Christian Platonism

Rediscovering Ancient Wisdom

Ruysbroeck – on Mystical Union

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John of Ruysbroeck on Mystical Union

“If every earthly pleasure were melted into a single experience and bestowed upon one man it would be as nothing when measured by the joy of which I write ; for here it is God who passes into the depths of us in all His purity, and the soul is not only filled but overflowing. This experience is that light that makes manifest to the soul the terrible desolation of such as live divorced from love ; it melts the man utterly ; he is no longer master of his joy. Such possession produces intoxication, the state of the spirit in which its bliss transcends the uttermost bounds of anticipation or desire. Sometimes the ecstasy pours forth in song, sometimes in tears : at one moment it finds expression in movement, at others in the intense stillness of burning, voiceless feeling. Some men knowing this bliss wonder if others feel God as they do ; some are assured that no living creature has ever had such experiences as theirs ; there are those who wonder that the world is not set aflame by this joy ; and there are others who marvel at its nature, asking whence it comes, and what it is. The body itself can know no greater pleasure upon earth than to participate in it ; and there are moments when the soul feels that it must shiver to fragments in the poignancy of this experience.”

Jan van Ruysbroeck.  Oeuvres de Ruysbroeck.   Trans, par les Benedictines de St. Paul de Wisques.  3 Vols. Bruxelles. 1920/21.


Written by John Uebersax

February 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Mysticism

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