6.22.2010

More on Mysticism

Pascal, from the Pensées 1.130:
If he exalts himself, I humble him.
If he humbles himself, I exalt him.
And I go on contradicting him
Until he understands
That he is a monster that passes all understanding.
Carl Jung, from The Red Book (Liber Novus), [liber primus fol.i(v)/ii(r)]:
Believe me: It is no teaching and no instruction that I give you. On what basis should I presume to teach you? I give you news of the way of this man, but not of your own way. My path is not your path, therefore I cannot teach you. The way is within us, but not in Gods, nor in teachings, nor in laws. Within us is the way, the truth, and the life.
Jordan Paper, "Ethnohermeneutics II: West," from his book, The Mystic Experience: a Descriptive and Comparative Analysis:
The foremost mystic of the Hellenistic world, [Plotinus] relates to the Religions of the Book in this regard as the Upanishads do to Hinduism. Plotinus was a professional philosopher who based his teachings on his own "Union" experiences, which his disciple and biographer, Porphyry, stated he had four times; Porphyry himself had the experience once... For Plotinus, the mystic experience was utterly ineffable: "Thus The One is in truth beyond all statement" (Enneads V.3.13). The experience cannot but be discussed from the standpoint of what is not; that is, by negation.
From E.M. Cioran's book Tears and Saints:
Mysticism is an eruption of the absolute into history. Like music, it is the crowning of culture, its ultimate justification.
From The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:
Thereafter, one is undisturbed by the dualities.
From William James's Varieties of Religious Experience:
In Hinduism, in Neoplatonism, in Sufism, in Christian mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note, so that there is about mystical utterances an eternal unanimity which ought to make a critic stop and think, and which brings it about that the mystical classics have, as has been said, neither birthday nor native land. Perpetually telling of the unity of man with God, their speech antedates languages, and they do not grow old.
Han Shan, quoted in Peter Kingsley's book on Parmenides, Reality:
As one coming suddently out of darkness, I perceived the full meaning of the doctrine of immutability and said: "Now I can believe that fundamentally all things neither come nor go." I got up from my meditation bed, prostrated myself before the Buddha shrine and did not have the perception of anything in motion. I lifted the blind and stood in front of the stone steps. Suddenly the wind blew through the tress in the courtyard, and the air was filled with flying leaves which, however, looked motionless. I said to myself: "This is the whirlwind that will destroy Mount Sumeru and which is permanently still. When I went to the back yard to make water, the urine seemed not to be running. I said, "That is why the river pours but does not flow." Thereafter, all my doubts about birth and death vanished.
Jimi Hendrix, speaking of his guitar as a metaphor for Tr-th:
Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded.
Jesus, in the Gospel of Thomas (saying #2)
Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all.
From Jacob Boehme's Six Theosophic Points (1620):
...and the eternal Light cannot be laid hold of by anything, unless that thing fall into death, and give its essence voluntarily to the fire of Nature, and pass with its essential will out of itself into the Light; and abandon itself wholly to the Light; and desire to will or to do nothing, but commit its will to the Light, that the Light may be its will.
From Salinger's Franny & Zooey:
...I'll tell you a terrible secret--Are you listening to me? There isn't anyone out there who isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. That includes your Professor Tupper, buddy. And all his goddam cousins by the dozens. There isn't anyone anywhere that isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. Don't you know that? Don't you know that goddam secret yet? And don't you know--listen to me, now--don't you know who that Fat Lady really is?... Ah, buddy. Ah, buddy. It's Christ himself. Christ Himself, buddy.
From The Chandogya Upanishad
As the rivers flowing east and west
Merge in the sea and become one with it,
Forgetting they were ever separate rivers,
So do all creatures lose their separateness
When they merge at last into pure Being.
There is nothing that does not come from him.
Of everything he is the inmost Self.
He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.
You are that, Shvetaketu, you are that.
From Simone Weil's Gravity and Grace:
We hate the people who try to make us form the connexions we do not want to form.