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The Book of Ceremonial Magic

The mystic tradition in Christian Times is preserved, apart from all questions and traces of Instituted Mysteries, in the literature of Christian Mystical Theology; it is a large and exceedingly scattered literature; some of its most important texts are available in no modern language; they stand very seriously in need of codification, and–if I may be so frank–even of re-expression. But if, for other reasons, they are in their entirety a study which must be left to the expert, there is no person now living in Europe who has not close at his hands the specific, simple, isolated texts–much too numerous to name–which are sufficient to give some general idea of the scope and aims of the tradition. If I were asked to define the literature shortly and comprehensively as a whole, I should call it the texts of the way, the truth and the life in respect of the mystic term. It is not only full but exhaustive as to the way–which is that of the inward world, recollection, meditation, contemplation, the renunciation of all that is lower in the quest of all that is higher–but perhaps the most catholic word of all would be centralisation. It is very full also on the fundamental truth, out of which it arises, that a way does exist and that the way is open.

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