The Cloud Of Unknowing
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The Cloud Of Unknowing

Evelyn Underhill, Evelyn Underhill

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The Cloud Of Unknowing

Evelyn Underhill, Evelyn Underhill

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About This Book

The Cloud of Unknowing (Middle English: The Cloude of Unknowyng) is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century. The text is a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages.The Cloud of Unknowing draws on the mystical tradition of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Christian Neoplatonism, which focuses on the via negativa road to discovering God as a pure entity, beyond any capacity of mental conception and so without any definitive image or form. This tradition has reputedly inspired generations of mystical searchers from John Scotus Erigena, through Book of Taliesin, Nicholas of Cusa and St. John of the Cross to Teilhard de Chardin (the latter two of whom may have been influenced by "The Cloud" itself). Prior to this, the theme of "Cloud" had been in the Confessions of St. Augustine (IX, 10) written in AD 398. (courtesy of wikipedia.com)

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Information

Year
2012
ISBN
9783849620868
The Cloud Of Unknowing
Translated By Evelyn Underhill
Contents:
Monasticism
The Cloud Of Unknowing
Introduction
Here Beginneth The Prologue
Here Beginneth The First Chapter
Here Beginneth The Second Chapter
Here Beginneth The Third Chapter
Here Beginneth The Fourth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Fifth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Sixth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Seventh Chapter
Here Beginneth The Eighth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Ninth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Tenth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Eleventh Chapter
Here Beginneth The Twelfth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Thirteenth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Fourteenth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Fifteenth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Sixteenth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Seventeenth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Eighteenth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Nineteenth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The One And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Two And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Three And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Four And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Five And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Six And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Seven And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Eight And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Nine And Twentieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The One And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Two And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Three And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Four And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Five And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Six And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Seven And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Eight And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Nine And Thirtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The One And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Two And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Three And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Four And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Five And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Six And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Seven And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Eight And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Nine And Fortieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The One And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Two And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Three And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Four And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Five And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Six And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Seven And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Eight And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Nine And Fiftieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The One And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Two And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Three And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Four And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Five And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Six And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Seven And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Eight And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Nine And Sixtieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Seventieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The One And Seventieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Two And Seventieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Three And Seventieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Four And Seventieth Chapter
Here Beginneth The Five And Seventieth Chapter
The Cloud of Unknowing, Unknown Authors
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Germany
ISBN: 9783849620868
www.jazzybee-verlag.de

Monasticism

By G. Roger Huddleston
Monasticism or monachism, literally the act of "dwelling alone" (Greek monos, monazein, monachos), has come to denote the mode of life pertaining to persons living in seclusion from the world, under religious vows and subject to a fixed rule, as monks, friars, nuns, or in general as religious. The basic idea of monasticism in all its varieties is seclusion or withdrawal from the world or society. The object of this is to achieve a life whose ideal is different from and largely at variance with that pursued by the majority of mankind; and the method adopted, no matter what its precise details may be, is always self-abnegation or organized asceticism. Taken in this broad sense monachism may be found in every religious system which has attained to a high degree of ethical development, such as Brahmin, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, and Moslem religions, and even in the sytem of those modern communistic societies, often anti-theological in theory, which are a special feature of recent social development especially in America. Hence it is claimed that a form of life which flourishes in environments so diverse must be the expression of a principle inherent in human nature and rooted therein no less deeply than the principle of domesticity, though obviously limited to a far smaller portion of mankind.
I. ITS GROWTH AND METHOD
(1) Origin
Any discussion of pre-Christian asceticism is outside the scope of this article. So too, any question of Jewish asceticism as exemplified in the Essenes or Therapeutae of Philo's "De Vita Contemplativa" is excluded.
It has already been pointed out that the monastic ideal is an ascetic one, but it would be wrong to say that the earliest Christian asceticism was monastic. Any such thing was rendered impossible by the circumstances in which the early Christians were placed, for in the first century or so of the Church's existence the idea of living apart from the congregation of the faithful, or of forming within it associations to practise special renunciations in common was out of the question. While admitting this, however, it is equally certain that monasticism, when it came, was little more than a precipitation of ideas previously in solution among Christians. For asceticism is the struggle against worldly principles, even with such as are merely worldly without being sinful. The world desires and honours wealth, so the ascetic loves and honours poverty. If he must have something in the nature of property then he and his fellows shall hold it in common, just because the world respects and safeguards private ownership. In like manner he practises fasting and virginity that thereby he may repudiate the licence of the world.
Hereafter the various items of this renunciation will be dealt with in detail, they are mentioned at this time merely to show how the monastic ideal was foreshadowed in the asceticism of the Gospel and its first followers. Such passages as I John, ii, 15-17: "Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the father but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the concupiscence thereof. But he that doeth the will of God abideth forever" — passages which might be multiplied, and can bear but one meaning if taken literally. And this is precisely what the early ascetics did. We read of some who, driven by the spirit of God, dedicated their energies to the spread of the Gospel and, giving up all their possessions passed from city to city in voluntary poverty as apostles and evangelists. Of others we hear that they renounced property and marriage so as to devote their lives to the poor and needy of their particular church. If these were not strictly speaking monks and nuns, at least the monks and nuns were such as these; and, when the monastic life took definite shape in the fourth century, these forerunners were naturally looked up to as the first exponents of monachismm. For the truth is that the Christian ideal is frankly an ascetic one and monachism is simply the endeavour to effect a material realization of that ideal, or organization in accordance with it, when taken literally as regards its "Counsels" as well as its "Precepts" (see ASCETICISM; COUNSELS, EVANGELICAL).
Besides a desire of observing the evangelical counsels, and a horror of the vice and disorder that prevailed in a pagan age, two contributory causes in particular are often indicated as leading to a renunciation of the world among the early Christians. The first of these was the expectation of an immediate Second Advent of Christ (cf. I Cor., vii, 29-31; I Pet., IV,7,etc.) That this belief was widespread is admitted on all hands, and obviously it would afford a strong motive for renunciation since a man who expects this present order of things to end at any moment, will lose keen interest in many matters commonly held to be important. This belief however had ceased to be of any great influence by the fourth century, so that it cannot be regarded as a determining factor in the origin of monasticism which then took visible shape. A second cause more operative in leading men to renounce the world was the vividness of their belief in evil spirits. The first Christians saw the kingdom of Satan actually realized in the political and social life of heathendom around them. In their eyes the gods whose temples shone in every city were simply devils, and to participate in their rites was to join in devil worship. When Christianity first came in touch with the Gentiles the Council of Jerusalem by its decree about meat offered to idols (Acts, xv,20) made clear the line to be followed. Consequently certain professions were practically closed to believers since a soldier, schoolmaster, or state official of any kind might be called upon at a moment's notice to participate in some act of state religion. But the difficulty existed for private individuals also. There were gods who presided over every moment of a man's life, gods of house and garden, of food and drink, of health and sickness. To honour these was idolatry, to ignore them would attract inquiry, and possibly persecution. Ans so when, to men placed in this dilemma, St. John wrote, "Keep yourselves from idols" (I John,v,21) he sai...

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