The Ethics of Sharing Mystical Knowledge: Meister Eckhart and the Cloud Author

Pick up any edition of The Cloud of Unknowing, and you are likely to find the following language a bit intimidating:Whoever you are possessing this book, know that I charge you with a serious responsibility, to which I attach the sternest sanctions that the bonds of love can bear. It does not matter whether this book belongs to you, whether you are keeping it for someone else, whether you are  taking it to someone, or borrowing it; you are not to read it, write or speak of it, nor allow … [Read more...]

Mary, Martha, and Meister Eckhart

The story of Mary and Martha of Bethany — where Martha is busy serving the guests while Mary sits with Jesus, leading to the point where Martha complains about her sister not helping out with all the work that needs to be done, only to have Jesus defend Mary for choosing "the better part" (Luke 10:38-42) — has long been regarded as a story about how the contemplative life is "higher" than the active life. The Cloud of Unknowing forcefully makes this traditional argument. But in her book The Sil … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Nothing in the universe resembles God more than silence. — Meister Eckhart, as quoted by John O'Donohue in Four Elements: Reflections on Nature … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

So just let God act, and be at peace. As far as you are in God, you are in peace; and as far as you are outside God, you are outside peace. Lack of peace comes from created things and not from God. Nor is there anything to fear in God, and nothing in him to cause sadness; his being can draw only love from us. It is true: they who have all they wish for, know joy; but no one has this except those whose will is one with God's will. May God grant us this union! — Meister Eckhart, quoted i … [Read more...]

A Story from Meister Eckhart

“There was a learned man who, eight years long, desired that God would show him a man who would teach him the truth. And once when he felt a very great longing, a voice from God came to him and said, ‘Go to the church, and there shalt thou find a man who shalt show thee the way to blessedness.’ And he went thence and found a poor man whose feet were torn and covered with dust and dirt: and all his clothes were hardly worth three farthings. And he greeted him, saying:— “‘God give you good d … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

If the only prayer you say in your life is 'Thank you,' that would be enough." — Meister Eckhart … [Read more...]

What Mystics Do (and You Can, Too)

What do mystics do? The following list can be a way to begin answering this question. I'm not suggesting that every mystic does everything on this list (for starters, this list is particularly aimed at Christian mystics), or that a person has to do all of these things to be considered a mystic. I'm trying to make the list general, so that it's not just about persons who live in a cloister (monks and nuns) or who have ordained ministries of some sort. Think of this list as a glimpse into the … [Read more...]


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