Wisdom of Life

Meister Eckhart: God and Heart — The Meaning of Life

“There’s a place in the soul where you’ve never been wounded.”

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”

“Nobody at any time is cut off from God.”

If anyone went on for a thousand years asking of life: “Why are you living?” life, if it could answer, would only say, “I live so that I may live.” That is because life lives out of its own ground and springs from its own source, and so it lives without asking why it is itself living.

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning. It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it. One must not always think so much about what one should do, but rather what one should be. Our works do not ennoble us; but we must ennoble our works.

We rarely find people who achieve great things without first going astray. Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. For the person who has learned to let go and let be, nothing can ever get in the way again.

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.

Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow, and to love Him as they love a cow — for the milk and cheese and profit it brings them. This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward wealth or inward comfort. They do not rightly love God, when they love Him for their own advantage. The more we have the less we own.

But where is this true possession of God, whereby we really possess him, to be found? This real possession of God is to be found in the heart, in an inner motion of the spirit towards him and striving for him, and not just in thinking about him always and in the same way. For that would be beyond the capacity of our nature and would be very difficult to achieve and would not even be the best thing to do. We should not content ourselves with the God of thoughts for, when the thoughts come to an end, so too shall God. Rather, we should have a living God who is beyond the thoughts of all people and all creatures. That kind of God will not leave us, unless we ourselves choose to turn away from him. There is no need to look for God here or there. He is no farther away than the door of your own heart.

I am as sure as I live that nothing is so near to me as God. God is nearer to me than I am to myself; my existence depends on the nearness and the presence of God. The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love. In this breaking-through, I receive that God and I are one. Then I am what I was, and then I neither diminish nor increase, for I am then an immovable cause that moves all things. We are all meant to be mothers of God…for God is always needing to be born. Every creature is a word of God. Whoever possesses God in their being has Him in a divine manner, and He shines out to them in all things; for them all things taste of God and in all things it is God’s image that they see.

Love is as strong as death, as hard as Hell. Death separates the soul from the body, but love separates all things from the soul. If I had a friend and loved him because of the benefits which this brought me and because of getting my own way, then it would not be my friend that I loved but myself. I should love my friend on account of his own goodness and virtues and account of all that he is in himself. Only if I love my friend in this way do I love him properly.

When the Soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it. The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.

Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there. Some people prefer solitude. They say their peace of mind depends on this. Others say they would be better off in church. If you do well, you do well wherever you are. If you fail, you fail wherever you are. Your surroundings don’t matter. God is with you everywhere — in the market place as well as in seclusion or in the church. If you look for nothing but God, nothing or no one can disturb you. God is not distracted by a multitude of things. Nor can we be.

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 on, nothing worries, which, free from ties and from all self-seeking, is wholly merged into the will of God and dead to its own.

There exists only the present instant… a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.

“All God wants of man is a peaceful heart.”

“Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.”

“Run into peace.”

***

~Eckhart von Hochheim OP, commonly known as Meister Eckhart or Eckehart, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha in the Landgraviate of Thuringia in the Holy Roman Empire.

Quotes from Sermons of Meister Eckhart

Excellence Reporter 2021

Categories: Wisdom of Life

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