THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING - CHAPTER 59

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.

pandacca's picture

in there-out there

Our unnamed friend in "Cloud" knows there is no "in there" and "out there." There just IS. If the cross is the symbol of Jesus, the circle or "O" should be the symbol of the Godhead. It is a figure that contains all dimensions, both inside and outside - it embraces all that is within and looks after all those that are without. You are right, there is no place to stand because in the first place all is nothingness, not even an elephant to begin with, not because "it" does does not exist it would be pointless here to name it, (not from the standpoint of logic, mind you, because this is an endeavor one cannot intellectualize, science and mysticism are universes apart) This is the reason John Chrysostom called God the god of nothing (very similar to Zen - When asked where the Buddha is, a master replied, in the dungheap), not in irreverence, of course, because he presides over all the endless nothingness that exists and out of which nothingness he created the universes.

In the end, there are no "both ways," no approaches, traditional or otherwise, just "BE." Maybe that is the reason God told Moses his name was "I AM WHO AM," In linguistics "AM" is also "BE." And we are in the process of "becoming," for it is written in Isaiah 55:11, "So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it." During creation, Jesus spoke only one word to create the universes, and according to the Bible we are its most important element, of His creation. Hence, we shall not return to Him until we shall have fulfilled His purpose. What purpose? LOVE.




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