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Chapter 6 A Short Conceit Of The Work Of This Book, Treated By Question, The CLoud Of Unknowing

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The Cloud of Unknowing, ed. by Evelyn Underhill, [1922]     A short conceit of the work of this book, treated by question.   BUT now thou askest me and sayest, “How shall I think on Himself, and what is He?” and to this I cannot answer thee but thus: “I wot not.” For thou hast brought me with thy question into that same darkness, and into that same cloud of unknowing, that I would thou wert in thyself. For of all other creatures and their works, yea, and of the works of God’s self, may a man through grace have fullhead of knowing, and well he can think of them: but of God Himself can no man think. And therefore I would leave all that thing that I can think, and choose to my love that thing that I cannot think. For why; He may well be loved, but not thought. By love may He be gotten and holden; but by thought never. And therefore, although it be good sometime to think of the kindness and the worthiness of God in special, and although it be a light and a part of contemplation: nevertheless yet in this work it shall be cast down and covered with a cloud of forgetting. And thou shalt step above it stalwartly, but Mistily, with a devout and a pleasing stirring of love, and try for to pierce that darkness above thee. And smite upon that thick cloud of unknowing with a sharp dart of longing love; and go not thence for thing that befalleth.

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A Short Conceit Of The Work Of This Book, Treated By Question

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1 Ben N = "How are we to think of God? We cannot. We cannot conceive of God, nor imagine Him. But the question itself takes us into the mystery, the Cloud of Unknowing wherein we feel His Presence."
2 Cary W = "God's ways and thoughts are as high above ours as the sky is from the land, therefore why would we ever think we can know God through the mechanism of thought.  We do not need to ponder such in the loving of our mate or children; love simply evokes love.  Even more so with God; we seek Him simply because we know He is, and that there is no greater thing to seek, know or contemplate."
3 Ben N = "We cannot think of God, but we can love Him, as we are loved by Him. We can never know through thought, but through love, and the act of loving, we can feel and experience Him."
4 Ben N = "To think about God, His aspects and qualities, is a worthy contemplation. But is not the same as communion with Him. All thoughts about God must ultimately be cast aside and forgotten, if we are ever to enter the mystery of union."
5 Ben N = "The only way to get through the Cloud, to cross the distance that separates us from the Divine, is through love, worship, longing, devotion."