Mystical Experience of Hadewijch

Hadewijch (also known as Hadewijch of Antwerp) was a 13th-century poet and mystic.  She is believed to have lived in in the Duchy of Brabant, a state of the Holy Roman Empire.

No details of Hadewijch’s life are known beyond the limited indications from her writings.  Her letters suggest that she functioned as the head of a beguine house (a Christian women’s house in which the women were not bound by permanent vows, in contrast to women who entered convents).  Hadewijch’s extant writings include “Poems in Stanzas” and “Poems in Couplets”, as well as her “list of the perfect ones”.

The following poem describes her mystical consciousness:

“All things
are too small
to hold me,
I am so vast

In the Infinite
I reach
for the Uncreated

I have
touched it,
it undoes me
wider than wide

Everything else
Is too narrow

You know this well,
you who are also there”

Quoted by Andrew Harvey from The Essential Mystics: The Soul’s Journey into Truth.

Image Credit:  Hadewijch from www.monasteria.org.

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