February 2nd, 2015

The Cloud Of Unknowing (63) - Chapter Two And Sixty


How a man may wit when his ghostly work is beneath him or without him, and when it is even with him or within him, and when it is above him and under his God.

AND for this, that thou shalt be able better to wit how they shall be conceived ghostly, these words that be spoken bodily, therefore I think to declare to thee the ghostly bemeaning of some words that fall to ghostly working. So that thou mayest wit clearly without error when thy ghostly work is beneath thee and without thee, and when it is within thee and even with thee, and when it is above thee and under thy God.

All manner of bodily thing is without thy soul and beneath it in nature, yea! the sun and the moon and all the stars, although they be above thy body, nevertheless yet they be beneath thy soul.

All angels and all souls, although they be confirmed and adorned with grace and with virtues, for the which they be above thee in cleanness, nevertheless, yet they be but even with thee in nature.
Within in thyself in nature be the powers of thy soul: the which be these three principal, Memory, Reason, and Will; and secondary, Imagination and Sensuality.

Above thyself in nature is no manner of thing but only God.

Evermore where thou findest written thyself in ghostliness, then it is understood thy soul, and not thy body. And then all after that thing is on the which the powers of thy soul work, thereafter shall the worthiness and the condition of thy work be deemed; whether it be beneath thee, within thee, or above thee.

Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

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The Space Between the Notes | Living Contemplatively

A certain brother went to Abbot Moses in Scete,
and asked him for a good word.
And the elder said to him:
Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.

-Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert


"There are, of course, many resources that can be most helpful in time management, relationship development, self-understanding. As beneficial as these are, something even more essential lies deep within, at the very heart of who we truly are. In the Christian contemplative tradition, this foundational presence is described as a divine spark, living water, a cloud of unknowing — all metaphors reaching toward a presence so filled with life, healing, affection, wisdom, and power that human vocabulary falls short of what is experienced. Only silence and poetry can come close to describing this deeper reality that creates, heals, and transforms our most authentic self into the very source of thoughts, emotions, and actions that give life and joy, even in the midst of despair and death...."

". This practice of silence becomes our cell wherein we discover within us not only the presence of God but the reality of what the Apostle Paul calls “the new creation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Not in a moment, perhaps, but in a slow movement of the heart, we learn a different way of being, living, deciding, relating — we learn everything we need to know."

Winston B. Charles
The Space Between the Notes | Living Contemplatively

The Cloud Of Unknowing (64) - Five Chapters On Faculties Of The Soul And Their Corruption At The Fal

Chapter 63: Of the powers of a soul in general, and how Memory in special is a principal power comprehending in it all the other powers and all those things in the which they work
Chapter 64: Of the other two principal powers, Reason and Will, and of the work of them before sin and after
Chapter 65: Of the first secondary power, Imagination by name; and of the works and of the obedience of it unto Reason, before sin and after
Chapter 66: Of the other secondary power, Sensuality by name; and of the works and of the obedience of it unto Will, before sin and after
Chapter 67: That whoso knoweth not the powers of a soul and the manner of her working, may lightly be deceived in understanding of ghostly words and of ghostly working; and how a soul is made a God in grace
Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library
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