Paul Gustave Doré, Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest Heaven, The Empyrean, 19th century

The ineffability of mystical experience is an ancient commonplace. Not surprisingly, Dante alludes to it often with baffled exasperation throughout his Paradiso. In Canto 3, he states that “the sweetness of eternal life” can never be understood by the intellect; rather, it must be “tasted.” This is a reference to a verse from Psalm 33, often cited by medieval mystics, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” A century before Dante, Richard of St. Victor, among others, had adduced it to illustrate “the tasting of inner...

 
Popular Right Now