Western Mysticism: The Teaching of SS Augustine, Gregory and Bernard on Contemplation and the Contemplative Life

by Cuthbert Butler


Author Cuthbert Butler argued,
“There is probably no more misused word…than ‘mysticism.’ It has come to be applied to many things of many kinds: to theosophy and Christian science; to spiritualism and clairvoyance; to demonology and witchcraft; to occultism and magic; to weird psychical experiences, if only they have some religious colour; to revelations and visions; to other-worldliness, or even mere dreaminess and impracticability in the affairs of life; to poetry and painting and music of which the motif is unobvious and vague.” Butler explains that in the Latin Church, the word commonly applied was ‘contemplation’ not ‘mysticism.’

In this work, which Butler spent over two decades researching, he examines the mystical experiences of three Saints: Augustine, Gregory and Bernard, which includes, “A (conscious) direct contact of the soul with Transcendental Reality; a direct and objective intellectual intuition of Transcendental Reality; the establishing conscious relation with the Absolute; the soul’s possible union in this life with Absolute Reality.”

This new edition is dedicated to John L. Cooper, who, though he would deny it, is a philosopher and scholar.