Quote for the Day

To a certain type of mind, the veritable practice of the Presence of God is not the intimate and adorable companionship of the personal Comrade or the Inward Light, but the awestruck contemplation of the Absolute, the “naked Godhead,” source and origin of all that Is. It is an ascent to the supernal plane of perception, where “the simple, absolute and unchangeable mysteries of heavenly Truth  lie hidden in the dazzling obscurity of the secret Silence, outshining all brilliance with the intensity of their darkness, and surcharging our blinded intellects with the utterly impalpable and invisible fairness of glories which exceed all beauty” (Dionysius the Areopagite, “De Mystica Theologia”).

— Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism:
The Nature and Development
of Spiritual Consciousness

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Ann

    What is this “naked Godhead”? We can say nothing about it except “not this, not this”. It is utterly beyond anything we, with our very limited mechanisms of response, can possibly conceive. It cannot be described in words, only hinted at by paradox, as in this beautiful quotation. It is not known through the emotions, which are ephemeral, and is certainly not known through the intellect. It is just experienced, as great art or great music is experienced. It is beyond…beyond.