Does Union with God mean Losing Your Self?

"If the goal of the contemplative is union with God, does the individual begin to disappear and lose his or her unique self (personality, emotions) in pursuing this goal?"The above question came to me in an email from a reader of this blog. It's a huge question and I'm not sure a single blog post can do it justice. But I'll give it a try.St. Bernard of Clairvaux suggests that the spiritual life encompasses four degrees of love. We begin where most people are: in loving our selves, for … [Read more...]

Why Is “Mysticism” A Dirty Word?

In the introduction to her book Writing the Icon of the Heart, Maggie Ross makes this rather in-your-face claim: The word 'mystic'... has, in my view, become entirely useless. It has acquired nuances of romanticism, exoticism and self-absorption. In addition, far too many studies of 'mysticism' and 'spirituality' are based on a modern and narcissistic notion of 'experience' as self-authenticating that corresponds neither to the way the brain works nor to notions of experience in the ancient and … [Read more...]