The Cloud of Unknowing Historical Blog 2

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Intimacy with the Infinite Wholeness

This work is not time-consuming even though some people believe otherwise. Actually it is the shortest you can imagine; as brief as an atom.. Your principal relational faculty, the will, needs only this brief fraction of a moment to move toward the object of its desire.

.It is the Infinite Object alone that can fully satisfy the hunger and longing of our being which, transformed by Its own permission, enables us to embrace It by love. This Reality cannot be grasped by humans or any being by knowledge but can be embraced by love. For the intellect of all beings is too small to comprehend Infinite Reality as it is in Itself.

Try to understand this point. Rational creatures.possess two principal faculties, a knowing power and a loving power. No one can fully comprehend the uncreated Infinite Reality with ones knowledge; but each one, in a different way, can grasp this Reality fully through love. Truly this is the unending miracle of love: that one loving person, through his or her love, can embrace Ultimate Reality, whose being fills and transcends the entire creation. And this marvelous work of love goes on forever, for the One we love is timeless. Whoever has the gifted insight to appreciate the truth of what I am saying, let them take my words to heart, for to experience this love is the joy of endless life while to lose it is endless torment.

The one who with the help of the Infinite permission becomes aware of the wills constant movements and learns to direct them toward the Infinite Object will never fail to taste something of the joy of timelessness in the present and always. Now do you see why I rouse you to this interior relational work You would have taken to it naturally had you and humanity not chosen a relationship of separateness and dis-unity. For humanity was created to love and everything else was created to make love possible. Nevertheless, by the work of contemplative love humanity will be healed. Failing in this work one sinks deeper into estrangement and further from the unity of Reality. .But by persevering in this work one moves beyond separation and grows in intimacy with the Infinite Wholeness.

Therefore, be attentive to time and the way you spend it. Nothing is more precious. This is evident when you recall that in one tiny moment the Infinite connection may be gained or lost. Reality, the master of time, never gives the future. It gives only the present, moment by moment, for this is the law of the created order, and Uncreated Reality will not contradict itself in the creation. Time is for humanity, not humanity for time. Reality, the master of time and space, will never anticipate humanitys choices which follow one after another in time. A person will not be able to excuse him/herself at the final moment saying to Reality: You overwhelmed me with the future when I was only capable of living in the present.

.And so do not neglect this contemplative work. Try also to appreciate its wonderful effects in your own being. When it is genuine it is simply a spontaneous desire springing suddenly toward the Wholeness of Being like spark from fire. It is amazing how many loving desires arise from the being of a person who is accustomed to this work. And yet, perhaps only one of these will be completely free from attachment to some created thing. Or again, no sooner has one turned toward Wholeness in love when through human frailty s/he finds him/herself distracted by the remembrance of some created thing or some daily care. But no matter. No harm is done; for such a person quickly returns to deep recollection.

And now we come to the difference between the contemplative work and its counterfeits such as daydreaming, fantasizing, or subtle reasoning. These originate in a conceited, curious, or romantic mind whereas the blind stirring of love springs from a sincere and humble heart. Pride, curiosity, and daydreaming must be sternly checked if the contemplative work is to be authentically conceived in singleness of heart

1 This Contemporary Mythic Translation (CMT) of excerpts from The Cloud of Unknowing is arranged by Isaiah and Amanda Storywarrior. For original text please consult: The Cloud of Unknowing, Edited by William Johnson, Image Books Doubleday, New York, NY, 1973: Chapter 4, p 49 52.
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