Even though Meister Eckhart celebrated richly the God of light and wonder and creation, he also laid out a profoundly generous banquet of teachings on the Apophatic Divinity as well.
Following are a few Via Positiva teachings from him that are indispensable:
Every creature is a word of God and a book about God. This means that every creature is a Bible, a holy book and revelation about God. It also means that every creature is a Logos, a word of God, another Christ, a Cosmic Christ. The universe is such; a tree is such; a river or a stone or moss is such. Humans can be such.
If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘Thank you,’ that would suffice. Being alive, being here, having the miracle of existence is the greatest gift of all. Living is about thanking; true religion is about gratitude.
The gift of life is a radical gift, a breakthrough in 13.8 billion years of history. What a surprise that each of us was invited aboard this evolutionary choo-choo! Can we remember to be grateful? And pass on the gift to others? Pass on the sacred and healthy Earth to others?
Following are some of his important Via Negativa teachings regarding the Apophatic Divinity whom we honor in a special way in this season of Advent and Solstice. Be with them, meditate on them especially this season.
God the ineffable one has no name.
The divine one is a negation of negations and a denial of denials.
God is neither this thing nor that thing that we can express.
God is a being beyond all being; God is a beingless being.
Truly God is a hidden God.
The naked God is without a name and is the denial of all names and has never been give a name and so remains a truly hidden God.
God’s darkness is a superessential darkness. A mystery behind mystery. A mystery within mystery that no light has ever penetrated.
The final goal of being is the darkness and the unknowability of the hidden divinity, which is that light which shines ‘but the darkness cannot comprehend it.’ (Jn. 1.5)
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart, pp. 14, 34, 40-43.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Which of these teachings from Eckhart take you deepest into the apophatic divinity and into this dark time of Advent and Solstice?
Meditations with Meister Eckhart: A Centering Book
A centering book by Matthew Fox. This book of simple but rich meditations exemplifies the deep yet playful creation-centered spirituality of Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart was a 13th-century Dominican preacher who was a mystic, prophet, feminist, activist, defender of the poor, and advocate of creation-centered spirituality, who was condemned shortly after he died.
“These quiet presentations of spirituality are remarkable for their immediacy and clarity.” –Publishers Weekly.