Evelyn Underhill was one of the greatest spiritual writers of the twentieth century. For her, true mysticism is, first of all, active and practical, an organic life process in which the whole self is engaged, rather than simply an intellectual apprehension. Underhill's book on the topic deserves to be read since it is still used in most courses that discuss mysticism and still attracts contemporary spiritual seekers. In this work, she explores meditation, spirituality, mindfulness, recollection, contemplation and mystical life.
Begin with Evelyn Underhill a journey of peace today on the path to a better, more balanced life. An excellent book for a quick reminder on what's important in life.
Excerpt: "We have already agreed that, if we wish to grasp the real character of spiritual life, we must avoid the temptation to look at it as merely a historical subject. If it is what it claims to be, it is a form of eternal life, as constant, as accessible to us here and now, as in any so-called age of faith: therefore of actual and present importance, or else nothing at all. This is why I think that the approach to it through philosophy and psychology is so much to be preferred to the approach through pure history. Yet there is a sense in which we must not neglect such history; for here, if we try to enter by sympathy into the past, we can see the life of the Spirit emerging and being lived in all degrees of perfection and under many different forms. Here, through and behind the immense diversity of temperaments which it has transfigured, we can best realise its uniform and enduring character; and therefore our own possibility of attaining to it, and the way that we must tread so to do. History does not exhort us or explain to us, but exhibits living specimens to us; and these specimens witness again and again to the fact that a compelling power does exist in the world-little understood, even by those who are inspired by it-which presses men to transcend their material limitations and mental conflicts, and live a new creative life of harmony, freedom and joy. Directly human character emerges as one of man's prime interests, this possibility emerges too, and is never lost sight of again. Hindu, Buddhist, Egyptian, Greek, Alexandrian, Moslem and Christian all declare with more or less completeness a way of life, a path, a curve of development which shall end in its attainment; and history brings us face to face with the real and human men and women who have followed this way, and found its promise to be true."
CHAPTER I. THE CHARACTERS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE
CHAPTER II. HISTORY AND THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT
CHAPTER III. PSYCHOLOGY AND THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT (I) THE ANALYSIS OF MIND
CHAPTER IV. PSYCHOLOGY AND THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT (II) CONTEMPLATION AND SUGGESTION
CHAPTER V. INSTITUTIONAL RELIGION AND THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT
CHAPTER VI. THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT IN THE INDIVIDUAL
CHAPTER VII. THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT AND EDUCATION
CHAPTER VIII. THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT AND THE SOCIAL ORDER
PRINCIPAL WORKS USED OR CITED