She is a contemporary mystic: Carine Philipse (64), former hospital chaplain from The Hague. Last year her remarkable book You sing in me Your name was released. It is the result of the spiritual process that began after a mystical experience she went through more than a decade ago. “On January 1, 2003, I sat in the kitchen to prepare a church service on the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan,” she recalls. “I was overwhelmed by a strong experience of unity with God. I sat there with my pen in my hand and wrote down everything as it happened. It took a couple of hours.”
“I had the feeling: this is what my life is meant for, this is my destiny. Gratitude, joy, tears. When I came to myself again, I totally surrendered myself to God. I fell into a powerful mystical process and everything that came up in me, such as prayers, songs, reflections, I wrote down. I sang the songs on a cassette tape. A colleague tried to convince me to publish my diary, but that was then too much for me. It was in July 2013 that an anthology was published. The purpose of this book is to connect people with the love of God. It is not about me as a person, it is about God’s love for every human being, just as he or she is. “
“Mysticism” says Philipse, “is the experience to be touched by God and to be one with Him, ascending into Him. These kind of experiences are given to you. If that happens, that attunes to great gratitude. In your life you can favor openness to God, for example by praying, meditating, to always speak to Him, to sing His name. God can not be described. All the images or words can only be a reference: the Love, the One, the Essence of all that is. ” She grew up in an Arminian family. Striking: her brother is philosopher Herman Philipse, a man who likes to cross swords with believers. “When I was in my mid-twenties, I came into contact with literature about the Jesus Prayer and the Desert Fathers. I was looking for a tranquil way of praying. This fitted exactly in to that. In prayer it always befell to me the experience of unity with God. But then I had never labeled it as “mystical.” After that mystical breakthrough experience in 2003 I started reading mystics: Master Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Jewish mysticism, Advaita Vedanta, Ramakrishna. Everything I read, seemed familiar to me. In all mysticism it is about the same: union with God and love of the fellowman which comes from it. “
“Right from the beginning I had the realization: this mystical process occurs in me, but is not meant only for me. It is intended to pass on, as expression of God’s love for us people. The book appears to be read widely, by people who do not feel bound by a religious way, by freethinkers and orthodox. I get emails and letters from people who feel supported by it. That makes me very grateful. “
Carine Philipse: You sing in me Your name. Discovery Books. 336 pp. C 19.90.