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Meister Eckhart

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The attempt to prove Eckhart a mere scholastic is a failure; the audacities of his German discourses cannot be explained as an accommodation to the tastes of a peculiar audience. For good or evil Eckhart is an original and independent thinker, whose theology is confined by no trammels of authority.
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William Ralph Inge in Light, Life, and Love: Selections from the German Mystics of the Middle Ages (1904), p. xix

 
Meister Eckhart

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Eckhart recognises that it is a harder and a nobler task to preserve detachment in a crowd than in a cell; the little daily sacrifices of family life are often a greater trial than selfimposed mortifications. "We need not destroy any little good in ourselves for the sake of a better, but we should strive to grasp every truth in its highest meaning, for no one good contradicts another." "Love God, and do as you like, say the Free Spirits. Yes; but as long as you like anything contrary to God's will, you do not love Him."
There is much more of the same kind in Eckhart's sermons — as good and sensible doctrine as one could find anywhere.

 
Meister Eckhart
 

I think of the marvellous history of Rheno-Flemish mysticism of the thirteenth and especially of the fourteenth centuries… Did not Eckhart teach his disciples: “All that God asks you most pressingly is to go out of yourself … and let God be God in you” [cf Walshe Sermon 13b]? One could think that in separating himself from creatures the mystic leaves his brother humanity behind. The same Eckhart affirms that on the contrary the mystic is marvellously present to them on the only level where he can truly reach them, that is, in God.’

 
Meister Eckhart
 

True contemplation considers Reality (or Being) in its manifestations as well as in its origin. If this is remembered, there need be no conflict between social morality and the inner life. Eckhart recognises that it is a harder and a nobler task to preserve detachment in a crowd than in a cell; the little daily sacrifices of family life are often a greater trial than selfimposed mortifications. "We need not destroy any little good in ourselves for the sake of a better, but we should strive to grasp every truth in its highest meaning, for no one good contradicts another." "Love God, and do as you like, say the Free Spirits. Yes; but as long as you like anything contrary to God's will, you do not love Him."
There is much more of the same kind in Eckhart's sermons — as good and sensible doctrine as one could find anywhere.

 
William Ralph Inge
 

The Godhead, according to Eckhart, is the universal and eternal Unity comprehending and transcending all diversity. "The Divine nature is Rest," he says in one of the German discourses; and in the Latin fragments we find: "God rests in Himself, and makes all things rest in Him." The three Persons of the Trinity, however, are not mere modes or accidents, but represent a real distinction within the Godhead. God is unchangeable, and at the same time an "everlasting process." The creatures are "absolutely nothing"; but at the same time "God without them would not be God," for God is love, and must objectify Himself; He is goodness, and must impart Himself. As the picture in the mind of the painter, as the poem in the mind of the poet, so was all creation in the mind of God from all eternity, in uncreated simplicity. The ideal world was not created in time; "the Father spake Himself and all the creatures in His Son"; "they exist in the eternal Now" —"a becoming without a becoming, change without change." "The Word of God the Father it the substance of all that exists, the life of all that lives, the principle and cause of life." Of creation he says : "We must not falsely imagine that God stood waiting for something to happen, that He might create the world. For so soon as He was God, so soon as He begat His coeternal and coequal Son, He created the world."

 
Meister Eckhart
 

About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church. As long as I can remember, I have resented mass indoctrination. I do not believe in the fear of life, in the fear of death, in blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws.

 
Albert Einstein
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