Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Christian Mystical Tradition(s)

In The Nick of Time

Kevin T. Bauder @ notes:

"The history of Christian mysticism displays a tension between two impulses that are fundamentally incompatible with each other. Both impulses tend to express themselves in similar language, but what they mean by that language is quite different. Let me briefly describe each of these impulses.

Impulse One: Dionysian Neo-Platonism

Impulse Two: Pious Devotion

He closes with "Who Would True Valor See", a poem from John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Who would true valor see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright,
He’ll with a giant fight,
He will have a right
To be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit,
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say,
He’ll labor night and day
To be a pilgrim.

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