text size

Chapter 5 That In The Time Of This Work All The Creatures That Ever Have Been, Be Now, Or Ever Shall Be, And All The Works Of Those Same Creatures, Should Be Hid Under The CLoud Of Forgetting, The CLoud Of Unknowing

Top comments

{{ annotation.praises_count }} Likes
{{ annotation.creator_alias }}
{{ annotation.creator_score }}

There are no comments yet. Be the first to start comment or request an explanation.

The Cloud of Unknowing, ed. by Evelyn Underhill, [1922]     That in the time of this word all the creatures that ever have been, be now, or ever shall be, and all the works of those same creatures, should be hid under the cloud of forgetting.   AND if ever thou shalt come to this cloud and dwell and work therein as I bid thee, thee behoveth as this cloud of unknowing is above thee, betwixt thee and thy God, right so put a cloud of forgetting beneath thee; betwixt thee and all the creatures that ever be made. Thee thinketh, peradventure, that thou art full far from God because that this cloud of unknowing is betwixt thee and thy God: but surely, an it be well conceived, thou art well further from Him when thou hast no cloud of forgetting betwixt thee and all the creatures that ever be made. As oft as I say, all the creatures that ever be made, as oft I mean not only the creatures themselves, but also all the works and the conditions of the same creatures. I take out not one creature, whether they be bodily creatures or ghostly, nor yet any condition or work of any creature, whether they be good or evil: but shortly to say, all should be hid under the cloud of forgetting in this case. For although it be full profitable sometime to think of certain conditions and deeds of some certain special creatures, nevertheless yet in this work it profiteth little or nought. For why? Memory or thinking of any creature that ever God made, or of any of their deeds either, it is a manner of ghostly light: for the eye of thy soul is opened on it and even fixed thereupon, as the eye of a shooter is upon the prick that he shooteth to. And one thing I tell thee, that all thing that thou thinketh upon, it is above thee for the time, and betwixt thee and thy God: and insomuch thou art the further from God, that aught is in thy mind but only God. Yea! and, if it be courteous and seemly to say, in this work it profiteth little or nought to think of the kindness or the worthiness of God, nor on our Lady, nor on the saints or angels in heaven, nor yet on the joys in heaven: that is to say, with a special beholding to them, as thou wouldest by that beholding feed and increase thy purpose. I trow that on nowise it should help in this case and in this work. For although it be good to think upon the kindness of God, and to love Him and praise Him for it, yet it is far better to think upon the naked being of Him, and to love Him and praise Him for Himself.

Table of Contents

That In The Time Of This Work All The Creatures That Ever Have Been, Be Now, Or Ever Shall Be, And All The Works Of Those Same Creatures, Should Be Hid Under The Cloud Of Forgetting

read all comments

1 Ben N = "When one approaches the work of prayer, one should put aside all thoughts of the world and everything in it. "
2 Ben N = ""The work" described by the author is a radical emptying of the mind, of all memories and concepts and mental activity. No preconceived notions of God, no attention to the world of form, just entering the great mystery with silent surrender."
3 Ben N = "We are usually not aware of God because our whole mind and attention is absorbed in the world. By emptying our mind of all thoughts of the world, we open ourselves to experience the mystery of His Presence."
4 Ben N = "In the course of life it can be useful to think about the life and works of great men and women, saints and martyrs, teachers and masters, for inspiration, etc. But during the kind of prayer the author advocates, such thoughts do not help, but hinder. "
5 Cary W = "Our goal is to experience with God all that He is in everyone and everything.  To be in the Spirit, rather than the flesh, is to raise our eyes, as if blind to everything else, and plead, knock, look, seek and wait upon Him until He answers, and His peace returns to guide us in heavenly realities in Him.  For in Him our life is hidden, and when He appears, we shall also appear with Him."
6 Cary W = "Our life is hidden in Christ and will only be fully revealed as He appears to us, works in us His very form, which is intimacy with the Father."
7 Ben N = "Here the author advises against idolizing saints and angels, and even the Holy Mother, and holding them up as special and worthy of adoration. Doing so only obscures our view of God, and interferes with our adoration of and communion with Him."
8 Ben N = "And here again, the author advises us not to form in our minds any idea of God. Not to love Him for His aspects and qualities, for His love, and kindness, and mercy; but to praise and love Him for His unknowable Self, and seek thereby to come by Grace into His unspeakable Presence."
9 Cary W = "In Christ we called brethren, equals, and partners.  In what fashion or purpose then?  To have a personal, intimate and devoted relationship with the Father, even as Christ demonstrated continually.  Oh how He loves Pappa!"