Practical Mysticism - CHAPTER VI - LOVE AND WILL

l.craddock's picture
"Only the real, say the mystics, can know Reality, for “we behold that which we are,” the universe which we see is conditioned by the character of the mind that sees it: and this realness—since that which you seek is no mere glimpse of Eternal Life, but complete possession of it—must apply to every aspect of your being, the rich totality of character, all the “forces of the soul,” not to some thin and isolated “spiritual sense” alone."

dohpeterchina's picture


I remember a great saint (St Bernard, St Francis de Sale, or - I cannot remember) was asked: "How can I love more?" The saint replied: "By loving!"

As for what love is, there is a lifetime of study. I think loving is trying to do good. As you do more good it becomes easier to do good. It is a pragmatic Confucian approach. Mencius says the basic nature of man is good. As you practice "good" it becomes easier to do "good".

Christ formulated a good guide. Love your neighbour as you love yourself as you love God. So an essential aspect of love is to love yourself. If you can love yourself, you can love others and love God.

The essential idea is to make the effort. Use the guide that EU has given (no labels), and like meditation it becomes easier: ... so now all scattered willing, all hesitations between the indrawing and outflowing instincts of the soul, shall be checked and resolved. You are to push with all your power: not to absorb ideas, but to pour forth will and love.

As EU says in the practice of love, you surrender your I-hood. And the will which that love has enkindled can hold attention in the right direction. It can refuse to relapse to unreal and egotistic correspondences; and continue, even in darkness, and in the suffering which such darkness brings to the awakened spirit, its appointed task, cutting a way into new levels of Reality.

It is a very beautiful thought. We are artists of love. Love for love's sake. We create love in the world. And this love is a beacon of light. Our guide.

Peter Smith
Co-Group Leader