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Who was Meister Eckhart?

Here is a letter I received about Meister Eckhart:

My friend read to me from Walshe’s sermons of Meister Eckhart. I have to say that they were extremely profound, coming from someone in the state of grace. The quotes I read on the Meister Eckhart site seemed to come from a person that was involved in judgment and so I have to choose which one I believe to be true, the person that is behind the quotes on your site, or the free of any kind of judgement person that was quoted in Walshe’s books. State of Grace, versus someone that calls people ignorant or vulgar. I choose a non-judgmental Eckhart because I feel that God is real. People that judge others in the name of God make me feel like we are all doomed, that God is mean, that I am living in hell. Just thought I write to you about my feelings concerning my confusion about which person he really was. I could be wrong though about him and that you are right; if that is so, I would be very depressed. I believe saintly people are bathed in light, so they can not sit in judgment of others.

Dear Cliff,

We should not ‘choose’ Meister Eckhart according to our likeness, because in such a case we choose just our self! We have to know the other as he is, and it is obvious that Eckhart has many sides. Note also that most of the quotes I translate for the Eckhart Site come from the Sermons, where Walshe also translates from; it is obvious that your friend selected for you passages featuring a certain subject.What you like is not Eckhart, nor Walshe, but your friend.

I believe that my selection includes both of the sides that you mention. Notice for example this quote, about the specific way of transcending judgment: “When the soul blows wholly into God with love, she is not aware of anything but love. She believes that everyone knows Him as herself knows Him. She wonders, how is it possible for anyone to know anything else than God.”

There is a time for everything, as we know: there is a time for judgment and a time for going beyond judgment. Surely Eckhart did both. We need judgment in order to educate our life, our Lord himself made a good use of it, to the point that He became very angry with certain people – the Christ himself was not bathed in a light of eternal serenity

Your perception of Eckhart or of the enlightened person in general, is misleading, at least according to criteria based on Christianity. To know this would prove useful especially if you understood, that your very decision to keep a non-judgmental Eckhart, is also a judgment…

 

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