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Explore the Silent Cry of Mysticism in All Religions with Dorothee Sölle's Book - Free Download



The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance Free Download




Are you looking for a book that explores the religious impulse known as mysticism, the "silent cry" at the heart of all the world's religions? Do you want to learn how mysticism can help us resist the death-dealing aspects of our contemporary culture and foster a community of free spirits? If so, you might be interested in reading The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance by Dorothee Sölle.




The Silent Cry: Mysticism And Resistance Free Download



Introduction




The Silent Cry is a book by Dorothee Sölle, a German liberation theologian and writer who was active in politics, speaking out against the Vietnam War, the arms race of the Cold War and injustices in the developing world. She was also a professor of systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She wrote many books, including Theology for Skeptics, Suffering, and her autobiography Against the Wind. In The Silent Cry, she seeks to democratize the practice and perspectives of mysticism, and indeed to remind readers that all of us hold an innate capacity for mystical encounter with God.


Mysticism, in the sense of a "longing for God," has been present in all times, cultures, and religions. But Sölle believes it has never been more important than in this age of materialism and fundamentalism. The antiauthoritarian mystical element in each religion leads to community of free spirits and resistance to the death-dealing aspects of our contemporary culture. Religion in the third millennium, Sölle argues, either will be mystical or it will be dead. Therefore, Sölle identifies strongly with the hunger of New Age searchers, but laments the religious fast food they devour. Today, a kind of "democratized mysticism" of those without much religious background flourishes. This mystical experience is not drawn so much of the tradition as out of contemporary experiences. In that sense, each of us is a mystic, and Sölle's work seeks to give theological depth, clarity, and direction. This, her magnum opus, conjoins Sölle's deep religious knowledge and wisdom with her passion for social justice into a work destined to be a classic of religious literature.


Summary of the book




The book is divided into three parts, each consisting of five chapters. The first part deals with the nature and definition of mysticism, the second part explores the different places where mystical experience can occur, and the third part shows how mysticism is a form of resistance to the dominant structures of oppression and violence in our world. Here is a brief overview of each chapter:


Part I: Mysticism as a Longing for God




We Are All Mystics




In this chapter, Sölle argues that mysticism is not a special gift or a rare phenomenon, but a universal human potential that can be awakened and cultivated. She defines mysticism as "a longing for God that moves us beyond all images and concepts to an immediate experience of the divine presence." She also distinguishes between two types of mysticism: theistic and atheistic. The former is based on a personal relationship with God, while the latter is based on a sense of oneness with the ground of being. She claims that both types are valid and complementary, and that they can be found in all religious traditions.


Ecstasy




In this chapter, Sölle explores the role of ecstasy in mystical experience. She defines ecstasy as "a state of being outside oneself, a state in which one's own ego boundaries are transcended and one experiences a union with something greater than oneself." She argues that ecstasy is not a loss of reason or control, but a gain of insight and freedom. She also discusses the different forms of ecstasy, such as visionary, auditory, somatic, erotic, and artistic. She suggests that ecstasy can be induced by various means, such as prayer, meditation, music, dance, love, nature, and drugs.


Definitions, Methods, Delimitations




In this chapter, Sölle examines some of the difficulties and challenges involved in studying mysticism. She acknowledges that mysticism is a vague and contested term that has been used in different ways by different scholars and traditions. She also recognizes that mysticism is not a homogeneous phenomenon, but a diverse and complex one that varies according to historical, cultural, and personal factors. She proposes some criteria for identifying and evaluating mystical experiences, such as authenticity, intensity, transformation, and social relevance. She also warns against some pitfalls and dangers of mysticism, such as elitism, escapism, fanaticism, and manipulation.


Finding Another Language




In this chapter, Sölle analyzes the language and literature of mysticism. She argues that mysticism requires a different kind of language than ordinary discourse, one that is more poetic, symbolic, paradoxical, and apophatic (negative). She claims that mystical language is not meant to describe or explain reality, but to evoke and express it. She also surveys some of the genres and forms of mystical literature, such as autobiography, dialogue, letter, treatise, hymn, and prayer. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical writers, such as Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, Rumi, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas Merton.


The Journey




In this chapter, Sölle describes the stages and steps of the mystical journey. She draws on the classical model of purgation (cleansing), illumination (enlightenment), and union (love), but also adds her own insights and interpretations. She argues that the mystical journey is not a linear or sequential process, but a dynamic and circular one that involves constant movement between opposites: self and God, darkness and light, suffering and joy. She also emphasizes that the mystical journey is not an individual or isolated endeavor, but a communal and political one that connects us with others and with the world.


Part II: Places of Mystical Experience




Nature




Nature




In this chapter, Sölle explores the role of nature in mystical experience. She argues that nature is not only a source of beauty and wonder, but also a revelation of God and a challenge to human arrogance and domination. She claims that nature can teach us to see God in all things, to respect the diversity and interdependence of life, and to resist the exploitation and destruction of the environment. She also discusses the different ways that mystics have related to nature, such as contemplation, celebration, stewardship, and activism. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical traditions, such as Celtic Christianity, Zen Buddhism, Native American spirituality, and ecofeminism.


Eroticism




In this chapter, Sölle examines the role of eroticism in mystical experience. She defines eroticism as "a power that moves us beyond ourselves toward another being or reality." She argues that eroticism is not only a physical or sexual phenomenon, but also a spiritual and social one that can lead us to a deeper intimacy and communion with God and others. She claims that eroticism can help us to overcome our alienation and isolation, to affirm our embodiment and sensuality, and to express our creativity and joy. She also discusses the different forms and expressions of eroticism, such as love, friendship, marriage, celibacy, and homosexuality. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical writers, such as Song of Songs, Hadewijch of Antwerp, John of the Cross, and Audre Lorde.


Suffering




In this chapter, Sölle investigates the role of suffering in mystical experience. She argues that suffering is not a punishment or a test from God, but a reality that we share with God and with all creation. She claims that suffering can be a catalyst for mystical awakening, as it can break our illusions and attachments, open our hearts and minds, and connect us with the suffering of others. She also discusses the different ways that mystics have responded to suffering, such as compassion, solidarity, resistance, and hope. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical traditions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.


Community




In this chapter, Sölle reflects on the role of community in mystical experience. She argues that mysticism is not a solitary or elitist pursuit, but a communal and egalitarian one that fosters a sense of belonging and mutual support among seekers. She claims that community can enrich our mystical journey by providing guidance, feedback, inspiration, and challenge. She also discusses the different forms and functions of community, such as fellowship, dialogue, worship, service, and protest. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical movements and groups, such as Quakers, Sufis, Beguines, Base Communities, and Feminist Spirituality.


Joy




In this chapter, Sölle celebrates the role of joy in mystical experience. She argues that joy is not a superficial or escapist emotion, but a profound and liberating one that arises from our connection with God and with all beings. She claims that joy can empower us to overcome our fear and despair, to embrace our freedom and responsibility, and to express our gratitude and praise. She also discusses the different sources and manifestations of joy, such as laughter, music, art, playfulness, and celebration. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical writers, such as Hildegard of Bingen, Rabia al-Adawiyya, Francis of Assisi, and Meister Eckhart.


Part III: Mysticism Is Resistance




As If We Lived in a Liberated World




In this chapter, Sölle explains how mysticism is a form of resistance to the dominant structures of oppression and violence in our world. She argues that mysticism is not a passive or quietist attitude, but an active and prophetic one that challenges the status quo and imagines a different reality. She claims that mysticism can inspire us to live as if we were already free, as if God's reign of justice and peace were already here. She also discusses the different aspects of this resistance, such as nonconformity, nonviolence, nonservility, and nonpossession. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical activists, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Oscar Romero.


Ego and Egolessness




In this chapter, Sölle explores the relationship between ego and egolessness in mystical experience. She argues that mysticism is not a denial or destruction of the ego, but a transformation and integration of it. She claims that mysticism can help us to overcome our egoism and narcissism, to recognize our true self and identity, and to relate to others and to God in a more authentic and loving way. She also discusses the different stages and steps of this process, such as detachment, humility, silence, and surrender. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical traditions, such as Taoism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.


Possession and Possessionlessness




In this chapter, Sölle examines the relationship between possession and possessionlessness in mystical experience. She argues that mysticism is not a rejection or renunciation of material goods, but a reevaluation and redistribution of them. She claims that mysticism can help us to overcome our greed and consumerism, to appreciate the gift and value of creation, and to share our resources and goods with those in need. She also discusses the different forms and expressions of this attitude, such as simplicity, generosity, solidarity, and stewardship. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical writers and movements, such as Francis of Assisi, Basil of Caesarea, The Catholic Worker Movement, and Liberation Theology.


Violence and Nonviolence




In this chapter, Sölle analyzes the relationship between violence and nonviolence in mystical experience. She argues that mysticism is not a justification or glorification of violence, but a critique and resistance of it. She claims that mysticism can help us to overcome our anger and hatred, to recognize the sacredness and dignity of every life, and to practice nonviolence as a way of love and justice. She also discusses the different dimensions and implications of this practice, such as personal, interpersonal, social, and political. She illustrates her points with examples from various mystical traditions and figures, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism.


A Mysticism of Liberation




In this chapter, Sölle summarizes and synthesizes her main arguments and insights. She argues that mysticism is not an escape or a distraction from the world, but a liberation and a transformation of it. She claims that mysticism can help us to experience God's presence and power in all things, to resist the forces of evil and death in our world, and to participate in God's work of creating a new heaven and a new earth. She also discusses the different challenges and opportunities for mysticism in our time, such as pluralism, feminism, ecology, and globalization. She concludes by affirming that mysticism is a way of life that can bring us joy, hope, and freedom.


Key insights from the book




From reading The Silent Cry, we can learn some valuable lessons and insights about mysticism and its relevance for our lives today. Here are some of them:


  • Mysticism challenges materialism and fundamentalism by offering us a different way of seeing and relating to reality, one that is based on experience rather than dogma, on love rather than fear, on openness rather than closure.



  • Mysticism fosters community and social justice by encouraging us to see ourselves as part of a larger whole, to care for the well-being of others, especially the poor and oppressed, and to work for change in the structures that cause injustice and violence.



  • Mysticism transforms our relationship with God and ourselves by inviting us to move beyond our images and concepts of God, to encounter God directly in all things, to surrender our ego to God's will, and to discover our true self in God.



How to download the book for free




If you are interested in reading The Silent Cry, you might be wondering how you can get a copy of it for free. Well, there are several options available for you. Here is a table with some of them:


Option Format Link ---------------------- Option Format Link ---------------------- Amazon Kindle E-book https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Cry-Mysticism-Resistance-ebook/dp/B00B5J4Q9O Goodreads E-book https://www.goodreads.com/ebooks/download/310898.The_Silent_Cry Internet Archive PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT https://archive.org/details/silentcrymystici00slle Open Library PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT https://openlibrary.org/books/OL1005570M/The_silent_cry Conclusion




The Silent Cry is a book that explores the religious impulse known as mysticism, the "silent cry" at the heart of all the world's religions. It shows how mysticism can help us to experience God's presence and power in all things, to resist the death-dealing aspects of our contemporary culture, and to foster a community of free spirits. It also offers us a way of life that can bring us joy, hope, and freedom. If you are looking for a book that can inspire and challenge you, you might want to download and read The Silent Cry by Dorothee Sölle.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions and answers related to the book and its topic:


What is the difference between mysticism and spirituality?


  • Mysticism and spirituality are often used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same. Spirituality is a broader term that refers to any way of relating to the transcendent or sacred dimension of life. Mysticism is a specific form of spirituality that emphasizes the direct and immediate experience of God or ultimate reality.



Is mysticism compatible with science and reason?


  • Mysticism is not opposed to science and reason, but rather complements them. Mysticism recognizes that there are limits to what science and reason can explain and understand, and that there are aspects of reality that require a different mode of knowing and being. Mysticism does not reject science and reason, but rather transcends them.



Is mysticism dangerous or harmful?


  • Mysticism is not inherently dangerous or harmful, but it can be misused or abused by some people. Some potential risks or pitfalls of mysticism are: elitism (thinking that one is superior or special because of one's mystical experiences), escapism (using mysticism as a way of avoiding or denying one's problems or responsibilities), fanaticism (becoming obsessed or intolerant with one's mystical beliefs or practices), and manipulation (using mysticism as a tool for controlling or exploiting others). To avoid these dangers, mysticism should be practiced with humility, honesty, balance, and discernment.



How can I practice mysticism in my daily life?


  • There is no one right way to practice mysticism in one's daily life, but there are some general guidelines that can help. Some of them are: cultivate a sense of awe and wonder at the mystery and beauty of creation, practice mindfulness and awareness of the present moment, develop a habit of prayer and meditation as a way of connecting with God or ultimate reality, seek guidance and support from others who share your mystical quest, engage in acts of compassion and justice as expressions of your mystical love, and be open to new experiences and insights that can deepen your mystical journey.



Where can I find more resources on mysticism?


  • There are many resources available on mysticism, both online and offline. Some of them are: books (such as The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGinn, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism by Carl McColman, Mystical Dimensions of Islam by Annemarie Schimmel, The World's Religions by Huston Smith), websites (such as Mystics of the Church, Contemplative Outreach, Spiritual Directors International), podcasts (such as Encountering Silence, The Merton Podcast, Insights at the Edge), and courses (such as Mysticism: A Study of the Mystical Experience in World Religions, Mysticism in World Religions, Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition).



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