The Cloud of Unknowing

The Cloud of Unknowing

The Cloud of Unknowing

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Recorded live in Ireland with Fr Donagh O'Shea OP - Three talk series.

The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in the latter half of the 14th century. The text was a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages. The book counsels a young student to seek God, not through knowledge and the mind, but through intense contemplation, motivated by love, and stripped of all thought.

For the author of the Cloud of Unknowing, a great simplicity characterises his doctrine of the soul’s attainment of the Absolute. For him there is but one central necessity: the perfect and passionate setting of the will upon the Divine... It is not achieved by deliberate ascetic practices, not by refusal of the world, not by intellectual striving, but by actively loving and choosing, by that which a modern psychologist has called ‘the synthesis of love and will’ does the spirit of man achieve its goal. ‘For silence is not God,’ he says in the Epistle of Discretion, ‘nor speaking is not God; fasting is not God, nor eating is not God; loneliness is not God, nor company is not God; nor yet any of all of the other two such contraries. He is hid between them, and may not be found by any work of thy soul, but all only by love of thine heart. He may not be known by reason, He may not be gotten by thought, not concluded by understanding; but He may be loved and chosen with
the true lovely will of thine heart ...'

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