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Dear Diana,

Yes, although Underhill makes a main distinction between transcendental
and immanent ways of experiencing it.  And she distinguishes between
positive and negative ways.  She also argues, as I recall, that one can
find in all recorded accounts, common characteristics.  I would have to
go back to the book to find that and don't have it here, but it was a
key issue.  I thought I pointed to the negative way of St. John of the
Cross as what Eliot uses often.  Julian of Norwich was a cloistered nun.
 Eliot seems to have chosen not only to be a Christian but to have
emphasized some particular Christian forms of mysticism, though he does,
in TWL bring in Eastern religion.  At that time he had not yet
converted.  In the later poems, I think, he has taken a particular
tradition.

I would have to reread Underhill to be more specific, but clearly Eliot
is not thinking of, say, the "mysticism" of Whitman or anything one
could call "new age."
Best,
Nancy


Nancy when you say "what a mystic reports" to what variety of mysticism
do you refer? As Evelyn Underhill notes in her books on the subject, it
takes many forms. From Zen satori, as described in the excellent books
by Daisetz T. Suzuki, Philip Whalen and others, to the Vedantists and
Christian mysticism of St. Theresa and The Canticles of Ecstasy of
Hildegard of Bingen, to New Age mystics like Ken Wilber, it is a psychic
or spiritual condition that manifests so differently and proceeds from
such a variety of premises and disciplines that a single definition is
bound to be incomplete. Diana


>>> Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> 08/02/07 11:35 AM >>>