Scholem and Underhill

…what is Jewish mysticism? What precisely is meant by this term? Is there such a thing, and, if so, what distinguishes it from other kinds of mystical experience? In order to be able give an answer to this question, if only an incomplete one, it is necessary to recall what we know about mysticism in general. I do not propose to add anything essentially new to the immense literature which has sprung up around this question during the last half century. Some of you may have read the brilliant books on this subject by Evelyn Underhill and Dr Rufus Jones. I merely propose to rescue what appears to me important for our purpose from the welter of conflicting historical and metaphysical arguments which have been advanced and discussed in the course of the last century.”