bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

The Cloud Of Unknowing (71) - Chapter Nine And Sixty


How that a man’s affection is marvelously changed in ghostly feeling of this nought, when it is nowhere wrought.

WONDERFULLY is a man’s affection varied in ghostly feeling of this nought when it is nowhere wrought.....

... he that abideth feeleth sometime some comfort, and hath some hope of perfection; for he feeleth and seeth that many of his fordone special sins be in great part by help of grace rubbed away. Nevertheless yet ever among he feeleth pain, but he thinketh that it shall have an end, for it waxeth ever less and less. And therefore he calleth it nought else but purgatory. Sometime he can find no special sin written thereupon, but yet him think that sin is a lump, he wot never what, none other thing than himself; and then it may be called the base and the pain of the original sin. Sometime him think that it is paradise or heaven, for diverse wonderful sweetness and comforts, joys and blessed virtues that he findeth therein. Sometime him think it God, for peace and rest that he findeth therein.

Yea! think what he think will; for evermore he shall find it a cloud of unknowing, that is betwixt him and his God.
Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

In the early paragraphs the monk is describing his own experience.  He warns in several places not to compare any one elses contemplative experiences with one's own.  This judging can do no one any good.  His experience of the  cloud  of unknowing is, i think, an experience that crosses all mystical traditions, though few express it better than he.
Tags: cloud of unknowing, contemplation, spiritual experience
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