January 24th, 2015

The Cloud Of Unknowing (32) Chapter One And Thirty - Technique?


How a man should have him in beginning of this work against all thoughts and stirrings of sin.

AND from the time that thou feelest that thou hast done that in thee is, lawfully to amend thee at the doom of Holy Church, then shalt thou set thee sharply to work in this work. And then if it so be that thy foredone special deeds will always press in thy remembrance betwixt thee and thy God, or any new thought or stirring of any sin either, thou shalt stalwartly step above them with a fervent stirring of love, and tread them down under thy feet. And try to cover them with a thick cloud of forgetting, as they never had been done in this life of thee nor of other man either. And if they oft rise, oft put them down: and shortly to say, as oft as they rise, as oft put them down. And if thee think that the travail be great, thou mayest seek arts and wiles and privy subtleties of ghostly devices to put them away: the which subtleties be better learned of God by the proof than of any man in this life.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

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The Cloud Of Unknowing (33); Chapter Two And Thirty - Techniques


Of two ghostly devices that be helpful to a ghostly beginner in the work of this book.

"... Do that in thee is, to let be as thou wist not that they press so fast upon thee betwixt thee and thy God. And try to look as it were over their shoulders, seeking another thing: the which thing is God, enclosed in a cloud of unknowing.... it is nought else but a longing desire unto God, to feel Him and see Him as it may be here...

Another device there is: prove thou if thou wilt. When thou feelest that thou mayest on nowise put them down, cower thou down under them as a caitiff and a coward overcome in battle, and think that it is but a folly to thee to strive any longer with them, and therefore thou yieldest thee to God in the hands of thine enemies. And feel then thyself as thou wert foredone for ever. Take good heed of this device I pray thee, for me think in the proof of this device thou shouldest melt all to water. And surely me think an this device be truly conceived it is nought else but a true knowing and a feeling of thyself as thou art.... the which knowing and feeling is meekness. And this meekness obtaineth to have God Himself mightily descending, ... for to take thee up, and cherishingly dry thine ghostly eyen; as the father doth the child that is in point to perish....."

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

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The Cloud Of Unknowing (34); Chapter Three And Thirty


That in this work a soul is cleansed both of his special sins and of the pain of them, and yet how there is no perfect rest in this life.

MORE devices tell I thee not at this time; for an thou have grace to feel the proof of these, I trow that thou shalt know better to learn me than I thee. For although it should be thus, truly yet me think that I am full far therefrom. And therefore I pray thee help me, and do thou for thee and for me.
Do on then, and travail fast awhile, I pray thee, and suffer meekly the pain if thou mayest not soon win to these arts.... And ... mayest thou see and learn, that there is no soothfast security, nor yet no true rest in this life.

Nevertheless, herefore shalt thou not go back, nor yet be overfeared of thy failing. ..

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library