Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Meister Eckhart

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Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
Meister Eckhart

I’ve not read any books of Meister Eckhart’s writing.
Perhaps I should.
I think I would enjoy them, finding the Same Story yet again with slightly different wording so that my attention is peaked anew.
For instance here, speaking of the Now, he sounds so much like that present day Eckhart (Eckhart Tolle):

There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.

With my love of sacred language, I enjoy discovering:
Every creature is a word of God.

While biologist and meditator in me seem to be entwined by these words:
A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart.
We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves!
Why, thirty or forty skins or hides,
as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul.
Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.

For more of Meister Eckhart, you can go here.
At Michigan State University, the course of Religious Studies 275 has a website with links to Eckhart.
There you’ll find the complete text from which I’ve made these excerpts regarding the desire for Transcendence and the path of getting There:

The soul is furious for self-knowledge.
Her face is lit with passion, red with rage for the arrears withheld from her in God…

The masters say there is no fiercer appetite than a friend's desire to possess his friend and all that he possesses.
The soul proclaims her rage so boundless she cannot be appeased by him…
Alas! she cries, who shall console me? My misery is too deep…
So I take refuge in myself and there I find the lowest place, aye,
one more base than hell for even thence do my shortcomings hound me.
It seems I cannot then escape myself.
Here I sit me down and herein will I stay…
So I go out and let the soul go in.

The third rage of the soul is that she should be God
and that there should not be a single creature,
like when God was in his eternity ere he created creature,
so that she may enjoy God-nature in its simplicity as he did before.

Fourthly, she rages to be absolutely nothing but the naked essence,
there being neither God nor creature.

Man has to seek God in error and forgetfulness and foolishness.
For deity has in it the power of all things and no thing has the like…
the soul's lower powers should be ordered to her higher
and her higher ones to God:
for her outward senses to her inward
and her inward ones to reason;
thought to intuition
and intuition to the will
and all to unity,
so that the soul may be alone with nothing flowing into her but sheer divinity,
flowing here into itself.

Meister Eckhart

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