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Nature Mysticism   By: (1857-1922)

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NATURE MYSTICISM

BY

J. EDWARD MERCER, D.D., OXON. BISHOP OF TASMANIA

LONDON GEORGE ALLEN & COMPANY, Ltd. 44 & 45 RATHBONE PLACE

1913

All rights reserved

PREFACE

The aims of this study of Nature Mysticism, and the methods adopted for attaining them, are sufficiently described in the introductory chapter. It may be said, by way of special preface, that the nature mystic here portrayed is essentially a "modern." He is assumed to have accepted the fundamentals of the hypothesis of evolution. Accordingly, his sympathy with the past is profound: so also is his sense of the reality and continuity of human development, physical, psychic, and mystical. Moreover, he tries to be abreast of the latest critical and scientific conclusions. Imperfections manifold will be discovered in the pages that follow; but the author asks that a percentage of them may be attributed to the difficulties of writing in Tasmania and publishing at the antipodes.

J. E. M.

Bishop's Court, Hobart, March , 1912.

CONTENTS

Chapter I. Introductory 1 Chapter II. Nature, and the Absolute 7 Chapter III. Mystic Intuition and Reason 15 Chapter IV. Man and Nature 23 Chapter V. Mystic Receptivity 30 Chapter VI. Development and Discipline of Intuition 38 Chapter VII. Nature not Symbolic 45 Chapter VIII. The Charge of Anthropomorphism 54 Chapter IX. The Immanent Idea 65 Chapter X. Animism, Ancient and Modern 71 Chapter XI. Will and Consciousness in Nature 79 Chapter XII. Mythology 90 Chapter XIII. Poetry and Nature Mysticism 97 Chapter XIV. The Beautiful and the Ugly 106 Chapter XV. Nature Mysticism and the Race 117 Chapter XVI. Thales 123 Chapter XVII. The Waters under the Earth 129 Chapter XVIII. Springs and Wells 138 Chapter XIX. Brooks and Streams 145 Chapter XX. Rivers and Life 151 Chapter XXI. Rivers and Death 158 Chapter XXII. The Ocean 165 Chapter XXIII. Waves 172 Chapter XXIV. Still Waters 179 Chapter XXV. Anaximenes and the Air 187 Chapter XXVI. Winds and Clouds 192 Chapter XXVII. Heracleitus and the Cosmic Fire 203 Chapter XXVIII. Fire and the Sun 211 Chapter XXIX. Light and Darkness 222 Chapter XXX. The Expanse of Heaven Colour 228 Chapter XXXI. The Moon A Special Problem 235 Chapter XXXII. Earth, Mountains, and Plains 242 Chapter XXXIII. Seasons, Vegetation, Animals 248 Chapter XXXIV. Pragmatic 257

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTORY

A wave of Mysticism is passing over the civilised nations. It is welcomed by many: by more it is mistrusted. Even the minds to which it would naturally appeal are often restrained from sympathy by fears of vague speculative driftings and of transcendental emotionalism. Nor can it be doubted that such an attitude of aloofness is at once reasonable and inevitable. For a systematic exaltation of formless ecstasies, at the expense of sense and intellect, has a tendency to become an infirmity if it does not always betoken loss of mental balance. In order, therefore, to disarm natural prejudice, let an opening chapter be devoted to general exposition of aims and principles.

The subject is Nature Mysticism. The phenomena of "nature" are to be studied in their mystical aspects. The wide term Mysticism is used because, in spite of many misleading associations, it is hard to replace... Continue reading book >>




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