THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING - CHAPTER 31

l.craddock's picture

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.

dohpeterchina's picture

Chapter 31 comments

Hello everyone,

This chapter talks about one of the common problems of meditation. As the beginner starts this work, and as he progresses thoughts will spring up. Distractions, stupidities, brilliance. The mind will do anything rather than meditate. 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 if they oft rise, oft put them down: and shortly to say, as oft as they rise, as oft put them down. It seems to me that when one first begins on this road, thoughts arise and it is quite a show. Our authors advice is very sound. To put, that is throw or cast away the thoughts that arise. And remember good deeds will arise as well as bad. To rise above such thoughts is good advice. It is as a casual observer, one must treat these thoughts. Not getting attached. Soon they will fade away.

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. There is no trick. No earthly trick. The mind should not be indulged. The necessity is the detachment we have learned before. I have friends that keep a pencil and paper by their side, so they can write down thoughts that arise and free their minds for meditation. It is all about letting go.

I well remember when I first started on the quest. It seemed as if every thought I had in the previous few months rose and presented a bright vision before me. The pace was frenetic and wonderful. Fortunately my teacher understood my predicament. “Concentrate on the subject,“ he advised. It was a bit like watching fireworks. I remember the thoughts would arise and fade. Our author recommends putting down thoughts, I have been taught a more detached and passive path. Just watch, but don’t get attached. It would seem both ways work equally well.

At the start of this chapter our author talks about the starting point for meditation. It is essential to be at peace with yourself. 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. As I pondered this turning, metanoia (thanks father_deacon_athanasios for the insight), I wondered what we were turning too. I was considering the existence of God from a non-dual point of view. Existence and non-existence are two ends of an opposing system. I would guess that Dawkin’s is correct that God does not exist. But, this does not disprove the existence of God, it is merely the opposite end of a pole, that cannot be reconciled with the human mind. To not get caught in this tangle of delusion, we must be detached from all creaturely things. With this detachment, we an pierce the cloud of unknowing (the God created by man - existent or non existent), to discover the living God that is beyond duality.

Hope that helps,
Peter

Peter Smith
Co-Group Leader




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