Ruysbroeck on summits of experience with God

John Ruysbroeck was a 15th century Catholic priest and mystic. Evelyn Underhill says this of Ruysbroeck’s “summits” of experience with God:

“It was on those summits that he loved to dwell, absorbed in loving communion with Divine Reality; but his career fulfilled that ideal of a synthesis of work and contemplation, an acceptance and remaking of the whole of life, which he perpetually puts before us as the essential characteristic of a true spirituality. No mystic has ever been more free from the vice of other-worldliness, or has practised more thoroughly and more unselfishly the primary duty of active charity towards men which is laid upon the God-possessed.”

I love “synthesis of work and contemplation.” We tend to lean one way or the other, but a “remaking of the whole of life” leads is both a product of and a fruit of the “synthesis of work and contemplation.”

I spend much more time in work than contemplation, and I feel the hollowness of it. Maybe that’s why I love so much to read and think on the weekend. Still, after all these years, seeking balance or synthesis. I don’t think I’m alone in needing it.

(quote from Underhill’s Ruysbroeck (p. 8. Kindle Edition)

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