MYSTICISM: The Dark Night of the Soul, with help from Evelyn Underhill

The Value of Sparrows

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

I have spent quite a number of my adult years wondering about the dark night of the soul. I knew about “active” periods, those lengths of time that kept my soul so busy that I would long for the period of rest that would invariably follow.

For me the quiet periods would be about sweet stillness.  Restoration of my soul.  Green pastures.  Always.

Until this time.

Ecstasy, for instance, is as common a feature of mystical conversion as of the last crisis, or “mystic marriage” of the soul: whilst visions and voices—in selves of a visionary or auditive type—accompany and illustrate every phase of the inward development. They lighten and…

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