Archive for the ‘Journey to the Center of the Mind’ Category

The Seventh Tower: The Center of the Mind

Over the course of this series on Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle, I have been acquiring and utilizing several resources for my own edification as well as sharing their insights when appropriate. As we now arrive at the Seventh Tower, The Center of the Mind, Mary Frohlich’s The Intersubjectivity of the Mystic: A Study of Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle, offers us some splendid introductory material: The Seventh Dwelling Places are a profoundly new order of experience. The shattering Read more [...]

The Sixth Tower: Enraptured!

Our spiritual excursion into the Sixth Tower will be marked by graduating from the Illuminative stage into a most extraordinary plunge into the ecstasies of the increasingly Unitive cycle. You see, the soul’s yearning for Absolute Union with the Unborn Lord will now strike a fevering-pitch—passing through great waves of inner mental-torment as well as mind-numbing and heart bursting encounters of a soul enraptured to the point of never desiring anything from any created samsaric realms ever Read more [...]

The Fifth Tower: The Silkworm

By now one can realize that Teresa’s Interior Castle is a treatise on profound Unitive Mysticism. What she has been revealing are the later stages of the interior spiritual life. The final stages correspond to the fifth, sixth and seventh dwelling places. While the Fourth Tower was about a transitional phase from active to passive contemplation, this glorious Fifth Tower designates what Teresa refers to as the beginning of the Divine Union, or Absolute Illumination. According to her, ones task Read more [...]

The Fourth Tower: The Shepherd’s Whistle

We are now leaving the active purgative-stage in the journey to the illuminative and passive stage. In Essence, the spiritual adept is now discerning how the Unborn Spirit is taking a more prominent role in the soul’s development. In order to begin to speak of the fourth dwelling places I really need to entrust myself, as I've already done, to the Holy Spirit and beg him to speak for me from here on that I may say something about the remaining rooms in a way that you will understand. For Read more [...]

A Taste of Quiet

The Fourth Mansion of Teresa’s masterpiece is outstanding and requires a special introductory blog. She writes that “Supernatural experiences begin here.” This is closure of the Purgative Way and the beginning of the Illuminative. It’s also the commencement of the Recollective spirit, or the Prayer of Quiet. This is the transition that occurs between active meditation and infused contemplation. John of the Cross is the spiritual master of infused contemplation while Teresa plays the more Read more [...]

The Third Tower: There is no Security in this Life

Undeceive yourself, blessed soul; in this practice all the works that are not governed by true zeal and born of pure love and a purged spirit are clothed in vanity, self-love, and spiritual ambition. (Miguel de Molinos: The Spiritual Guide) These first Three Towers (Teresa’s Mansions) has to do with the Way of Purgation. John of the Cross refers to this as dealing with the Dark Night of the Senses, because it is precisely the senses that need to be overcome before one can enter into the Read more [...]

The Second Tower: Conformity of the Will

TREATS OF THE GREAT IMPORTANCE OF PERSEVERANCE IN ORDER TO ENTER THE LAST MANSIONS, AND OF THE FIERCE WAR THE DEVIL WAGES AGAINST US. HOW ESSENTIAL IT IS TO TAKE THE RIGHT PATH FROM THE VERY COMMENCEMENT OF OUR JOURNEY. A METHOD OF ACTION WHICH HAS PROVED VERY EFFICACIOUS Teresa continues to stress persevering in the struggle with unholy disturbances that will stop at nothing to prevent the adept from reaching Union with the Unborn. Those who dwell in the rooms of the Second Tower are well Read more [...]

The First Tower: Self-gnosis

*Please be advised that we are utilizing two different translations of The Interior Castle: The edition by Benedict Zimmerman, and the edition by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (O.C.D. =Order of Discalced Carmelites). Teresa continues her narrative of the first spiritual estate as what can transpire when the soul finds itself in the state of mortal sin. For Lankavatarians, “sin” translates as an obtuse ignorance. BEFORE going farther, I wish you to consider the Read more [...]

Creepy Crawlies

Before reaching the First Tower, or Teresa’s First Mansion, some more preliminary observations are in order. Towers 1-3 manifests the Active phase of Recollection, while Towers 4-7 constitute the Passive Phase of Recollection. Also 1-3 establishes what is known as the Purgative Phase of the spiritual journey, likened unto what John of the Cross would classify as the Dark Night of the Senses; 4-5 presents the Illuminative Stage, wherein the adept enters into a more supernal-realization of what Read more [...]

Journey to the Center of the Mind

In October of 2015 work was commenced on a series that described in meticulous detail the process of Right Contemplation as enunciated in the writings of John of the Cross, by and large a spiritual journey through an active purification of the senses and resolving in a passive transfiguration of the spirit, or more specifically  infused contemplation that also had a direct bearing on Union with the Unborn Mind. This present work is a sister-series if you will, one that compliments John of the Read more [...]
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