Download An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism: and the Mystery by John Ferguson PDF

By John Ferguson

Starting from Christian mystical theology to Sufism, from the traditional philosophers to the Cambridge Platonists, from visionaries corresponding to William Blake and the writer of The Cloud of Unknowing to the position performed via medicinal drugs, yoga, tune and the dance, this Encyclopaedia presents crucial info at the manifold facets of mysticism and should function a accomplished and necessary paintings of reference for a few years to return. comprises two hundred illustrations.

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From a mysticism of union with Nature, the goal is to deliver souls from her loving embrace and lead them to isolation. The three constituent Strands or Qualities of Nature, which are goodness, passion and darkness, bind the embodied soul by attaching it to knowledge, pleasure or sloth. The aim of yogic discipline is liberation from these strands, into the peace of detachment. The male Spirit, freed from female Nature, passes beyond nature mysticism into the passionless isolation of the countless monads.

M. Eliade, Yoga, immortality and Freedom. T. 1958, p. 36 1. MYSTICISM IN THE WORLD'S RELIGIONS But while Buddhists deny or are agnostic about the soul, it is central to Jain teaching. If they have a mysticism it will be a soul-mysticism as in much of Yoga. For the Jains the universe is eternal, passing through infinite cosmic cycles of emergence, florescence and dissolution. In each cycle there appear Jinas or Tirthankaras, 'fordmakers', who not only themselves cross the river of transmigration but teach the way of salvation to others.

13 Yet hymns are only for the spiritually immature, and repetition of the constant refrain might be used for inducing self-hypnosis, in the manner of repetition of the divine name on prayer beads, a practice '* Bhagavad Gita. 6-9: The Bhagavad-Gita with the Commentaty of Sri ~ankaracatya,tr. A. M . Sastri, 1897, pp. I2 1 f.. 293. " Tr. R. C. Zaehner in Mysticism Sacred and Profane, pp. 177 f. I N D I A N PHILOSOPHY CAL MONlSM which was later taken from India to Europe. Despite his hymns ~ a n k a r aremained a monist; the Brahman of which he wrote in philosophical works is so characterless as to be not unlike the 'void' of Buddhist philosophers, and both ancient and modern critics have called Sankara a 'secret Buddhist'.

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