characters ¸ The Cloude of Unknowyng 105

characters The Cloude of Unknowyng

characters ¸ The Cloude of Unknowyng 105 é Widely considered a hallmark of Western literature and spirituality The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous English monk’s sublime expression of what separates God from humanity Originally written in the 14th century now part of the HarperCollins Spiritual classics series this beautiful contemplaSpiritual truths As the unknown author assures us “if you are to experience Him or to see Him at all insofar as it is possible here it must always be in this cloud” The Cloud of Unknowin. This is a book of spiritual counsel by an anonymous 14th century spiritual director In mediaeval English a spiritual director would have been called a ghostly father or ghostly mother if a woman such as Julian of Norwich The one being directed would be called a ghostly friend A ghostly reader such as myself never actually finishes such books because they have no plot—the ghostly realm is timeless Actually what the author calls unknowing is what we Christians refer to as centring prayer—it doesn't differ from Buddhist and Hindu practices that we know as Zen or TM except in the terminology It is basically a simple means to open your mind entirely to God

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Widely considered a hallmark of Western literature and spirituality The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous English monk’s sublime expression of what separates God from humanity Originally wri. An esoteric medieval Christian text17 January 2015 Well most authors that I know want as many people to read their book as possible yet with this guy whoever he was though it is believed that he was a monk opens and closes the book with who he doesn't want to read this book which is basically anybody who does not have some intense spiritual epiphany Okay the version I read was a translation from the Middle English text and I am told in the introduction that a lot of the beautiful and flowery language has been lost in the translation not surprisingly so I am unable to really comment on the poetic form However I must say that I am probably one of those people that he didn't really want reading this book because well I didn't think all that much of it In a way I am not surprised that it was written by a monk because the entire book is an exposition on God that is the Christian god and seems to be stuck entirely in the esoteric world Personally I really do not find any benefit from reading such books that have no connection to the world in which we live not to say that I do not like esoteric writings – some of them can be uite good – but this seems to be clearly written by somebody who had no understanding of what the world was like outside the walls of his monastery The reason that I rate the book so low is because I find good Christian writers are able to actively engage in the world around them and while I do not necessarily agree with what a lot of them write I do know that the good ones live in the world and interact with real people as opposed to the monks of the medieval world who shut themselves away to spend their lives contemplating the nature of God It reminds me of the story of this guy back in Roman times who built himself a column and sat on top of it so that he could escape sin yet it did not matter how high the column was he could not escape the world It is not that I have a thing against the monks of the medieval world though because they were active in preserving many of the texts that have been passed down to us from the classical world of the Greeks and Romans Without these monks we would not have Homer or Cicero nor would have we have surprisingly Aristophanes though it was suggested that as they transcribed his plays they would make comments about how dirty some of them were As for this book though while it may be short it is probably one to give a miss because beyond giving us an idea of how some monks spent their life contemplating God there is not really all that much that I got out of it

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The Cloude of UnknowyngTten in the 14th century now part of the HarperCollins Spiritual classics series this beautiful contemplative resource has been embraced for hundreds of years for its simple engaging style and. Reading any medieval Christian mystic is difficult but this made Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross look easy I think part of the trouble I had was with a poor translation that left lots of old English words in old English That said if you are into mystic writings then you ought to check this one out I enjoy reading a chapter or so of such books each day There are many nuggets in it that are water for the soulFor at the first time when thou dost it thou findest but a darkness; and as it were a cloud of unknowing thou knowest not what saving that thou feelest in thy will a naked intent unto God This darkness and this cloud is howsoever thou dost betwixt thee and thy God and letteth thee that thou mayest neither see Him clearly by light of understanding in thy reason nor feel Him in sweetness of love in thine affection And therefore shape thee to bide in this darkness as long as thou mayest ever crying after Him that thou lovestAnonymous 2010 10 07 The Cloud of Unknowing Kindle Locations 507 510 Kindle Edition for it sufficeth enough a naked intent direct unto God without any other cause than Himself And if thee list have this intent lapped and folden in one word for thou shouldest have better hold thereupon take thee but a little word of one syllable for so it is better than of two for ever the shorter it is the better it accordeth with the work of the Spirit And such a word is this word GOD or this word LOVE Choose thee whether thou wilt or another; as thee list which that thee liketh best of one syllable And fasten this word to thine heart so that it never go thence for thing that befalleth This word shall be thy shield and thy spear whether thou ridest on peace or on war With this word thou shalt beat on this cloud and this darkness above theeAnonymous 2010 10 07 The Cloud of Unknowing Kindle Location 630 Kindle Edition love may reach to God in this life but not knowing And all the whiles that the soul dwelleth in this deadly body ever is the sharpness of our understanding in beholding of all ghostly things but most specially of God mingled with some manner of fantasy; for the which our work should be unclean And unless wonder were it should lead us into much errorAnonymous 2010 10 07 The Cloud of Unknowing Kindle Locations 677 679 Kindle Edition if thou wilt stand and not fall cease never in thine intent but beat ever on this cloud of unknowing that is betwixt thee and thy God with a sharp dart of longing love and loathe for to think on aught under God and go not thence for anything that befallethAnonymous 2010 10 07 The Cloud of Unknowing Kindle Locations 736 738 Kindle Edition Meekness in itself is nought else but a true knowing and feeling of a man's self as he isAnonymous 2010 10 07 The Cloud of Unknowing Kindle Location 756 Kindle Edition