The Cloud of Unknowing and The Book of Privy Counseling

Front Cover
William Johnston
Image Books, 1973 - Religion - 195 pages
4 Reviews
Originally written in Middle English by an unknown mystic of the fourteenth century, The Cloud of Unknowing represents the first expression in our own tongue of the soul's quest for God. A literary work of great beauty in both style and message, it offers a practical guide to the path of contemplation. The author explains how all thoughts and concepts must be buried beneath a "cloud of forgetting", while our love must rise toward God hidden in the "cloud of unknowing". William Johnston - an authority on fourteenth-century spirituality and on the writings of this unknown author - provides a substantive and accessible introduction detailing what is known about the history of this text and its relevance throughout the ages. Also included here is the author's other principal work, The Book of Privy Counseling - a short and moving text on the way to enlightenment through a total loss of self and consciousness only of the divine.

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User Review  - jveezer - LibraryThing

I read this book after running across references to it in two books, “Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse” by Louise Erdrich and “Yoga and the Quest for the True Self” by Stephen Cope. I ... Read full review

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User Review  - booksontrial - LibraryThing

It is written in the Talmud, "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world." Concerning the ... Read full review

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About the author (1973)

WILLIAM JOHNSTON has translated several works from the contemplative traditions of both East and West, as well as work by the great Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo. HUSTON SMITH, the author of The World’s Religions, is widely regarded as the most eloquent and accessible contemporary authority on the history of religions. He has taught at MIT and the University of California, Berkeley.

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