Therefore it is to a practical mysticism that the practical man is here invited: to a training of his latent faculties, a bracing and brightening of his languid consciousness, an emancipation from the fetters of appearance, a turning of his attention to new levels of the world. Thus he may become aware of the universe which the spiritual artist is always trying to disclose to the race. This amount of mystical perception–this “ordinary contemplation,” as the specialist calls it–is possible to all men: without it, they are not wholly conscious, nor wholly alive…
As the beautiful does not exist for the artist or poet alone –though these can find in it more poignant depths of meaning than other men –so the world of Reality exists for all; and all my participate in it, unite with it, according to their measure and to the strength and purity of their desire.” – Evelyn Underhill, Practical Mysticism
How can we engage in a practical mysticism? To me, this is an invitation for a daily contemplative practice. It may sound fancy, but what is it really? Mindfulness, bringing awareness to the processes that one takes for granted, and gaining insight from that attentiveness.We sink into stillness, and the world is brought to life again.
There are a variety of aways this can be done, with different spiritual and contemplative traditions. This book was written in 1914. Today, the invitation is even more substantial.