Meister Eckhart (circa 1260 – 1328), also known as Eckhart von Hochheim, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha, in the Landgraviate of Thuringia, now central Germany. Since the 19th century his work and philosophy has received renewed attention. He has acquired status as a great mystic within contemporary spirituality, as well as considerable interest from scholars situating him within the medieval scholastic and philosophical tradition.
Quotes by Meister Eckhart…
A man should orient his will and all his works to God and having only God in view go forward unafraid, not thinking, “Am I right or am I wrong?” One who worked out all the chances before starting his first fight would never fight at all. And if, going to someplace, we must think how to set the front foot down, we shall never get there. It is our duty to do the next thing: go straight on, that is the right way.
The shell must be cracked apart if what is in it is to come out, for if you want the kernel you must break the shell. And therefore if you want to discover nature’s nakedness you must destroy its symbols, and the farther you get in the nearer you come to its essence. When you come to the One that gathers all things up into itself, there you must stay.
Saint Augustine cries, “Lord I cannot love you, but come in and love yourself in me.” According to Saint Paul, we must put off our own natural form and put on the form of God, and Saint Augustine tells us to discard our own mode of nature. Then the divine nature will flow in and be revealed. Saint Augustine says, “Those who seek and find, find not. He who seeks and finds not, he alone finds.” Saint Paul says, “What I was, was not I, it was God in me.”
For if Life were questioned a thousand years and asked, “Why Live?”, and if there were an answer, it could be no more than this: “I live only to live!” And that is because Life is its own reason for being, springs from its own source, and goes on and on, without ever asking why — just because it is life. Thus, if you ask a genuine person, that is, one who acts (uncalculatingly) from his heart, “Why are you doing that?”, he will reply in the only possible way: “I do it because I do it!”
Though one should live through all the time from Adam and all the time to come before the judgment day doing good works, yet he who, energizing in his highest, purest part, crosses from time to eternity, verily in the sight of God this man conceives and does far more than anyone who lives throughout all past and future time, because this now includes the whole of time. One master says that in crossing over time into the now each power of the soul will surpass itself.
There are plenty to follow our Lord half-way, but not the other half. They will give up possessions, friends and honors, but it touches them too closely to disown themselves.
God is not attained by a process of addition to anything in the soul, but by a process of subtraction.
The most powerful prayer, one well-nigh omnipotent and the worthiest work of all, is the outcome of a quiet mind. The quieter it is the more powerful, the worthier, the deeper, the more telling and more perfect the prayer is. To the quiet mind all things are possible. What is a quiet mind? A quiet mind is one which nothing weighs or worries, which, free from ties and all self-seeking, is wholly merged into the will of God, and dead as to its own.
Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.
Mark how to know yourself. To know himself a man must ever be on the watch over himself, holding his outer faculties. This discipline must be continued until he reaches a state of consciousness. The object is to reach a state of consciousness — a new state of oneself. It is to reach now, where one is present to oneself. What I say unto you I say unto all: Be awake.