Eckhart on Contemplation or “Loving God Mindlessly” – Matthew Fox , August 12, 2020
Wednesday 12th August 2020
“quit flapping your gums about God.” Rather, learn to speak from “the inner wealth of silence…
Eckhart admonishes us to “quit flapping your gums about God.” Rather, learn to speak from “the inner wealth of silence….Be silent and let God work and let God speak.” The Word or true Christ is born in us through silence. “There is no question that the proper way to hear the word is in a stillness and a silence.”
Eckhart speaks to the practice of meditation and silence when he says: The Word lies hidden in the soul, unknown and unheard unless room is made for it in the ground of hearing, otherwise it is not heard. All voices and sounds must cease and there must be pure stillness within, a still silence.
Great things happen in this place of silence.
There “one takes hold of God as in the ground of His being, where He is beyond all being.” In solitude the soul learns to “be alone as God is alone.” There too we encounter our own ground. To hear this Word in the Father (where all is stillness), a person must be quite quiet and wholly free from all images and from all forms.
Eckhart offers a profoundly Buddhist teaching (though he never met a Buddhist in his life or study):
How then should one love God? You should love God mindlessly, that is, so that your soul is without mind and free from all mental activities, for as long as your soul is operating like a mind, so long does it have images and representations. But as long as it has images…it has neither oneness nor simplicity. And therefore our soul should be bare of all mind and should stay there without mind.
How do we learn to “stay there without mind?"
If you love God as God is God or mind or person or picture, all that must be dropped. How then shall you love him? You should love God as God is, a not-God, not-mind, not-person, not-image, even more, as God is a pure, clear One, separate from all twoness. And we should sink eternally from something to nothing into this One. May God help us to do this. Amen.