bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

The Cloud Of Unknowing (72) - Chapter Seventy


That right as by the defailing of our bodily wits we begin more readily to come to knowing of ghostly things, so by the defailing of our ghostly wits we begin most readily to come to the knowledge of God, such as is possible by grace to be had here.

AND therefore travail fast in this nought, and this nowhere, and leave thine outward bodily wits and all that they work in: for I tell thee truly, that this work may not be conceived by them...

"...neither hath God nor ghostly things none of these (physical) qualities nor quantities. And therefore leave thine outward wits, and work not with them, neither within nor without: for all those that set them to be ghostly workers within, and ween that they should either hear, smell, or see, taste or feel, ghostly things, either within them or without, surely they be deceived, and work wrong against the course of nature.

For by nature they be ordained, that with them men should have knowing of all outward bodily things, and on nowise by them come to the knowing of ghostly things. I mean by their works. By their failings we may, as thus: when we read or hear speak of some certain things, and thereto conceive that our outward wits cannot tell us by no quality what those things be, then we may be verily certified that those things be ghostly things, and not bodily things.
On this same manner ghostly it fareth within our ghostly wits, when we travail about the knowing of God Himself. For have a man never so much ghostly understanding in knowing of all made ghostly things, yet may he never by the work of his understanding come to the knowing of an unmade ghostly thing: the which is nought but God. But by the failing it may: for why, that thing that it faileth in is nothing else but only God. And therefore it was that Saint Denis said, the most goodly knowing of God is that, the which is known by unknowing..."
...For whoso hath ears, let him hear, and whoso is stirred for to trow, let him trow: for else, shall they not.
Cloud of Unknowing - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

This is my favorite chapter, i would call it the culminating chapter, though there are four to go. I will return to this chapter (in a more modern English version) and chapter 68 and a few others again and again.  Pseudo-Dionysius (St.Denis*) has guided the monk through this book as the monk has tried to guide his "singular" readers.  A high point of this chapter, of this book is the quote (his only non-Biblical reference) " knowing nothing (the mystic) knows That which is beyond his knowledge..."  A Taoist teaching if i ever heard one.  No, it is a teaching the universe gives to the wise of every time and clime,.
Tags: cloud of unknowing, contemplation, he who loses his life will save it., notes for a wayless journey, perennial philosophy, taoism
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