The Cloud of Unknowing, Edited by William Johnson, Image Books Doubleday, New York, NY, 1973, ISBN 0-385-03097-5, excerpts from Chapter 68, pages 135 137. ****Original Text has been modified for contemporary clarity.
That nowhere spatially is everywhere in interior depth; that our superficial self will ridicule contemplation as a waste of time.
Another man might tell you to withdraw all your faculties and senses within yourself and there value the Wholeness of Being. This is well said and true besides, and no sensible person would deny it. Yet for fear you may be deceived and interpret what I say literally, I do not choose to express the interior life in this way. Rather, I will speak in paradoxes. Do not try to withdraw into yourself, for to put it simply, I do not want you to be anywhere; no, not outside, above, behind, or beside yourself.
But to this you say: Where then shall I be By your reckoning I am to be nowhere! Exactly. In fact, you have expressed it rather well, for I would indeed have you be nowhere. Why Because nowhere, physically, is everywhere interiorly. Understand this clearly: your interior work is not located in any particular place. But when your mind consciously focuses on anything, you are there in that place relationally, as certainly as your body is located in a definite place right now. Your senses and faculties will be frustrated for lack of something to dwell on and they will chide you for doing nothing. But never mind. Go on with this nothing, moved only by your love for the One. Never give up but steadfastly persevere in this nothingness, consciously longing that you may always choose to possess the One through love, whom no one can possess through knowledge. For myself, I prefer to be lost in this nowhere, wrestling with this blind nothingness, than to be like some great lord traveling everywhere and enjoying the world as if he owned it.
Forget that kind of everywhere and the worlds all. It pales in richness beside this blessed nothingness and nowhere. Dont worry if your faculties fail to grasp it. Actually, that is the way it should be, for this nothingness is so lofty that they cannot reach it. It cannot be explained, only experienced.
Yet to those who have newly encountered it, it will feel very dark and inscrutable indeed. But truly, they are blinded by the splendor of its depth interior light rather than by an ordinary darkness. Who do you suppose derides it as emptiness Our superficial self, of course. Certainly not our true self; no, our true, inner self appreciates it as a fullness beyond measure. For in this darkness we experience an intuitive understanding of everything material and interior without giving special attention to anything in particular.
What does the author mean by, nowhere, physically, is everywhere interiorly
How do you square this perspective on the interior life with the posture of being present or in the now
Where is the author suggesting we direct our attention
Describe the concept of the self that the author develops in this message. How would the world work if we all prescribed to this relationship to life