The Blessing of Spiritual Hunger

July 8, 2011

A direct encounter with absolute truth, then,
appears to be impossible for normal non-mystical consciousness.
We cannot know the reality, or even prove the existence,
of the simplest object: though this is a limitation
which few people realize acutely and most would deny.
But there persists in the race a type of personality
which does realize this limitation: and cannot be content
with the sham realities that furnish the universe of normal men.
It is necessary, as it seems, to the comfort of persons
of this type to form for themselves some image of the Something
or Nothing which is at the end of their telegraph lines:
some “conception of being,” some “theory of knowledge.”
They are tormented by the Unknowable,
ache for first principles,
demand some background to the shadow show of things.
In so far as man possesses this temperament,
he hungers for reality,
and must satisfy that hunger as best he can:
staving off starvation, though he may not be filled.

– excerpt from Mysticism, by Evelyn Underhill, 1911.

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One Response to “The Blessing of Spiritual Hunger”

  1. Suze said

    I need this book.

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