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.

a paradox

"Whether we speak of God in here or out there, the only answer is yes."

Unless we speak of God in neither. The problem we're really running into at this point is the total failure of linguistics, symbols of the self, to depict or portray the reality understood by the unconscious mind, the truth uncovered in the 'cave of the heart' which cannot be brought up without some tarnishment. "God is in everything and everywhere," but as someone else mentioned, God is also the God of nothingness and nowhere.

The paradox exists precisely because we seek linguistic categories to explain it. We speak of God, one way or another, and therefore fail to know God. We can describe God with words, respond to God with emotions, think philosophical thoughts and possess spiritual insights, but because they are contained within the self--if not, then what need for words at all?--they do not touch the God of nothingness or the God of everything or vice versa. Water contains oxygen, but is not oxygen. Our attempts at understanding may contain elements of the Divine, but they are not the essence of Divine itself.

Even trying to get the words out is impossible, so I guess I'll give up...

Justin Staller - Moderator
Forum Posting Policy
justinstaller@yahoo.com




Advertisements