Having finally completed Bernadette Roberts’s book What is Self? I can now give a greater and fuller commentary on it than before.

Again, I want to point to her unique perspectives on things, and by reading about her journey, I now understand Christianity in a much different light, and it’s only a solidification of the mystical aspects of it.

In mainstream Christianity, there are plenty of errors, which typically begin with a bad approach and eventually devolve into some kind of legalism that requires one to find Bible verses to back up reality. That is not the focus of this entry, however. I can still spew out my spite for the Bibliolatry that so many Christians fall into, but that’s not going to get us anywhere here.

Bernadette is critical of some others who speak about Christian mysticism, notably Evelyn Underhill. Since I have Underhill’s book on Christian mysticism, I’m going to read it and see where she falls in regards to Bernadette.

I do find it strange that Bernadette proposes that we continue even upon the death of the body as we know it- in the sense that there is some aspect of the body that exists that we cannot readily perceive with our senses. As I pointed out before, this seemed to be a lot like the idea of the soul or spirit, only spun differently.

I’ll know when I get there, I suppose.

So my new mission is to go through more of the Christian mystical literature and see what I can find that relates to Bernadette’s experience and potentially to my own experience.

Some would say that I shouldn’t “follow” anyone as a particular teacher, but then, that never worked. I understand that we can’t expect one human to give us everything that we need, and yet maybe that person can take us far enough along the path that we can stand on our own.

I wouldn’t say that I’m following Bernadette Roberts so much as I would say that I’m going to practice Christianity and see if it really does result in what she says it does.

Of course, I should also make the point that she mentions how we can absorb the BEST of all other paths without necessarily leaving our own. And I’m okay with that. I’ve definitely absorbed a bulk of Sufism- but to call myself Gnostic and Sufi is kind of a redundant.

Christianity, even with all the numerous errors that it has produced over the years, is still the basic framework with which we can go in the American culture. Some might object to the Catholic sense of it and go one further to say that American Christianity has largely been puritanical and Protestant in nature, but the Catholic mystery still holds, and I’m all for that.