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Mystiek > Over mystiek > Geschiedenis > Christelijk

Appendix (9)

Middeleeuwen: Richard van St. Victor

This literature falls into two classes: the personal and the didactic. Sometimes, as in a celebrated sermon of St. Bernard, the two are combined; the teacher appealing to his own experience in illustration of this theme. In the works of the 'Victorines' the attitude is didactic: one might almost say scientific. In them mysticism - that is to say, the degrees of contemplation, the training and exercise of the spiritual sense - takes its place as a recognised department of theology. It is, in Richard's favourite symbolism, "Benjamin," the beloved child of Rachel, emblem of the Contemplative Life: and in his two chief works, "Benjamin Major" and "Benjamin Minor," it is classified and described in all its branches. Though mysticism was for Richard the "science of the heart" and he had little respect for secular learning, yet his solid intellectuality did much to save the medieaval school from the perils of religious emotionalism. In his hands the antique mystical tradition, which flowed through Plotinus and the Areopagite, was codified and transmitted to the medieaval world. Like his master, Hugh, he had the medieaval passion for elaborate allegory, neat arrangement, rigid classification, and significant numbers in things. As Dante parcelled out Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell with mathematical precision, and proved that Beatrice was herself a Nine, so these writers divide and subdivide the stages of contemplation, the states of the soul, the degrees of Divine Love: and perform terrible tours de force in the course of compelling the ever-variable expressions of man's spiritual vitality to fall into orderly and parallel series, conformable to the mystic numbers of Seven, Four, and Three.

God is een grote onderaardse rivier die door niemand ingedamd kan worden en welke door niemand gestopt kan worden.
- Meister Eckehart -

Underhill, Evelyn: Mysticism
A study in the nature and development of Man's spiritual consciousness
Cover van Evelyn Underhill: MysticismDit boek van Evelyn Underhill is een onbetwistbare klassieker t.a.v. het onderwerp mystiek. Ook al is het in 1910 voor het eerst gepubliceerd, Underhills boek
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