Meister Eckhart, formally Meister von Hochheim

Eckhart, formally Meister von Hochheim

German Theologian, Philosopher and Mystic

Author Quotes

The course of heaven is outside time--and yet time comes from its movements. Nothing hinders the soul's knowledge of God as much as time and space, for time and space are fragments, whereas God is one! And therefore, if the soul is to know God, it must know him above time and outside of space; for God is neither this nor that, as are these manifold things. God is one

The mind never rests but must go on expecting and preparing for what is yet known and what is still concealed. Meanwhile, man cannot know what God is, even though he be ever so well of what God is not; and an intelligent person will reject that. As long as it has no reference point, the mind can only wait as matter waits for him. And matter can never find rest except in form; so, too, the mind can never find rest except in the essential truth which is locked up in it--the truth about everything. Essence alone satisfied and God keeps on withdrawing, farther and farther away, to arouse the mind's zeal and lure it to follow and finally grasp the true good that has no cause. Thus, contented with nothing, the mind clamors for the highest good of all.

No idea represents or signifies itself. It always points to something else, of which it is a symbol. And since man has no ideas, except those abstracted from external things through the sense, he cannot be blessed by an idea.

When I came out from God, that is, into multiplicity, then all proclaimed, 'There is a God' (i.e., the personal God, Creator of all things). Now this cannot make me blessed, for hereby I realize myself as creature. But in the breaking through (i.e. through all limitations), I am more than all creatures, I am neither God nor creature; I am that which I was and shall remain evermore. There I receive a thrust which carries me above all angels. By this sudden touch I am become so rich that God (i.e., God as opposed to the Godhead) is not sufficient for me, so far as he is only God and in all his divine works. For in this breaking through I perceive what God and I are in common. There I am what I was. There I neither increase nor decrease. For there I am the immovable which moves all things. Here man has won again what he is eternally (i.e., in his essential being) and ever shall be. Here God (i.e., the Godhead) is received into the soul.

You could not do better than to go where it is dark, that is, unconsciousness.

Do not cling to the symbols, but get to the inner truth!

People ought not to consider so much what they are to do as what they are; let them but be good and their ways and deeds will shine brightly.

All things are simply God to you, who see only God in all things. You are like someone who looks for quite a while at the sun, and afterwards sees the sun in what ever he looks at.

A question arises regarding the angels who dwell with us, serve us and protect us, whether their joys are equal to those of the angels in heaven, or whether they are diminished by the fact that they protect and serve us. No, they are certainly not; for the work of the angels is the will of God, and the will of God is the work of the angels; their service to us does not hinder their joy nor their working. If God told an angel to go to a tree and pluck caterpillars off it, the angel would be quite ready to do so, and it would be his happiness, if it were the will of God.

To be right, a person must do one of two things: either he must learn to have God in his work and hold fast to him there, or he must give up his work altogether. Since, however, we cannot live without activities that are both human and various, we must learn to keep God I everything we do, and whatever the job or place, keep on with him, letting nothing stand in our way.

There is no greater valor nor no sterner fight. He who would be what he ought to be must stop being what he is.

Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language.

The man of God never rejoices because he is joy itself.

We should know first of all that we possess in ourselves two natures, one that is body and the other spirit, as is evident to all. Thus one book states: whoever knows themsleves, knows all creatures, for all creatures are either body or spirit.

The soul has two eyes: an inner and an outer eye. The inner eye of the soul is the one which perceives being and receives its own being directly from God: This is the activity which is particular to itself. The outer eye of the soul is that which is directed towards all creatures and which perceives them in the manner of an image and the function of a faculty. But they who are turned within themselves so that they know God according to their own taste and in their own being, are freed from all created thingss and are secure in themselves in a very fortress of truth.

The more we have the less we own.

To be sure, this requires effort and love, a careful cultivation of the spiritual life, and a watchful, honest, active oversight of all one's mental attitudes towards things and people. It is not to be learned by world-flight, running away from things, turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, one must learn an inner solitude, where or with whomsoever he may be. He must learn to penetrate things and find God there, to get a strong impression of God firmly fixed on his mind.

People should not worry as much about what they do but rather about what they are. If they and their ways are good, then their deeds are radiant. If you are righteous, then what you do will also be righteous. We should not think that holiness is based on what we do but rather on what we are, for it is not our works which sanctify us but we who sanctify our works.

In silence man can most readily preserve his integrity.

Nothing exists outside of God, except for the nothing itself.

His divinity depends on His power to share Himself with whatever is able to receive Him. If He was not sharing Himself, He would not be God.

God flows inside creatures, yet He remains untouched by all of them, He has no need of them whatsoever.

Through the higher love the whole life of man is to be elevated from temporal selfishness to the spring of all love, to God: man will again be master over nature by abiding in God and lifting her up to God.

This passage from nothingness to real being, this quitting of oneself is a birth accompanied by pain, for by it natural love is excluded. All grief except grief for sin comes from love of the world. In God is neither sorrow, nor grief, nor trouble. Wouldst thou be free from all grief and trouble, abide and walk in God, and to God alone. As long as love of the creature is in us, pain cannot cease.

As God can only be seen by His own light, so He can only be loved by His own love.

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Eckhart, formally Meister von Hochheim
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German Theologian, Philosopher and Mystic