Table of Contents

Title Page

Prefatory

Ascent of Mount Carmel.

Book The First. Wherein is described the nature of dark night and how necessary it is to pass through it to Divine union; and in particular this book describes the dark night of sense, and desire, and the evils which these work in the soul.

Book the First.

Chapter I. Sets down the first stanza. Describes two different nights through which spiritual persons pass, according to the two parts of man, the lower and the higher. Expounds the stanza which follows.

Chapter II. Explains the nature of this dark night through which the soul says that it has passed on the road to union.

Chapter III. Speaks of the first cause of this night, which is that of the privation of the desire in all things, and gives the reason for which it is called night.

Chapter IV. Wherein is declared how necessary it is for the soul truly to pass through this dark night of sense, which is mortification of desire, in order that it may journey to union with God.

Chapter V. Wherein the aforementioned subject is treated and continued, and it is shown by passages and figures from Holy Scripture how necessary it is for the soul to journey to God through this dark night of the mortification of desire in all things.

Chapter VI. Wherein are treated two serious evils caused in the soul by the desires, the one evil being privative and the other positive.

Chapter VII. Wherein is shown how the desires torment the soul. This is proved likewise by comparison and quotations.

Chapter VIII. Wherein is shown how the desires darken and blind the soul.

Chapter IX. Wherein is described how the desires defile the soul. This is proved by comparisons and quotations from Holy Scripture.

Chapter X. Wherein is described how the desires weaken the soul in virtue and make it lukewarm.

Chapter XI. Wherein it is proved necessary that the soul that would attain to Divine union should be free from desires, however slight they be.

Chapter XII. Which treats of the answer to another question, explaining what the desires are that suffice to cause the evils aforementioned in the soul.

Chapter XIII. Wherein is described the manner and way which the soul must follow in order to enter this night of sense.

Chapter XIV. Wherein is expounded the second line of the stanza.

Chapter XV. Wherein are expounded the remaining lines of the aforementioned stanza.

Book The Second. Wherein is treated the proximate means of ascending to union with God, which is faith; and wherein therefore is described the second part of this night, which, as we said, belongs to the spirit, and is contained in the second stanza, which is as follows.

Chapter I. Stanza The Second.

Chapter II. Which begins to treat of the second part or cause of this night, which is faith. Proves by two arguments how it is darker than the first and than the third.

Chapter III. How faith is dark night to the soul. This is proved with arguments and quotations and figures from Scripture.

Chapter IV. Treats in general of how the soul likewise must be in darkness, in so far as this rests with itself, to the end that it may be effectively guided by faith to the highest contemplation.

Chapter V. Wherein is described what is meant by union of the soul with God. A comparison is given.

Chapter VI. Wherein is described how it is the three theological virtues that perfect the three faculties of the soul, and how the said virtues produce emptiness and darkness within them.

Chapter VII. Wherein is described how strait is the way that leads to eternal life and how completely detached and disencumbered must be those that will walk in it. We begin to speak of the detachment of the understanding.

Chapter VIII. Which describes in a general way how no creature and no knowledge that can be comprehended by the understanding can serve as a proximate means of Divine union with God.

Chapter IX. How faith is the proximate and proportionate means to the understanding whereby the soul may attain to the Divine union of love. This is proved by passages and figures from Divine Scripture.

Chapter X. Wherein distinction is made between all apprehensions and types of knowledge which can be comprehended by the understanding.

Chapter XI. Of the hindrance and harm that may be caused by apprehensions of the understanding which proceed from that which is supernaturally represented to the outward bodily senses; and how the soul is to conduct itself therein.

Chapter XII. Which treats of natural imaginary apprehensions. Describes their nature and proves that they cannot be a proportionate means of attainment to union with God. Shows the harm which results from inability to detach oneself from them.

Chapter XIII. Wherein are set down the signs which the spiritual person will find in himself whereby he may know at what season it behoves him to leave meditation and reasoning and pass to the state of contemplation.

Chapter XIV. Wherein is proved the fitness of these signs, and the reason is given why that which has been said in speaking of them is necessary to progress.

Chapter XV. Wherein is explained how it is sometimes well for progressives who are beginning to enter upon this general knowledge of contemplation to make use of natural reasoning and the work of the natural faculties.

Chapter XVI. Which treats of the imaginary apprehensions that are supernaturally represented in the fancy. Describing how they cannot serve the soul as a proximate means to union with God.

Chapter XVII. Wherein is described the purpose and manner of God in His communication of spiritual blessings to the soul by means of the senses. Herein is answered the question which has been referred to.

Chapter XVIII. Which treats of the harm that certain spiritual masters may do to souls when they direct them not by a good method with respect to the visions aforementioned. Describes also how these visions may cause deception even though they be of God.

Chapter XIX. >Wherein is expounded and proved how, although visions and locutions which come from God are true, we may be deceived about them. This is proved by quotations from Divine Scripture.

Chapter XX. Wherein is proved by passages from Scripture how the sayings and words of God, though always true, do not always rest upon stable causes.

Chapter XXI. Wherein is explained how at times, although God answers the prayers that are addressed to Him, He is not pleased that we should use such methods. It is also shown how, although He condescend to us and answer us, He is oftentimes wroth.

Chapter XXII. Wherein is solved a difficulty — namely, why it is not lawful, under the law of grace, to ask anything of God by supernatural means, as it was under the old law. This solution is proved by a passage from Saint Paul.

Chapter XXIII. Which begins to treat of the apprehensions of the understanding that come in a purely spiritual way, and describes their nature.

Chapter XXIV. Which treats of two kinds of spiritual vision that come supernaturally.

Chapter XXV. Which treats of revelations, describing their nature and making a distinction between them.

Chapter XXVI. Which treats of the intuition of naked truths in the understanding, explaining how they are of two kinds and how the soul is to conduct itself with respect to them.

Chapter XXVII. Which treats of the second kind of revelation, namely, the disclosure of hidden secrets. Describes the way in which these may assist the soul toward union with God, and the way in which they may be a hindrance; and how the devil may deceive the soul greatly in this matter.

Chapter XXVIII. Which treats of interior locutions that may come to the spirit supernaturally. Says of what kinds they are.

Chapter XXIX. Which treats of the first kind of words that the recollected spirit sometimes forms within itself. Describes the cause of these and the profit and the harm which there may be in them.

Chapter XXX. Which treats of the interior words that come to the spirit formally by supernatural means. Warns the reader of the harm which they may do and of the caution that is necessary in order that the soul may not be deceived by them.

Chapter XXXI. Which treats of the substantial words that come interiorly to the spirit. Describes the difference between them and formal words, and the profit which they bring and the resignation and respect which the soul must observe with regard to them.

Chapter XXXII. Which treats of the apprehensions received by the understanding from interior feelings which come supernaturally to the soul. Describes their cause, and the manner wherein the soul must conduct itself so that they may not obstruct its road to union with God.

Book The Third. Which treats of the purgation of the active night of the memory and will. Gives instruction how the soul is to behave with respect to the apprehensions of these two faculties, that it may come to union with God, according to the two faculties aforementioned, in perfect hope and charity.

Chapter I.

Chapter II. Which treats of the natural apprehensions of the memory and describes how the soul must be voided of them in order to be able to attain to union with God according to this faculty.

Chapter III. Wherein are described three kinds of evil which come to the soul when it enters not into darkness with respect to knowledge and reflections in the memory. Herein is described the first.

Chapter IV. Which treats of the second kind of evil that may come to the soul from the devil by way of the natural apprehensions of the memory.

Chapter V. Of the third evil which comes to the soul by way of the distinct natural knowledge or the memory.

Chapter VI. Of the benefits which come to the soul from forgetfulness and emptiness of all thoughts and knowledge which it may have in a natural way with respect to the memory.

Chapter VII. Which treats or the second kind or apprehension of the memory — namely, imaginary apprehensions — and of supernatural knowledge.

Chapter VIII. Of the evils which may be caused in the soul by the knowledge of supernatural things, if it reflect upon them. Says how many these evils are.

Chapter IX. Of the second kind of evil, which is the peril of falling into self-esteem and vain presumption.

Chapter X. Of the third evil that may come to the soul from the devil, through the imaginary apprehensions of the memory.

Chapter XI. Of the fourth evil that comes to the soul from the distinct supernatural apprehensions of the memory, which is the hindrance that it interposes to union.

Chapter XII. Of the fifth evil that may come to the soul in supernatural imaginary forms and apprehensions, which is a low and unseemly judgment or God.

Chapter XIII. Of the benefits which the soul receives through banishing from itself the apprehensions of the imagination. This chapter answers a certain objection and explains a difference which exists between apprehensions that are imaginary, natural and supernatural.

Chapter XIV. Which treats of spiritual knowledge in so far as it may concern the memory.

Chapter XV. Which sets down the general method whereby the spiritual person must govern himself with respect to this sense.

Chapter XVI. Which begins to treat of the dark night of the will. Makes a division between the affections of the will.

Chapter XVII. Which begins to treat of the first affections of the will. Describes the nature of joy and makes a distinction between the things in which the will can rejoice.

Chapter XVIII. Which treats of joy with respect to temporal blessings. Describes how joy in them must be directed to God.

Chapter XIX. Of the evils that may befall the soul when it sets its rejoicing upon temporal blessings.

Chapter XX. Of the benefits that come to the soul from its withdrawal of joy from temporal things.

Chapter XXI. Which describes how it is vanity to set the rejoicing of the will upon the good things of nature, and how the soul must direct itself, by means of them, to God.

Chapter XXII. Of the evils which come to the soul when it sets the rejoicing of its will upon the good things of nature.

Chapter XXIII. Of the benefits which the soul receives from not setting its rejoicing upon the good things of nature.

Chapter XXIV. Which treats of the third kind of good thing whereon the will may set the affection of rejoicing, which kind pertains to sense. Indicates what these good things are and of how many kinds, and how the will has to be directed to God and purged of this rejoicing.

Chapter XXV. Which treats of the evils that afflict the soul when it desires to set the rejoicing of its will upon the good things of sense.

Chapter XXVI. Of the benefits that come to the soul from self-denial in rejoicing as to things of sense, which benefits are spiritual and temporal.

Chapter XXVII. Which begins to treat of the fourth kind of good — namely, the moral. Describes wherein this consists, and in what manner joy of the will therein is lawful.

Chapter XXVIII. Of seven evils into which a man may fall if he set the rejoicing of his will upon moral good.

Chapter XXIX. Of the benefits which come to the soul through the withdrawal of its rejoicing from moral good.

Chapter XXX. Which begins to treat of the fifth kind of good wherein the will may rejoice, which is the supernatural. Describes the nature of these supernatural good things, and how they are distinguished from the spiritual, and how joy in them is to be directed to God.

Chapter XXXI. Of the evils which come to the soul when it sets the rejoicing of the will upon this kind of good.

Chapter XXXII. Of two benefits which are derived from the renunciation of rejoicing in the matter of the supernatural graces.

Chapter XXXIII. Which begins to treat of the sixth kind of good wherein the soul may rejoice. Describes its nature and makes the first division under this head.

Chapter XXXIV. Of those good things of the spirit which can be distinctly apprehended by the understanding and the memory. Describes how the will is to behave in the matter of rejoicing in them.

Chapter XXXV. Of the delectable spiritual good things which can be distinctly apprehended by the will. Describes the kinds of these.

Chapter XXXVI. Which continues to treat of images, and describes the ignorance which certain persons have with respect to them.

Chapter XXXVII. Of how the rejoicing of the will must be directed, by way of the images, to God, so that the soul may not go astray because of them or be hindered by them.

Chapter XXXVIII. Continues to describe motive good. Speaks of oratories and places dedicated to prayer.

Chapter XXXIX. Of the way in which oratories and churches should be used, in order to direct the spirit to God.

Chapter XL. Which continues to direct the spirit to interior recollection with reference to what has been said.

Chapter XLI. Of certain evils into which those persons fall who give themselves to pleasure in sensible objects and who frequent places of devotion in the way that has been described.

Chapter XLII. Of three different kinds of place for devotion and of how the will should conduct itself with regard to them.

Chapter XLIII. Which treats of other motives for prayer that many persons use — namely, a great variety of ceremonies.

Chapter XLIV. Of the manner wherein the rejoicing and strength of the will must be directed to God through these devotions.

Chapter XLV. Which treats of the second kind of distinct good, wherein the will may rejoice vainly.

Indexes

Acknowledgements

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