Many Forms

books on mysticsI’ve been a seeker nearly all of my adult life, beginning after my first brief marriage ended. Seeking is an exploration, a way of understanding other ways of being – from people to cultures, from temperament to spiritual choices. So, when I say I’m a spiritual seeker, it is not that I am trying to find a personal relationship with the Divine; that blessing happened long ago and is a deeply fulfilling embrace that continues to grow and change but not in a way that requires me to find a new structure or framework for Her and our connection.

Rather, my seeker trait is currently leading me to find new ways for relating to people who follow other paths than mine; how does She speak to them and how is their relationship to Her different than mine?

One aspect I particularly appreciate in Evelyn Underhill’s book Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness is that she reiterates throughout how important it is to remember that each person’s experience of the Divine – how each mystic relates to Source within their own spiritual path – is grounded in their temperament, culture, and life, as well as in their religious patterning. For example, in one place, Underhill writes:

“These special mystical diagrams, these symbolic and artistic descriptions of man’s inward history – his secret adventures with God – are almost endless in their variety: since in each we have a picture of the country of the soul seen through a different temperament.”

Underhill’s text points out the similarities and differences among the Christian mystics, she does not dive into the experiences of other-than-Christian mystics in history, nevertheless, she eloquently states:

“Attempts, however, to limit mystical truth – the direct apprehension of the Divine Substance – by the formulae of any one religion, are as futile as the attempt to identify a precious metal with the die which converts it into current coin.”

A seeker’s journey is as unique as the seeker herself, whether the journey be inward, outward, or both.

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2 thoughts on “Many Forms

  1. Hi Darla I just came across your post Many Forms and it warmed me to the soul. I love how you describe your journey through life as being a seeker & explorer. To me this is the only way to grow and become whole. Too many people are stuck in a one track view of the world but to embrace other ways of thinking is so wonderful. His Holiness the Dalai Lama once said Just because someone is walking a different road than you, doesn’t mean they’re on the wrong one. These words are so true. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible work. Best wishes Julie

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