St John Of The Cross Analysis

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Now on to Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591). When we pass from the works of the Carmelite nun to those of the friar, St. John of the Cross, we feel we are entering quite a new world. St. John expounds his mysticism on two different levels: First, there are his magnificent poems which set this humble man among the greatest poets of world literature. On this lyrical plane his interior life is expounded in a scheme of symbols, each word being chosen and explained as if belonging to a mystical symbolic language appropriate to mystical theory and experience. Second: Along and parallel with these poems, he wrote corresponding commentaries, each explaining his speculative views of the mystical life. These commentaries are actually quite detailed books, and explain line for line and word for word the theological nuances of his poems. St. John is quite original by reason of this method: which was to start with a short lyrical poem as the basis for a much longer didactic treatise. I have read his poems in the original Spanish again and again. His works are almost untranslatable; they only reveal the fullness of their Beauty in the original Spanish. With every reading I have entered a deeper and deeper meaning. With every line I have soared with him to a…show more content…
They sprang from his heart in the gloom and pain of months of imprisonment and desolate loneliness. They were not verses of complaint or accusation but of purest joy. “Seldom has such a black situation produced such sheer jubilation” says Rigg. This all fits very well with his basic judgment of value: To St. John of the Cross “God is Absolute, the ultimate Idea of Beauty, goodness, Truth, and Being. He alone IS or EXISTS in the full sense of the verb to be.” Consequently, neither human knowledge, nor notion of the senses, or imagination, or human intellect or will is capable of really bringing us to union with

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