Monday, March 31, 2014

Notes on Eckhart's sermon 53

Sermon 53. 

When the Father begot all creatures, he begot me, and I flowed forth with all creatures while remaining within the Father.


In the Father are the primal images of all creatures. This bit of wood has a rational image in God. It is not only rational, it is pure reason. Meister Eckhart Sermon 53, page 279.

The soul is a rational image in God; by obvious logic, all of God is conscious; and the wood, like all of creation, must share in this property to one degree or another.

Thus all things have a soul; this mystery has dimension not fully revealed to us. We mistake what "soul" means. Technically and functionally, the word has meaning well beyond our narrow concerns for the individual "I," an egoistic piece of territory which is the turf religious practice has usually assigned to it. This term is connected to the doctrines of the Names of God (al Arabi) and correspondences (Swedenborg) which are actually complementary expositions. The sermon is a ligament that connects these two doctrines. 

Note that the outward flow (for us, the inward flow) does not separate itself from God. (Quote 1.) We remain within the father; perceptions to the contrary are erroneous. 

Said perceptions serve a purpose, however; Eckhart, Swedenborg and al Arabi all assign them the ultimate role of being intended as a spur to drive us towards a will to return to the Lord. This striving of all creation is remarked on in other sermons (see the previous post, comments on sermon 42.) 

Gurdjieff's cosmology as described in Beelzebub proposes an identical purpose and action of a universal wish to return to the "prime source of arising." 

Note that "soul" has properties according to the level it expresses in. This question can be examined in much greater detail using the enneagram, which describes the applicable hierarchies.


God has done the same. He has created the soul according to His own perfect nature, pouring into her all His own light in its pristine purity, while Himself remaining uncontaminated. (ibid, p. 280)

The nothingness is the action of pouring into, the inflow. This is Eckhart's perfect nature, which becomes at once "contaminated", that means, partial. Correspondences and Names are by their nature degraded forms of The Reality (al Arabi's Name for the unknowable and transcendent God.) 

Thus, in a certain sense, everything that can be known is "corrupted," although once again this term has multiple levels of meaning. Ultimately one might say that it is an expression of the polarizations that instantly arise as the perfect initially pours itself outward. 

On our level we divide these into "good" and "bad"- originally, according to involutionary and evolutionary tendencies (the esoteric view) but now commonly to moral choices, the exoteric view. 



  1. sorry but u aint necessarily so...not all things have a soul....they are not 'empsyched'...and that includes oysters and fact anything without an electroneurobiological organ sometimes known as a brain - whoever small...but of course, I don't expect agreement on that...G was half right, polemically, some things do not have a soul... including thermostats, computers, - altho there could be artificial brains/substrates,,, for which there is actually a patent. All things do not have a 'soul'....and it never meant an egoistic piece of is that which allows for an 'ego' "This is, therefore, a portrayal of nature compounding a hylozoic hiatus amid a multiplicity of ontically diverse, circumstanced finite existentialities. Recognition of this situation is a trait that distinguishes contemporary hylozoism from ancient hylozoism, which was still unable to recognize that not all natural things or even the universe itself have souls: that not every bodily and extrabodily occurrence is animistically intentioned."(Mario Crocco). and that aint wiseacring,,,it's intelligence stripped bare

  2. not a 'mystery' but a 'mistake'...there is absolutely nooo obvious logic lee, in wot u say...and btw, don't rely on logic...:)

  3. You're thinking about this with the intellect, which has an insufficient grasp.

  4. Two days ago I read about a legitimate scientific study showing how plants "think and act" in as human-like a fashion as do humans.

    Rocks are next. Soul is saturated throughout the Creation. It precipitates out in what we call life, but there is no death, yet that is moat of what we see. Look at a tree in winter or the bark in summer. Look alive? no. How can life emerge out of non-life? It can't. The skin one sees on another is "dead to be exfoliated" so with all and everything.It is a compelling illusion that life has it's ultimate roots in non-life. What IS,cannot become what ISN'T; What ISN'T can never become what IS. And if anything has a soul, it obtains completely throughout the great creation. Atha! Aum! Amen!

  5. I thought you might say that :) I try thinking with something else....

  6. no, there are individual souls/psyches,, it does not 'emerge',,,nor 'saturated throughout creation' .Read one useful study 'Palindrome (Mario Crocco)
    And Lee, thanks again for your fine posts,,,but 'insufficient grasp' doesn't cut the mustard....there are soulfull, and soulless entities...on this planet...cannot speak for other ones...


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