January 15th, 2015

Answer for question 4196.

If money wasn't an issue, would you go back to school to study something? If so, what would it be and why?
Maybe Ancient Chinese history, language, culture, and philosophy, because i think i would find it interesting.

Maybe Theoretical Physics. Same reason.

Maybe Sufism. How was it possible for Islam to inspire such marvelous poetry?

Maybe Philosophy. When i started college about 63 years ago, i thought i wanted to be a philosophy major. The Introduction to Philosophy course totally turned me off. I have often regretted that i did not stick with it. I have been reading philosophy ever since, but as a diletante, not a serious scholar.

Maybe i would study at a Buddhist or Taoist monastery. If i live long enough, i might actually do that. That is either where my heart is at or else it is my current autistic obsession.

The Cloud of Unknowing (4) - Third Chapter


How the work of this book shall be wrought, and of the worthiness of it
before all other works.

LIFT up thine heart unto God with a meek stirring of love; and mean
Himself, and none of His goods. And thereto, look the loath to think on
aught but Himself. So that nought work in thy wit, nor in thy will, but
only Himself. And do that in thee is to forget all the creatures that
ever God made and the works of them; so that thy thought nor thy desire
be not directed nor stretched to any of them, neither in general nor in
special, but let them be, and take no heed to them. This is the work of
the soul....
Let not, therefore, but travail therein till thou feel list. For 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.......

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The Cloud Of Unknowing (5) Fourth Chapter

Of the shortness of this word, and how it may not be come to by
curiosity of wit, nor by imagination.

"...This work asketh no long time... for it is the shortest work of all that
man may imagine. It is never longer, nor shorter, than is an atom (nanosecond)....
This is that time of the which it is written: All time that is given to thee, it
shall be askedof thee, how thou hast dispended it. And reasonable thing it is that
thou give account of it: for it is neither longer nor shorter, but even
according to one only stirring that is within the principal working
might of thy soul, the which is thy will. For even so many willings or
desirings, and no more nor no fewer, may be and are in one hour in thy
will, as are atoms in one hour. And if thou wert reformed by grace to
the first state of man's soul, as it was before sin, then thou
shouldest evermore by help of that grace be lord of that stirring or of
those stirrings. So that none went forby, but all they should stretch
into the sovereign desirable, and into the highest willable thing: the
which is God... He is all comprehensible to the full. Insomuch that
a loving soul alone in itself, by virtue of love should comprehend in
itself Him that is sufficient to the ful... endless marvellous miracle of love;
the working of which shallnever take end, for ever shall He do it, and never
shall He cease forto do it. See who by grace see may, for the feeling of this
is endless bliss, and the contrary is endless pain.,,,"


".... giveth never two times together, but each one after other. And this He doth,
for He will not reverse the order or the ordinal course in the cause of His creation.
For time is made for man, and not man for time. And therefore God, that
is the ruler of nature, will not in His giving of time go before the
stirring of nature in man's soul; the which is even according to one
time only.....and therefore take heed to this work, and to the marvellous manner of
it within in thy soul. For if it be truly conceived, it is but a sudden
stirring, and as it were unadvised, speedily springing unto God as a
sparkle from the coal. And it is marvellous to number the stirrings
that may be in one hour wrought in a soul that is disposed to this
work. And yet in one stirring of all these, he may have suddenly and
perfectly forgotten all created thing. But fast after each stirring,
for corruption of the flesh, it falleth down again to some thought or
to some done or undone deed. But what thereof? For fast after, it
riseth again as suddenly as it did before..."

"... a proud, curious wit behoveth always be borne
down and stiffly trodden down under foot, if this work shall truly be
conceived in purity of spirit. For whoso heareth this work either be
read or spoken of, and weeneth that it may, or should, be come to by
travail in their wits, and therefore they sit and seek in their wits
how that it may be, and in this curiosity they travail their
imagination peradventure against the course of nature, and they feign a
manner of working the which is neither bodily nor ghostly--truly this
man, whatsoever he be, is perilously deceived. Insomuch, that unless
God of His great goodness shew His merciful miracle, and make him soon
to leave work, and meek him to counsel of proved workers, he shall fall
either into frenzies, or else into other great mischiefs of ghostly
sins and devils' deceits; through the which he may lightly be lost,
both life and soul, without any end. And therefore for God's love be
wary in this work, and travail not in thy wits nor in thy imagination
on nowise: for I tell thee truly, it may not be come to by travail in
them, and therefore leave them and work not with them..."

"... For when I say darkness, I mean a lacking of knowing: as all that
thing that thou knowest not, or else that thou hast forgotten, it is dark to thee;
for thou seest it not with thy ghostly eye. And for this reason it is not
called a cloud of the air, but a cloud of unknowing, that is betwixt
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The Cloud Of Unknowing (6) Fifth Chapter = The cloud of forgetting

Yea! and, if it be courteous and seemly to say, in this work (e.g. contemplation)
it  profiteth little or nought to think of the kindness or the worthiness
of God, nor on our Lady, nor on the saints or angels in heaven, nor yet
on the joys in heaven: that is to say, with a special beholding to
them, as thou wouldest by that beholding feed and increase thy purpose.
I trow that on nowise it should help in this case and in this work. For
although it be good to think upon the kindness of God, and to love Him
and praise Him for it, yet it is far better to think upon the naked
being of Him, and to love Him and praise Him for Himself.

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