Extracts

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Worlds are incompatible


essay

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[1 of 3] St. Diadochus of Photiki (400-486, Greece): primary subject "Way, difficulties on" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": detail "From ‘On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination’"
The soul will not desire to be separated from the body unless it becomes indifferent to the very air it breathes. All the bodily senses are opposed to faith, for they are concerned with the objects of this present world, while faith is concerned only with the blessings of the life to come. Thus one pursuing the spiritual way should never be too greatly preoccupied with beautifully branched or shady trees, pleasantly flowing springs, flowery meadows, fine houses or even visits to his family; neither should he recall any public honors that he happens to have been given. He should gratefully be content with bare necessities, regarding this present life as a road passing through an alien land, barren of all worldly attractions. For it is only by concentrating our mind in this way that we can keep to the road that leads back to eternity.

[2 of 3] Plotinus (c. 204-270, Egypt): primary subject "Mysticism, experiences of" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)": source "Mysticism in Religion"
We must not be surprised that that which excites the keenest of longings is without form, even spiritual form; since the soul itself, when inflamed with love for it, puts off all the form which it had, even that which belongs to the spiritual world. For it is not possible to see it or be in harmony with it, while one is occupied with anything else. The soul must remove from itself good and evil and everything else, that it may receive the One alone, as the One is alone. When the soul is so blessed, and is come to it, or rather when it manifests its presence, when the soul turns away from visible things and makes itself as beautiful as possible and becomes like the One (the manner of preparation and adornment is known to those who practice it); and seeing the One suddenly appearing in itself, for there is nothing between, nor are they any longer two but one, for you cannot distinguish between them while the vision lasts; it is that union of which the union of earthly lovers, who blend their being with each other, is a copy. The soul is no longer conscious of the body, and cannot tell whether it is a man or a living being or anything real at all. … When in this state the soul would exchange its present condition for nothing, no, not for the very heaven of heavens, for there is nothing better, nothing more blessed than this. … All the things that once pleased it, power, wealth, beauty, science, it declares that it despises; it fears no evil, while it is with the One, or even while it sees him; though all else perish around it, it is content, if it can only be with him; so happy is it.

[3 of 3] Anonymous (3000 BC-current, World): primary subject "Eye(s)" (search under Outer Life/Body)": source "Theologia Germanica": detail "From Chapter 7"
Now the created soul of man has also two eyes. The one is the power of seeing into eternity, the other of seeing into time and the creatures, of perceiving how they differ from each other as previously mentioned, of giving life and needful things to the body, and ordering and governing it for the best. But these two eyes of the soul of man cannot both perform their work at once; but if the soul shall see with the right eye into eternity, then the left eye must close itself and refrain from working, and be as though it were dead. For if the left eye be fulfilling its office toward outward things; that is, holding conversation with time and the creatures; then must the right eye be hindered in its working; that is, in its contemplation. Therefore whosoever will have the one must let the other go; for "no man can serve two masters."