"Be still and know.."
Paramahansa Yogananda once said that if a person wanted to realize God, he must want God like a drowning man wants air. This perfectly describes Ramakrishna.
"He is born in vain who, having attained the human birth, so difficult to get, does not attempt to realize God in this very life."
"Repeat God's name and sing His glories, and keep holy company; and now and then visit God's devotees and holy men. The mind cannot dwell on God if it is immersed day and night in worldliness, in worldly duties and responsibilities. It is most necessary to go into solitude now and then and think of God."
"You should always discriminate between the real and the unreal. God alone is real, the Eternal substance: All else is unreal, that is, impermanent. By discriminating thus, one should shake off impermanent objects from the mind.,"
"The point is to love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife her husband, and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him."
"We cannot have the vision of God as long as one has these three - shame, hatred, and fear."
"A man must work. Only then can He see God. One cannot develop love of God or obtain His vision without work. Work means meditation, prayer, affirmation and the like. The chanting of God's name and glories is work too. You may also include charity, sacrifice, and so on."
"God cannot be realized if there is the slightest attachment to the things of the world. A thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle if the tiniest fiber sticks out."
"Do not let worldly thoughts and anxieties disturb your mind. Do everything in the proper time, and let your mind be always fixed on God."
"You should remember that the heart of the devotee is the abode of God. He dwells, no doubt, in all beings, but He especially manifests Himself in the heart of the devotee. The heart of the devotee is the drawing room of God."
"Do all your duties, but keep your mind on God. Live with all - with wife and children, father and mother and serve them. Treat them as if they were very dear to you, but know in your heart of hearts they do not belong to you."
"He who has surrendered his mind, heart, and soul to God is a sadhu (spiritual seeker). He who has given up lust and gold is a sadhu. He looks upon women as his mother and accordingly worships them. A sadhu always thinks of God and serves all, knowing that God is in everything."
The holy secret of the practice of Tonglen is one that the mystic masters and saints of every tradition know; and living it and embodying it, with the abandon and fervor of true wisdom and true compassion, is what fills their lives with joy. One modern figure who has dedicated her life to serving the sick and dying and who radiates this joy of giving and receiving is Mother Teresa. I know of no more inspiring statement of the spiritual essence of Tonglen than these words of hers:
We all long for heaven where God is, but we have it in our power to be in heaven with Him at this very moment. But being happy with Him now means:
Loving as He loves,
Helping as He helps,
Giving as He gives,
Serving as He serves,
Rescuing as He rescues,
Being with Him twenty-four hours,
Touching Him in his distressing disguise.
Psalm 34:5 - Look to the Lord and you will be radiant with Joy
Psalm 84:2 My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God - more than mere emotion it is deep emersion
1 Peter 1:8 - A joy in this God so Glorious that it cannot be described
Living Prayer Life
1 Corinthians 10:31 -'Whether you drink, or eat, whatever you do, do all for the glory of God '
1 Peter 1:15 Be holy in all you do
Matthew 5:48 - "Be you perfect as your Heavenly father is perfect"
Ephesians 1:4 Paul, 'Live through love in His Presence'
Ephesians 3 - Kneeling before God, speaks Christ lives in our Heart in faith
3: verse 19: Paul - knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God
St Paul - 2 Corinthians 3:18 - We with our unveiled faces, reflecting like mirrors, the brightness of the Lord, (As you commune with the indwelling Holy Spirit, Father & Son), `are transformed from one glory to another, as we are turned into the image that which we reflect, this is the work of the Lord that is spirit.
These words of St. John of the Cross, found in The Perennial Philosophy, by Aldous Huxley
"God does not reserve such a lofty vocation (that of mystical, as contemplation) to certain souls only; on the contrary, He is willing that all should embrace it. But He finds few who permit Him to work such sublime things for them. There are many who, when He sends them trials, shrink from the bour and refuse to bear with the dryness and mortification, instead of submitting, as they must, with perfect patience."
"You will see miracle laden world when you embrace, rather than shrink from your responsibility for creating it. All that you know of the world is in your mind, and you create the thoughts that occupy that inner space. "
By aliging yourself with your spiritual side first, before your non-spiritual side, you will radiate out that peace that is within. From Real Magic, by Dr Wayne Dyer
In my teaching there is God, or truth,
out of existence;
and God, or love,
Anyone who is truly God-realised has realised the
extraordinary state of being which is outside the
existence of all form and appearance. This realisation
is the most important of all possible realisations for it
is the realisation of the truth behind the universe and
all existence. I call this the transcendental realisation
and in my own case it occurred over three remarkable
weeks in December 1968 in London.
Every aspect of my teaching is the endeavour to
impart the rudiments of self-denial and the love of
honesty and truth which are essential preparations if
this mighty realisation is to occur. All the teaching of
every master and teacher, and indeed all of life, is
towards this end, whether it is known or not known.
The motivation of anyone who has realised the
transcendental is to help others do the same; or,
according to the teacher's inspiration, to work in
some way to help eliminate the ignorance and misery
of those who can listen.
In my own case I observed that most misery and
unhappiness on earth is caused by man and woman
having forgotten how to love one another.
God is within all of us, and without -
God abides everywhere, in everything -
we are not separate from God
God is Life
God is Ever Fresh Joy
God is beyond logic and labels
Not this, nor that
God encompasses the seen & the unseen dimensions of life
"Don't think saying "I am God" is proclaiming one's greatness. It is actually total humility. Some one who say's " I am the servant of God" infers two - God and himself - whereas someone who says, "I am God" negates himself. He relinquises his own existence. "I am God" means I don't exist. Everything is God. Only God exists. I am nothing. I am utter emptiness." This is complete humility not arrogance, but people often misunderstand. When someone says he is God's servant, he still sees himself as a doer, albeit in God's service. He is not yet drowned in the ocean of God. When he is, there will be no such thing as "his actions" , only movements in the water." Jalaluddin Rumi - Sufi Poet
"Love Yourself into God. In order to become God you must feel Him and Love Him" Mafu
Morton Blumenthal was told to get to that consciousness where he knew that "not only God is God, but self is a portion of that oneness
There are two Aspects of the Godhead
One is the universal Consciousness which includes the Communion of Saints, the Akashic Records, the Personal Father-God, and all Life in activity. The other is the vast infinite One, unmoved, from out of which all else has found expression. This is the ineffable One, the impersonal Whole. It is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow." It is the womb of the Mother-God, totally nourishing, and the inner place of silence before the beginning. Allow yourself to experience and know all the dimensions of Self and God.
(Synchronic Moment just as I write God - I hear the word 'God' on TV - 10/12/01Greg )
God is not limited to one a person with a beard, though God can manifest in and through a person - in a way that is appropriate for the highest good.
In 1158-12 (of the Edgar Cayce readings) a seeker asked, "If God is impersonal force or energy-" and Cayce interupted her right here, saying "He is impersonal." Cayce does go on to explain how God in His natural state, the state He says we will find Him when seeking within is impersonal, but as we let Him flow through our outer state, He then became personal.
God is also more universal than we are, requiring us to move into God's universal condition.The three focuses - universal consciousness, the body-mind, and other people - form a triangle of relationships.
Live your life reflecting your inner growth. Apply what you have gained. Find an outlet, find a way to bring some of this to your outer self.
It needs to be integrated INTO and relevant TO the outer life.
In the Doing comes understanding" not in talking, the reading, the believing, the knowing, or thinking - but in the doing. So come up and take up your practice. Not just to feel better, but that the infinite may manifest in the finite, lifting all to a more wonderful life.
"But it means doing day by day that which is KNOWN, that which is proven, that which is experienced to be in keeping with what He would have thee do. Thus ye find that ye do first things first; that is, the thought of self not so much as self-preservation from want, care, discouragements, and the like, but rather as to just be gentle, just being kind. For righteousness, which is taking time to be righteous, is just speaking gentle even when harsh words, harsh means are resorted to by others. This is what is meant by "Turn the other cheek', and know the LORD standeth with thee."
The only way we will know the real power of what is being taught is to DO IT in our daily lives, with those around us. Then we will see just how amazing this approach is.It helps to remember that on this plane, the earth plane, God manifests only in Nature and in the human heart. We come here, in part, to make that manifestation more real, more present.
Above from 'Spiritual Breakthrough', A.R.E.
It is simply a matter of natural and divine law: If we remain in the individual, human condition, then we have limited potency in dealing with life's challenges. However if we open ourselves regularly to the "universal spiritual influence, " then human conditions are tempered by these forces, and these forces are life and ligth, with the power to make all things new.
job 32: 8-9
What moves the spirit of lifes activities? GOD, but Will and Choice misdirect.
Meditation helps our will and choice be in accord with God's Way (The Tao). Then life's activities move with Divine Influence.
excerpt from 'Spiritual Breakthrough', by Todechi, A.R.E.
Integrated Ascension by Dr Joshua David Stone
My beloved readers, in this moment I bring you a new concept and new ideal which the title of this book speaks of. Instead of striving for ascension, I humbly suggest a new ideal and goal which I now refer to as "Integrated Ascension." In this regard, initiations are not only passed on the spiritual level, they are also passed and integrated in the mental body, the emotional body, the etheric body, the physical body, and the environmental body. This way not only will your spiritual body reflect self realization but your mental body will interpret life properly. Your emotional body will be calm, serene, loving, joyous, not contaminated with negative emotions, and able to get along with people well. Your etheric body will be repaired and replaced with the divine monadic blueprint body or Mayavarupa body. You will take good care of your physical body with proper diet, exercise, sleep, fresh air and sunshine, so it will serve as a proper instrument for the Soul and Monad. Your env! ironment will be organized, reasonably clean, aesthetically pleasing, and you will take care of business on the earthly plane so that your earth life reflects Heaven on Earth. Sexuality will be mastered and used appropriately in service of GOD. Poverty consciousness will be transformed to prosperity consciousness on the financial level. On the social level, right relationships to people will be achieved and mastered with unconditional love and cooperation in service of GOD and Humankind.
Dr Joshua David Stone
God wants us to become Himself / Herself (or Herself or itself). We are growing toward godhood. God is the goal of evolution. It is God who is the source of the evolutionary force and God who is the destination. This is what is meant when we say the 'He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.'
This idea is the single most demanding idea in the history of mankind.
if we believe this, then it demands from us all that we can possibly give, all that we have.
We must constantly push ourselves to greater and greater wisdom, greater and greater effectiveness.
As long as we believe in the impossible attainment for ourselves we don't have to worry about our spiritual growth, we don't push ourselves to higher and higher levels of consciousness of loving activity; we can relax and just be human.
If God is in heaven and we're down here, and never the twain shall meet, we can let Him have all the responsibility for evolution and the directorship of the Universe.
The idea that God is actively nurturing us so that we might grow up to be like Him brings us face to face with our own laziness.
nonlove is the unwillingness to extend one's self. Laziness is love's barrier. Spiritual growth is effortful, as we have been reminded again and again. We are now in the position from which we can examine the nature of laziness in perspective and realize that laziness is the force of entropy as it manifests itself in the lives of all of us.
If we seriously listen to this 'God within us' - we usually find ourselves being urged to take the more difficult path, the path of more effort rather than less.
So original sin does exist - our laziness - eg. Adam's laziness to debate the idea of eating / not eating the apple between - himself, Eve, GOD and the Serpent.
It is very real if it exists in each and every one of us - infants, children, adolescents, mature adults, the elderly; the wise or stupid; the lame or whole. Some of us maybe more lazy than others, but we are all lazy to some extent.
Some may say 'I'm not lazy' all I do is work, work, work - 70 hours a week! and then family responsibilitites on top!!
However we will find laziness if we look for it. For laziness takes forms other than to the bare number of hours spent on the job or devoted to one's responisbilities to others.
A major form that laziness takes is fear.
People find new information distinctly threatening, because if they incorporate it they will have to do agreat deal of work to revise their maps of reality, and they instinctively seek to avoid to work. Consequently, more often than not they will fight against new information rather than for it's assimilation. Their resistance is motivated by fear, yes, but the basis of their fear is laziness; it is the fear of the work they have to do.
So it is quite possible Adam and Eve were afraid of what might happen if they questioned God; instead they attempted to take the easy way out, the illegitimate shortcut to sneakiness, to achieve knowledge not worked for, and hope they could get away with it. But they did not. To question God many let us in for a lot of work. But a moral of the story is that it must be done.
Psychotherapists know that although patients come to us seeking change of one or another, they are actually terrified of change. It is the because of the terror of laziness that the vast majority of patients - perhaps nine out of ten - who begin the process of psychotherapy, drop out of therapy long before the process has been completed.
The dynamics are often clearest in the cases of those married patients who become aware during the first few sessions or first few sessions of therapy that their marriages are dreadfully disordered or destructive, and hence that the path to mental health will lie either through divorce or else through enourmously difficult and painfuln process fo completely restructuring a marriage.
Those who are in relatively more advanced stages of spiritual growth are the very ones most aware of their own laziness. It is the least lazy who know themselves to be sluggish. The fight against entopy never ends.
Within each and every one of us there are two selves, one sick and one healthy - the life urge and the death urge if you will. Each of us represents the whole human race; within each of us is the instinct for godhood and the hope for mankind and within each is the original sin of laziness, the ever-present force of entropy pushing us back to childhood, to the womb and to the swamps from which we have evolved.
Kriya Yoga, The Scientific Process of Soul-Culture
and the Essence of All religions
by Paramahansa Hariharananda
The Knower of the Self becomes the Self. The knower of Brahman becomes Brahman. By the realization of the Self are all divine qualities are attained and manifestations of God are known.
As a piece of wood coming into contact with a fire acquires its qualities, likewise the aspirant by his union with brahman acquires the properties of brahman, going beyond which he obtains supreme bliss.
Material powers are nothing compared to this divine realization. Compared to the science of Self-realization, all other sciences are like helpless, ignorant, infants.
The ladder of the spine is the only way to true ascension and upliftment to God-consciousness.
"What the mind cannot comprehend, but what constitutes the mind, know that alone to be God. What speech cannot reveal, but what reveals the speech, know that alone to be God."
Sixth Kriya is in the Divine Kingdom. The devotee gets constant God-consciousness in his worldly activity. He does everything, but he always remains near the door of God. At any moment he can get nirvikalpa samadhi. This means that he is the world and he is not in the world. When he gets this nirvikalpa stage, immediately he gets pulselessness. That is called turiya samadhi, which means to merge with God.
God has human beings in his own image. So, we can know God only through Self-realization. But this is not possible in a state of mind full of waves of disquietude arising from the identification of the Self with the changing states of body and mind. This gives a distorted image of God, like the image of the sun on the unsteady surface of the water.
When kundalini or Sepent Power is awakened, the current reverses its outward flow to the senses and flows inward towards the brain. .....Thus the yogi consciously directs his life current towards the infinite or cosmic life force.
Mind is the Lord of all passions, but breath is the controller of the mind. If breath is restive, man becomes insane with lust, anger, greed, and looses the power of judgement and discrimination. If breath is properly controlled through the scientific process of yoga, realization is possible even during this lifetime.
The medulla oblongata is the seat of life energy in the human body. When, through the practice of yoga, we increase our power of perception, feeling and intuition, we always feel divine light, sound and touch sensation of super-consciousness and realize the truth-that this body is the shadow of God.
The life current existing in the nervous system becomes purified and consequently, the divine passage in the spinal channel is opened. The life energy from the coccygeal center passes to the medulla oblongata, pervading the cerebrum and cerebellum. As a result, all mental propensities reach the stage of equilibrium. Life becomes more meaningful, filled with celestial bliss and with direct perception of divine effulgence.
....Every soul is destined to be perfect and every human being in the end will attain the state of perfection.
Kriya Yoga, The Scientific Process of Soul-Culture and the Essence of All religions by Paramahansa Hariharananda
Yoga Class # 33
The hOMe Foundation
reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lately the issue of a Guru has been on my mind and it came up again in your latest class. I wonder if the Guruless path would lead to the ultimate goal, since I have read that only the true Guru can lead you to the goal.
It is important not to worry about a Guru. So much fuss has been made about this, and so much misunderstanding has spread, that it might have been better not to even introduce this notion at all. However, there may well come a time in this life when the Guru will enter your consciousness. There will be no mistaking this, so there is no need to conceptualize what or who this might be. Simple realize that when he enters your consciousness, you will know. And also realize that if he has not yet entered your consciousness, it is not a sign that anything or anyone is missing in your life.
In the chapter, The Way In, from the book, A Recipe for Bliss, there is the story of Nan-in, the tea master, who was visited by a famous professor. The professor was not really searching for God... he was searching for a more excellent self. He was looking to enhance his ego. So Nan-in poured the tea into his cup to overflowing to show him his current, albeit unrecognized condition.
There is no question that we must empty ourselves first. When we become hollow, the resonance of Om enters. We stay with this Sound until we recognize that this Primordial Vibration sustains all form. It is the original manifestation.
As we refine our perception and awareness even more, we see the manifesting Light that issues from this same Source. This Light may even take the form of divine beings.
Yogiraj recounted the exquisite visitations of many of these beings.
"He has visualized
all types of Krishnas and Vishnus, all types of Sivas and Mahadevas, all types
of Kalis along with various goddesses... He has visualized manifold Soul-Suns.
He has also envisioned various Ganesas."
Purana Purusha, Yogiraj Sri Shama Churn Lahiree, p.327.
He proceeds to give an accounting of dozens of such visualizations.
Yet after all these visions had come and gone, Yogiraj acknowledged that:
"The existence of duality can never synchronize with the existence of God. Where there is duality, God is non-existent. God is beyond perception, conjecture and abrupt apperception."
Purana Purusha, Yogiraj Sri Shama Churn Lahiree, p.323.
Take note that apperception is that kind of perception in which the mind is conscious of the act of perceiving. Self-consciousness is there. The transcendental state, on the other hand, is immediate and all-inclusive. Kriya practice that is accurate straddles two worlds of self-awareness. The world of birth is the awareness of a separate self. God has no such awareness.
Our mental formulations of God's nature must be set aside as we make our leap into Her Total Being. But it is worthwhile to see clearly why this is so. It is important to remove any sense of lingering doubt and vague speculation regarding Her Presence. A well-examined and exacting cosmology will help to remove the anxieties that may obstruct the way of meditation. It will grease the wheels of our consciousness.
The nagging thought may occur that if we are Spirit, why is it that we persist in partaking of a partial experience. What keeps our consciousness from being absorbed in absolute Bliss? Are we holding ourselves back? Are we really this masochistic?
Or we might wonder... If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why doesn't She simply force us into Her ecstatic Bosom?
In the writings of some great saints and yogis (like Lahiri Mahasaya) who have made this ecstatic entry there are traces of the consciousness that led them to the doorway. They struggled mightily to describe the nature of man's dilemma, and to offer a blueprint of the Path.
Yogiraj states definitely that Infinite Space remains bound up in a separate consciousness, and it is the last of the confining conceptualizations. It is the Infinite Void that is non-separate. Furthermore this is a more effective yogic view. Psychologically there are no distractions. It ushers our experience to God.
When this profound understanding is there, a magnetism draws the attention away from the self, into the Whole Being void of particularization. This extinguishing movement can only be possible when there is a willingness to let go completely of the attachments to separate experiencing. A "feeling" accompanies this movement, but the mind does not quantify it. A Sound accompanies this movement, until no sound is heard. For sound is only possible when one remains to perceive it.
"No forms are visualized in Kriya's transcendental state, it is all pervasive. When mind is attached to any object, it is illusion... The void in Kriya's transcendental state is all pervasive... This transcendental state of Kriya appears suddenly, but when it does appear, a prolonged habitation in that state is beneficial."
Purana Purusha, Yogiraj Sri Shama Churn Lahiree, p.327.
"This infinite expanse or space is the last of the five elements which gradually has attained subtlety from grossness; it is the last great subtle element. Thus this perceptible space being gross is not the infinite void. This space is transient... but it being limitless, cannot be measured. Since space is last of the five great elements, it is... not beyond attributes... Infinite Void inherent within this space is Brahma... Only Absolute Void Brahma is eternal."
Purana Purusha, Yogiraj Sri Shama Churn Lahiree, p.334-335.
In this light, if our famous professor had later returned to Nan-in for a second opportunity to experience his tea, and if he had become adequately empty, Nan-in might then cut deeper. We can imagine...
Nan-in has made his usual preparations. The tea is steeping in the pot. The professor watches, more attuned this time, but still with some expectation. The mind is still moving... desiring something specific. Still there is the focus upon the separate self.
The tea is ready. The air is full of its aroma. Slowly Nan-in reaches under the table and produces a hammer, raises it in the air, pauses in stoic silence, and then with one firm blow he obliterates the professor's cup, sending the shards flying in all directions.
Every moment dances at the edge of Eternity. Every self-conscious perception is the unsettled mind stalling at the doorstep of the Infinite Void, Brahma. The drama is there because we are reluctant to let go. We can't quite recognize the Whole Being is our Self. We toil with special expectations. We have come to life for the tears... yet these tears shall usher us hOMe.
Om is effortless... Om is relentless. It is exquisite and unmistakable. Dissolve thy self in its ambiance. Let Om do the work for you. It is well suited for the task.
The hermitage is the still state. It is not a place that one can visit in the outside world. Take care to know this. Then there will not be a concern for your physical locality.
In one of the great wisdom traditions of India, it is said there are three wonderful ways to become intimate with the divine intelligence, or God:
1) Seva: Seva means selfless service, doing good to others without a desire for personal gain. Even one act of Seva everyday can bring a great spiritual transformation.
2) Simran: Simran really means remembrance, remembrance of God, remembrance of our purpose in life, and remembrance through prayer and meditation.
3) Satsang: Satsang literally means a gathering of people seeking the truth. It is my hope that through this Namaste newsletter and our discussion boards at chopra.com, we can together seek the truth and engage in Seva, Simran, and Satsang.
Deepak Chopra mailing list.
HOW TO LOVE GOD
To love God in the most practical way is to love our fellow beings. If we feel for others in the same way as we feel for our own dear ones, we are loving God.
If, instead of seeing faults in others, we look within ourselves, we are loving God.
If, instead of robbing others to help ourselves, we rob ourselves to help others, we are loving God.
If we suffer in the sufferings of others and feel happy in the happiness of others, we are loving God.
If, instead of worrying over our own misfortunes, we think of ourselves more fortunate than many, many others, we are loving God.
If we endure our lot with patience and contentment, accepting it is His Will, we are loving God.
If we understand and feel that the greatest act of devotion and worship is not to hurt or harm any of His beings, we are loving God.
To Love God as He ought to be loved, we must live for God and die for God, knowing that hte goal of life is to love God and find Him as our own self.
To realize what I call the wisdom of compassion is to see with complete clarity its benefits, as well as the damage that its opposite has done to us. We need to make a very clear distinction between what is in our egos self-interest and what is in our ultimate interest; it is from mistaking one for the other that all our suffering comes.
Self-grasping creates self-cherishing, which in turn creates an ingrained aversion to harm and suffering. However, harm and suffering have no objective existence; what gives them their existence and their power is only our aversion to them. When you understand this, you understand then that it is our aversion that attracts to us every negativity and obstacle that can possibly happen to us, and fills our lives with nervous anxiety, expectation, and fear.
Wear down that aversion
by wearing down the self-grasping mind and its attachment to a nonexistent
self, and you will wear down any hold on you that any obstacle and negativity
can have. For how can you attack someone or something that is just not there?
GOD IS BEYOND WORDS, LABELS, CONCEPTS & DUALITY
UNTO THIS DARKNESS
Unto this Darkness which is Light, pray that we may come, and
may attain unto vision through the loss of sight and knowledge, and
that in ceasing thus to see or to know, we may learn to know this
which is beyond all perception and understanding - for this emptying
of our faculties is true sight and knowledge - and that we may offer
the transcendent in all things the praises of transcendent hymnody,
which we may well do by denying or removing all things that are - like
any person who, carving a statue out of marble, removes all the
impediments that hinder the clear perception of that latent image and
by this mere removal display the hidden statue itself in its hidden
DIONYSIUS the AREOPAGITE
The Buddha's approach
may be somewhat different from that of many Christian saints, mystics, and
theologians, but it would certainly be understandable to many of them. Saint Augustine doubtlessly believed
in God, but he was also sure that God is unknowable to the thinking mind alone, "if you can understand it,"
he said, "then it is not God. "His contemporary Saint Gregory of Nyassa, a great mystical teacher of the
Eastern Church said that all ideas about God run the risk of becoming idols.
The apophatic traditions
of Christian prayer - prayer without thought or image of any kind - are profoundly
and existentially true to the basic biblical idea of the mysteriousness of God. As expressed in the 'Cloud
of Unknowing', a medieval English treatise on contemplative prayer, we can know God not by thought
but only by love. The most systematic and catophatic of theologians, the great Thomas Aquinas, said that
all we can say about God is that God is, not what God is. Toward the end of his life, after a transforming
mystical experience, Aquinas dismissed all he had thought and written as straw. Nicholas of Cusa also
spoke of learned ignorance," stating it was a form of awareness that does not have an intellectual root but
has the greatest power to lead us into truth. Meister Eckhart, a friend to Buddhism, emphasizes the
unknowability and no-thingness of God, at times to a delightful excess:
"Let thy soul be de-spirited of all spirit; let it be spiritless. Love God as he is: a not-God, a
not-spirit, a not-Person, a not-image, as sheer, pure, limpid unity, alien from all duality." Sermon XCIX
Above Excerpt from
The Good Heart, His Holiness
The Dalai Lama Explores the Heart of Christianity and of Humanity, Rider
pp24, Introduction by Laurence Freeman OSB
The Cloud of Unknowing
is a 14th century anonymous
English mystical treatise written in the apophatic
tradition of Christian prayer. See William Johnson's
translation, Image Books, Doubleday, 1973
related articles & links:
How To Know God, (£10.99) *****
The Cloud of Unknowing by A. C. Spearing (Translator) (US
In the fourteenth century there was a great flourishing of religious writings in English, both orthodox and heretical. Many of these works focused on Christ's Passion and humanity, whereas The Cloud of Unknowing describes an abstract, transcendent God beyond human knowledge and human language. Drawing upon radically different traditions, it is a rich work full of intriguing contradictions that speaks to us with liveliness and wit even today. The unknown author, thought to be a priest and Carthusian monk, is also believed to have written the other three works in this volume: The Mystical Theology of Saint Denis, The Book of Privy Counselling, and An Epistle on Prayer, which, together with The Cloud of Unknowing, are the four texts at the core of medieval mystical theology.
This Penguin Classics edition includes full explanatory notes, suggestions for further reading, an appendix that reproduces the Middle English text of a section of The Mystical Theology of Saint Denis, and an introduction that places the texts within the context of medieval religious writing.
About the Author
A. C. Spearing is professor of English at the University of Virginia. He has published widely on medieval literature and edited Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love for Penguin Classics.
Full of joy, faith and love, this unique collection of the conversations and letters of the seventeenth century Carmelite friar, Brother Lawrence, records the simple wisdom of a man who felt God's constant companionship. Laying claim to no special gifts he endeavored constantly to 'walk in his presence', whether he was working in his kitchen or worshipping in his church. Beautifully written and intensely personal, this exquisite little book has been cherished for generations as a rich source of inspiration and guidance for all who seek true and lasting spiritual fulfillment. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Published originally at the end of the 17th century, this book has endured for three centuries and is more widely read today then ever. This guide is designed for all seekers aspiring union with God which, according to Brother Lawrence, is the ultimate goal of every soul.
We are, each of us, a part of a Great Invisible Willing that is not only totally for our well-being, but which is actively seeing to its fulfillment moment to moment. We are not without everything we need to be content, confident, compassionate, and simply happy.
Daily life often pulls us outward into a world of position, possession and pleasure - and away from any kind of inner experience or personal connection with something Higher. This reality is often reflected in our prayers. We ask for what seems to be lacking in our lives and are gravely disappointed when our prayers are not answered or they bring only momentary relief.
In renowned author Guy Finley's latest book, you'll learn that true payer is not meant to provide you with these possessions. Rather, its true intent is to bring you to a point where you understand that everything you need is already here. Yes, everything you need to be happy and fulfilled is already present within yourself!
The sometimes shocking insights and simple practices offered in this spiritually transforming guide will help you to touch ever higher levels of self-awareness and awaken your soul.
Daily life often pulls us outward into a world of position, possessions and pleasure. This reality is often reflected in our prayers. We ask for we think is lacking in our lives and are gravely disappointed when our prayers are not answered. Renowned author Guy Finley teaches us that true prayer is meant to bring us to a point of understanding that everything we need is already here.
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