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Meister Eckhart



Spiritual quotes of Meister Eckhart

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F or if things are to go well with a man, one of two things must always happen to him. Either he must find and learn to possess God in works, or he must abandon all works. But since a man cannot in this life be without works, which are proper to humans and are of so many kinds, therefore he must learn to possess his God in all things and to remain unimpeded, whatever he may be doing, wherever he may be. And therefore if a man who is beginning must do something with other people, he ought first to make a powerful petition to God for His help, and put Him immovably in his heart, and unite all his intentions, thoughts, will and power to God, so that nothing else than God can take shape in that man.




Christianity 3820 | 
Treatise C.7, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 255 







S o a man must be pervaded with the divine presence, and be shaped through and through with the form of the God he loves, and be present in Him, so that God's presence may shine out to him without any effort. What is more, in all things let him acquire nakedness [detachment], and let him always remain free of things. But at the beginning there must be attentiveness and a careful formation within himself, like a schoolboy setting himself to learn.




Christianity 3819 | 
Treatise C.6, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 252-254 







A man cannot learn this by running away, by shunning things and shutting himself up in an external solitude; but he must practice a solitude of the spirit, wherever or with whomever he is. He must learn to break through things and to grasp his God in them and to form Him in himself powerfully in an essential manner. This is like someone who wants to learn to write. If he is to acquire the art, he must certainly practice it hard and long, however disagreeable and difficult this may be for him and however impossible it may seem. If he will practice it industriously and assiduously, he learns it and masters the art.




Christianity 3818 | 
Treatise C.6, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 252-254 







T he man who has 'God essentially present to him grasps God divinely, and to him God shines in all things; for everything tastes to him of God, and God forms Himself for the man out of all things. God always shines out in him; in him there is a detachment and a turning away, and a forming of his God whom. he loves and who is present to him. It is like a man [who is] consumed with a real and burning thirst, [but] who may well not drink and may turn his mind to other things. But whatever he may do, in whatever company he may be, whatever he may be intending or thinking of or working at, still the idea of drinking does not leave him, so long as he is thirsty. The more his thirst grows, the more the idea of drinking grows and intrudes [on him], and possesses him and will not leave him.

Or if a man loves something ardently and with all his heart, so that nothing else has savor for him or touches his heart but that, and that and nothing but that is his whole object: truly, wherever he is, whomever he is with, whatever he may undertake, whatever he does, what he so loves never passes from his mind, and he finds the image of what he loves in everything, and it is the more present to him the more his love grows and grows. He does not seek rest, because no unrest hinders him.





Christianity 3817 | 
Treatise C.6, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 252-254 







O n what does this true possession of God depend, so that we may truly have Him? This true possession of God depends on ... an inward directing of the reason and intention toward God, not on a constant contemplation in an unchanging manner, for it would be impossible to nature to preserve such an intention, and very laborious, and not the best thing either.




Christianity 3816 | 
Treatise C.6, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 252-254 







A man should accept God in all things, and should accustom himself to having God present always in his disposition and his intention and his love. Take heed how you can have God as the object of your thoughts whether you are in church or in your cell. Preserve and carry with you that same disposition when you are in crowds and in uproar and dissimilitude. And, as I have said before, when one speaks of similitude, one does not mean that we should pay a similar attention to all works or all places or all people. That would be quite wrong, because praying is better than spinning, and the church is a better place than the street. But you ought in all your works to have a similar disposition and a similar confidence and a similar love for your God and a similar seriousness. Believe me, if you were constant in this way, no one could come between you and the God who is present to you.




Christianity 3815 | 
Treatise C.6, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 252-254 







I n the same way, no one can hinder this man, for he intends and seeks and takes delight in nothing but God, for God has become one with the man in all his intention. And so, just as no multiplicity can disturb God, nothing can disturb or fragment this man, for he is one in that One where all multiplicity is one and is one multiplicity.




Christianity 3814 | 
Treatise A. 1, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 211 







I n God, there is no sorrow or suffering or affliction. If you want to be free of all affliction and suffering, hold fast to God, and turn wholly to Him, and to no one else. Indeed, all your suffering comes from this: that you do not turn toward God and no one else.




Christianity 3813 | 
Treatise A. 1, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, p. 211 







I n that breaking-through, when I come to be free of my own will and of God's will and of all His works and of God Himself, then I am above all created things, and I am neither God nor creature, but I am what I was and what I shall remain, now and eternally.

... When I stood in my first cause, I 'then had no 'God,' and then I was my own cause. I wanted nothing, I longed for nothing, for I was empty Being and the only truth in which I rejoiced was in the knowledge of my Self. Then it was my Self I wanted and nothing else. What I wanted I was, and what I was I wanted and so I stood empty of God and every thing.





Christianity 3812 | 
Sermon 52, Colledge & McGinn, 1982, pp. 200-2003 







G od and the Godhead are as different from each other as heaven and earth... If-creatures speak of God -- but why do they not mention the Godhead? Because there is only unity in the Godhead and there is nothing to talk about. God acts. The Godhead does not. ... The difference between God and the Godhead is the difference between action and non-action.




Christianity 3811 | 
Sermon 27, Blackney, 1941; p. 225-226 







T he eye by which I see God is the same as the eye by which God sees me. My eye and God's eye are one and the same-one in seeing, one in knowing, and one in loving.




Christianity 3810 | 
Sermon 23, Blackney, 1941; p. 206 







S ome simple people think that they will see God as if He were standing there and they here. It is not so. God and I, we are one. (1)

I am converted into Him in such a way that He makes me one Being with Himself-not a similar being. By the living God, it is true that there is no distinction ! (2)





Christianity 3809 | 
(1) Sermon 6, Colledge & McGinn, 1982.; p. 188 ; (2) Sermon 18, Blackney, 1941; p. 181 







A s the soul becomes more pure and bare and poor, and possesses less of created things, and is emptied of all things that are not God, it receives God more purely, and is more completely in Him; and it truly becomes one with God, and it looks into God and God into it, face to face as it were; two images transformed into one.




Christianity 3808 | 
Treatise A.2, Colledge & McGinn, 1982; p. 222 







Y ou should know (God) without image, unmediated and without likeness. But if I am to know God without mediation in such a way, then "I" must become "he", and "he" must become "I". More precisely I say: God must become me and I must become God, so entirely one that "he" and this "I" become one "is" and act in this "isness" as one, for this "he" and this "I", that is God and the soul, are very fruitful.




Christianity 3535 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 238 







I t is the peculiar characteristic of this birth that it always brings new light. It constantly introduces a strong light into the soul since it is the nature of goodness to pour itself forth wherever it may be. In this birth God pours himself into the soul with light so much that the light gathers in the being and ground of the soul and spills over into the faculties and the outer self. This happened to Paul too when God bathed him in his light as he journeyed, and spoke to him. A likeness of the light in the ground of the soul flows over into the body, which is then filled with radiance. But sinners can receive nothing of this, nor are they worthy to do so, since they are filled with sin and evil, which are called "darkness". Therefore it is said: "The darkness shall neither receive nor comprehend the light" (cf. John 1:5). The problem is that the paths which this light should take are blocked with falsehood and darkness. After all, light and darkness cannot coexist any more than God and creatures can. If God is to enter, then the creatures must leave.




Christianity 3534 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 216 







T hat person who is thus rooted in God's love must be dead to themselves and to all created things so that they are no more concerned with themselves than they are with someone who is over a thousand miles away. Such a person remains in likeness and in unity and is always the same… This person must have abandoned themselves and the whole world … Whoever entirely renounces themselves even for a moment would be given all things.




Christianity 3533 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 179 







B ut the soul must abandon her own being. This is where the death that is spiritual begins. If the soul is to undergo this death, then she must take leave of herself and all things, holding herself and all things to be as insignificant as they were before they existed … I do not mean that the being of the soul falls into nothingness as she was before she was created, rather we should understand this cessation to be the eradication of possessing and having.




Christianity 3532 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 244 







M any people think that they are achieving great things in external works such as fasting, going barefoot and other such practices which are called penances. But true penance, and the best kind of penance, is that whereby we can improve ourselves greatly and in the highest measure, and this consists in turning entirely away from all that is not God, or of God in ourselves and in all creatures, and in turning fully and completely towards our beloved God in an unshakeable love so that our devotions and desire for him become great.




Christianity 3531 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 26 







I f you love yourself, then you love everyone as much as yourself. But as long as there is anyone whom you do not love as much as yourself, then you have never properly loved yourself -- unless you love everyone as yourself, loving all in one person, in someone who is both human and divine. Such a person, who loves themselves and everyone as much as themselves, is doing the right thing. Now some people say: I love my friend, who is a source of good things in my life, more than I do someone else. This is not right; it is imperfect. But we must accept it, just as some people cross the sea with a slack wind and still reach the other side. It is the same with those who love one person more than another, althouth this is natural. But if I loved him or her as much as I love myself, I would be just as happy that whatever happens to them, whether joy or pain, death or life, should happen instead to me, and this would be true friendship.




Christianity 3530 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 176 







T hat person who has detached themselves from everything and who is detached, never glancing even for a moment at what they have given up, who remains steadfast, unmoved in themselves and immutable -- such a person alone has truly attained detachment.




Christianity 3529 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, pp. 170-180 







N ow there are certain people who turn from things out of love, but who still have great regard for what they have left. But those who understand in truth that even when they have given themselves up and have abandoned all things, this is still absolutely nothing -- those who live in this way, truly possess all things.




Christianity 3528 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 186 







I n return for stripping myself of myself for his sake, God will be wholly my own possession with all that he is and can do, as much mine as his, no more and no less. He will belong to me a thousand times more than anything ever belonged to anyone which they keep in their chest, or than he was ever his own possession. Nothing was ever my own as much as God will be mine, together with all that he is and all that he can do.




Christianity 3527 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 48 







W e should learn to see God in all gifts and works, neither resting content with anything nor becoming attached to anything. For us there can be no attachment to a particular manner of behavior in this life, nor has this ever been right, however successful we may have been.




Christianity 3526 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, p. 40 







I f I say that "God exists", this is also not true. He is being beyond being: he is a nothingness beyond being. Therefore St. Augustine says: "The finest thing that we can say of God is to be silent concerning him from the wisdom of inner riches." Be silent therefore, and do not chatter about God, for by chattering about him, you tell lies and commit a sin. If you wish to be perfect and without sin, then do not prattle about God. Also you should not wish to understand anything about God, for God is beyond all understanding. A master says: If I had a God that I could understand, I would not regard him as God. If you understand anything about him, then he is not in it, and by understanding something of him, you fall into ignorance…




Christianity 3525 | 
Selected Writings. Trans. Oliver Davies. New York: Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1994, pp. 236-7 







T he eye by which I see God is the same as the eye by which God sees me. My eye and God's eye are one and the same one in seeing, one in knowing, and one in loving.




Christianity 3087 | 
Pfeiffer, Frantz, and Evans, C de B., trans. Meister Eckhart. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, 193 1, Vol. 1: 118, 157, 221-222, 287, 338, 348, 363, 429, and Vol. 2: 41, 114. 







G od has given birth to the Son as you, as me, as each one of us. As many beings as many gods in God.
In my soul, God not only gives birth to me as His son, He gives birth to me as Himself, and Himself as me.
My physical father is my father with but a small part of his being, and I live my life separate from him. He may be dead, and I may live. God, however, is my father with His entire being, and I am never separate from Him. I am always His; I am alive only because He is alive.

In this divine birth I find that God and I are the same: I am what I am and what I shall remain, now and forever. I am carried above was the highest angels. I neither increase nor decrease, for in this birth I have become the motionless cause of all that moves. I have won back what has always been mine. Here, in my own soul, the greatest of all miracles has taken place-God has returned to God!





Christianity 3086 | 
Pfeiffer, Frantz, and Evans, C de B., trans. Meister Eckhart. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, 193 1, Vol. 1: 118, 157, 221-222, 287, 338, 348, 363, 429, and Vol. 2: 41, 114. 







N ever has anything become so kindred, so alike, so one with another, as the soul becomes with God in this birth . . . In this birth, God flows into the soul with such dazzling light that God and the soul merge into one-one spirit, one essence, one Being.




Christianity 3085 | 
Pfeiffer, Frantz, and Evans, C de B., trans. Meister Eckhart. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, 193 1, Vol. 1: 118, 157, 221-222, 287, 338, 348, 363, 429, and Vol. 2: 41, 114. 







T here is no need to look for God here or there. He is no farther away than the door of your own heart. There He stands waiting till He finds you ready to open the door and let Him enter. No need for you to call Him from afar-He is waiting more impatiently than you for that door to open. He wants you a thousand times more urgently than you want Him. There is only one thing you must do-open the door and enter.

No one has ever longed so much for anything as God longs to bring man to Him. God is so close to us, but we are distant and turned away from Him. God is within, we are without. God is at home with us, but we are strangers to ourselves.





Christianity 3084 | 
Pfeiffer, Frantz, and Evans, C de B., trans. Meister Eckhart. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, 193 1, Vol. 1: 118, 157, 221-222, 287, 338, 348, 363, 429, and Vol. 2: 41, 114. 







W hen the soul is totally lost, it finds that it is the very self it had sought for so long in vain. Here the soul is God. Here it enjoys supreme bliss. Here it is sufficient unto itself Here it shines with its own radiance. Here, at last, it has found that the Kingdom of God is itself !




Christianity 3083 | 
Pfeiffer, Frantz, and Evans, C de B., trans. Meister Eckhart. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, 193 1, Vol. 1: 118, 157, 221-222, 287, 338, 348, 363, 429, and Vol. 2: 41, 114. 







C ome now, noble souls, and take a look at the splendor you are carrying within yourselves! But if you do not let go of yourself completely, if you do not drown yourself in this bottomless sea of the Godhead, you cannot get to know this divine light.




Christianity 3082 | 
Pfeiffer, Frantz, and Evans, C de B., trans. Meister Eckhart. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, 193 1, Vol. 1: 118, 157, 221-222, 287, 338, 348, 363, 429, and Vol. 2: 41, 114. 







I will never ask God to give Himself to me. All I ask is that He makes me pure and empty. For it is God's very nature to give Himself to those who are pure, and to fill those who are empty.




Christianity 3081 | 
Pfeiffer, Frantz, and Evans, C de B., trans. Meister Eckhart. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, 193 1, Vol. 1: 118, 157, 221-222, 287, 338, 348, 363, 429, and Vol. 2: 41, 114. 







I maintain by God's eternal truth that God must pour Himself, without reservation, with all His powers, into everyone who has sunk completely into himself and has touched bottom. For it is God's very nature to give Himself to all those who are empty. And God will give Himself so fully and completely that nothing will be left of Himself-nothing will be left of His essence, His nature, nor His creation. God must pour everything, His totality, into that person who has completely given himself to Him.




Christianity 3080 | 
Pfeiffer, Frantz, and Evans, C de B., trans. Meister Eckhart. London: John M. Watkins, 1924, 193 1, Vol. 1: 118, 157, 221-222, 287, 338, 348, 363, 429, and Vol. 2: 41, 114. 







W e must take God as mode without mode, and essence without essence, for he has no modes.




Christianity 2825 | 
Meister Eckhart, SERMON NINETEEN, from Meister Eckhart: Sermons and Treatises, vol. 3, translated and edited by M. O'C. Walshe (Rockport, Mass.: Element Books, 1979). 







F or God to be perceived by the soul, she must be blind. Therefore, he (Saint Paul) says, "He saw the Nothing” from whose light all lights come, from whose essence all essence comes.




Christianity 2824 | 
Meister Eckhart, SERMON NINETEEN, from Meister Eckhart: Sermons and Treatises, vol. 3, translated and edited by M. O'C. Walshe (Rockport, Mass.: Element Books, 1979). 







A master says whoever speaks of God in any likeness, speaks impurely of him. But to speak of God with nothing is to speak of him correctly. When the soul is unified and there enters into total self-abnegation, then she finds God as in Nothing. It appeared to a man as in a dream – it was a waking dream - that he became pregnant with. Nothing like a woman with child, and in that Nothing God was born; he was the fruit of nothing. God was born in the Nothing….




Christianity 2823 | 
Meister Eckhart, SERMON NINETEEN, from Meister Eckhart: Sermons and Treatises, vol. 3, translated and edited by M. O'C. Walshe (Rockport, Mass.: Element Books, 1979). 







S URREXIT A UTEM SAULUS DE TERRA
APERTISQUE OCULIS
NIHIL VIDEBAT

This text which I have quoted in Latin is written by Saint Luke in Acts about Saint Paul. It means: “Paul rose from the ground and with open eyes saw nothing.”
I think this text has a fourfold sense. One is that when he rose up from the ground with open eyes he saw Nothing, and the Nothing was God; for when he saw God he calls that Nothing. The second: When he got up he saw nothing but God. The third: In all things he saw nothing but God. The fourth: When he saw God, he saw all things as nothing….





Christianity 2822 | 
Meister Eckhart, SERMON NINETEEN, from Meister Eckhart: Sermons and Treatises, vol. 3, translated and edited by M. O'C. Walshe (Rockport, Mass.: Element Books, 1979). 







T herefore, I say, if a man turns away from self and from created things, then - to the extent that you do this - you will attain oneness and blessedness in your soul's spark, which time and place never touched.




Christianity 2821 | 
Meister Eckhart, from the translation by Jonathan Star in Two Suns Rising (New York: Bantam, 1991). 







G od gives birth to the Son as you, as me, as each one of us. As many beings - as many gods in God. In my soul, God not only gives birth to me as his son, he gives birth to me as himself, and himself as me.
I find in this divine birth that God and I are the same: I am what I was and what I shall always remain, now and forever. I am transported above the highest angels; I neither decrease nor increase, for in this birth I have become the motionless cause of all that moves. I have won back what has always been mine. Here, in my own soul, the greatest of all miracles has taken place - God has returned to God!





Christianity 2820 | 
Meister Eckhart, THE DIVINE BIRTH 





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