The Cloud of Unknowing: A spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages.

The Cloud of Unknowing: A spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages.

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Overview

The Cloud of Unknowing: A spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages. by Anonymous

The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in the latter half of the 14th century. The text is a spiritual guide to contemplative prayer. "Be willing to be blind, and give up all longing to know the why and how, for knowing will be more of a hindrance than a help." This 1912 edition was edited by Evelyn Underhill, and contains her introduction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541352551
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/29/2016
Pages: 178
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

"Nothing is known of the author; beyond the fact, which seems clear from his writings, that he was a cloistered monk devoted to the contemplative life. It has been thought that he was a Carthusian. But the rule of that austere order, whose members live in hermit-like seclusion, and scarcely meet except for the purpose of divine worship, can hardly have afforded him opportunity of observing and enduring all those tiresome tricks and absurd mannerisms of which he gives so amusing and realistic a description in the lighter passages of the Cloud. These passages betray the half-humorous exasperation of the temperamental recluse, nervous, fastidious, and hypersensitive writer who loved silence and peace."

Table of Contents

Foreword Robert Benson ix

Introduction xi

Prayer xviii

Preface xix

1 Four degrees of Christian living 3

2 Spiritual preparation 4

3 A superior discipline 6

4 Knowledge and imagination 7

5 The cloud of forgetting 11

6 A brief dialogue 12

7 Intellectual curiosity 13

8 Regarding uncertainties 15

9 Contemplative prayer 18

10 Discernment 19

11 Evaluating thoughts 20

12 Results of contemplation 21

13 Perfect and imperfect humility 23

14 Begin with imperfect humility 24

15 Understanding humility 25

16 Contemplative humility 26

17 A critical world 28

18 Ignorance 29

19 Complaining 30

20 God responds 31

21 The text 32

22 Love and contemplation 34

23 God's spiritual provision 35

24 Contemplative love 37

25 Details 38

26 When difficult prayer becomes possible 39

27 Who should attempt contemplation? 40

28 Begin by seeking forgiveness 41

29 Endurance 42

30 Critics 43

31 Beginners and temptation 44

32 Spiritual devices 45

33 Perfect rest 46

34 God's gift 47

35 Reading, reflection, and prayer 49

36 Meditation 50

37 Special prayers 51

38 Why short prayers pierce heaven 52

39 The nature of prayer 53

40 Forgetting virtue and vice 54

41 Contemplation and indiscretion 56

42 Indiscretion produces discretion 57

43 Forgetting the self 58

44 Suppressing the self 59

45 Spiritual illusions 61

46 Spiritual enthusiasm 63

47 Approaching God 64

48 Physical aspects of prayer 66

49 Essence of perfection 68

50 Pure love 69

51 Misinterpretation 70

52 Beginners' mistakes 72

53 Outward behavior 73

54 Controlling the body 75

55 Condemning others 77

56 Common sense and common doctrine 79

57 Presumptuousbeginners 80

58 Forcing imagination 82

59 Time, place, and prayer 85

60 Desire 87

61 Spirit and flesh 88

62 Understanding spiritual activity 89

63 Mind 90

64 Reason and will 91

65 Imagination 92

66 Sensuality 93

67 The spiritual way 94

68 Nowhere is everywhere 96

69 Nothingness and love 98

70 Comprehending God 99

71 Variety of experience 101

72 Differences 103

73 Contributions 104

74 Recognition 105

75 Certainty 107

Appendix: Essay on The Cloud of Unknowing by Evelyn Underhill 109

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