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…
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.
God must act and pour himself into you the moment He finds you ready. Don’t imagine that God can be compared to an earthly carpenter, who acts or doesn’t act, as he wishes… who can will to do something or leave it undone, according to his pleasure. It is not that way with God: where and when God finds you ready, He must act and overflow into you, just as when the air is clear and pure, the sun must overflow into it and cannot refrain from doing that.
The eye by which I see God is the same as the eye by which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye are one and the same.
Start first with yourself and abandon yourself. Truly, if you won’t first leave yourself, wherever you may go you will find obstacles and war, anywhere. They who seek peace in external things — in places or in ways and methods, in persons or works, in monasticism or isolation, in poverty or humility, in anything, however great that might be — not one of them has the least value and it does not bring peace at all.
They who ask this way, ask wrong. The further they go, the less they find what they seek. They walk like the man who has lost his way: the more he walks the more his delusion grows… But if someone abandons himself, whatever else he might keep, whether riches or honours, or anything, he has abandoned all things. See yourself and wherever you find him, see him off. The more you go out of all things, that much, neither less nor more, God comes in you with all that is His.
God’s divinity comes of my humility, and this may be demonstrated as follows. It is God’s peculiar property to give; but He cannot give unless something is prepared to receive his gifts. If, then, I prepare my humility to receive what He gives, by my humility I make God a giver. Since it is His nature to give, I am merely giving God what is already His own.
It is like a rich man who wants to be a giver but must first find a taker, since without a taker he cannot be a giver. Similarly, if God is to be a giver, He must first find a taker, but no one may be a taker of God’s gifts except by his humility. Therefore, if God is to exercise his divine property by his gifts, He well may need my humility; for apart from humility He can give me nothing — without it I am not prepared to receive His gift. That is why it is true that by humility I give divinity to God.
By humility, out of an enemy He has made a friend, which is more than to have created a new earth.