This little book, written during the last months of peace, goes to press in the first weeks of the great war. Many will feel that in such a time of conflict and horror, when only the most ignorant, disloyal, or apathetic can hope for quietness of mind, a book which deals with that which is called the "contemplative" attitude to existence is wholly out of place. So obvious, indeed, is this point of view, that I had at first thought of postponing its publication. On the one hand, it seems as though the dreams of a spiritual renaissance, which promised so fairly but a little time ago, had perished in the sudden explosion of brute force. On the other hand, the thoughts of the English race are now turned, and rightly, towards the most concrete forms of action--struggle and endurance, practical sacrifices, difficult and long-continued effort--rather than towards the passive attitude of self-surrender which is all that the practice of mysticism seems, at first sight, to demand." Evelyn Underhill's book, 'Practical Mysticism' was first published in 1915, and is now a classic in the field.
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Practical Mysticism — by Evelyn Underhill