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The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing$
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William Johnston

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780823220748

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823220748.001.0001

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Knowledge And Love (II)

Knowledge And Love (II)

(p.127) 10 Knowledge And Love (II)
The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

William Johnston

Fordham University Press

This chapter argues that the contemplative, after long exercise in meditation and discretion, abandons clear and distinct knowledge to be guided by a love that finds a new and superior knowledge. This is the wisdom which is the gift of the Holy Spirit. As love finds wisdom, wisdom leads to deeper love. This is the ordinary apophatic doctrine of the darkness of faith and the light of love, described well by Maritain. Yet apophatic mysticism never finds, in this life, pure brightness. In this light of this love, when it burns at the level of white heat giving discretion and intuitive certainty about the things of God, it blinds even more the faculties of the soul which continues to walk in pure darkness.

Keywords:   wisdom, apopathic mysticism, love, contemplation

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