|THE WAY OF THE MYSTICS|
|THE INTERESTS OF THE HUMANISTS|
BEHIND the great cultural achievements of the mediaeval centuries lay certain basic attitudes of both mysticism and humanism. In some mediaeval minds these attitudes lived together harmoniously, but oftener they were in conflict. Some examination of the writings of the mystics and humanists should bring us close to the heart of mediaeval ways of feeling and thinking. The traditions of both mysticism and humanism had their origins in antiquity; both were an inheritance of the Middle Ages rather than its own creation. But to each of these currents mediaeval men made significant contributions.
THE ESSENCE of mysticism lies in the surrender of a human personality to a spiritual power beyond itself, by which process the personality gains a greater harmony and force. The mystic hopes to arrive at a feeling of deliverance from the world and the flesh, and, free from the chain of causality, to enter into the knowledge of God and into God's very existence. This is what Bonaventura means when he defines mysticism as "the reaching out of the soul to God, through the yearning