- Audio CD
- Publisher: Franciscan Media (12 Jun. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0867168714
- ISBN-13: 978-0867168716
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.7 x 13.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,929,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Cloud of Unknowing & the Book of Privy Counseling (Spiritual Classic (St. Anthony Messenger Press)) Audio CD – Audiobook, 12 Jun 2008
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From the Inside Flap
William Johnston--an authority on fourteenth century spirituality and specifically on the writings of this unknown author--provides a substantive and accessible introduction detailing what is known about the history of this text and its relevance throughout the ages. Also included here is the author's other principal work, "The Book of Privy Counseling--a short and moving text on the way to enlightenment through a total loss of self and consciousness only of the divine. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Originally written in Middle English by an unknown mystic of the fourteenth century, The Cloud of Unknowing represents the first expression in our own tongue of the soul's quest for God. A literary work of great beauty in both style and message, it offers a practical guide to the path of contemplation. The author explains how all thoughts and concepts must be buried beneath a "cloud of forgetting", while our love must rise toward God hidden in the "cloud of unknowing". William Johnston - an authority on fourteenth-century spirituality and on the writings of this unknown author - provides a substantive and accessible introduction detailing what is known about the history of this text and its relevance throughout the ages. Also included here is the author's other principal work, The Book of Privy Counseling - a short and moving text on the way to enlightenment through a total loss of self and consciousness only of the divine. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This work has been compared to the work of C.S. Lewis, Plato, and other Christian mystics and theologians, with good reason. 'The Cloud of Unknowing' is part of a chain, influenced by and in turn influencing many other mystical writers. This is not a work of philosophy or apologetics, as the author is not concerned to prove the existence of God or set up any sort of metaphysical framework which must be accepted. The world around us is a given, and God is a given, and our task is to order our attention and love toward God so that it incorporates and includes the reality that is around without distraction. One perhaps hears echoes of this in Tillich's ultimate concern?
One of the things that makes 'The Cloud of Unknowing' a popular piece on an ongoing basis is this respect for reality. The author does not require super-human feats of contemplative power; this would be to deny the reality of the creature that we are, as God's creation. Contemplative work must be done in tandem and in cooperation with the rest of our life's needs.Read more ›
The narrator's voice is very soothing (a monk no less). Just remember that this classic is all about an all embracing love, a mystery that invites us to seek it. There is so much more I could say but that is only my impoverished opinion. Find out for yourself. Just know that it involves a spirit of deep contemplation and not book learning and once you embark into the depths there is no end to the plumbing that ensues and not always pleasant ... but persevere ...
There is not much more to say. Words are wasted and rather futile as they will colour your idea of the message. Taste and see. Hear and understand. Each time you LISTEN you will come away feeling you have grown slightly in your own understanding. The book is all about that cloud of unknowing ... how can anyone begin to unravel what it all means in words? A paradox.
Practice. Sit, listen and keep coming back to the word 'love'. That is it put simply. You may not need to get entangled in the words and thoughts of this book which might throw you off kilter.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Anyone who practices contemplative prayer, or one of its many-named variants, will appreciate this classic text. Just goes to show that when you get to the heart of the matter, a fourteenth century work is as relevant today as it was back then.
While I come out of the Christian tradition, I would think that the Cloud of Unknowing would be helpful to people of other faith traditions who are seeking a spiritual awareness. It's concepts and language would be quite easily adapted. I think that most people who approach the book with an open mind will find that they are drawn closer to the divine.