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Old 03-03-2010, 06:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

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Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
I say that God is neither a being nor intelligent and he does not 'know' either this or that. God is free of everything and therefore he is everything. He, then, who is to be poor in spirit must be poor in his own knowledge, so that he knows nothing of God, or creatures, or of himself."
This is a very pantheistic view of reality, would you agree ? I prefer a more panentheistic view which goes well beyond the material. My concept includes compassion, emotion, and spirituality. Does everyone agree or disagree ?
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
This is a very pantheistic view of reality, would you agree ? I prefer a more panentheistic view which goes well beyond the material. My concept includes compassion, emotion, and spirituality. Does everyone agree or disagree ?
I tend to disagree as panentheism rolls into God the very things Eckhart is saying God is free of ...

... but the argument becomes very involved. If there is to be any 'dialogue' between the human and the divine, then there must be something in common between them, yet more than a few masters of the apophatic tradition have observed that the difference between man and God is immeasurably greater than the difference between man and everything else.

I think pantheism and panentheism is an attempt to bridge that gap.

Following from that premise then, where or how is this commonality located or identified? Eckhart, like the others, says it resides in the soul. I don't think he goes so far as to say the soul is uncreated, but he does say there is something uncreated about the soul.

Quote:
There is in the soul something which is above the soul, Divine, simple, a pure nothing; rather nameless than named, rather unknown than known. Of this I am accustomed to speak in my discourses. Sometimes I have called it a power, sometimes an uncreated light, and sometimes a Divine spark.
It is absolute and free from all names and all forms, just as God is free and absolute in Himself. It is higher than knowledge, higher than love, higher than grace. For in all these there is still — distinction —.
In this power God doth blossom and flourish with all His Godhead, and the Spirit flourisheth in God. In this power the Father bringeth forth His only-begotten Son, as essentially as in Himself; and in this light ariseth the Holy Ghost. This spark rejecteth all creatures, and will have only God, simply as He is in Himself. It rests satisfied neither with the Father, nor with the Son, nor with the Holy Ghost, nor with the three Persons, so far as each existeth in its particular attribute.
It is satisfied only with the superessential essence. It is determined to enter into the simple Ground, the still Waste, the Unity where no man dwelleth. Then it is satisfied in the light; then it is one: it is one in itself, as this Ground is a simple stillness, and in itself immovable; and yet by this immobility are all things moved.
Eckhart (like Eriugena) belongs in the idealist tradition that would flower in later German piety ... but in so doing his idealism often oversteps the bounds of reason.

Eckhart says:
"This spark rejecteth all creatures, and will have only God, simply as He is in Himself. It rests satisfied neither with the Father, nor with the Son, nor with the Holy Ghost, nor with the three Persons, so far as each existeth in its particular attribute."
Here Eckhart assumes a creaturely attribute to the Three Persons of the Trinity, which I think is an error and an over-emphasis on reading the idea of 'person' in an anthropological rather than a theological/metaphysical sense — God as He is in Himself is Triune.

"It is determined to enter into the simple Ground, the still Waste, the Unity where no man dwelleth. Then it is satisfied in the light; then it is one: it is one in itself, as this Ground is a simple stillness, and in itself immovable; and yet by this immobility are all things moved."
Here a number of conundrums — we have 'it' which is 'determined' to enter the other — the 'Unity (Trinity) where no man dwelleth'.

Then it is one, by participation, not by nature; its itself is not the Ground ...

Eckhart I believe offers a number of such paradoxical statements — the basic one above is undone by the idea that the true soul does not 'determine' anything ... or rather, as long as it determines, it's missing the mark.

From the sermon quoted above:
Quote:
If, then, I were asked what is a poor man who wants nothing, I should reply as follows. As long as a man is so disposed that it is his will with which he would do the most beloved will of God, that man has not the poverty we are speaking about: for that man has a will to serve God's will
This is the assertion of the self: I want to do God's will. The Lord's prayer says: 'Thy will be done', not 'I want to do your will' or 'let me do your will' or even 'my will is your will' or 'your will is my will' ... all these assert the discriminating will.

Only in the former, 'thy will be done' is there seen the 'let go and let be' of Eckhart.

Quote:
and that is not true poverty! For a man to possess true poverty he must be as free of his created will as he was when he was not.(emphasis mine)
There is a world of difference between wanting to do God's will with your will, as opposed to letting God's will be done, which is detachment and true humility.

When he was not, that is, when he was an idea the mind of God ("before the foundation of the world" Matthew 25:34, Ephesians 1:4), prior to its becoming.

Here we are deep into Eriugena territory again, that the true and perfect human nature exists in the mind of God before time and space, and this is its essential and ontological reality, it is this which renders every other mode of existence relatively 'unreal'.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:40 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

Eckhart has certainly been called pantheistic before. It was likely a point of contention in his heresy trial. I'm not sure what he would say (I haven't read his defence against the accusations yet), but I think he would see no need to distinguish between monothieism or pantheism as both describe unity.
The thing is, God is only everything when an individual person recognizes God's presence in individual moments. It is a matter of subjectivity, as Thomas has pointed out.

Radical reformer, you mention liking pantheism as you want to get beyond the material. I see my only freedom as the choice between recognizing a subjective spiritual reality or recognizing an accepted reality of worldly ways that guide us to go with the flow of the status quo and do onto others as others did onto us. This is an obvious dualism, which I'd rather avoid, but the dualism disappears as soon as unity is arrived at subjectively.
My perhaps peculiar understanding of the worldly/spiritual divide is influenced by atheist thinkers such as Louis Althusser and Judith Butler who describe a world where there is no soul (no pre-discoursive agency), all of our thoughts, habits, hopes, and convictions are determined by ideology, gender acts, power, or whatever else they choose to call it. This is what I refer to as worldly ways. Choosing spiritual reality is not about escaping that worldly reality where everyone is out for their own though unwittingly serving the interests of those with the most power, it is about negating that reality --seeing it as illusory. Choosing spiritual reality involves recognizing a spiritual presence that makes everything a necessary illusion, a momentary creation made just for the soul experiencing it. Experiencing spiritual reality could be as varried as people are. It is subjective afterall. For me it is mostly about discovering individual laws governing individual moments.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

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Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
I tend to disagree as panentheism rolls into God the very things Eckhart is saying God is free of ...
Yes but some of those things are very realistic indeed.

Quote:
... but the argument becomes very involved. If there is to be any 'dialogue' between the human and the divine, then there must be something in common between them, yet more than a few masters of the apophatic tradition have observed that the difference between man and God is immeasurably greater than the difference between man and everything else.
But these differences are difficult to compare quantitatively. For example, what is the diffence between man and a molecule of argon ?


Quote:
I think pantheism and panentheism is an attempt to bridge that gap.
Indeed they are, but they provide a reasonable view of just that gap.



Quote:
Following from that premise then, where or how is this commonality located or identified? Eckhart, like the others, says it resides in the soul. I don't think he goes so far as to say the soul is uncreated, but he does say there is something uncreated about the soul.
Ok, back to the soul. How can the soul be uncreated ? Does that mean there is some question of its existance ?

Quote:
Eckhart (like Eriugena) belongs in the idealist tradition that would flower in later German piety ... but in so doing his idealism often oversteps the bounds of reason.
Doesn't idealism always overstep the bounds of reason ?



Quote:
Eckhart says:
"This spark rejecteth all creatures, and will have only God, simply as He is in Himself. It rests satisfied neither with the Father, nor with the Son, nor with the Holy Ghost, nor with the three Persons, so far as each existeth in its particular attribute."
Here Eckhart assumes a creaturely attribute to the Three Persons of the Trinity, which I think is an error and an over-emphasis on reading the idea of 'person' in an anthropological rather than a theological/metaphysical sense — God as He is in Himself is Triune.
Anthropological vs. theological / metaphysical, I like the constrast. I say the anthro trumps, mainly because it is more scientific.

Incidently, please provide a specific citation with your reference. Proper citation etiquette is important for forum participation.



Quote:
"It is determined to enter into the simple Ground, the still Waste, the Unity where no man dwelleth. Then it is satisfied in the light; then it is one: it is one in itself, as this Ground is a simple stillness, and in itself immovable; and yet by this immobility are all things moved."
Here a number of conundrums — we have 'it' which is 'determined' to enter the other — the 'Unity (Trinity) where no man dwelleth'.
What is meant by "the still Waste" ?

Quote:
Then it is one, by participation, not by nature; its itself is not the Ground ...

Eckhart I believe offers a number of such paradoxical statements — the basic one above is undone by the idea that the true soul does not 'determine' anything ... or rather, as long as it determines, it's missing the mark.
This quote makes sense, especially since we have some serious doubt about the existance of the soul.



Quote:
From the sermon quoted above:

This is the assertion of the self: I want to do God's will. The Lord's prayer says: 'Thy will be done', not 'I want to do your will' or 'let me do your will' or even 'my will is your will' or 'your will is my will' ... all these assert the discriminating will.

Only in the former, 'thy will be done' is there seen the 'let go and let be' of Eckhart.

There is a world of difference between wanting to do God's will with your will, as opposed to letting God's will be done, which is detachment and true humility.
Do you mean "detachment" in a positive sense ?




Quote:
When he was not, that is, when he was an idea the mind of God ("before the foundation of the world" Matthew 25:34, Ephesians 1:4), prior to its becoming.

Here we are deep into Eriugena territory again, that the true and perfect human nature exists in the mind of God before time and space, and this is its essential and ontological reality, it is this which renders every other mode of existence relatively 'unreal'.

Thomas
How can anything exist before time and space ? Thomas I think you are being unrealistic, however, I think your ideas are very creative and I enjoy reading them immensely.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

Hi,

To address a few issues that have come up, I'll begin with the claim that Eckhart understood the trinity anthropologically. Though I can't claim to understand how Eckhart understood the trinity, and though I'm not particularly interested in the long winded debates surrounding that subject, I seriously doubt that Eckhart understood the 'persons' in that way. Rather, the point he was making has more in common with the point quoted earlier about God being on all paths though no single path is itself God. God is unity, as soon as the unity is divided, God is lost.
Moving on from this point, all the nitpicking debates over whether this divisive term or that divisive term best describe truth fail to see the forest for the trees.

The concept of detachment has come up. This is central to Eckhart's vision, and is one of the many similarities he has with Buddhists and other Easterners.

Here is a quote I copied into my notebook a few months ago from a different translation than used above. I failed to properly annotate it, though I believe it is from, 'On detachment'. By the way, the iPhone which is my only internet connection causes problems with block quotes for some reason.

"One should learn to be free and unimpeded in all one's activities. But for an experienced person it is an unusual enterprise to bring oneself to such a point that no multiplicity or work can hinder us. Great enthusiasm is needed before one attains this, so that God can be present to us continually and shine unveiled at all times and in all surroundings."
. . .
"Now it is not enough that the human heart should be detached in the moment of time in which one will be united with God, but one must have a practiced detachment which precedes and also follows this experience. Then one can receive great things from God and receive God in all things, but if one is not prepared one spoils the gift and God with the gift. That is the reason why God cannot give us always just what we ask. It is not His fault, for he us a thousand times more eager to give than we are to receive."
. . .
"God never gave Himself, nor does He ever except in His own will. Where God finds His will He gives himself to him and passes into him with all that is His. And the more we grow out of our own, the more truly we grow in this. Therefore, it is not enough for Him that we give up ourselves just once with all that we have and are able to do, but we should often renew ourselves and thus unite and liberate ourselves in all respects."
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:15 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

Hi RR —
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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Yes but some of those things are very realistic indeed.
But at this level, what is 'real'?

Eckhart never laid out a systematic metaphysic, so I shall refer to Eriugena, which I think the Meister would agree with:

The Four Divisions of Nature
1: that which creates and is not created
(God as perceived by cataphatic theology);
2: that which creates and is created
(the Primary Causes or Ideas);
3: that which is created and does not create
(Temporal Effects, created things);
4: that which is neither created nor creates
(God as perceived by apophatic theology).

The Five Modes of Being and Non-Being:
Eriugna championed the dialectic method and lists "five ways of interpreting" the manner in which things may be said to be or not to be.

1: things accessible to the senses and the intellect are said to be, whereas anything which, "through the excellence of its nature" transcends our faculties are said not to be. According to this classification, God, because of his transcendence is said not to be. He is "nothingness through excellence".

2: The "orders and differences of created natures", whereby, if one level of nature is said to be, those orders above or below it are said not to be.
(Eriugena resolves traditional Neoplatonic hierarchy of being into a dialectic of affirmation and negation. In other words, a particular level may be affirmed to be real by those on a lower or on the same level, but the one above it is thought not to be real in the same way. If humans are thought to exist in a certain way, then angels do not exist in that way.)

3: The being of actual things with the 'non-being' of potential or possible things still contained, in Eriugena's memorable phrase, 'in the most secret folds of nature'. This mode contrasts things which have come into effect with those things which are still contained in their causes. According to this mode, actual things, which are the effects of the causes, have being, whereas those things which are still virtual in the Primary Causes are said not to be.

4: A roughly Platonic criterion for being: those things contemplated by the intellect alone may be considered to be, whereas things caught up in generation and corruption, eg. matter, place and time, do not 'truly' exist. The assumption is that things graspable by intellect alone belong to a realm above the material, corporeal world and hence are timeless.

5: This mode is essentially theological, the soul that participates in the higher life is said to be, whereas the soul who's intent and activities are directed towards the lower are said not to be.

Eriugena's complex and original metaphysic treats being and non-being as correlative categories: a thing may be said to be under one mode and not to be under another.

Dionysius, Eriugena, Eckhart ... call God 'nothing', meaning that God transcends all created being.

Matter, on the other hand, is also called 'nothing' but it is 'nothing through privation'. Thus the substrate of creation is the 'prima materia' which equates to prakriti in the Asiatic traditions, is is 'substance' that has yet to receive its essential form ...

Created things are called "nothing" because they do not contain in themselves their principles of subsistence (Eriugena is here repeating St. Augustine's view that the creature, considered apart from God, is mere nothing).

... phew! ...

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
But these differences are difficult to compare quantitatively. For example, what is the diffence between man and a molecule of argon ?
The difference is qualitative ... everything is created, except God.

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Ok, back to the soul. How can the soul be uncreated ? Does that mean there is some question of its existence ?
When it exists in the Mind of the Deity, before its own existence. It exists because wills it to exist, and God wills 'inchangingly' and eternally ... so in one sense you and I have and always will exist, in the mind of God, but only actually exist, in time pand space, here and now.

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Doesn't idealism always overstep the bounds of reason ?
Probably, but that does not make it untrue or unreal ... 'reason' is a human determination, not an absolute.

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Anthropological vs. theological / metaphysical, I like the contrast. I say the anthro trumps, mainly because it is more scientific.
I say it's trumped by 'spiritual anthropology'!

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Incidently, please provide a specific citation with your reference...
Zounds! Hoist on my own petard! I think its Sermon 48 in Walshe ... I'll have to check.

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What is meant by "the still Waste"?
An analogy of the idea of 'nothingness' ...

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This quote makes sense, especially since we have some serious doubt about the existance of the soul.
Well you do ... Eckhart doesn't, nor does Eriugena, and nor do I.

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Do you mean "detachment" in a positive sense ?
In the ascetical sense.

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
How can anything exist before time and space ?
In the Divine.

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Thomas I think you are being unrealistic, however, I think your ideas are very creative and I enjoy reading them immensely.
Well, if you think about it, Time and Space are properties of the Big Bang, so 'before' the Big Bang, there was no space, no time ... and yet we are supposed to believe that the Cosmos exploded into existence out of nothing, for no reason, and without cause ... I find that notion quite unrealistic, but I do enjoy reading scientific theories too!

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Old 03-04-2010, 06:03 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

Thomas, musings on the "unborn" aspect of soul-or "God" for that matter-puts me in mind of Buddhism again as it's replete with references related to discovering the unborn and uncreated. Here's a brief blurb from the Buddha himself on the matter:
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

Hey, thanks Earl!

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Old 03-05-2010, 12:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

So many "things" to unlearn.
Then we can see as it is.
But such a vision is impossible to communicate to others as we need language to do so and that is a thing of symbols.
A thing made of many things.
Therein is the rub.
In this realm of material/substance/things one cannot be free from the constraints which they impose.
Only if you transcend this realm will you ever be truly free of them.
So....embrace them, appreciate them, handle, taste, touch, etc.
After your allotted time has expired you will for certain be again free from their influence.
You don't need to rush that, as it is inevitable.
But it is good to get a perspective on these matters and touch the untouchable.
Everyone should have a transcendent, mystical experience which defies words at least once in their lives.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:10 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

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Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
Eckhart has certainly been called pantheistic before. It was likely a point of contention in his heresy trial.
Heresy trial , I like him more already !

Quote:
I'm not sure what he would say (I haven't read his defence against the accusations yet), but I think he would see no need to distinguish between monothieism or pantheism as both describe unity.
Right, but they are a different sort of unity. Panentheism offers a more realistic view than either of the other two.

Quote:
The thing is, God is only everything when an individual person recognizes God's presence in individual moments. It is a matter of subjectivity, as Thomas has pointed out.
Not really, I see it as a mix of objectivity and subjectivity. Materialism, as represented by pantheism is the opposite of subjectivity. Hard facts and figures. This is what makes the universe unwind like a clock. No touchy feely stuff. But as humans are are made up of touchy feely things.


Quote:
Radical reformer, you mention liking pantheism as you want to get beyond the material. I see my only freedom as the choice between recognizing a subjective spiritual reality or recognizing an accepted reality of worldly ways that guide us to go with the flow of the status quo and do onto others as others did onto us.
Sancho, please review the differences between pantheism and panentheism. However, I agree that freedom is an important issue. This brings us into the more complex world of quantum mechanics and sub-atomic and universal scale phenomenon. On the scale of everyday life our choices are fairly limited. Can a photon choose to be a wave or a particle ?


Quote:
This is an obvious dualism, which I'd rather avoid, but the dualism disappears as soon as unity is arrived at subjectively.
These dualisms mainly appear at scales which are not to important for everyday life.


Quote:
My perhaps peculiar understanding of the worldly/spiritual divide is influenced by atheist thinkers such as Louis Althusser and Judith Butler who describe a world where there is no soul (no pre-discoursive agency), all of our thoughts, habits, hopes, and convictions are determined by ideology, gender acts, power, or whatever else they choose to call it.
It is hard to argue with this logic, but I have to say that a idealogical atheist just doesn't have enough of the heart for my likes.

Quote:
This is what I refer to as worldly ways. Choosing spiritual reality is not about escaping that worldly reality where everyone is out for their own though unwittingly serving the interests of those with the most power, it is about negating that reality --seeing it as illusory.
I am with you on this one, Sancho.

Quote:
Choosing spiritual reality involves recognizing a spiritual presence that makes everything a necessary illusion, a momentary creation made just for the soul experiencing it.
It sounds good, but how do you put it into action ?



Quote:
Experiencing spiritual reality could be as varried as people are. It is subjective afterall. For me it is mostly about discovering individual laws governing individual moments.
That sounds somewhat fleeting.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:08 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

Hi RR —
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Heresy trial , I like him more already !
Don't get too carried away ... Eckhart was a reformer putting a stop to certain 'wayward' practices in some German religious houses, so certainly would have been a bad guy by that rule!

In a papal ruling 28 articles from Eckhart’s teaching were condemned, as was his character in its Preface. It does not formally declare Eckhart a heretic, he was never personally condemned (as the then pope, John XXIII, was!).

The current view is that Eckhart is profoundly speculative, but orthodox, and he has no case to answer.

There is no doubt that one can deduce monist, pantheist or panentheist leanings from his writings taken in isolation ... thus one can point out correspondences between Christian apophatism and Zen ... but the two are radically different, and Eckhart was catholic throughout.

Part of Eckhart's 'appeal' is that he was condemned, and that his writings can be interpreted so widely. Eriugena was condemned for exactly the same reason before him (a cause to whom I hope to add my name), and Nicholas of Cusa put the same ideas forward, after ... but these two were far more precise and technical in their application, and require more attention of the reader.

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Old 03-08-2010, 11:36 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

On the question of Eckhart's orthodoxy, I think the following quotes rule out any notion of monism, pantheism, panentheism, etc.

Quote:
It is a fair trade and an equal exchange: to the extent that you depart from things, thus far, no more and no less, God enters into you with all that is his, as far as you have stripped yourself of yourself in all things. It is here that you should begin, whatever the cost, for it is here that you will find true peace, and nowhere else. (Talks of Instruction)
Quote:
The soul in which this birth is to take place must keep absolutely pure and must live in noble fashion, quite collected, and turned entirely inward: not running out through the five senses into the multiplicity of creatures, but all inturned and collected and in the purest part: there is His place; He disdains anything else. [Sermon 1, Walshe]
Quote:
The soul is scattered abroad among her powers, and dissipated in the action of each. Thus her ability to work inwardly is enfeebled, for a scattered power is imperfect. [Sermon 2, Walshe]
Quote:
Do not imagine that your reason can grow to the knowledge of God. [Sermon 4, Walshe]
Quote:
To be receptive to the highest truth, and to live therein, a man must needs be without before and after, untrammelled by all his acts or by any images he ever perceived, empty and free, receiving the divine gift in the eternal Now, and bearing it back unhindered in the light of the same with praise and thanksgiving in our Lord Jesus Christ. [Sermon 6, Walshe]
Quote:
Since it is God's nature not to be like anyone, we have to come to the state of being nothing in order to enter into the same nature that He is. [Sermon 7, Walshe]
Quote:
We find people who like the taste of God in one way and not in another, and they want to have God only in one way of contemplation, not in another.I raise no objection, but they are quite wrong. [Sermon 13a, Walshe]
Quote:
For he alone is a good man who, having set at nought all created things, stands facing straight, with no side-glances, towards the eternal Word, and is imaged and reflected there in righteousness. [Sermon 14b, Walshe]
Quote:
The human spirit must transcend number and break through multiplicity, and God will break through him; and just as He breaks through into me, so I break through into Him. [Sermon 14b, Walshe]
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:34 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

Quote:
Eckhart contends that the absolute principle (or the absolute cause: God) is pure intellect and not being. According to this view, being (esse) is always caused and thus presupposes intellect, itself without being, as the cause of being.
This line of thinking, a continuum of the Christian apophatic tradition, marks the distinction between that and panentheism. All being, all creation, exists in God as idea in the Divine Mind, however it possesses no actuality, no actus; no being, no esse.

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As the absolute cause, intellect is thought of as absolutely unlimited only if it is thought of as wholly without being. As such, intellect becomes the principle for absolute as well as contingent being.

Nicholas of Cusa maintains accordingly that the maximum is without being, yet can be contracted to being.
From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Panentheism implies difference and distinction within the Godhead, which renders God in Itself neither absolute, infinite, One, or Simple. In fact such a deity would become necessarily complex, and fall under the condemnation of those such as Richard Dawkins.

(In fact the whole Dawkinian atheist argument collapses under his assumption that as creatures and creation is complex, God must necessarily be complex — which is not the case — but that's another discussion.)

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Old 03-09-2010, 05:34 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

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Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
Hi RR —

Don't get too carried away ... Eckhart was a reformer putting a stop to certain 'wayward' practices in some German religious houses, so certainly would have been a bad guy by that rule!
, yeah he may not have been radicial enough for me !!

So, Thomas, what do you think about this wiki quote about the Meister ?


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Renewed academic attention to Eckhart has attracted favorable attention to his work from contemporary non-Christian mystics. Eckhart's most famous single quote, "The Eye with which I see God is the same Eye with which God sees me", is commonly cited by thinkers within neopaganism and ultimatist Buddhism as a point of contact between these traditions and Christian mysticism.

Meister Eckhart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I am personally not a big fan of the anthropomorphism displayed in this quote which discusses the "eye".


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Part of Eckhart's 'appeal' is that he was condemned, and that his writings can be interpreted so widely.
Right, I like that.

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Eriugena was condemned for exactly the same reason before him
Well then, I like him too !!
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:14 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Meister Eckhart

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
So, Thomas, what do you think about this wiki quote about the Meister ?
I think this kind of thing happens when the Meister is read out of context.

As a point of contact however, it is useful in ecumenical debate. Path-of-One and I have enjoyed long discussions and some discoveries of each other's traditions, and I have re-addressed some presuppositions regarding paganism in light of that.

Eckhart is not a pagan, nor is he a Buddhist ... but nor is any tradition utterly void of truth, so the call is twofold: to arrive at an objective view of those truths without dismembering one's own or the other's tradition, but more importantly these days, is to arrive at a subjective position where one can discern the other's dialogue with the Divine.

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Originally Posted by Radical_Reformer View Post
Well then, I like him too !!
That's fine ... until one gets to the position of assuming that a condemnation is somehow a badge of validity — I could present more than a few of the condemned whom you probably wouldn't like at all — and the contrary that assumes that if one hasn't been condemned, then one's got nothing to offer!

Eckhart was terrifically influenced by his Dominican Master, Albert the Great. Albert and secretary-student Thomas of Aquinas, succeeded in incorporating Aristotelian philosophy into the Christian West.

Albert taught Ulrich of Strassburg who wrote a commentary on Aristotle's Meteors, Hugh of Strassburg wrote the famous Compendium theologicae veritatis; John of Freiburg wrote the Libellus de quaestionibus casualibus; Giles of Lessines wrote a treatise on the unity of substantial form, the De unitate formae.

Dietrich of Freiberg wrote treatises on natural science, which give evidence of his having carried out actual scientific investigation. He wrote a treatise on the rainbow. Berthold of Moosburg wrote a commentary on Proclus' Elements of Theology, introducing the major work of the great Neo-Platonist into German metaphysics.

Albert's ideas influenced not only these, but Meister Eckhart, John Tauler, and Heinrich Suso. The Albertist tradition continued through Heymeric de Campo and on to Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th century. From Nicholas the ideas pass down to the 16th century Renaissance.

Nicholas was widely read. Giordano Bruno quotes him; and thinkers like Gottfried Leibniz are thought to have been influenced by him.

Nicholas was a genius ahead of his time in the field of science. Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler (who called Cusanus 'divinely inspired' in the first paragraph of his first published work) were influenced by him.

Cusanus was the first to say no perfect circle can exist in the universe (opposing Aristotle, and later Copernicus), thus opening the possibility for Kepler's model featuring elliptical orbits of the planets around the Sun. Astonishingly, his astronomical insights were based almost entirely on his own personal numerological calculations and metaphysics.

In mathematics Cusanus developed the concepts of the infinitesimal and of relative motion. He was the first to use concave lenses to correct myopia. His writings were essential for Leibniz's discovery of calculus as well as Cantor's later work on infinity.

The point is ... none of these people pop out of a vacuum, but too often they are regarded as such, or rather their writings are read without reference to their time and place, their beliefs and their influences ...

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