Its True Nature and Value
With a Translation of the
CHAPTER I : TWO IDEAS OF MYSTICISM
Knowledge is either experimental or theoretical, but is limited by sense-experience -- Natural knowledge of God, through reason or revelation, is theoretical; It cannot be experimental -- Experimental knowledge of God always desired -- Mystical theology -- Two points of view, the natural and the supernatural -- They are not naturally opposed, but complementary -- Natural mysticism is the attempt either to transcend the limitations of sense or to find Transcendental knowledge within them -- Fundamental difference between these two methods -- Neither is more than a mental attitude -- Supernatural mysticism implies the transcendence of God, on the one hand; and on the other hand, the Inability of the natural powers alone to attain to Immediate knowledge of Him -- Catholic idea of mysticism -- True mysticism rightly said to be empirical -- Compared with sensation -- The intellectual principles of mystical knowledge not essentially different from those of ordinary knowledge -- What is to be understood by the Supernatural -- The Via Remotionis -- Supernatural illumination not contrary to nature -- Its method -- Natural theories to account for supernatural mysticism -- Reasons for rejecting them -- Theological and evidential value of the subject
CHAPTER II : SUPERNATURAL MYSTICISM
Origin of the term -- Mysticism in the Church -- In Greek philosophy -- Dionysius -- Social conditions which bring mysticism into prominence -- Spurious mysticism
CHAPTER III : THE NATURE OF MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE
Mystical experience essentially supernatural -- Three modes of relation of creatures to the Creator -- "Natural" contemplation -- Passivity -- Mystical cognition and sensation -- Mystical and ordinary religious experience -- Mystical certitude -- Mystical experience indescribable -- Necessity of preparation -- Gerson -- Eckhart, Tauler -- Three stages -- St Teresa -- Visions and locutions -- Self-delusion
CHAPTER IV : THE OBJECT OF MYSTICAL KNOWLEDGE
Mystical "vision," how to be understood -- How the soul can see God -- The Beatific Vision -- Doctrine of St Thomas -- St Paul's visions -- Transiency of mystical state -- Spiritual marriage -- The lumen gloriae -- St Augustine's classification -- Uncertainty of sensible and imaginary impressions as compared with intellectual vision -- All three truly supernatural
CHAPTER V : THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MYSTICISM
The object of mystical contemplation perceived by a natural process, and therefore capable of analysis -- No theory on the subject formulated by mystical writers -- Three different views. (1) Existence of a special mystical faculty. This theory is superfluous. (2) That all apparently mystical states are merely automatic, and generally of pathological origin. This implies the presupposition that genuine mysticism is impossible. (3) That mystical communications really take place, but are apprehended by the same psychical process which transmits automatic suggestion. This practically coincides with the view of ecclesiastical authority -- Difficulty of distinguishing, how caused
CHAPTER VI : EVIL
Affinity of the problem with mysticism -- The solution of mystics often appears unsatisfactory to others -- Evil due to created freewill -- Independence of the Divine will -- Evil negative -- Practical character of mystical solution compared with the philosophical or theoretical -- Schopenhauer, Hartmann and "Ethical" religions -- Benefits of mysticism in this respect not restricted to mystics
CHAPTER VII : IMMANENCE AND TRANSCENDENCE
Terms explained -- Spinoza, Hegel and Mysticism -- The "ground" -- Immanence and transcendence not ontologically distinct
CHAPTER VIII : PLOTINUS
Philosophy and mysticism of Plotinus -- Two possible views of his relation to Christian mysticism
CHAPTER IX : HERETICAL MYSTICS
Distinction clear between true and spurious mysticism -- "Pragmatic" test, twofold application -- Mysticism, theosophy and theology -- Intrinsic distinction between mystical experience and deductions from it -- Doctrines not to be guaranteed by mystical origin -- Necessary features of genuine mysticism -- The Beghards -- Boehme -- Swedenborg -- Quietism -- Distinction between doctrines and mystical experiences equally applied to orthodox mystics -- St Teresa -- St John of the Cross -- Margaret Mary Alacoque
CHAPTER X : MYSTICISM, PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGlON
Obstacles to philosophical treatment of mysticism in its transcendental aspect -- Experimental evidence of mysticism in support of natural theology -- The object of mysticism beyond the reach of explanation per causas -- Mysticism a form of religious experience, but not one guaranteed to Christians -- Its relation to "institutional" religion, and to ordinary religious experience as continuous with and interpenetrated by it -- The Imitation of Christ -- Mystical experience perhaps occasion ally granted to non-mystics
CHAPTER XI : DIONYSIUS
History of the Dionysian writings -- Authorship and character -- Can they be considered forgeries -- Modern theories, etc.
CHAPTER XII : THE "MYSTICAL THEOLOGY" OF DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE
I. -- What the Divine Darkness is.
II. -- How to be united with, and to give praise to Him who is the cause of all things and above all.
III. -- What is affirmed of God, and what is denied of Him.
IV. -- That He who is the supreme cause of all sensible things is Himself no part of those things.
V. -- That He who is the supreme cause of all intelligible things is Himself no part of those things.
1. -- To Caius the Monk -- The ignorance by means of which God is known is above sense-knowledge, not below it.
II. -- To the Same -- In what sense God is above the principle of divinity.
V. -- To Dorotheus the Deacon -- The divine darkness further explained.
INDEX OF PROPER NAMES
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