Pilgrimpace's Blog

mapping bold paths

Occasionally I find a quote which speaks to me very deeply; which I can live out of for a while.  I have to stop and stay with it.  This is from Peter Tyler’s Teresa of Avila:

The world view of Teresa’s Life emerges from the Neo-Platonic and Dionysian scheme of Teresa’s ‘master’, Francesco de Osuna.  In contrast to this beautiful world shot through with eros and ecstasy, The Way and Foundations offer a darker, perhaps more threatening, view of the cosmos.  Teresa gives us an indication of this in the preface to The Way written in late 1565 / early 1566.  It was Teresa’s fiftieth year and she senses that ‘change is in the air’.  Whereas the earlier text had been largely retrospective these new texts will map bold paths – caminos – to be taken in the future.  The Way maps these paths through ethical desire, ascetic practice and, ultimately, the extended metaphor of the Lord’s Prayer.  The Foundations charts a more exoteric geography full, as we have seen, of the pitfalls of doubting companions, unreliable roads, the wiles of the devil, and the perpetually adverse Spanish climate.


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