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Meister Eckhart


earl
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When I despair regarding Christian theology, I think of Meister Eckhart. Perhaps it might be fun to post Eckhart quotes here and then have forum participants post their reactions to them-there are many intriguing ones. So, here's the first:

 

"There is a heavenly door for the soul into the divine nature where somethings are reduced to nothing...ignorant with knowing, loveless with loving, dark with light, emptied out to nothingness."

 

Have a good one, Earl

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There is a heavenly door for the soul into the divine nature where somethings are reduced to nothing...ignorant with knowing, loveless with loving, dark with light, emptied out to nothingness.

 

"some things are reduced to nothing" - God is "neutral".

 

"ignorant with knowing, loveless with loving, dark with light" - all are dualities

 

"emptied out to nothingness" - which become harmonious, combined, neutral Unity

 

Meister Eckart was a "participatory" Monist, another term for "Dialectical" Monism. ;)

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There is a heavenly door for the soul into the divine nature where somethings are reduced to nothing...ignorant with knowing, loveless with loving, dark with light, emptied out to nothingness.

 

"some things are reduced to nothing" - God is "neutral".

 

"ignorant with knowing, loveless with loving, dark with light" - all are dualities

 

"emptied out to nothingness" - which become harmonious, combined, neutral Unity

 

Meister Eckart was a "participatory" Monist, another term for "Dialectical" Monism. ;)

Most of my view of Christian mystical writings is informed by my starting out in intensive buddhist study, (probably why I'm such a fan of Eckhart as his sayings could have come from the mouth of a zen master). To me this quotation as do many of his point to kenosis and apophatic approaches. "Things" lose their absolute sense of "thingness" in meditative/contemplative states, including the "thing" we take ourselves to be. Transcendent knowing can only come from "ignorance-" not to mention the more I experience the less I truly know :D When we are "darkened to the light" of conventional, conceptual certainties, we open up a way for more of the Divine light to shine through with a truer gnosis. To add another famous Eckhart quote here: "God save me from God." Have a good one, Earl

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OK- here goes the next one:

 

"Thou shalt know him without image, without semblance and without means...but, for me to know God thus, with nothing between, I must be all but He, He all but me, I say God must be very I, I very God, so consumately one that this He and this I are one 'is', in this isness working one work eternally; but so long as this He and this I, to wit God and the soul, are not one single here, one single now, the I cannot work with nor be one with that He...God's 'isness' is my 'isness,' neither more nor less."

 

Have a good one, Earl

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OK- here goes the next one:

 

"Thou shalt know him without image, without semblance and without means...but, for me to know God thus, with nothing between, I must be all but He, He all but me, I say God must be very I, I very God, so consumately one that this He and this I are one 'is', in this isness working one work eternally; but so long as this He and this I, to wit God and the soul, are not one single here, one single now, the I cannot work with nor be one with that He...God's 'isness' is my 'isness,' neither more nor less."

 

Have a good one, Earl

In Buddhism, they tend to discuss how, once one gets beyond conceptualization re anything, we enounter its "suchness," which is how I take the use of the term "isness" here. Conceptual mind tends to fairly rigidly adhere to thingness: a "self" here & an Other over there. So, I see the path of Chrisitan mystical movement as:

 

self>>>>><<<<<God

self>>><<<God

self>><<God

self><God

( )

 

As in the following quotation from Eckhart:

 

"In the breakthrough, where I stand free of my own will and the will of God and of all his works and of God himself, there I am above all creatures and am neither God nor creature...I discover that God and I are one...I am an immovable cause that moves all things...there I had no God and was cause of myself...There, I stood free of God and of all things. But when I took leave of this state and received my created being, then I had a God."

 

As to books re Eckhart, actually got all my wonderful quotes off the internet. As I understand it, Eckhart was considered a heretic by the Church. But, then I've never been a big fan of dogma. Dogma is a group of folks interpreting your experiences for you & telling you what you're supposed to believe/perceive. Even when dogmatists are right, until a person discovers some Truth within themselves, it's not the "Living Word." Life has a way of teaching you Truth-always liked the bumper sticker I saw many years ago" "My karma ran over my dogma." Take care, Earl

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Didn't the Catholic church recently (?) say that Eckhart was not a heretic? (I know it has been working hard back tracking on a lot of ancients (and not so ancients), including I think Galileo. A little too late though.

 

Makes you wonder what they might say postumously re: Matt Fox and others they have silenced more recently. Of course, I don't think many of these are quite so famous as Galileo say.

 

--des

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Found on a T-shirt I bought at a Catholic Religious Education Conference in LA this past February:

 

A List of Heretics (leaders and disciples defined as Heretics by Institutional Religion) --

 

Read about any of them to find out more about the rich progressive strain within Christianity (and within Catholicism, as most of these folks were or are Catholic)

 

Joan of Arc

Galileo

Johannes Kepler

Meister Eckhardt

Copernicus

Tertullian

Martin Luther

Menno Simons

Matthew Fox

Origen

St. Zephyrinus

The Beguines

John McNeil

Hans Kung

The Franciscans

Ivone Gebara

Hippolytus

Peter Waldo

Jesus of Nazareth

Tissa Balasuriya of Sri Lanka

Henry of Lausanne

Clementius and Everard

Jonvina

Jan Hus

Peter Abelard

Gerard Segarelli

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (one of my faves!)

Patrick Hamilton

Imaculate Heart of Mary Sisters of Los Angeles

Charles Curran

Joachim of Fiore

Leonardo Boff

John Courtney Murray

Theodoret

Ebion

Thodore of Mopsuestia

Lukas of Prague

Fratres Unitores

John Scotus Erigena

Giraude de Lavaur

Marguerite Porete

Giorando Bruno

Bill Callahan

The Vatica 24

Call to Action of Nebraska

 

Peace,

curlytop

Edited by curlytop
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Hans Kung... his book, "Why I am still a Christian" opened the doors of the church for me. He was the first progressive I encountered... finding his book when and where was definately " a God thing".

 

Most of his books are quite scholarly and dense. This one is very brief and readable.

 

The amazon reviews are here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...g=UTF8&v=glance

 

Thanks for the reminder! He is a fabulous example of someone who thinks about and discusses faith without loosing the practice of faith.

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Hi, Earl--

 

Many folks have told me that I ought to read Eckhart, but I've still not done so.  Guess I'll add another endorsement to that list. 

 

self>>>>><<<<<God

self>>><<<God

self>><<God

self><God

( )

 

I kind of like this :)

Well, if you like that buddhist-flavored Eckhartism, here's another one for you:

 

"While I subsisted in the ground, in the bottom, in the river and the fount of Godhead, no one asked me where I was going or what I was doing: there was no one to aske me. When I was flowing all creatures spake God. If I am asked, brother Eckhart, when went ye out of your house? Then I must have been in. Even so do all creatures speak God. And why do they not speak Godhead? Everything no Godhead is one, and of that there is nothing to be said. Godhead does no work, there is nothing to do, in it is no activity. It never envisaged any work. God and Godhead are as different as active and inactive. On my return to God, where I am formless, my breaking through will be far nobler than my emanation. I alone take all creatures out of their sense into my mind and make them one in me. When I go back into the ground, into the depths, inot the well-srping of Godhead, no one will ask me whence I came or wither I went. No one missed me. God passes away." Take care, Earl

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More from Eckhart:

 

"Separate yourself from all two-ness.

Be one on one, one with one, one from one."

 

"God becomes as phenomena express Him."

 

"All that God asks you most pressingly is to go out of yourself-and let God be God in you."

 

In those above quotes I see reflected the dance between apophatic & kataphatic-the Hidden God & the Revelatory God, as it is only as we retain an open, unlimited receptivity to God, (the apophatic), can we allow and express the Divine through ourselves and see it in others (the kataphatic). Being apophatic about both God & ourselves is being "agnostic" yet expectant-saying "I don't know but I expect to learn/discover." Whenever we attempt to define the limits (good or bad) to our view of our self or God, that Road to Truth gets detoured and we bog down, (though it might be a comfortable point in the road to park awhile :) ). Take care, Earl

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