Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Cloud of Unknowing

"Now when I call this exercise a darkness or a cloud, do not think that it is a cloud formed out of the vapours which float in the air, or a darkness such as you have in your house at night, when your candle is out. For such a darkness or such a cloud you can certainly imagine by subtle fancies, as though it were before your eyes, even on the clearest day of summer; and likewise, on the darkest night of winter, you can imagine a clear shining light. But leave such falsehood alone. I mean nothing of that sort. When I say 'darkness,' I mean a privation of knowing, just as whatever you do not know or have forgotten is dark to you, because you do not see it with your spiritual eyes. For this reason, that which is between you and your God is termed, not a cloud of the air, but a cloud of unknowing."

Light From Light: An Anthology of Christian Mysticism. Edited by Louis Dupre & James A. Wiseman, O.S.B. Paulist Press, New York. 1988. P.230.

The Cloud of Unknowing. (14th Century).


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