Curriculum Focus

Universal Gratitude


The Cloud of Unknowing, Edited by William Johnson, Image Books Doubleday, New York, NY, 1973, ISBN 0-385-03097-5, excerpts from Chapter 44 - , pages 103 104. ****Original Text has been modified for contemporary clarity.

How a person shall dispose himself so as to destroy the radical self-centered awareness of his being.

Perfect correspondence to his grace consists in a strong, deep, interior sorrow.

But it is most important to moderate this sorrow. You must be careful never to strain your body or spirit irreverently. Simply sit relaxed and quiet but plunged and immersed in sorrow.

He alone feels authentic sorrow who realizes not only what he is but that he is.

Even more, it prepares the heart to receive that joy through which he will finally transcend the knowing and feeling of his being.

Were he not somehow nourished by the consolation of contemplative connection, a man would be completely crushed by the knowing and feeling of his being. .s/he feels the burden of him/herself so tragically that s/he no longer cares about him/herself if only s/he can love the One.

And yet in all this, never does s/he desire to not-be, for this is the madness of the ego-centered mind and blasphemy against The Way Life Is. In fact, s/he rejoices that s/he is and from the fullness of a grateful heart s/he gives thanks to the Great One of the Deep for the gift and the goodness of his/her existence. At the same time, however, s/he desires unceasingly to be freed from the knowing and feeling of his being.

He will instruct them little by little until they are completely one in the fullness of the One Love that fullness possible on earth with this the Ultimate Permission.


Reflection Questions

What guidance do we receive in this material about the role of sorrow in the journey of a contemplative

What is the origin of this sorrow Does it ever go away

When have you experienced the weight of this sorrow in your life Where are you experiencing it now

Why do you believe the ego-centered mind is the vehicle by which the author suggests we are delivered into madness

What is the deliverance from this state of affairs How do you experience this Ultimate Permission in your life

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