willbulow's picture

"That a man shall not take ensample at the bodily ascension of Christ, for to strain his imagination upwards bodily in the time of prayer: and that time, place, and body, these three should be forgotten in all ghostly working."

This is the third chapter whose "title" warns us not to think in terms of physical direction in the performance of this work. As in the previous chapters, so here, we can find other things that could as well be taken as the topic. One I find in this case is, he mentions that there is more like a change than a local movement in this work. There seems to be a certain change of consciousness that's almost automatic, almost by definition the result of forgetting time, place, and body. Maybe here again, though, we should guard against thinking that this is the purpose. There should be no other purpose than drawing closer to God as we work in this exercise.

willbulow's picture


Thank you, GodNyou and pandacca, for putting this in perspective for me. I think I was assuming that in looking at - or "from"? - one horn of a dilemma we necessarily lost sight of the other. Maybe I was wondering whether there's a place to stand to see the whole elephant. There are traditions of seeking God "out there," and of seeking Him "in here," and it seemed like we choose one way or the other. Maybe the "finding" is arriving at the other horn of the dilemma. Or maybe the real point is, there's no place to stand and see God as He really is, we just can't take Him all in at a glance. Our author seems to be sometimes seeing Him as "out there," and other times as "in here." Maybe it's even necessary to "look both ways."

But still, there are the two traditional approaches ... Another dilemma?

Bill B.