1. "What Does Mysticism Have To Teach Us About Consciousness?"
This is an article published on the internet by Robert K. C. Forman. Forman takes a purely empirical approach to mysticism. You can find it at: http://www.zynet.co.uk/imprint/Forman.html
2. "Mystical Union in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: An Ecumenical Dialogue" Moshe Ideal and Bernard McGinn, Editors. This book has an excellent article by Michael Sells. The Continuum Publishing Company, New York. Excerpt: "This creation myth can be seen as a metaphysical joke with a serious point. The absurdity of the divine names complaining to Allah that they do not exist dramatizes the anthropomorphic quality of conventional language of creation, even when creation language is attempting to avoid such a quality. Creation language uses names that can only be refractions of and results of the very process the are described as preceding."
3. "Ecstatic Spontaneity: Saraha's Three Cycles Of Doha" by Herbert Guenther. This is a translation and commentary on the Buddhist writer Saraha's work: Asian Humanities Press, 1993. Excerpt: "It (autopoiesis) does not plan for the future based on what was learned in the past, but conserves its own history in such a fashion that in each moment it expresses the potential wisdom of its accumulated experience."
4. "The Essential Rumi" Translation by Coleman Barks with John Moyne, A. J. Arberry, and Reynold Nicholson. This is some of the best work by the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi: HarperCollins, 1995
5. "Mysticism, Holiness East and West" Denise Lardner Carmody and John Tully Carmody. Oxford University Press, 1996. Excerpt: "It is fitting then, that our working description be modest and flexible enough to adapt should we come across something to show us more directly, more experientially, the ultimate reality of mysticism, the who or what the mystics we are studying merged with, came to know and love and say was their center, the center of all of us, creations's depth and height and wholeness."
6. "The Varieties of Religious Experience" William James. This is a classic. Excerpt: "Were we to limit our view to it, we should have to define religion as an external art, the art of winning the favor of the gods. In the more personal branch of religion it is on the contrary the inner dispositions of man himself which form the center of interest, his conscience, his deserts, his helplessness, his incompleteness."
7. "Mysticism East and West" Rudolph Otto. Excerpt: "The characteristic of this God (in Bhakti) is that he can be interchangeably present with the soul, either as blessed all-absorbing All, or as personal lover and friend of the soul. We have here what must all a "mysticism of poise."
8. "Early Chinese Mysticism" Livia Kohn. Excerpt: "The texts of mysticism...are an attempt to express the world, as seen from the right hemisphere of the brain, through language--the tool of the left."
9. "Mysticism and Language" Steven Katz, Editor. This editor protests the idea of the existence of organic mysticism so much that the reader soon realizes that he (not the reader) is probably mistaken. Steven Katz has collected some great writers and essays in this book. Excerpt: "It may be that the author of the Cloud of Unknowing is right to diagnose his experience in the cloud as being a kind of contact and ultimately oneness with God. Whether he is right or wrong depends on a much wider set of conditions than can be drawn from the mystical experience itself, but it is a wider set that could be put on one side by Buddhaghosa." (Ninian Smart)
10. "Mysticism and Religious Traditions" Steven Katz, Editor. Another great collection by Steven Katz. Includes a wonderful section by John B. Carman: "Conceiving Hindu 'Bhakti' as Theistic Mysticism."
11. "Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis" Steven Katz, Editor. Includes a fine section by Frederick J. Streng: "Language and Mystical Awareness." And an interesting one by Karl Keller who says that "Mystical writings are texts which deal with ultimate knowledge: with its nature, its modalities, its conditions, its methods, and also with secondary insights which might be granted to a seeker in the course of the pursuit of his task." Pragmatic mysticism, I would note, does not claim to "deal with ultimate knowledge."
12. "Meister Eckhart, Mystic as Theologian" Robert K.C. Forman. What is great in this writer is that Forman the scholar does not keep the scholar's vow to keep the subject at arm's length. At times he jumps right into the fray: "From the vantage point of today, it is unfortunate that Eckart saw fit to discourage his listeners or readers from taking up some effective technique. It is naive to think that people can transform themselves in the deep and fundamental way he/she seeks without effective tools."
13. "The Problem of Pure Consciousness" Robert K. C. Forman. This collection also includes the work of other brilliant scholars. While shattering Steven Katz's sturcturalist theory of mysticism, the authors provide a number of powerful insights into the subject. Oxford Universtiy Press, 1990
14. A recommendation from Bill Hulet: "My favourite Daoist author is Masanobu Fukuoka. His book The One-Straw Revolution is the most remarkable book about a Dao that I have ever seen. It is written in modern language and deals with concrete, tangible issues (horticulture and science) and points out many of what I think are the most important issues for a Daoist."
15. Mystical Languages of Unsaying, Michael A. Sells,
The University of Chicago Press 1994.
I have not read a more insightful explanation of mysticism. Professor
Sells understands and brilliantly describes apophasis as a dynamic
event that paradoxically can be induced, but yet not conceptually
captured through the use of language. The book is difficult,
but the author's examination of mysticism is as clear a one as
can be wrought on such a profoundly subtle art. For more on this
book go to this link.