Saturday, November 23, 2013

Meister Eckhart - From "The Defense"

They regard as an error [e.g., Meister Eckhart’s teachings on the sublime nature of God and the soul, etc.] all that they do not understand; and again, they regard every error as heresy, even though only stubborn adherence to error makes heresy and a heretic, as the law and teachers say…. They take objections to things as heretical which St. Thomas [Aquinas] clearly states in the solutions of certain arguments which they have not seen or do not remember…. They object to certain things as false and heretical [implying] that man cannot be united to God—contrary to the teaching of Christ and the gospel, John 17:21, “Thou, Father, art in me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us.” They say that a creature, or the world, is not nothing in itself except for God, which is contrary to the gospel, John 1:3, “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made.” Besides, to say that the world is not nothing in itself but that it is some slight thing is obvious blasphemy…. They make it an accusation that deiform man [i.e., “made in the image and likeness of God,” as Genesis states] may do the works of God, contrary to the teaching of Christ and the gospel, John 14:12, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works shall he do.” (Conclusion)

Being is God… because if being is something different from God, God does not exist and there is no God…. God and being are the same…. If being is something different from God, a thing has its being from something other than God…. From God and God alone do all things have their being, one being, true being, good being…. Every being and every single thing has all its being, and all its unity, truth and goodness immediately from God…. God is being. (vii)

All creatures are pure nothing. I do not say that they are at least a little something but that they are pure nothing, because no creature has being. (viii)

He who sees any [ultimate] distinction clearly does not see God. For God is One, without number and above number, and He is not numbered with anything…. Being and all form are from God… therefore no distinction can exist in Him or be thought of. (vii)

Excerpt from Raymond B. Blakney [Tr.], Meister Eckhart: A Modern Translation, Harper & Row - 1941.


The most powerful form of prayer, and the one which can virtually gain all things and which is the worthiest work of all, is that which flows from a free mind. The freer the mind is, the more powerful and worthy, the more useful, praiseworthy and perfect the prayer and the work become. A free mind can achieve all things. But what is a free mind?

A free mind is one which is untroubled and unfettered by anything, which has not bound its best part to any particular manner of being or devotion and which does not seek its own interest in anything but is always immersed in God’s most precious will, having gone out of what is its own.

(Talks of Instruction 2 in Davies, 1994)

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