- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 691 KB
- Print Length: 163 pages
- Publisher: Shambhala Publications (10 Sept. 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0098PZXXW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #425,621 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Meister Eckhart, from Whom God Hid Nothing: Sermons, Writings, & Sayings: Sermons, Writings and Sayings Kindle Edition
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Eckhart has that ability to effortlessly transcend the Emanation (unmovable God beyond time and space) and Immanence (God present throughout his creation) question. Indeed he accepts and reconciles both without conflict. There is no surer evidence that he saw all things from a higher plane than this. In his concept of the divine spark in each of us he unites us with the Ultimate- while the rest of creation is influenced by the emanation of the Holy Spirit down through the planes. Only man has this "cosmic wormhole" to connect him directly with the ultimate- the opening of this portal on our side is called "Christ."
As the author points out there are very few teachers that seem equally accessible by both Pope and Dalai Lama. That is because the Meister represents the pinnacle of spiritual connection in the West.
In a way the essence of Eckhart lies in his Latin theological writings, where he interprets the Christian Mysteries through the ideas and vocabulary of Plato and the Neo-Platonists: these show him as one of the greatest thinkers in Western history. (Those interested in this side of him should read C.F. Kelley's "Meister Eckhart on Divine Knowledge", now happily reprinted.)
But what distinguishes Eckhart from most later theologians is that he says the word "God" the way a carpenter says "wood" or a swimmer says "water". He knows what he is talking about. And if his words remind us again and again of Vedanta, Zen or the Sufis, surely this is because those who truly See, See the same thing. Still, it would be wrong to think of him as some kind of eccentric or stray: he is part of a broad tradition of Christian thought that begins with the Gospel of John and survives until the late 17th century. Eckhart speaks the same language as other Mediaeval theologians, though with an accent of his own.
My main criticism of this book is simple: it is too short. Knowing Eckhart's Sermons and the treasures they contain, I can easily imagine this book quadrupled without any loss of interest. So it remains a tantalising sampler, recommended to anyone who has a narrow, stereotyped view of Christianity, and more simply to anyone who wants to get to know the words of one of the greatest spiritual teachers of East or West.
"....creatures, like fish in an ocean, swim in an ocean of divine grace"
"For Eckhart, creation is a revelation of God, a home for God and a temple for God. It is a grace, an overflow of the goodness and beauty that God is. For Eckhart, "being is God"...
"For Eckhart being is more than being. It is the presence of the divine... "
"God is not out there, above here, below here or far from here. Very simply, where we are, God is, where God is, we are... "
Eckhart's teachings soared beyond traditional religous thought into concepts expresses across the ages by mystics of all religions. He was a man of many words that you need to search through to find the depths of his insights. I recommend "Breakthrough"' Meister Eckhart's Creation Spirituality in New Translation, Matthew Fox, editor. Image books, Doubleday, 1991", the source of the quotes above.
Echart, ever the loyal Catholic Dominican, publicly recanted his errors before his death and was never excommunicated.
Pope John XXII issued a bull (In agro dominico), 27 March 1329, in which a series of statements from Eckhart is characterized as heretical; another as suspected of heresy. At the close, it is stated that Eckhart recanted before his death everything which he had falsely taught, by subjecting himself and his writing to the decision of the Apostolic See. It is possible that the Pope's unusual decision to issue the bull, despite the death of Eckhart (and the fact that Eckhart was not being personally condemned as a heretic), was due to the pope's growing fear of mystical heresy, and pressure from his ally Henry II to bring the case to a definite conclusion. (Wikipedia)
While Pope John condemned certain of his statements, he did not excommunicate the man. As a note, ex communication is a corrective measure for the living and would not be applied to the dead under any circumstances.
With a little effort, readers can find the text of the bull and verify for themselves, as did I, that the scurrilous accusation is baseless.
Steve Graves, OP
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