Main CategoriesMetaphysics and the SupernaturalMetaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation Mysticism


Product no.: 0-486-42238-0

Mysticism draws on hundreds of sources from all over the world and remains the preeminent study of human spiritual consciousness.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Part One defines mysticism, sets out its characteristics and explains its relationship to psychology, theology and symbolism. Part Two explores the mystic way, the stages of mystic consciousness from the self to union with the Absolute.

Mysticism, first published in 1911, was at once hailed as a classic and swiftly established its author as the foremost authority on the subject in the English-speaking world. Here she offers an excellent introduction to mysticism, discussing the works of such great mystics as Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, Rumi and Attar.


"Brilliantly written [and] illuminated with numerous well-chosen extracts... used with exquisite skill."         ~The Princeton Theological Review


"Yet it is surely not very amazing that St. Francis of Assisi, feeling and knowing—not merely 'believing'—that every living creature was veritably and actually a 'theophany or appearance of God,' should have been acutely conscious that he shared with these brothers and sisters of his the great and lovely life of the All. Nor, this being so, can we justly regard him as eccentric because he acted in accordance with his convictions, preached to his little sisters the birds, availed himself of the kindly offices of the falcon, enjoyed the friendship of the pheasant, soothed the captured turtledoves, his 'simple-minded sisters, innocent and chaste,' or persuaded his Brother Wolf to a better life.

The true mystic, so often taunted with 'a denial of the world,' does but deny the narrow and artificial world of self: and finds in exchange the secrets of that mighty universe which he shares with Nature and with God. Strange contacts, unknown to those who only lead the life of sense, are set up between his being and the being of all other things. In that remaking of his consciousness which follows upon the 'mystical awakening,' the deep and primal life which he shares with all creation has been roused from its sleep. Hence the barrier between human and non-human life, which makes man a stranger on earth as well as in heaven, is done away. Life now whispers to his life: all things are his intimates, and respond to his fraternal sympathy."         ~IV. The Illumination of the Self


Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), a novelist and poet, published her first book in 1902 but her growing interest in mysticism led in 1911 to her greatest work. A comprehensive study of the spiritual life and religious experience, Mysticism remains a classic. In 1921 she was Upton Lecturer on the Philosophy of Religion at Manchester College, and was the first woman to give a series of lectures on theology at Oxford.

Author Underhill, Evelyn
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 515 pp.
Publisher Dover Publications 2002
Gold Medal

Gold Medal


  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Metaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation, Masterworks of the Western Mystery Tradition, Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology, Noteworthy Releases 2002, Gold Medal Essential Reading

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