Light, life, and love selections from the German Mystics



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suspectus de malis familiaritatibus, words which can only mean "keeping bad company" in a moral sense, not "con­sorting with heretics," as Preger suggests. Eckhart's character, so far as we know, was never assailed, even by his enemies, and it is therefore probable that "brother Eckhart" was a different person.

5I have abridged the bull considerably, but have included all the main accusations.

6See pages 13, 16.

7See pages 14, 15.

8See page 1.

9This is an obscure point in Eckhart's philosophy, too technical to be discussed here; but Eckhart's doctrine of God is certainly more orthodox and less pantheistic than those of 'Dionysius' and Scotus Erigena.

10Cf. St Augustine, In Joann. Ev. Tract. xxxix. 10: praeteritum et futurum invenio in omni motu rerum: in veritate quae manet praeteritum et futurum non invenio, sed solum praesens."

11This doctrine is fully explained by St. Augustine, Epist. 237, who follows Plotinus, Enn. vi. 4-6.

12This queer word occurs for the first time, I think, in Jerome's notes to the first chapter of Ezekiel. He writes the word in Greek, and explains it as that part of the soul which always opposes vices. The word is common in Bonaventura and other scholastic mystics, and is often misspelt synderesis.

13It must, however, be said that Preger is too ready to assume that the logical development of Eckhart's system away from Thomist scholasticism can be traced as a gradual process in his writings, the order of which is very uncertain. We are not justified in saying in a positive manner that Eckhart's philosophy passed through three phases, in the first of which the primacy is held by the will, in the second by the created reason, and in the third by the uncreated reason.

14See pages 14, 15.

15C.B. Upton: "Hibbert Lectures," p. 17.

16A.E. Taylor: "The Problem of Conduct," PP. 464-5.

17See pages 71-2.

18See pages 12-13.

19See, for example, Prof. W. James' "Varieties of Religions Experience," P. 400.

20Jacob Bšhme's experience is typical: "Suddenly did my spirit break through into the innermost birth or geniture of the Deity, and there was I embraced with love, as a bridegroom embraces his dearly beloved bride. But the greatness of the triumphing that was in the spirit I cannot express in speech or writing; nor can it be compared to anything but the resurrection of the dead to life. In this light my spirit suddenly saw through all; even in herbs and grass it knew God, who and what He is," etc. Dr Johnson was, no doubt, right in thinking that "Jacob" would have been wiser, and "more like St Paul," if he had not attempted to utter the unutterable things which he saw.

21The extracts from the "Theologia Germanica" will show that this treatise represents a later and less paradoxical form of mystical thought than Eckhart's.

22The maxim, however, is much older than Suso.

23Royce: "The World and the Individual" vol. i. p. 193.

24So in the "Lignum Vitae" of Laurentius Justinianus we read: "Let self-will cease, and there will be no more hell."

25"The Inner Way," being thirty-six sermons by John Tauler. Translated by A.W. Hutton, M.A.

26On the psychology of ecstatic mysticism see Leuba, in the Revue Philosophique, July and November 1902.

27"Varieties of Religious Experience," p. 13.

28Maudsley: "Natural Causes and Supernatural Seemings," p. 256.

29See Leuba: "Tendances religieuses chez les mystiques chrŽtiens" in Revue Philosophique, Nov. 1902.

30"Theologia Germanica," translated by Susanna Winkworth. Macmillan & Co., 1893.

31"Varieties of Religious Experience," 1902.

32"Personal Idealism," 1902.

33"Varieties of Religious Experience," p. 103.

34"In Tune with the Infinite," by R.W. Trine (Bell & Sons, 1902). Fifty-ninth thousand. The extract appears to be a quotation from another writer, but no reference is given.

35Compare Eckhart's saying that the eye with which I see God is the same as the eye with which He sees me.

36"In Tune with the Infinite," pp. 58, 119.

37The numbers refer to pages in Pfeiffer's edition.

38The numbers refer to the Sermons in Hamberger's edition of 1864.

39The reference is to 1 Peter iii. 8.

40The time would, I suppose, be about half-an-hour. Many other ecstatics have named this as the normal duration of trance.

41Or, "spoke the eternal Wisdom (= the Word of God) in his heart."

42John i. 3, 4. This punctuation, whereby the words "that which was made" are referred to the clause which follows, and not to that which precedes, is adopted by most of the Greek fathers, and is still maintained by some good commentators--e.g. Bishop Westcott.

43Ecclus. xxiv. 19.

44Ecclus. xl. 20.
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