Men Who Have Walked with God

Men Who Have Walked with God

Men Who Have Walked with God

Men Who Have Walked with God

Excerpt

In the final analysis there is only one subject of permanent interest, the soul. It is a truth easily forgotten in the press of practical undertakings. The busy modern man, sped on his way by machines, ambitious, social, political, is likely to discount the importance of the spiritual life, if he does not overlook its existence. Especially in a world feverishly at war, he easily excuses himself for mislaying the wisdom of the spiritual prophets, for slipping into a life of practical expediency and neglect of the soul.

There are nevertheless a great many men who believe that the apprehension of spiritual values in mortal things is the real substance of living. Many of them go on to belief that there is an experience open to the soul, in the nature of divine communion or mystical union with God, which is the highest boon that can be bestowed upon a mortal being. To-day even the sceptics and the scientists among us, baffled at the end of every inquiry into the source of life or the nature of spiritual awareness, concede that there may be completion of happiness only in the activities of the soul. They grant even a reality to the mystical experience.

This is a book about certain artists and poets and spiritual prophets who have been close to God in the special mystic way. They have known the experience of union with God. The writers and artists among them have believed, in some cases, that their writings and pictures were composed as if by divine dictation; or they have thought of art as a special mode of revelation of the rhythm or vital order of the universe. The recognized spiritual prophets among them are men who have spoken intuitively, out of divine awareness, expressing in each case truths of such power and intensity that they swayed vast numbers of less intuitive men. Beside the founders of the great religions I have placed some obscure monks and recluses who, despite their humble positions, managed to bring illumination into their own lives, and to set examples, usually bolstered by writings, that deeply affected other men.

When I started to write the book its plan was this: as background a concise running account of historical mysticism as it has developed East and West, with at least allusion to every widely known mystic leader; and, in the foreground, full-length treat-

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.