Meister Eckhart (1260-1329) was a controversial philosopher, mystic, feminist, preacher, theologian, poet, and administrator. This multi-talented Christian posed a tough and tricky challenge to the Catholic Church, which eventually labeled him a heretic. But his stirring words and liberating thoughts have survived over the centuries and live on today in the souls of many spiritual seekers.
Poet Mark S. Burrows and independent scholar Jon M. Sweeney have put together a treasure trove of selections from the writings of Meister Eckhart which reflect his wisdom and paradoxical mysticism. It is a sequel of sorts to Meister Eckhart's Book of the Heart: Meditations for the Restless Soul, a 2017 S&P Book Award Winner.
From the opening "Prologue: There Is a Secret Hidden in the Heart," where Eckhart salutes the creative radiance within us, to the last poem "Epilogue: Come Home to Yourself" (see excerpt), where the passionate poet leaves us with the truth about God, the soul, and finding our true selves at last, these writings flow together into a mighty wave of light and movement.
Those who cherish the spiritual verse of Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir, and other ecstatic poets will gladly commune with Eckhart and his reverence for the mysteries of life. One of the most illuminating, brief, and profound selections in the book is "Become Love:"
"If you want to know God,
become love. If you want
to know others, become love.
If you want to know yourself,
become love. And if you want
to know love, forget all you
thought you knew or needed
to know, and become love."
In another selection, Eckhart asks whether we have tasted the sweetness of God. Yes, we have — in gems about the eternally green birthing power of God, in the peaceful birth of the soul, in the mercy of the Creator, in welcoming what comes in the dark, in experiencing the freedom that comes with faithfulness, and in letting go of self.
You can ponder all of these samples of God in Meister Eckhart's Book of Secrets. They will open your mind, body, and soul to the marvelous and manifold mysteries of the Holy One.