If Mysticism, also known as Esotericism and
the Perennial Philosophy, is so inherently intuitive, why is it so difficult to understand?

“The esoteric teaching about knowledge and being refers to the fact that knowledge cannot be understood unless there is a corresponding development of being. A man may know a great deal and understand nothing because his being is not equal to his knowledge. As a consequence, no inner union can take place between his being and his knowledge . . . The man of poor being and great knowledge can only give out meaningless material that leads nowhere. And not only this, but he can only complicate everything and make it unintelligible . . . The conditions of knowledge are no longer understood because the side of being is ignored.”

— M. Nicoll. The New Man

“The spirit of God is vigilant to note in every nation those who are able to receive light, and they are employed as agents to spread the light according to man's capacity, and to re-vivify the dead letter. Through these divine instruments the interior truths of the Sanctuary were taken into every nation, and modified symbolically according to their customs, capacity for instruction, climate, and receptiveness. So that the external types of every religion, worship, ceremonies and Sacred Books in general have more or less clearly, as their object of instruction, the interior truths of the Sanctuary, by which man . . . will be conducted to the universal knowledge of the one Absolute Truth.”

— Karl von Eckhartshausen, The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary

“There is thus a ground of psychological experience, potential in all men, actually realized in a few, common to all mystics of all lands and times and accountable for the similarity of their reports. But upon that common basis we need not be surprised to see them also erecting various superstructures in accordance with their particular tenets of philosophy or religion. At bottom, their actual experiences, at the highest point at least, will be amazingly alike, but their theories in regard to what has happened to them may be radically different.”

— Paul Elmer More. Christian Mysticism

“Once he has recognized his invisible guide, a mystic sometimes decides to trace his own isnad* to reveal his spiritual genealogy, that is, to disclose the 'chain of transmission' culminating in his person and bear witness to the spiritual ascendancy which he invokes across the generations of mankind. He does neither more nor less than to designate by name the minds to whose family he is conscious of belonging.”

— Henry Corbin. Alone With the Alone:
Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi

*"Support." In Islam, the isnad of a tradition is the chain or linkage of human reporters that authenticate the material as deriving from the time of Mohammad and his companions. Very roughly comparable to the Christian concept of apostolic succession and the Jewish validation of oral law.

E-mail - MB@theagelesswisdom.com



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This page was updated on Friday, October 7, 2005 9:47 AM