Although I avoid evangelising or prosylitising mysticism, not even recommending or commenting on those who do, or their books and courses, I’m reminded I did recommend some of the following works when I started this Blog.
So I thought I’d bring them to your attention again, (with four additions, including obscure but very pure expositions of the mystical experience of Reality, (MER) by the medievalist nun Guyon and the medievalist priest, Molinos; Ron Krumpos’ interviews with leading mystics round the world; and Marsha Sinetar’s research into the experiences of 300 reluctant experiencers of MER.
I’ve also added my reason for recommending books on mysticism despite my former reluctance:
‘Paths Beyond Ego’ edited by Dr Roger Marsh and a colleague. This book is a wonderfully comprehenive collection of papers on mysticism by a whole host of eminent scholars and mystics from Buddhism, Hinduism, even Shamanism, including Ken Wilbur, Charles Tart, Sri Aurobindo, William James, Ram Dass (!?), Aldous Huxley, the Dalai Lama, etc. Even the effects of drugs are studied.
I only riffled through this book when it arrived and shelved it in one of my less used book cases unread because it was soiled throughout by the assumption humanity is the prime reason for Reality’s existence.
Today the book fell out before me in a tidying up effort I was making. As it was coffee time I sipped my coffee and the book’s contents then realised this book is a monumental modern contribution to the growing acceptance by humans of the mystic phenomena in all its historic forms, despite the book’s anthropomorphism.
The fact the book has been selling since its publication in 1905 is at least proof of some significance as a successful worldly tome on the subject of mysticism despite its limited human blemish.
Here is the list:
“The Greatest Achievement in Life” by Ron Krumpos who is a follower of this Blog. Ron writes of living in conscious oneness of the ultimate reality, found in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Kabbalah, Sufism, and comparative mysticism.
This lengthy free ebook has been downloaded more than 70,000 times.
It summarizes many similarities among the mystical traditions and outlines different mystical approaches to life.
Interestingly, it states science has only addressed five per cent of ultimate reality.
The book was impressively inspired by the author’s meetings with 19 leading mystics in 12 countries, religious leaders/scholars of the five faiths and 10 professors who teach comparative mysticism across the U.S.A. Their suggestions led to many revisions prior to posting the book on the Internet.
Dr. Marsha Sinetar’s book, “Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics. This is a seminal book that should be on your library shelves, as I think you will agree.
Read my earlier review of Sinetar’s book.
The book is a remarkably readable, non scientifically jargonised account of her research and interviews with reluctant real experiencers of aspects of the mystical experience of MER and MER’s personal effects and unsocial behavioural consequences.
The Guyon and Molinos papers are unerringly to the point, short and absolutely pure, what I would even call divine if I was religious …
That Guyon and Molinos were so personally driven to risk giving such public witness of their MER experiences in those days is astonishing.
They were members of the Roman Catholic church. This church was the only supposed spiritual source available in the West in those days. It was ruthlessly intrusive, coercive, torturously, even violently deadly in its policing of everyone’s life, Taliban-like, the absolute antithesis of the MER that Guyon and Molinos experienced and wanted to share.
The following ‘classics’ are recommended too: Williams James’ “The Varieties of Religious Experience”, Aldous Huxley’s “The Perennial Philosophy”, Evelyn Underwood’s edition of “The Cloud of Unknowing”, Dr.Richard Maurice Bucke’s “Cosmic Consciousness” and the downloadable books by afore mentioned nun Guyon and priest Molinos, medieval writers who were persecuted by the Church for their temerity …
These books contain a lot of human dross but bits and pieces may or may not “speak to your condition” as the Quakers would say. I think parts or all of them could call loudly to you at various stages of your spiritual development. For that reason I recommend them and this whole list of books, as keepers to be part of any library you may have!
As a bonus I would add Matthew Arnold’s poem, “The Buried Life”. You can find this in full with a Search on this Blog. I discovered this poem early on my path. It was the beginning of my realisation my MERs were not uniquely mine!
Posts from mysticexperiences.net may be reblogged if you wish.
You have probably read “Walden”, if not you might enjoy it. The language is a struggle but even so it is clear that in many senses Thoreau was “awake”. He certainly views life in a way I have every sympathy with. Not “mystical” as such and yet for a contemplative, it makes very satisfying reading.
Yes, I have read Walden, Anthony. It ws a long time ago though. All i remember of it was that it annoyed me in some part I don’t now recall. It could be the bucolic worship. Very anthropomorphic. Thoreau’s Nature worship gives me the jitters. Give me balanced sails and Neptun’es 25 knot winds any time …
However, I think your suggestion Walden is a good subject for contemplation is more like it because contemplaton could lead to deeper realities.