bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

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

The Roman Catholic Church inherited the Roman Bureaucracy, and the presence of hierarchy seems universal in "civilized" societies.  We imagine the chain stretched vertically, the first link supporting all those below it,  Primitive peoples (unrisen. unfallen?) are morw likely to see the links arranged in a network or a circle.  There would be different corresponding spiritualities: Jacob's Ladder or Sarah's Circle (Matthew Fox).  I could go on. but won;t.

Memory (Mind), and Reason and Will, and Imagination and Sensuality (Feeling) are the powers of the psyche (soul).  Psyche-ology has become the science of behavior, leaving the study of the soul without a name.  Scientific paradigms and concepts change when old ones don't answer the new questions that scientists want to ask, but the perennial questions remain: who are we? where do we come from? Why are we here?, Where are we going? What shall we do?   All questions worth asking, and except for the last, the questions seem more important than the answers.  The next four chapters will address these faculties in interesting but not definitive ways.
Tags: cloud of unknowing, contemplation, gnosis and agnosis, mind
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