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Etty Hillesum, An "Atypical" Mystic

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines a few selected passages from the writings of Etty Hillesum, a tragically 'atypical' contemporary personality, not immediately associated with mysticism. It is our view that the words of a great mystic disclose the ulterior reciprocal search into the conceptual node of mysticism. Etty Hillesum, in fact, finds the meaning of her own existence in being both in the world and immersed in her inner life, having a unified and harmonious vision, living her life in another way. Hillesum's discovery of a new personal identity is not separate from her search for God and from accepting God in herself. Recalling Augustine, one of her favourite writers, Hillesum finds God as a precious otherness within herself. She feels so close to Him that she writes inspirational pages, which call to mind the teachings of the mystic thinkers.

Keywords: Etty Hillesum; God; mysticism



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