – Francis of Assisi, for example, Mahatma Gandhi, Teresa of Avila, the Compassionate Buddha – are living proof of the words of Jesus Christ, ‘The kingdom of heaven is within.’

“But they are quick to tell us — everyone of them – that no one can enter that kingdom, and discover the Ruler who lives there, who has not brought the movement of the mind under control. And they do not pretend that our own efforts to tame the mind will suffice in themselves. Grace, they remind us, is all-important. ‘Increase in my my grace,’ Thomas a Kempis prays, ‘that I may be able to fulfill thy words, and to work out mine own salvation.’

“The hallmark of the man or woman of God is gratitude – endless, passionate gratitude for the previous gift of spiritual awareness…. it surrounds us always. Like a wind that is always blowing, said Francis de Sales; like fire, said Catherine of Genoa, that never stops burning..”

-Eknath Easwaran

RAIN...


"RAIN is a useful acronym for the four key principles of mindful transformation of difficulties.

RAIN stands for Recognition, Acceptance, Investigation, and Nonidentification.

A line from Zen poetry reminds us,

'the rain falls equally on all things.'

Like the nourishment of outer rain,

the inner principles of RAIN can be applied to all our experiences, and can transform our difficulties."

Jack Kornfield

Sentience...


The mind has no sentience.

It is only the
reflection that is arising from the Heart
sentience – from your own Self.

But because of the belief in the mind,

the
belief gives it a sense of autonomy and life,

like it exists by itself, but it doesn’t!

Rather than go into what you are watching,

look at what IS watching.


- Mooji

Awareness...


That we know this awareness exists means only that we have an idea of awareness.

We do not see that awareness as itself an object, nor can we ever do so.

If we are to know the awareness by itself,

first we would have to drop knowing its objects,

its reflections in thought,

including the ego-thought,

and then be it, not see it.



— Notebooks Category 21: Mentalism > Chapter 5: The Key To the Spiritual World > # 168
Paul Brunton

Gathering in Truth ~ Satsang with Mooji


Bondage and Freedom...


"Where is bondage? Maybe the bondage is a concept.

You feel that you are bound and you are bound.

Then take another concept 'I am free' is a concept to overthrow the previous concept that 'I am bound.'

Having done away with the previous concept of bondage, this one also falls away."

"What's left? Emptiness!

Freedom doesn't mean you have to win something.

When you shun all notions and all ideations, you need not do anything, as freedom is not a notion.

It is the birthright of every human being. This blessed incarnation is the final incarnation, if you desire freedom."

"Otherwise, another round is waiting.

Why another round? Because this is all imagination, and imagination is never-ending.

A child sees a ghost in a room, and for the child, it is a ghost. The child is very afraid, but in truth, the ghost never existed."
--

Poonja

Ego and Love...


We speak of opposites in this world of Duality..

Ego is the prisoner pretending to be You..

Love is the Self not hiding..

The Mind tells You that it is master..

Love answers; "there is no master, there is only Truth"..

A master requires ego,

Truth only requires Consciousness..

In the end of seeking,

The seeker dissolves into Love..

Love is without ego and is called Freedom...

namaste, thomas

seeking Love...


“Your task is not to seek for love,

but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”


― Rumi

Love...


Love is from the infinite,

and will remain until eternity.

The seeker of love escapes the chains of birth and death.

Tomorrow, when resurrection comes,

The heart that is not in love will fail the test.



From Thief of Sleep
by Shahram Shiva

Ram Tzu Speaks...


Ram Tzu knows this;

The fear never leaves you.
It is part of you
As tied to your center as your breath.

Touch it,
Stroke it
Get to know it well.
As long as you are
It will be with you.

You scream
You shout
You rage
You want quit of it.
You push it away with all your strength.

But hear this;

It thrives on all this exercise
You give it.
It gets stronger when
You give it something to push against.

Left alone it will wither and die.

But you know you can not leave it alone.
You must always fight the fear.
It is your nature to always fight.

Yet sometimes there is Grace..
You disappear into it
And there is no longer a battle.

The warrior is gone.

- Ram Tzu

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

No Way for the Spiritually "Advanced"
Ram Tzu
Advaita Press, 1990




the root of pain...


What is the root of pain?

Ignorance of
yourself.

What is the root of desire?

The urge to find yourself.

All creation
toils for its self and will not rest until
it returns to it.


- Nisargadatta Maharaj

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

"I Am That"
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Acorn Press, 1973

Francis Bennett quotes...


The only thing covering over the clear, light, peaceful, joyous presence that you have always been, is the constant activity of "your mind". You think that you ARE that "mind" and so you are distracted from who you really are.....radiant presence here and now! But in reality, there is no entity called"mind". What you think of as your mind, is simply a bunch of thoughts. There is no such thing as "a mind" at all! There is a function of thinking that constantly comes and goes, but you are not that function. You don't need to identify with a function. That is where all the trouble begins! If you "liberate" all thoughts as they arise, if you simply let them come and go in the clear, bright sky of awareness and don't make them into an entity of some kind. You will be free of the pesky ego you are trying so hard to get rid of. Your belief in the existence of an ego-entity is exactly the same as your belief in a mind-entity.

Ego = Mind...........They are the same illusion!


Often, we think of awakening and "enlightenment" as a very complicated, very esoteric or exotic experience that only happens to very special people who go off to India and sit in a cave for 13 yrs or so! But one simple way of describing enlightenment would be to simply say it is the realization that "past" and "future" are completely in our heads and NEVER in our own direct, most obvious experience. All we ever directly experience is NOW. We create past and future as a purely conceptual "reality" and then take them to be true reality. They are not. The only real reality you ever have...is NOW! It has always been so. It has ALWAYS been NOW! Obviously, if past and future are illusory, the "self" you have also created in your head is no more real! To exist, this "self" is entirely dependent on past and future. So, it doesn't really exist as anything more than a concept either.

Who you REALLY are always, in your own most simple, direct experience, is simple, open awareness right here and now. You have always been that, you never were NOT that awareness. How could you NOT be that!? On a certain level, this is already as plain to you as the nose on your face! The realization of this simple truth is enlightenment "in a nutshell"!! NOT esoteric, not complicated, not inaccessible but rather, who you always have been!



THE ZEN MIND - An Introduction by Empty Mind Films


Western Mysticism...


Who's Who in the History of Western Mysticism
by Professor Bruce B. Janz
INTRODUCTION

This page only covers Western mysticism to about 1700. This does not imply any value judgment about mysticism in other cultures, or after 1700. The page was originally constructed for a course called "Philosophy of Western Mysticism" and reflects the research focus of the page's original author.

The people and movements on this list are arranged chronologically, rather than alphabetically. It is by no means complete in reflecting mystical figures or texts in the West -- there are literally hundreds of these. I have simply included writers and texts that seem to me to reflect the high points of mystical writing. They do not represent a single tradition of mysticism.

This list is intended only to mention the major figures. A good source should be consulted for more extensive biographies and discussions. Where to start? Check out the "Biographies" section at the end.

The biography I give for each of these is intended only to identify the person. For a complete life, see the biography sources listed below. If "influences" are mentioned, they are only to try to identify major precursors to a particular person's mystical thought. I have also included a section in which useful terms, important trends, and influential movements are briefly outlined.

This document has been prepared by Bruce B. Janz of the University of Central Florida for the free use of scholars and students of mysticism. If this document is reproduced in whole or in part, it must include this note to indicate the original author. If there are any suggestions for additions, please contact the author. This version was edited and linked to web sites by Gene R. Thursby, with permission from Bruce Janz who retains the rights of authorship. You will find some additional information relevant to the study of mysticism at the Mysticism Resources Page.

PRE-CHRISTIAN MYSTICS AND INFLUENCES ON MYSTICISM

Pythagoras (c.580/570-c.500 B.C.E.): A Presocratic philosopher. Founder of a major school of philosophy/religion that emphasized the mystical interconnections in numbers, nature, and the human soul. The natural and the ethical world were inseparable.

Parmenides (c.515-c.450 B.C.E.): On Nature, extant in fragments. Another of the Presocratics. Extends Pythagoras by insisting that all that exists is unchanging and unified. Therefore, if something is changing, it is illusory. This paves the way for the two-world view important for much mysticism. Influences: Pythagoras.

Plato (428-348 B.C.E.): Sophist, Republic, Parmenides, many others. Most important of ancient philosophers. His philosophical system provides the basis of most later mystical forms. Influences: Pythagoras, Parmenides.

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.): Metaphysics, De Anima, Nicomachean Ethics. While Aristotle himself is not really considered to be a mystic, he is an important influence on later mystics, especially when combined with Plato by Plotinus, and also when Christianized in the high Middle Ages.

Philo (c.20 B.C.E.-c.41 C.E.): The Contemplative Life. An Alexandrian Jew who drew from Platonist tradition, Stoicism, and neo-Pythagoreanism to create a fusion of the active or virtuous life and the contemplative life.

Plotinus (c.205-270 C.E.): Enneads. The non-Christian, neo-Platonic basis for much Christian, Jewish, and Islamic mysticism. Influences: Plato, Aristotle.

Porphyry (c.232-304 C.E.): Isagoge. Compiled Plotinus' Enneads, and wrote a life of Plotinus. He was strongly anti-Christian, yet he became important in the history of Christian mysticism.

Proclus or Proclusthe Lycian (412-485 C.E.): The Elements of Theology. Athenian Neo-platonist, who influenced Pseudo-Dionysius, and beyond him most of the mystical tradition. While respecting Plotinus, Proclus also amended his philosophical structure.

CHRISTIAN MYSTICS AND MOVEMENTS

(1) Early Church

Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35-c.107): Christocentric mystic. For him Christ's death and resurrection take on mystical significance.

St. Polycarp (c.69-c.155): Had a mystical vision which foretold his martyrdom by fire.

Justin Martyr (c.105-c.165): First Apology. Used Greek philosophy as the stepping-stone to Christian theology. The mystical conclusions that some Greeks arrived at, pointed to Christ. Influences: Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, Aristotle, Stoicism.

Irenaeus (c.125-c.202): Revolution and Overthrow of False Knowledge (or Against Heresies). Irenaeus' work was directed against Gnosticism. He emphasized John's gospel, particularly the Logos, which became the voice of God that revealed itself to all people.

Tertullian (c.155-c.222): To Martyrs, Apology, Against the Valentinians, Against Marcion, On the Soul. Emphasized a faith that was a contradiction to reason. "I believe because it is absurd." First to use trinitarian (three-in-one) formulation for God.

Origen (c.185-254): On Principles, Against Celsus. Studied under Clement of Alexandria, and probably also Ammonius Saccus (Plotinus' teacher). He Christianized and theologized neo-Platonism. Each soul has individually fallen (emanation), and must find its way back to God (return) through the help of the Logos, Christ. Origen looks quite Gnostic at times.

St. Antony (c.251-356): The Letters of St. Antony the Great. Early hermit or solitary monk, and a model for later monasticism, particularly of his eremetical type.

St. Athanasius (c.296-373): Against the Gentiles, Apology Against the Arians. Bishop of Alexandria (328-73), wrote a Life of Antony, and was an influence on later Eastern Orthodox mysticism.

Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389): Forty-five Sermons. One of the Cappadocians, early church fathers.

Basil the Great (c.330-379): Longer Rules, Liturgy of St. Basil. One of the Cappadocians, early church fathers. He gave a mystical orientation to the monastic movement.

Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-c.398): Dialogue with his Sister Macrina concerning the Resurrection. Believed that the universe existed as a harmonious order emanating from God. One of the Cappadocians.

Augustine (354-430): De Trinitate, Confessions. Important source for much mediaeval mysticism. Brings Platonism and Christianity together. He emphasizes the soul's search for God, made possible by the illumination of the mind of God. Influences: Plato, Plotinus.

(2) Mediaeval (Catholic and Orthodox) Church

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (writing c.500): The Celestial Hierarchy, the Mystical Theology, and The Divine Names. Originates the distinction between kataphatic and apophatic theology. Influences: Plotinus.

John Scotus Eriugena (c.810-c.877): Periphyseon. Eriugena translated Pseudo-Dionysius from Greek into Latin. He holds that humans are a microcosm of the universe. That which is shared, the essence of all things, is God. Influences: Plotinus, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153): Sermons, De diligendo Deo, On the Love of God. Cistercian mystic. Promoted a mystical vision of rhapsodic love, in which the Church is described in erotic terms as the bride of Christ. His love-mysticism had the tendency to be anti-intellectual, as in his disputes with Abelard.

William of St.-Thierry (c.1085-1148): Golden Letter, On the Contemplation of God, On the Nature and Dignity of Love. A Cistercian contemporary of Bernard's, William also emphasized love-mysticism, but with subtle differences from Bernard in his use of Augustine.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179): Scivias, The Book of Divine Works, Letters. Early German speculative mystic, reminiscent of Isaiah or Ezekiel at times. She was greatly respected in her time, both for her writings as well as for her music and art. Influences: Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux.

Victorines: Hugh of St. Victor (c.1096-c.1142), Richard of St. Victor (d. 1173): On Sacraments. Hugh is the more important of the two. He argues for a close tie between reason and mysticism.

Francis of Assisi (John Bernardone) (1182-1226): Canticle of the Sun. Founder of the Franciscan order, which emphasized self-renunciation and poverty. Francis approaches nature mysticism at times, particularly when he sees God in all living things.

Albertus Magnus (1206-1280): The teacher of Thomas Aquinas. In the tradition of Pythagoras, emphasized the essential unity of science and mysticism. Influences: Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius.

Beatrice of Nazareth (1200-1268): The Seven modes of Sacred Love. Belgian Cistercian mystic. Associated with the Beguines. Influences: Augustine.

Mechthild of Magdeburg (1207-1282): The Flowing Light of the Godhead. Strongly feminine images in mysticism. Devotional mystic. Associated with the Beguines. Influences: Bernard of Clairvaux, Hildegard, Gregory the Great.

Bonaventure (John Fidanza) (1217-1274): The Mind's Road to God, The Tree of Life, The Life of St. Francis. Franciscan monk, and the architect of the philosophical, theological, and mystical side of Francis' thought. Mysticism in the Augustinian tradition. Influences: Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi, Victorines.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1275): Summa Theologica, De Anima, many others. Dominican monk and the greatest Catholic theologian and philosopher. Late in life, he had a mystical experience which caused him to question his scholastic past. Influences: Aristotle, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Eriugena.

Ramon Llull (c.1235-1315): Great Art, The Book of the Lover and the Beloved. Franciscan. Legend has it that Llull wrote 200 works, was an alchemist and a magician. He also worked on the logic of science. The "Great Art" is the scientific and mystical calculation of the interrelations of all things. Influences: Bonaventure.

Angela of Foligno (c.1248-1309): The Book of Divine Consolations of the Blessed Angela of Foligno. Mysticism is based on the facts of Christ's life and death. Influences: Francis of Assisi, Bonaventure.

Marguerite Porete (d. 1310): The Mirror of Simple Souls.

Meister Eckhart (1260-1327/8): Sermons, Parisian Questions and Prologues. [Some English-language selections from his writings are available.] Dominican monk. One of the most important early German speculative mystics. Eckhart is the first of the so-called "Rhineland" mystics. The Sermons were in German, the academic works in Latin. Influences: Pseudo-Dionysius.

Hadewijch (Adelwip) of Brabant/Antwerp (13th century): Letters, Poems in Stanzas, Visions, Poems in Couplets. Belgian Beguine. One of the greatest exponents of love mysticism. Influences: Plato, Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius, Gregory of Nyssa, Richard of St. Victor.

Jan van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381): The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage (Spiritual Espousals), The Sparkling Stone, The Book of Supreme Truth. Flemish mystic, sometimes considered one of the Rhineland mystics. Outlines the stages of the mystical life. Influences: Eckhart, Hadewijch.

Henry Suso (1295-1366): The Little Book of Truth, The Little Book of Wisdom (Horologium Sapientiae). A Rhineland mystic. Influences: Eckhart.

Gregory Palamas (1296-1359): Eastern Orthodox mystic. Influences: Pseudo-Dionysius, Athanasius.

Johannes Tauler (1300-1361): Sermons. Rhineland mystic and Dominican. Tauler emphasized the inner person rather than outer works, and because of this became popular in Protestant circles in the Reformation, and later Pietism and Romanticism. He was part of the same community that produced the Theologia Germanica. Influences: Eckhart, Mechthild of Magdeburg.

Anonymous (c.1350-1400): Theologia Germanica or Theologia Deutsch. Important influence in the German mystical tradition. Luther rediscovered and popularized it. Influences: Augustine, Eckhart, Tauler.

Richard Rolle (1300-1349): The Fire of Love. Part of the "English school" of late mediaeval mysticism. Emphasizes the "physicality" of the mystical experience (feeling heat, seeing colours, etc.).

Birgitta (Brigida) Suecica of Sweden (1302-1373): Ascetic mystic. Heavily involved in political activity. Influences: St. Francis of Assisi.

Anonymous (c.1349-c.1395): The Cloud of Unknowing, [as modernized, see also early text] The Book of Privy Council. Part of the "English school" of late mediaeval mysticism. The emphasis on "unknowing" God is part of Pseudo-Dionysius' apophatic theology. Influences: Pseudo-Dionysius.

Walter Hilton (d. 1395): The Scale (Ladder) of Perfection, Epistle to a Devout Man. An Augustinian monk, Hilton was an English mystic.

Julian of Norwich (1342-1413?): Showings or Revelations of Divine Love. Julian was part of the "English school" of late mediaeval mysticism. Mystical experience that came at the point of death. The experience came with healing, and she devoted her life to understanding her vision. Influences: Pseudo-Dionysius, Aquinas (?).

Margery Kempe (c.1413): Mainly known as the biographer of Julian of Norwich.

Catherine of Siena (1347-1380): Il Dialogo. Italian. Mystic; advisor to Pope Gregory XI. Influences: Augustine.

Thomas à Kempis (c.1380-1471): The Imitation of Christ. Augustinian monk. Finest expression of devotio moderna, modern spirituality, which downplays the Rhineland mystics' concern with contemplation and speculative theology, and stresses the practice of simple piety and asceticism. Influences: Eckhart.

Nicolaus of Cusa (Cusanus, Nikolaus Krebs) (1401-1464): The Vision of God (1453), De Docta Ignorantia. German mystic. Part of the revival of Platonism in the Renaissance. Cusanus was a speculative mystic who emphasized the incomprehensibility and paradoxicality of God. Influences: Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius, Eckhart.

St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510): Life and Doctrines, Treatise on Purgatory. Mysticism spurred in part by the abuse and neglect by her husband. Her trauma becomes mystical as she argues that purgatory is a stage on the mystical path, the final purification of the effects of self-love.

Teresa of Avila (1515-1582): Life, by Herself; The Way of Perfection; The Interior Castle. Spanish Carmelite nun. Formed the Discalced (Barefoot) Carmelites, with St. John of the Cross. Is very important for describing the stages of the mystical journey. Influences: Augustine.

St. John of the Cross (Juan de Yepes) (1542-1591): Dark Night of the Soul and Ascent of Mt. Carmel. Spanish mystic. (Discalced Carmelite) Both John and Teresa emphasize mysticism as union with God, attainable only in the denial of the self. Influences: Teresa of Avila.

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600): Hermetic philosopher, one of the most important philosophers of the Renaissance. Bruno advocated a kind of nature mysticism which had a strong scientific component to it.

St. Francois de Sales (1567-1622): The Introduction to the Devout Life (Philothea), Treatise on the Love of God. French mystic. Devout Life is a classic of French spirituality.

Louis Claude de Saint Martin (1743-1803): Theosophic Correspondence. While technically Catholic, St. Martin's mysticism follows much closer in the tradition of Boehme and other nature mystics. Influences: Boehme, Swedenborg, Weigel, Law.

(3) Non-Catholic Christian Mystics (16th-18th century)

Martin Luther (1483-1546): While Luther had a well-known antipathy to mystics, it is also true that there is the foundation of mystical life in his theology of the heart, particularly in his early thought. Influences: Augustine, Theologica Germanica.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (1486-1535): De Occulta Philosophia (1533). It is not clear whether to call Agrippa Catholic or not. He did not embrace the Reformation, yet many of his themes are much closer to Weigel and Boehme than to any Catholic mystic. His was a speculative mysticism, as much interested in magic and alchemy as in spiritual life.

Paracelsus (Phillipus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim) (1493-1541): Another speculative mystic more interested in medical alchemy, astronomy, and natural philosophy.

Valentin Weigel (1533-1588): Know Thyself (1572). Weigel begins in the tradition of Rhineland mysticism, and moves to the speculative nature mysticism of Paracelsus. Influences: Eckhart, Tauler, Theologica Germanica, Paracelsus.

Jacob Boehme (1575-1624): Aurora (1612) [in German], Mysterium Pansophicum (1620), Signature Rerum (1622), Mysterium Magnum (1623). Lusatian Lutheran. A major figure in German mysticism. Influences: Eckhart, the Jewish Kabbalah, Valentin Weigel, Renaissance alchemy, Paracelsus.

Christian Knorr von Rosenroth (1636-1689): Kabbala Denudata: The Kabbalah Uncovered. A Christian Kabbalist. Influenced by the Kabbalah, Jacob Boehme.

Angelus Silesius (Johannes Scheffler 1624-1677): The Cherubic Wanderer [Hungarian version] (1657-on). Mysticism in epigrammatic couplets.

George Fox (1624-1691): Founder of the Quakers. Influences: Boehme.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646-1716): Monadology. Usually thought of as a rationalist philosopher rather than a mystic. However, while it may be too much to call him a mystic, it is certainly possible to see the affinities between his thought and that of Cusanus, Weigel, Boehme, and other nature mystics. His most important contribution is to blend inner life with rationality; most Pietists (and most scientists) assumed them to be mutually exclusive.

William Law (1686-1761): The Spirit of Love (1752-1754). English mystic. Law is most famous for his devotional works (like A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life), but later in his life he became interested in Jacob Boehme, and wrote several mystical treatises.

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772): Many works, including Arcana Coelestia, Heaven and Hell, The Heavenly City, Divine Love and Wisdom, etc. Swedenborg worked out a detailed understanding of nature mysticism, applying it to everything from the animal world to the spiritual world. He is one of the few mystics to have an active following to the present.

Friedrich Christoph Oetinger (1702-1782): Nature mystic, Pietist. Influences: Boehme, Weigel, Swedenborg.

Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803): Another person who is often not counted as a mystic, but who followed Leibnitz in attempting to blend science and mysticism into a kind of vitalism. Influences: Cusanus, Boehme, Leibnitz.

NOTE: After the 18th century, the influence of mysticism explodes in the Romanticism of Germany, England, and America. True mystics, however, remain few.

JEWISH MYSTICS AND MYSTICISM

Kabbalah [See also links maintained by Colin Low.]

Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia (1240-1291): One of the founders of the Spanish Kabbalah.

Moses ben Shem Tob de Leon (1250-1305): Zohar (The Book of Splendor). The most important writer of the most important Kabbalist document.

Moses Cordovero (1522-1570): Pardes Rimmonim, Elimah Rabbati, Palmtree of Deborah. Spanish Kabbalist. Cordovero laid the groundwork for the Kabbalist ethical literature that proliferated in the 16th-18th centuries.

Isaac Luria (1534-1572): Founder of the Lurianic Kabbalah, which is the modern version. Most modern Kabbalists follow Luria's version.

Hasidism

Israel ben Eliezer, Ba'al Shem Tov (Besht) (1700-1760): Founder of the Hasidim, the sect appearing during the final stages of the Kabbalah's development.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the Ukraine (1772-1810): Martin Buber, the author of I and Thou (Ich und Du), calls him the last Jewish mystic.

ISLAMIC MYSTICS AND MYSTICISM

Sufism has sources in sacred texts, the remembrance of Allah, and respect for those who exemplify the straight path of Islam through and beyond explicit injunctions of the law.

Hasan of Basra (d. 728): Early advocate of ascetic piety. Hasan emphasized the Koran or Qur'an as the standard of right and wrong, which in turn emphasized the fear of God.

al Hallaj (d. 922): The Ta wa-sin Tried and executed for claiming that God had come to dwell in him.

al Farabi (ca. 873-950): Important philosopher as well as a mystic. Influences: Plotinus.

al Ghazali (d. 1111): First-rate Aristotelean philosopher, who extended Aristotle's theory of perception to argue for a kind of mystical perception that goes beyond reason. Influences: Aristotle.

ADDENDUM: TERMS, TRENDS, AND MOVEMENTS WORTH KNOWING ABOUT

Alchemy: Alchemy, as often as not, assumes a Hermetic world view. Most people know alchemy as the search for the principle of transmutation of baser metals into higher (e.g., lead into gold). It is really broader, and represents the attempt to understand the connections in the world. Paracelsus practiced a medical alchemy, in which the body was a collection of balancing principles, and illness meant that the balance was off. If you take away the spiritual assumptions behind the alchemical forces, you have something remarkably close to Newtonian physics.

Beghards: male counterparts to the Beguines. Fewer, and less of an issue for the church at the time.

Beguines: group of female contemplatives, some of whom were mystics. They were condemned as heretics because they represented a challenge to the church's authority. Many important female mystics were associated with the Beguines, although the group was not necessarily mystical (some thought that mystical visions got in the way of practical life).

Gnosticism: Derived from Greek gnosis, knowledge. The Gnostic is one who claims esoteric knowledge about God and the metaphysical structure of the universe. There is a strong distinction between spirit and matter, God and the world. This position sometimes resulted in asceticism (the spirit must be liberated from the bonds of the flesh), and sometimes antinomianism (the material world is inconsequential, so there is no point in resisting carnal impulses). Some later mysticism (e.g. quietism) has the world-denying aspects of gnosticism.

Hermeticism: Followers of the legendary figure Hermes Trismegistus, or thrice-great Hermes, reputed to be an Egyptian writer. Much nature mysticism of the Renaissance found hermetic thought useful, because both understood the world to be intrinsically interconnected, and only understandable once those connections were understood. Hermes mixed with Pseudo-Dionysius was common fare in Renaissance Italy, until Isaac Casaubon showed that Hermes was not who he said he was.

Kabbalah: Jewish mysticism that has its roots earlier than Christianity, but which flourishes in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Kabbalah struggles with the problem of how the human person can relate to a God who is totally other, and how that God relates to creation.

Monasticism: Although the tendency to live apart for spiritual devotion has a long history, it is closely tied to mysticism in the Middle Ages. The disciplines associated with mysticism have their most rigorous application there. The most famous orders are the Franciscans (St. Francis of Assisi, Bonaventure), the Dominicans (Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart), the Carmelites (Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross), the Benedictines (St. Benedict), and the Jesuits (St. Ignatius of Loyola). The orders exist to this day, and continue to be places that encourage mysticism and contemplation (Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk, for instance).

Rhineland Mysticism: The Rhineland mystics were German mystics that follow the influence of Meister Eckhart. They tend to emphasize the search for the inner ground of the soul.

Sufism: The mystical bent in Islam is supported by passages from the Koran (or Qur'an) and is represented by the Sufis. Because there is a dominant emphasis on prophetic activism and legalism in Islam, Muslim tradition may be misunderstood as entirely inhospitable to mysticism. But the Sufi way, mainly transmitted through "lay orders" that trace their origin to some influential spiritual teacher, preserve a distinctively Islamic mysticism. Among these Sufi subtraditions are the Naqshbandi and the Nimatullahi, but there are several others. A few modern organizations (such as the International Sufi Movement led by Hidayat Inayat Khan) claim descent from traditional Sufis but do not require their followers to be Muslims. And recently the great Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi has been rediscovered as a source of inspiration by poets Robert Bly and Coleman Barks. However, most practicing Sufis affirm that they are Muslims.

IMPORTANT SECONDARY SOURCES

The secondary sources in mysticism are quite varied. Sometimes whole works are devoted to the subject; sometimes chapters of quite unexpected works will be on mysticism. More general reflections on mysticism can be found as introductions or appendices to works on particular mystics or chapters in philosophies or psychologies of religion. And, many works on mysticism that seem to be reflections on the nature of mysticism turn out to be anthologies of writings of various mystics. Compounding the problem is the fact that the word "mysticism" has been used for all sorts of experiences, philosophical positions, personality types, writings, or whatever. Where to go?

Well, here are my favorites. Of course, this is highly selective, not to mention somewhat idiosyncratic. I will start with the good general bibliographies first -- consulting these will lead you to other things. You will have to find bibliographies for individual mystics yourself (come see me on this; I might be able to help). In the "General Secondary Sources" section, I have not included several fine works that reflect on mysticism in general from the point of view of a particular mystic (except for von Huegel's work, that is). Most of these you can find by looking for the particular mystic.

(1) Bibliographies

Bowman, Mary Ann. Western mysticism: A guide to the basic works. Chicago: American Library Association, 1978. ~~ A very good work, to 1978. It is well organized, and has a good index. It is better than Sharma & Arndt, although both are quite old.

CD-ROM Indices -- Modern Languages Association (MLA) Index, Philosopher's Index, PsychLit Index, Religion Index. ~~ All of these will produce more references than you can use, if you look either under "mysticism" or under a particular mystic's name, or under the name of a movement (e.g. "Beguine"). These indices have the virtue of also giving you abstracts. . . .

Jones, C., Wainwright, G., Yarnold, E., eds. The study of spirituality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. ~~ Each entry comes with a short bibliography. This is a good place to start if you want information on a particular individual.

McGinn, Bernard. The foundations of mysticism. New York: Crossroad Press, 1991. ~~ McGinn has a great bibliography in the back of this book. More on McGinn later.

Sharma, Umesh and Arndt, John. Mysticism: A select bibliography. Waterloo, Ont.: Waterloo Lutheran University, 1973. ~~ This bibliography goes well beyond Western mysticism. At over 1500 entries, it is quite good (although of course, still selective, given the immense amount of material they could have included). There are only two real drawbacks: it is hard to find . . . , and it is over 20 years old (a lot has happened in theory of mysticism since 1973). While the entries are not organized under headings, there is an index at the back. A good resource.

Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism, 12th edition. New York: Meridian Books, 1955. ~~ Underhill lists texts, translations, and studies for many different mystics, quite a number not included in my list.

(2) Biographies

Encyclopedia of philosophy, Macmillan and Free Press, 1967. ~~ It will not have all the mystics listed above, but only those that are clearly philosophically significant. However, what it does have is well done.

Ferguson, John. An illustrated encyclopedia of mysticism and the mystery religions. New York: Seabury Press, 1977. ~~ Although sometimes a bit sloppy about its characterizations (I think it buys into the hype a bit too much), this is a good quick reference for people, movements, and ideas.

Jones, C., Wainwright, G., Yarnold, E., eds. The study of spirituality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. ~~ A good resource on the history of spirituality, with dozens of entries by major writers on important people, movements, and concepts.

Reese, W. L., Dictionary of philosophy and religion. Humanities Press, 1980. ~~ Very brief entries on virtually all the people mentioned here.

(3) General Secondary Sources

Almond, Philip. Mystical experience and religious doctrine: An investigation of the study of mysticism in world religions. Berlin and New York: Mouton, 1982. ~~ Almond focusses on the interpretation of mystical experience, and does a good critique of different thinkers.

Bynum, Caroline Walker. Jesus as mother. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982. ~~ A classic on mysticism and women in the High Middle Ages.

Carmody, Denise L. & John T. Carmody. Mysticism: Holiness east and west. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. ~~ A breezy overview of mysticism around the world. As with most works of this sort, the further the term mysticism is extended, the harder it is to maintain the commonalities. Still, not a bad introduction.

Certeau, Michel de. The mystic fable. Volume 1: The 16th and 17th Centuries. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1992. ~~ de Certeau is chiefly known for his work in post-modern and post-colonial circles, mainly on embodiment. This is one of his final works, and is an excellent rethinking of early modern mysticism as the "attempt to represent the unrepresentable."

Ellwood, Robert. Mysticism and religion. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1980. ~~ Long used as a basic introduction to mysticism in religion departments. Also available in a slightly revised second edition ~ New York: Seven Bridges Press, 1998.

Evans, Donald. Spirituality and human nature. Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 1992. ~~ A philosopher/mystic teaching at the University of Toronto gives a defense of the rationality and respectability of mystical experience.

Forman, Robert K. C., ed. The problem of pure consciousness: Mysticism and philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. ~~ A good compilation of essays on the debate between perennialists and constructivists, as Forman calls them, or those who regard mystical experience as pure, and those that argue that it is mediated through language, tradition, culture, religion, and other factors.

Happold, F. C. Mysticism: A study and an anthology. London, England: Penguin, 1963. ~~ One of the first attempts to place mysticism in the modern world.

Horne, James. Beyond mysticism (1978). The moral mystic (1983). Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. ~~ Both these books deserve more attention than they receive. Horne identifies and tackles several issues in philosophy and mysticism.

Huegel, F. von. The mystical element of religion. 2 vols., London: Dent, 1908; New York: Dutton, 1923. ~~ The grand-daddy of modern scholarship on mysticism. Working from the writings of Catherine of Genoa, Huegel concludes that the mystical or experiential element is an essential component of true religion.

Idel, Moshe. Kabbalah: New perspectives. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1988. ~~ The best recent discussion of the Kabbalah.

Idel, Moshe & Bernard McGinn, eds. Mystical union and monotheistic faith: An ecumenical dialogue. New York: MacMillan, 1989. ~~ An investigation of the unio mystica in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. ~ Reprinted as Mystical Union in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam : An Ecumenical Dialogue. New York: Continuum, 1996.

James, William. The varieties of religious experience. New York: Mentor Books, 1958. ~~ One of the first Gifford Lectures ever given (1901-1902), James' book has a long section in which he gives examples of mystical experience and outlines a rudimentary phenomenology of mysticism. This is the starting point for many later writers. His (1897) essay "The will to believe" raises questions that complement rather than contribute directly to the study of mysticism.

Jones, Richard. Mysticism examined. Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1993. ~~ A collection of Jones' essays from the previous 15 years, he takes an analytic philosophical approach to the questions of mysticism.

Katz, Steven, ed. Mysticism and philosophical analysis (1978). London and New York: Oxford University Press.
___________, ed. Mysticism and religious traditions (1983). London and New York: Oxford University Press.
___________, ed. Mysticism and language (1992). London and New York: Oxford University Press.
All these volumes have important essays in them, not the least of which is Katz' own "Language, Epistemology, and Mysticism" in the first book. That essay set the stage for a debate over the nature of mystical experience that continues today.

Louth, Andrew. The origins of the Christian mystical tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981. ~~ Just about anything Louth writes is worth reading (he also did a very good introduction to Pseudo-Dionysius, called Denis the Areopagite, and several essays on patristic-age mystics); this was the best on this topic before McGinn's work.

McGinn, Bernard. The foundations of mysticism. New York: Crossroad Press, 1991. ~~ The first of a promised 4-volume series on the history and theory of mysticism, this is a spectacular beginning. It is wide-ranging, sympathetic to mysticism without being blind to its problems, very well researched, and easy to read. Besides that, it gives intelligent critiques of many other recent writers on mysticism. It is already orders of magnitude better than anything else out there. (Do I sound enthusiastic?). Volume II, The growth of mysticism, continues the strong tradition of scholarship. It covers the period from Gregory the Great to the 12th century.

Otto, Rudolf. The idea of the holy. London: Oxford University Press, 1958. ~~ As the subtitle says, "an inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational." Technically not mysticism, but Otto (1869-1937) has major implications for mysticism. His later book, Mysticism east and west, which may from the title seem more relevant to a discussion of mysticism, is a seriously flawed attempt to compare Meister Eckhart and Acharya Sankara.

Scholem, Gershom. Major trends in Jewish mysticism. New York: Schocken Books, 1961. (First published in 1941.) ~~ Scholem is the most famous modern interpreter of Jewish mysticism. This provides a good, if somewhat breezy overview.

Scholem, Gershom. Kabbalah. New York: Dorset Books, 1974. ~~ Much more indepth on this important type of Jewish mysticism, although Idel's book is more scholarly.

Staal, Frits. Exploring mysticism. London, England: Penguin, 1975. ~~ Staal argues that mystical experience can be studied in the same way that we would study any other object of scientific investigation, as long as there is some way of inducing actual mystical states in the researcher.

Stace, W. T. Mysticism and philosophy. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott, 1960. ~~ Stace makes some classic distinctions here that have become part of the language of theory of mysticism.

Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism, 12th edition. New York: Meridian Books, 1955. ~~ First published in 1910, Underhill tries to consider mysticism from both the outside and the inside. This is an old classic, and worth consulting, even though later works fulfill this project better.

Underhill, Evelyn. Practical mysticism. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1915. ~~ Despite the odd title, this is a good introduction to the life and practice of mysticism. Underhill intends this as a kind of primer to the mystical life.

Weeks, Andrew. German mysticism. Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 1993. ~~ After work on Jacob Boehme, Weeks provides solid treatment of mysticism through about 800 years of German history. Weeks is an historian, and as such contextualizes mysticism in the political, social, and intellectual worlds very well.

Woods, Richard, ed. Understanding mysticism. New York: Image Books, 1980. ~~ A very good collection of essays on mysticism, from a variety of points of view and disciplinary commitments.

Zaehner, R. C. Mysticism: Sacred and profane. London: Oxford, 1961. ~~ Zaehner argues for a difference between theistic and monistic (nature) mysticism, the latter of which is induced by (among other things) drugs.
"Who's Who" text © 1997-2009 by Bruce B. Janz