Suso, Henri - The Upper School and the science of Perfect Self-abandonment
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
From the Life of Henri Suso by Himself – Henri Suso
One night after matins, the Servitor being seated in his chair, and plunged in deep thought, he was rapt from his senses.
And it seemed to him that he saw in a vision a magnificent young man descend from Heaven before him, and say, 'Thou hast been long enough in the Lower School, and hast there sufficiently applied thyself. Come, then, with me; and I will introduce thee into the highest school that exists in this world. There, thou shalt apply thyself to the study of that science which will procure thee the veritable peace of God; and which will bring thy holy beginning to a happy end. Then the Servitor rose, full of joy; and it seemed to him that the young man took him by the hand and led him into a spiritual country, wherein there was a fair house inhabited by spiritual men: for here lived those who applied themselves to the study of this science. As soon as he entered it, these received him kindly, and amiably saluted him. And at once they went to the supreme Master, and told him that a man was come, who desired to be his disciple and to learn his science. And he said, 'Let him come before me, that I may see whether he please me.' And when the supreme Master saw the Servitor, he smiled on him very kindly, and said, 'Know that this guest is able to become a good disciple of our high science, if he will bear with patience the hard probation: for it is necessary that he be tried inwardly.'
The Servitor did not then understand these enigmatic words. He turned toward the young man who had brought him and asked, 'Well, my dear comrade, what then is this Upper School and this science of which you have spoken to me?' The young man replied thus: 'In this Upper School they teach the science of Perfect Self-abandonment; that is to say, that a man is here taught to renounce himself so utterly that, in all those circumstances in which God is manifested, either by Himself or in His creatures, the man applies himself only to remaining calm and unmoved, renouncing- so far as is possible all human frailty.'
And shortly after this discourse, the Servitor came to himself . . . and, talking to himself, he said, 'Examine thyself inwardly and thou wilt see that thou hast still much self-will: thou wilt observe, that with all thy mortifications which thou hast inflicted on thyself, thou canst not yet endure external vexations. Thou art like a hare hiding in a bush, who is frightened by the whispering of the leaves. Thou also art frightened every day by the griefs that come to thee: thou dost turn pale at the sight of those who speak against thee: when thou doest fear to succumb, thou takest flight; when thou oughtest to present thyself with simplicity, thou dost hide thyself. When they praise thee, thou art happy: when they blame thee, thou art sad. Truly is it very needful for thee that thou shouldst go to an Upper School."'
The source of the experienceSuso, Henri
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Loneliness and isolation