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The essential gay mystics

Author: Andrew Harvey
Publisher: [San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The mystic experience is the direct, unmediated experience of what Bede Griffiths described as "the presence of an almost unfathomable mystery ... which seems to be drawing me to itself." This awakening to a divine, eternal presence is always described in terms of wonder, adoration, and rapture, as an ecstatic and intimate communion. Frequently, accounts of such glimpses beyond the curtain of day-to-day reality  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Essential gay mystics.
[San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, ©1997
(OCoLC)756464178
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Andrew Harvey
ISBN: 0062509055 9780062509055 0062515241 9780062515247 0062513796 9780062513793
OCLC Number: 36133312
Notes: "A Tree clause book."
Description: x, 290 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Sanctuary of love: The Greek traditions --
Pan our art approves: The Roman traditions --
I cam up with them: Native traditions --
Open wide the door of heaven: Traditions of the Far East --
Love is the diamond: The Persian Sufi tradition --
Fiery love: The renaissance and after --
The gods in the body: The nineteenth century --
Rage, my blizzard-fire: Early twentieth century --
Drink up the heart: Later twentieth century.
Responsibility: edited and with an introduction by Andrew Harvey.
More information:

Abstract:

"The mystic experience is the direct, unmediated experience of what Bede Griffiths described as "the presence of an almost unfathomable mystery ... which seems to be drawing me to itself." This awakening to a divine, eternal presence is always described in terms of wonder, adoration, and rapture, as an ecstatic and intimate communion. Frequently, accounts of such glimpses beyond the curtain of day-to-day reality take the form of poetry, and often the metaphors used to detail the indescribable are those of passionate union with a divine lover." "From Sappho to Whitman, Vergil to Audre Lorde, same-gender lovers have been foremost in the ranks of artists whose work reflects this "vision of the sacredness of love, a belief that the divine revels in our passion for joy and beauty, and manifests through and in it." Now Andrew Harvey - teacher, poet, and mystic, as well as frequent writer and lecturer on mystic experience, the Sufi poet Rumi, and the divine feminine - brings together a bountiful and unprecedented selection of gay, lesbian, and bisexual writers whose works illuminate the mystical path. Not surprisingly, many of these texts take the form of the most ardent love lyrics and psalms to male and female beauty, for this is the radical gift of the gay mystics: the lesson that the transcendent union with the divine can come through the body and the senses, rather than by denial of the body and asceticism." "The Essential Gay Mystics includes texts from the Greeks and Romans (Sappho, Plato, Euripides; Vergil, Horace, the "Galli"), the Native American berdache tradition, the ancient Far East (Qu Yuan, Kukai, Basho), and the Persian Sufi traditions (Attar, Sadi, Hafiz, Jami), as well as works from literary figures from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, each presented with a short biographical introduction. Michelangelo, who in his sonnets explored the mystery of the relationship between human and divine beauty, who set himself the sacred task of transmuting human desire into divine love, wrote, "All that we have of wisdom and of faith / Derives from earth, and if I love you with / Fervour, I shall reach God and find sweet death."" "Harvey asks us to consider some familiar voices in a different light, as well as introducing readers of some less well-known writers whose words fairly scorch the page. From the ecstatic poetry of seventeenth-century Spanish nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz to Thoreau's poignant "Lately, Alas, I Knew a Gentle Boy" to Emily Dickinson's wild nights and curious wine to the hallucinatory prose of Jean Cocteau and the gorgeous hymn to female sexuality in Audre Lorde's "Woman Forever," the scope and heartfelt intensity of these selections will make The Essential Gay Mystics an invaluable sourcebook for all seekers, especially gay men and lesbians searching for readings for commitment ceremonies and other celebratory occasions. The book is a lasting testament to the revolutionary power and transformative gifts of same-sex love."--BOOK JACKET.

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