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The Cloud of Unknowing (Harper Collins Spiritual Classics) Paperback – August 31, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
This work has been compared to the work of C.S. Lewis, Plato, and other Christian mystics and theologians, with good reason. 'The Cloud of Unknowing' is part of a chain, influenced by and in turn influencing many other mystical writers. This is not a work of philosophy or apologetics, as the author is not concerned to prove the existence of God or set up any sort of metaphysical framework which must be accepted. The world around us is a given, and God is a given, and our task is to order our attention and love toward God so that it incorporates and includes the reality that is around without distraction. One perhaps hears echoes of this in Tillich's ultimate concern?
One of the things that makes 'The Cloud of Unknowing' a popular piece on an ongoing basis is this respect for reality. The author does not require super-human feats of contemplative power; this would be to deny the reality of the creature that we are, as God's creation. Contemplative work must be done in tandem and in cooperation with the rest of our life's needs.Read more ›
However, please be forewarned: (1) Even though this version of the book is translated into modern English, the sentences can still be rather long, and are not very concise at times (at least when compared to most modern English writing). So you may find yourself having to re-read some sentences, and/or contemplating the meaning of what you just read- which for me was worth the effort, but may not be for everyone... We are not talking brain-surgery here, but I think you get the idea. (2) This book was written a very long time ago, in a different age with different outlooks on the world- and I think there are strong indicators in certain chapters that the author assumes his readers will (for the most part) be people who are in some religious order of some sort from his time period. Consequently, some readers may find this book interesting, but not that practical for every day use in their lives. However, I also think that there is a large set of people, (especially many Catholics), who will find this book, in addition to being a fascinating read, to also (with its different approach) be very useful in their quest for deeper spirituality.
Sample (from one of the more concise paragraphs): ...Do not hang back then, but labor in it until you experience the desire.Read more ›
However, I have come across many copies of this edition (HarperCollings Spiritual Classics) that are MISSING CHAPTERS. If you have a copy, check to make sure your copy has chapters 55-58 and 62-67.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
don't remember buying this. it might have just been over my head.Published 3 months ago by scott strong
This is a medieval text by an anonymous monk on 'contemplation', which today we would call meditation. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Roben Campbell
Horribly botched Kindle edition. Page numbers and paragraph number, sometimes even some random text or numbers are found mid-paragraph. Really atrocious.Published 6 months ago by Francois Combrinck
Hard to read - William Johnston's book was much more effective for me.Published 11 months ago by Robert Wagner
I bought it for the reason that it says it's a Christian classic, and also I'd heard a lot about this book while reading about Christian mysticism. It's such a great book. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Sujittra Chaturongkul
In man's attempt to discover God within himself, the writer of this book does his utmost to describe certain realities that are surely more to be appreciated by those who are... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Vicente Pineda