This thread is for trying to piece together Meister Eckhart's vision. Welcome to anyone with interest or curiosity about this sagacious German priest who was born in 1260 and died about 1328. Please add whatever comments or quotes you wish. Part of Eckhart's brilliance was in his ability to condence glimpses of a broad vision in succinct sentences. Searching for Eckhart on this site reveals that many posts have mentioned him so apparently there is no shortage of interest in his vision which bridges East and West like no other. A sermon I just read yesterday can serve as threadstarter as well as anything else he wrote. It begins with the sermon on the mount. "Blessedness opened the mouth that spake wisdom and said: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' . . . "Now, there are two kinds of poverty. One is external poverty and it is good, and much to be praised in people who take it on willingly, for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he himself practiced it in the earthly realm. . . . "Now, I pray you that you may be like this, so that you may understand this address; for, by the eternal truth, I tell you that if you haven't this truth of which we are speaking in yourselves, you cannot understand me." . . . "If I were asked, then, what it is to be a poor man who wants nothing, I should answer and say: As long as a person keeps his own will, and thinks it his will to fulfill the all-living will of God, he had not the poverty of which we are talking, for this person has a will with which he wants to satisfy the will of God, and that is not right. For if one wants to be truly poor, he must as free from his creature will as when he had not yet been born. For, by the everlasting truth, as long as you will to do God's will, and yearn for eternity and God, you are not really poor, for he is poor who wills nothing, knows nothing, and wants nothing. Back in the Womb from which I came, I had no god and merely was, myself. I did not will or desire anything, for I was pure being, a knower of myself by divine truth. Then I wanted myself and nothing else. But when I parted from my free will and received my created being, then I had a god. For before there were creatures, God was not god, but rather, he was what he was. When creatures came to be and took on creaturely being, then God was no longer God as he is in himself, but god as he is with creatures." . . . "Now the question is raised: In what does happiness consist most of all? Certain authorities have said that it consists in loving. Others say that it consists in knowing and loving, and this is a better statement. But we say that it consists neither in knowledge nor in love, but that there is something in the soul, from which both knowledge and love flow and which, like the agents of the soul, neither knows nor loves. To know this is to know what blessedness depends on. This something had no 'before' or 'after' and it waits for nothing that is yet to come, for it has nothing to gain or lose. Thus, when God acts in it, it is deprived of knowing that he has done so. What is more, it is the same kind of thing that, like God, can enjoy itself. Thus I say that man should be so disinterested and untrammeled that he does not know what God is doing in him. Thus only can a person possess poverty. The authorities say that God is a being, an intelligent being who knows everything. But 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."