From the Romantic movement onward, … the mystical impulse was cut loose from ascetical discipline, ecclesial life and supervision or direction, and now focused on precisely the most distracting and “paranormal” phenomena rather than on the union with God or theosis or that perfect reign of justice and peace that had been the tradition’s terminal images for the journey. The culture came down with a good case of Zen sickness — loving enlightenment rather than the light, or, in Christian terms, desiring religious experience rather than God — from which it has not yet recovered. There are some hopeful countervailing trends at present… but this is the culture we have inhabited for nearly two hundred years.

Robert Davis Hughes III
Beloved Dust: Tides of the Spirit in the Christian Life (New York: Continuum, 2008), p. 27.
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