Union with Reality

From The SpiritWiki

Union with Reality is the phrase used by Evelyn Underhill (2010) to describe the state of Awakening/Connection that is the goal and practical outcome of what she calls Practical Mysticism but what is referred to on the Lightning Path as Authentic Spirituality. Underhill describes it in terms of its practical outcomes.


Union > Spiritual Marriage, Union with God, Union with Reality, Unity

List of Connection Outcomes

Connection Outcome > Connection Pathology, Déjà vu, Emotional Cleansing, Emotional Satisfaction, Enlightenment, Existential Terrors, Healing, Liberation, Perfect Connection, Perfected Connection, Perfection, Permanent Connection, Physical Sensations, Psychotic Mysticism, Realization of Self, Ritambharapragya, Spontaneous Alignment, The Unity, Transformation, Union

Syncretic Terms

Connection Outcome > Altered State of Consciousness, Descent of the Holy Spirit, Divine Marriage, Divine Union, Drawing Down the Moon, It, Lightning Strike, Mysticism, Shamanic State of Consciousness, Starlight Vision, The Dreaming, Trance, Union


We now begin to attach at least a fragmentary meaning to the statement that "mysticism is the art of union with Reality." We see that the claim of such a poet as Whitman to be a mystic lies in the fact that he has achieved a passionate communion with deeper levels of life than those with which we usually deal--has thrust past the current notion to the Fact: that the claim of such a saint as Teresa is bound up with her declaration that she has achieved union with the Divine Essence itself. The visionary is a mystic when his vision mediates to him an actuality beyond the reach of the senses. The philosopher is a mystic when he passes beyond thought to the pure apprehension of truth. The active man is a mystic when he knows his actions to be a part of a greater activity. Blake, Plotinus, Joan of Arc, and John of the Cross--there is a link which binds all these together: but if he is to make use of it, the inquirer must find that link for himself. All four exhibit different forms of the working of the contemplative consciousness; a faculty which is proper to all men, though few take the trouble to develop it. Their attention to life has changed its character, sharpened its focus: and as a result they see, some a wider landscape, some a more brilliant, more significant, more detailed world than that which is apparent to the less educated, less observant vision of common sense.[1]

Notably for Underhill, and in contradistinction to elite systems like Freemasonry, mystical union with reality is open to all. As Underhill notes:

...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] is a natural human activity, no more involving the great powers and sublime experiences of the mystical saints and philosophers than the ordinary enjoyment of music involves the special creative powers of the great musician. As the beautiful does not exist for the artist and poet alone--so the world of Reality exists for all; and all may participate in it, unite with it, according to their measure and to the strength and purity of their desire [2]


  1. Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. New York: Dover Publications, 2002. https://amzn.to/2C91xNY.
  2. Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. New York: Dover Publications, 2002. p. 13. https://amzn.to/2C91xNY.