The Cloud of Unknowing

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Harper Collins, Aug 31, 2004 - Religion - 176 pages
23 Reviews

Written by an anonymous English monk during the late fourteenth century, The Cloud of Unknowing is a sublime expression of what separates God from humanity and is widely regarded as a hallmark of Western literature and spirituality. A work of simplicity, courage, and lucidity, it is a contemplative classic on the deep mysteries of faith.

"Lift up your heart to God with a humble impulse of love and have himself as your aim, not any of his goods ... Set yourself to rest in this darkness, always crying out after him whom you love. For if you are to experience him or to see him at all, insofar as it is possible here, it must always be in this cloud and in this darkness." The Cloud of Unknowing

  

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Review: The Cloud of Unknowing (Classics of Western Spirituality)

User Review  - Nina - Goodreads

A very difficult read. This book is a classic in the area of contemplative prayer. It was a bit over my head but I am glad I can at least say I have read it and know of this classic in Christian literature. Read full review

Review: The Cloud of Unknowing (Classics of Western Spirituality)

User Review  - IAO131 - Goodreads

A classic of Christian mysticism, written as a letter from the anonymous author to a disciple. Its simplicity is matched by its concision. Thelemites will find many of our own doctrines about ... Read full review

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Page 24 - You are to smite upon that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing love.
Page 22 - If ever you come to this cloud and live and work in it as I bid you. just as this cloud of unknowing is above you, between you and your God, in the same way you must put beneath you a cloud of forgetting between you and all the creatures that have ever been made.
Page 29 - God in his creatures, bodily and spiritual. And so it is no wonder that it increases your devotion as much as you say. But the use of it is evil when it is swollen with pride, and with the curiosity which comes from the subtle speculation and learning, such as theologians have, which makes them want to be known not as humble clerics and masters of divinity or of devotion, but proud scholars of the devil and masters of vanity and falsehood.
Page 92 - We must therefore pray in the height and the depth, the length and the breadth of our spirit; and not in many words, but in a little word of one syllable.
Page 24 - But no man can think of God himself. Therefore, it is my wish to leave everything that I can think of and choose for my love the thing that I cannot think. Because he can certainly be loved, but not thought. He can be taken and held by love, but not by thought. Therefore, though it is good at times to think of the kindness and worthiness of God in particular, and though this is a light and a part of contemplation, nevertheless, in this exercise it must be cast down and covered over with a cloud of...
Page 15 - ... of love in your affection. So set yourself to rest in this darkness as long as you can, always crying out after him whom you love. For if you are to experience him or to see him at all, insofar as it is possible here, it must always be in this cloud and in this darkness.
Page 30 - But the higher part of contemplation, as it may be had here, hangeth all wholly in this darkness and in this cloud of unknowing; with a loving stirring and a blind beholding unto the naked being of God Himself only.
Page 59 - Actives, actives, busy you now as best you can in the first part and in the second, now in the one and now in the other; and if you so desire and feel yourselves so disposed, in both at once.
Page 24 - And to this I can only answer thus: "I have no idea." For with your question you have brought me into that same darkness, into that same cloud of unknowing where I would you were yourself. For a man may, by grace, have the fulness of knowledge of all other creatures and their works, yes, and of the works of God's own self, and he is well able to reflect on them.

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About the author (2004)

The HarperCollins Spiritual Classics series presents short, accessible introductions to the foundational works that shaped Western religious thought and culture. This series seeks to find new readers for these dynamic spiritual voices -- voices that have changed lives throughout the centuries and still can today.

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