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8289re: Spanish mystics

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  • Gerry
    Sep 13, 2003

      Reply to Josh’s post #8286:

       

      You raised some interesting points, Josh, but with time still really limited for me, let me just address a portion of what you’ve mentioned so far.

       

      Indeed, I have enjoyed the 16th century Spanish mystics you mentioned, although I really haven’t followed the works of Escrivá.  In many cases, the imagery they use is quite resonant with my own feelings:

       

      “¡Ay, qué larga es esta vida!
      ¡Qué duros estos destierros,
      esta cárcel, estos hierros
      en que el alma está metida!….”

      —Vivo sin vivir en mí

       

      Teresa de Ávila really captures the notion of the soul being imprisoned in our earthy bodies.  Still, later in that same work, the longing for union that she yearns for isn’t conclusively of a either a Gnostic reunification or an orthodox concept of heavenly afterlife.  As you point out, she and Juan de la Cruz aren’t Gnostics by traditional standards, but we’d probably both agree that they are exceptional mystics by anyone’s standards.

       

      I can’t put my hands on my copy of “Dark Night of the Soul” right now, but I’ve mentioned before on this board that I was really disappointed with it at first reading.  Mind you, I loved *what* he wrote, I just had issues with the process by which he seemed to indicate one should follow to approach the Divine.  I’m wondering how you would see the achievements of these mystics in relation to the Valentinians’ notion of psychic vs. pneumatic salvation?  From our Links section, here’s an essay by David Brons that outlines that distinction:

       

      http://www.johannite.org/valentinus/Faith%20(pistis)%20and%20Knowledge%20(gnosis).htm

       

      (You may have to piece that link together in your browser to make it work)

       

      There’s a lot more I’d like to get to, but I really need to head off to work.  Sorry about the wide line breaks that will undoubtedly show up, but after Yahoo revised our HTML formatting, I haven’t figured out how best to transfer something from MS Word into an e-mail.

       

      Gerry

       

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