January 20th, 2015

Answer for question 4202.

What is your strongest sense? Which would be the hardest for you to lose?
I remember answering this on writers block a few years back. It seems i was much, much younger then. Most of my senses were pretty sharp (except that years of cigarette smoking had pretty much killed my sense of taste) Now my taste buds are sharper but all my other senses are dimmer. Touch has been least impaired by age and bad behavior. It is probably my strongest sense.

The hardest for me to lose (and the one i am most in danger of losing) is vision. I've got to see to take care of the person i love.

The Cloud Of Unknowing (19) - Eighteenth Chapter -- Contemplative As Social Role?


How that yet unto this day all actives complain of contemplatives as Martha did of Mary. Of the which complaining ignorance is the cause.

 unto this day all actives complain of contemplatives. For an there be a man or a woman in any company of this world, what company soever it be, religious or seculars—I out‑take none—the which man or woman, whichever that it be, feeleth him stirred through grace and by counsel to forsake all outward business, and for to set him fully for to live contemplative life after their cunning and their conscience, their counsel according; as fast, their own brethren and their sisters, and all their next friends, with many other that know not their stirrings nor that manner of living that they set them to, with a great complaining spirit shall rise upon them, and say sharply unto them that it is nought that they do. And as fast they will reckon up many false tales, and many true also, of falling of men and women that have given them to such life before: and never a good tale of them that stood.
I grant that many fall and have fallen of them that have in likeness forsaken the world. And where they should have become God’s servants and His contemplatives, because that they would not rule them by true ghostly counsel they have become the devil’s servants and his contemplatives; and turned either to hypocrites or to heretics, or fallen into frenzies and many other mischiefs, in slander of Holy Church. Of the which I leave to speak at this time, for troubling of our matter. But nevertheless here after when God vouchsafeth and if need be, men may see some of the conditions and the cause of their failings. And therefore no more of them at this time; but forth of our matter.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

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The Cloud Of Unknowing (20) - Nineteenth Chapter --


A short excusation of him that made this book teaching how all contemplatives should have all actives fully excused of their complaining words and deeds.
Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Yes, the monk meant no disrespect to Martha (active people) and
No, i did not understand that.

Words do do get in the way of our communication.

The Cloud Of Unknowing (21) Twentieth Chapter


How Almighty God will goodly answer for all those that for the excusing of themselves list not leave their business about the love of Him.

AND therefore me thinketh, that they that set them to be contemplatives should not only have active men excused of their complaining words, but also me thinketh that they should be so occupied in spirit that they should take little heed or none what men did or said about them. ...
"Surely ... God (should) be loved and praised by Himself, above all other business bodily or ghostly that man may do. And for this, that Martha should not think that she might both love God and praise Him above all other business bodily or ghostly, and also thereto to be busy about the necessaries of this life: therefore to deliver her of doubt that she might not both serve God in bodily business and ghostly together perfectly‑—imperfectly she may, but not perfectly—He added and said, that Mary had chosen the best part; the which should never be taken from her. For why, that perfect stirring of love that beginneth here is even in number with that that shall last without end in the bliss of heaven, for all it is but one.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

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The Cloud Of Unknowing (21) - Twentieth Chapter.

“Actives, actives! make you as busy as ye can in the first part and in the second, now in the one and now in the tother: and, if you list right well and feel you disposed, in both two bodily. And meddle you not of contemplatives. Ye wot not what them aileth: let them sit in their rest and in their play, with the third and the best part of Mary.”

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library