Odile Falque : the mysticism of everyday life with etty hillesum

Mysticism : one can’t talk about it, and one can’t not talk about it. It consists of remaining in the illusion and the tension of paradoxes, particularly life-death, through a revisiting of the adolescent processes that Etty Hillseum situates at the onset of puberty. She returns to the originary, and it is a matter of getting out of this. This is what is at stake in her encounter with her psychologist, Julius Spier, an encounter that was, first of all, eroticized, in transgression, afterwards idealized and sublimated, in the discovery all at once the capacity to be alone, to think, to dream, to pray, for both seekers after God.
The mystical experience would be rooted in enjoyment, in transgression and in death.
“ The mysticism of everyday life ” may be spoken of in the psychical economy of the subject in movements of libidinal hyperinvestment, of disinvestment and of re-investment in the reality of daily life, which brings renewed energy, for the deepening and widening of psychical and spiritual space, caring for others, the mission that must be accomplished and the witness that must be given.
Such was the path of Etty Hillesum, a mystic who remain “ on the march ” towards death, survival, as recounted in her diaries An Interrupted Life, between 1941 and 1943, from Amsterdam to Auschwitz.

Adolescence, 2008, T. 26, n°1, pp. 23-39.