Youth[ edit ] Rousseau was born in Genevawhich was at the time a city-state and a Protestant associate of the Swiss Confederacy.
Mysticism, by Evelyn Underhill, , at sacred-texts. Mysticism and Magic It is unnecessary to examine in detail the mistakes—in ecclesiastical language, the heresies—into which men have been led by a feeble, a deformed, or an arrogant mystical sense.
The number of these mistakes is countless; their wildness almost inconceivable to those who have not been forced to study them. Too often the loud voices and strange declarations of their apostles have drowned the quieter accents of the orthodox. It seems as though the moment of puberty were far more critical in the spiritual than it is in the physical life: In the condition of psychic instability which is characteristic of his movement to new states, man is unusually at the mercy of the suggestions and impressions which he receives.
Rousseau was proud that his family, of the moyen order (or middle-class), had voting rights in the city. Throughout his life, he generally signed his books "Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva". Geneva, in theory, was governed "democratically" by its male voting "citizens". VII. Mysticism and Magic. It is unnecessary to examine in detail the mistakes—in ecclesiastical language, the heresies—into which men have been led by a feeble, a deformed, or an arrogant mystical sense. The number of these mistakes is countless; their wildness almost inconceivable to those who have not been forced to study them. PUBLISHERS’ NOTE. Instincts and appetites form a part of all life on earth. Sense impulses and biological urges are common to animal and man alike.
Hence in every period of true mystical activity we find an outbreak of occultism, illuminism, or other perverted spirituality and—even more dangerous and confusing for the student—a borderland region where the mystical and psychical meet. In the youth of the Christian Church, side by side with genuine mysticism descending from the Johannine writings or brought in by the Christian Neoplatonists, we have the arrogant and disorderly transcendentalism of the Gnostics: During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance there are the spurious mysticism of the p.
In the modern world, Theosophy in its various forms is probably the most widespread and respectable representative of the occult tradition. The root idea from which these varied beliefs and practices develop is always the same; and, since right doctrine is often most easily defined by contrast with its opposite, its study is likely to help us to fix more precisely the true characters of mysticism.
Leaving therefore the specifically mystical error of Quietism until we come to the detailed discussion of the contemplative states, we will consider here some of those other supernormal activities of the self which we have already agreed to classify as magic: Thanks to the gradual debasement of the verbal currency, it suggests to the ordinary reader the production of optical illusions and other parlour tricks.
For good or ill this desire, and the occult sciences and magic arts which express it, have haunted humanity from the earliest times.
No student of man p. It is, in the eyes of those who really practise it, a moyen de parvenir: In more strictly philosophical language, the Hermetic science is a method of transcending the phenomenal world and attaining to the reality which is behind phenomena.
The last phrase in particular is identical with the promise which we have seen to be characteristic of mysticism. It presents magic as a pathway to reality; a promise which it cannot fulfil, for the mere transcending of phenomena does not entail the attainment of the Absolute.
Magic even at its best extends rather than escapes the boundaries of the phenomenal world. It stands, where genuine, for that form of transcendentalism which does abnormal things, but does not lead anywhere: For most persons who do not specialize in the eccentric sciences the occultist can only be said to exist in either the commercial or the academic sense.
The fortune-teller represents one class; the annotator of improper grimoires the other. In neither department is the thing supposed p.
Such a view is far from accurate. In magic, whether regarded as a superstition or a science, we have at any rate the survival of a great and ancient tradition, the true meaning of whose title should hardly have been lost in a Christian country; for it claims to be the science of those Magi whose quest of the symbolic Blazing Star brought them once, at least, to the cradle of the Incarnate God.
Its laws, and the ceremonial rites which express those laws, have come down from immemorial antiquity. They appear to enshrine a certain definite knowledge, and a large number of less definite theories, concerning the sensual and supersensual worlds, and concerning powers which man, according to occult thinkers, may develop if he will.
Orthodox persons should be careful how they condemn the laws of magic: All ceremonial religion contains some elements of magic.
The art of medicine will never wholly cast it off: It seems to possess inextinguishable life. This is not surprising when we perceive how firmly occultism is rooted in psychology: Magic, in its uncorrupted form, claims to be a practical, intellectual, highly individualistic science; working towards the declared end of enlarging the sphere on which the human will can work, and obtaining experimental knowledge of planes of being usually regarded as transcendental.
It is the last descendant of a long line of teaching—the whole teaching, in fact, of the mysteries of Egypt and Greece—which offered to initiate man into a certain secret knowledge and understanding of things.
Such are called the occult schools, and the instruction which is imparted therein is called esoteric science or the occult teaching.
According to its modern teachers, magic is simply an extension of the theory p. The will, says the occultist, is king, not only of the House of Life, but of the universe outside the gates of sense.
They are magicians; and teach, though they know it not, little else but the cardinal doctrines of Hermetic science, omitting only their picturesque ceremonial accompaniments. The tradition of magic, like most other ways of escape which man has offered to his own soul, appears to have originated in the East.
It was formulated, developed, and preserved by the religion of Egypt. It made an early appearance in that of Greece. It has its legendary grand master in Hermes Trismegistus, who gave to it its official name of Hermetic Science, and whose status in occultism is much the same as that occupied by Moses in the tradition of the Jews.
Fragmentary writings attributed to this personage and said to be derived from the Hermetic books, are the primitive scriptures of occultism: The baser off-shoots of that tradition are but too well known, and need not be particularized.Swami Sivananda explains the importance of celibacy for spiritual practice.
Rousseau was proud that his family, of the moyen order (or middle-class), had voting rights in the city. Throughout his life, he generally signed his books "Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva".
Geneva, in theory, was governed "democratically" by its male voting "citizens". Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.
PUBLISHERS’ NOTE. Instincts and appetites form a part of all life on earth. Sense impulses and biological urges are common to animal and man alike. Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist.
In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. THE MAIN PARTS OF. SEX & CHARACTER. BY. OTTO WEININGER. Selected by Kevin Solway from the English Edition.