View Full Version : Meister Eckhart

04-02-2003, 12:49 AM
The now-moment in which God made the first man and the now-moment in which the last man will disappear, and the now-moment in which I am speaking are all one in God, in whom there is only one Now. LOOK! The person who lives in the light of God is conscious neither of time past nor of time to come but only of one eternity.

...Therefore he gets nothing new out of future events nor from chance, for he lives in the Now-moment that is, unfailingly, "in verdure newly clad."

Meister Eckart

[ 04-02-2003, 04:31 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-02-2003, 03:30 AM
Thank you. We are very inclined to forget that He is greater than Time.

Wild Dingo
04-02-2003, 04:05 AM
Whos this Meister fella were talkin about Jack? is the Eckhart another fella to Meister or the same fella? and whos bigger than god? an whos in the now instead of the then or there or when or where or... what the flamin eck were we on about here mate?!! :eek:

ooohhh oh dont tell me I stepped into a religious posting? :eek: or something of particular interest to USA residents and the Meister and or Eckhart fella sheila only known to them?... mmmm???... okay no worries mates! :rolleyes: I'll let you sort them her/him out :cool:

edited to say... ooops just saw you there Andrew so maybe this is something for the Europeans AND Hamericans eh? eh? eh??? mmmmmm ...now I can feel a paranoid moment happening again and I thought Id sorted that out too... sigh :(

[ 04-02-2003, 04:07 AM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]

04-02-2003, 04:12 AM
Is that Eckhart Tolle ?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-02-2003, 04:31 AM
wonderful what you find on the Internet...


04-02-2003, 04:37 AM
Were'nt there a sheila called Cameellia Eckhart who tried to fly arund the whole shebang some time back? Disappeared near Easter island or some such time?

Bruce Taylor
04-02-2003, 07:09 AM
Eckhart also wrote: "Time is what keeps the light from reaching us."

An excerpt from Eliot's Burnt Norton:


Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

Wild Dingo
04-02-2003, 07:58 AM
Originally posted by doorstop:
Were'nt there a sheila called Cameellia Eckhart who tried to fly arund the whole shebang some time back? Disappeared near Easter island or some such time?Amelia Earheart I thunk mate... the surnames wrong but were on the same wavelength... which appears totally different to everyone elses!! :eek:

04-02-2003, 08:07 AM
Shane.... :D

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-02-2003, 08:44 AM
Well, not really; British seamen always call a clergyman a "sky pilot" ;) .

04-02-2003, 12:45 PM
At last, a Stan-free thread. What's the connection between Burnt Norton and Meister Eckhart, Bruce? Was there a direct influence on TS, or is it a parllalel that you've noticed?

[ 04-02-2003, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: WWheeler ]

04-02-2003, 01:01 PM
FYI: Meister Eckhart, 1260-1328, German (Hochheim) Dominican priest and mystic. Saw God as utter being and utter Other. Not especially popular with the institutional Church at the time.

A serious guy, not to dismissed lightly.

[ 04-02-2003, 01:01 PM: Message edited by: TomRobb ]

Bruce Taylor
04-02-2003, 01:42 PM
WWheeler -- I don't know. The Four Quartets draws heavily on the long tradition of Christian mysticism, and Eliot certainly knew all the important writers in that tradition: St. John of the Cross, the monkish author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, etc. His preoccupation with paradoxes and oxymora (which he shared w/ the "metaphysical" poets he admired, Donne, Crashaw, Herbert) derives mainly from that tradition, I think.

The American poet Theodore Roethke, who regarded himself as a real mystic (an intuitive one, like Thomas Traherne, Christopher Smart, or John Clare) saw Four Quartets as a bookish pastiche, aping the language of Christian mysticism w/out the underlying "revelation."

I hope you're taking notes...this might be on the test!

04-02-2003, 02:06 PM
Already did the test. (undergraduate literature at UBC). Studied old Possum (TS Eliot) for a semester, until my eyeballs refused to read any more into it. Went sideways into linguistics. Graduated, went into computers/technical writing. Excellent training, but at present I would be inclined to believe that it's pastiche.


[ 04-02-2003, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: WWheeler ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-02-2003, 03:24 PM
Nohow. Contrariwise (and if you spotted the quotation from Dodgson's "Through the Looking Glass", take a bonus mark!) I do not think that Eliot is pastiche. I am very fond of Traherne, taking an example at random, but whilst the opening of "The World"...

"I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring, of pure and endless Light...."

is wonderful, the remaining verses are formulaic, as he works through his "conceit".

Of course having sat, as 'twere, at the feet of Leavis (Cambridge, early 1970's) I would say that, would'nt I?

We are perhaps over-influenced by Kit Smart's consideration of his Cat Geoffry, and forget to read the whole poem, and Clare is no more a simple ploughboy than Constable was a naive painter!

The acid test, difficult for an adult to do, is to read Eliot without knowing the sources and references .

I am very fortunate that I came upon The Waste Land at 12, when a friend read it out loud in the dormitory with a torch under the bedsheets after lights out. It gripped me, and I took the book down the next day and read it. It still worked!

For another example, try this

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire
Hands that the rod of Empire might have swayed
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre

Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The petty tyrant of his fields withstood
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

To Thomas Gray, writing just a hundred years after the English Civil War, these three figures were doubtless more vivid than they are to us - we probably know a bit about Milton, but we don't see why Cromwell was guilty of his country's blood and we are really pretty vague about Hampden - "Ship Money, was'nt it?"

But the poetry works perfectly well none the less.

Same for Eliot. And let's never forget that the Notes to the Waste Land were written in a morning, as a joke!

Bruce Taylor
04-02-2003, 04:25 PM
I am very fond of TraherneHis prose is full of surprises. See Dobell's edition of the _Centuries of Meditations_ , online:

We are perhaps over-influenced by Kit Smart's consideration of his Cat GeoffryThe whole of Jubilate Agno (if something so shattered can be called "whole") is available here:


The Song to David is more readable, but of less interest to curio-collectors and lovers of the grotesque.

I am very fortunate that I came upon The Waste Land at 12A fine poem for a gloomy adolescent, I think. It certainly went well with the apocalyptic rock I was listening to in my terrible tweens....Black Sabbath and Bowie's Diamond Dogs. Oh, to be young and nihilistic again!

It's online too, of course, w/ lots of hypertext links and fancy frames for the notes: