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Source material: Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings

…God is in himself so exalted that he is beyond the reach of either knowledge or desire. Desire extends further than anything that can be grasped by knowledge. It is wider than the whole of the heavens, than all angels, even though everything that lives on earth is contained in the spark of a single angel. Desire is wide, immeasurably so. But nothing that knowledge can grasp or desire can want, is God. Where knowledge and desire end, there is darkness, and there God shines. (p. 185)


Source material: Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings

If I say that “God is good”, this is not true. I am good, but God is not good! In fact, I would rather say that I am better than God, for what is good can become better and what can become better can become the best! Now God is not good, and so he cannot become better. Since he cannot become better, he cannot become the best. These three are far from God: “good”, “better”, “best”, for he is wholly transcendent. If I say again that “God is wise”, then this too is not true. I am wiser than he is! Or if I say that “God exists”, this is also not true. He is being beyond being: he is a nothingness beyond being. Therefore St. Augustine says: “The finest thing that we can say of God is to be silent concerning him from the wisdom of inner riches.” Be silent therefore, and do not chatter about God, for by chattering about him, you tell lies and commit a sin. If you wish to be perfect and without sin, then do not prattle about God. Also you should not wish to understand anything about God, for God is beyond all understanding. A master says: If I had a God that I could understand, I would not regard him as God. If you understand anything about him, then he is not in it, and by understanding something of him, you fall into ignorance… (pp. 236-7)

Ego death

Source material: Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings

But the soul must abandon her own being. This is where the death that is spiritual begins. If the soul is to undergo this death, then she must take leave of herself and all things, holding herself and all things to be as insignificant as they were before they existed … I do not mean that the being of the soul falls into nothingness as she was before she was created, rather we should understand this cessation to be the eradication of possessing and having. (p. 244)

That person who is thus rooted in God's love must be dead to themselves and to all created things so that they are no more concerned with themselves than they are with someone who is over a thousand miles away. Such a person remains in likeness and in unity and is always the same… This person must have abandoned themselves and the whole world … Whoever entirely renounces themselves even for a moment would be given all things. (p. 179)

The light

Source material: Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings

It is the peculiar characteristic of this birth that it always brings new light. It constantly introduces a strong light into the soul since it is the nature of goodness to pour itself forth wherever it may be. In this birth God pours himself into the soul with light so much that the light gathers in the being and ground of the soul and spills over into the faculties and the outer self. This happened to Paul too when God bathed him in his light as he journeyed, and spoke to him. A likeness of the light in the ground of the soul flows over into the body, which is then filled with radiance. But sinners can receive nothing of this, nor are they worthy to do so, since they are filled with sin and evil, which are called “darkness”. Therefore it is said: “The darkness shall neither receive nor comprehend the light” (cf. John 1:5). The problem is that the paths which this light should take are blocked with falsehood and darkness. After all, light and darkness cannot coexist any more than God and creatures can. If God is to enter, then the creatures must leave. (p. 216)


Source material: Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings

For however devoted you are to (God), you may be sure that he is immeasurably more devoted to you… (p. 25)

Many people think that they are achieving great things in external works such as fasting, going barefoot and other such practices which are called penances. But true penance, and the best kind of penance, is that whereby we can improve ourselves greatly and in the highest measure, and this consists in turning entirely away from all that is not God, or of God in ourselves and in all creatures, and in turning fully and completely towards our beloved God in an unshakeable love so that our devotions and desire for him become great. (p. 26)


Source material: Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings

It is the nature of the Holy Spirit that I should be consumed in him, dissolved in him, and transformed wholly into love. Whoever is in love and is wholly love, feels that God loves nobody other than themselves, and they know of no one who loves or indeed of anyone but themselves. (p. 148)

God does not enter those who are freed from all otherness and all createdness: rather he already exits in an essential manner within them. (p. 171)

You should know (God) without image, unmediated and without likeness. But if I am to know God without mediation in such a way, then “I” must become “he”, and “he” must become “I”. More precisely I say: God must become me and I must become God, so entirely one that “he” and this “I” become one “is” and act in this “isness” as one, for this “he” and this “I”, that is God and the soul, are very fruitful. (p. 238)

If every medium were removed between myself and a wall, then I would be at the wall but not in it. But this is not the case with spiritual things, for with them one thing is always in another. That which receives is the same as that which is received, for it receives nothing other than itself. This is difficult. Whoever understand it has been preached to enough. (p. 192))

meister_eckhart.txt · Last modified: 2007/06/12 20:04 (external edit)