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‘God is nearer to me than I am to myself’

‘God is nearer to me than I am to myself’
June 08
10:55 2018

Meister Eckhart
If I were a king, and did not know it, I should not really be a king. But, if I were fully convinced that I was a king, and all mankind coincided in my belief, and I knew that they shared my conviction, I should indeed be a king, and all the wealth of the king would be mine. But, if one of these three conditions were lacking, I should not really be a king. In similar fashion our salvation depends upon our knowing and recognizing the Chief Good which is God Himself. I have a capacity in my soul for taking in God entirely.
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 presence of God. He is also near things of wood and stone, but they know it not. If a piece of wood became as aware of the nearness of God as an archangel is, the piece of wood would be as happy as an archangel. For this reason man is happier than the inanimate wood, because he knows and understands how God is near him.

His happiness increases and diminishes in proportion to the increase and diminution in his knowledge of this. His happiness does not arise from this that God is near him, and in him, and that He possesses God; but from this, that he knows the nearness of God, and loves Him, and is aware that “the Kingdom of God is near.”
So, when I think on God’s Kingdom, I am compelled to be silent because of its immensity, because God’s Kingdom is none other than God Himself with all His riches. God’s Kingdom is no small thing: we may survey in imagination all the worlds of God’s creation, but they are not God’s Kingdom. In whichever soul God’s Kingdom appeareth, and which knoweth God’s Kingdom, that soul needeth no human preaching or instruction; it is taught from within and assured of eternal life.

Whoever knows and recognizes how near God’s Kingdom is to him may say with Jacob, “God is in this place, and I knew it not.” God is equally near in all. Now, how is the soul to arrive at this heavenly state that it recognizes God in itself, and knows that He is near? By copying the heavens, which can receive no impulse from without to mar their tranquility. Thus must the soul, which would know God, be rooted and grounded in Him so steadfastly, as to suffer no perturbation of fear or hope, or joy or sorrow, or love or hate, or anything which may disturb its peace. The heavens are everywhere alike remote from earth, so should the soul be remote from all earthly things alike so as not to be nearer to one than another.
It should keep the same attitude of aloofness in love and hate, in possession and renouncement, that is, it should be simultaneously dead, resigned and lifted up. The heavens are pure and clear without shadow of stain, out of space and out of time. Nothing corporeal is found there. Their revolutions are incredibly swift and independent of time, though time depends on them.
Nothing hinders the soul so much in attaining to the knowledge of God as time and place. Therefore, if the soul is to know God, it must know Him outside time and place.

Excerpted from christianmystics.com.

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