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The flowering of mysticism: The Friends of God in the fourteenth century by Rufus Matthew Jones. New York: Macmillan, 1940: p. 7-8.

It looks as though there were two quite diverse types of man, though it would be truer to fact to say that the distinction is probably one of degree rather than one of type. There is, on the one hand, the person who has little or no interest in a Beyond. He responds to the world which his senses report to him and in large measure he confines himself to that world. He lives biologically and seems to care little about intrinsic values, and is for the most part unconscious or dimly conscious of transcendent Realities. This type of man, however, is not completely what the Gnostics called a hylic man, devoid of spiritual capacity and composed entirely of material stuff. His unconcern is due more to the influences of nurture and social pressure than to an original bent of mind. This unconcerned and seemingly "biological man" may some day be shaken awake, may set his feet on the way back to the Fatherland, and may become a genuine citizen of it.

The other type of man seems from the first to be more truly bien né, to have come "with trailing clouds of glory from God" and to be aware that he "belongs" to the Fatherland of the Spirit. He can never be content with biological existence. The walls of separation are for him thinner, and this type of person is more sensitive and more responsive to another Realm of Reality. But these mystics who are treated in this book always insist that there is "something of God" in every person, though it may be only "a spark," something that forms a junction with that higher Realm.

This gift of "correspondence" is as unique as is the genius of the poet or the musician or the artist. It is present, I believe in all normally endowed persons, but it rises to a very high level in persons who possess a peculiar gift of sensitivity for this deeper environment of the soul. Alexis Carrel in his Man the Unknown considers mysticism to be, rightly I think, among the fundamental human activities.

I have found in a book by the Quaker scholar Rufus Jones a passage that neatly summarizes many of Brunner's key points.