Written by an anonymous English monk during the late fourteenth century, The Cloud of Unknowing puts forth a method of contemplation that stresses the importance of the understanding to break through the cloud of unknowing that separates God and humanity. This work is useful for understanding the various streams of thought regarding mysticism in church history.
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“you must put beneath you a cloud of forgetting, between you and all the creatures that have ever been made.60” (Page 128)
“Lift up your heart to God28 with a humble impulse of love; and have himself as your aim, not any of his goods” (Page 119)
“In itself, humility is nothing else but a man’s true understanding and awareness of himself as he really is.” (Page 148)
“the essence of this exercise is nothing else but a simple and direct reaching out to God for himself” (Page 169)
“It is the union of our naked being with the naked being of God that anchors our whole life.” (Page xx)
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James Walsh is a translator who has also worked on a Paulist Press edition of The Cloud of Unknowing.