Meister Eckhart: God alone is

Sermon Forty Nine

ECCE MITTO ANGELUM MEUM

This written in the gospel, and in German it means: “Behold, I send my angel”.

Where the text says ‘I’, that means in the first place God’s is-ness, the fact that God alone is, for all things are in God and from Him, since outside of Him and without Him nothing truly is. All creatures are worthless and a mere nothing compared with God; therefore, what they are in truth they are in God, and thus God alone is in truth. And therefore the word ‘I’ means the is-ness of divine truth, for it is the proof of one is. It thus testifies that He alone is.

Again, it means that God is unseparated from all things, for God is in all things and is more inwardly in them than they are in themselves. That is how God is unseparated from all things. And man too should be unseparated from all things, which means that a man should be nothing in himself and wholly detached from self: in that way he is unseparated from all things and is all things. For, as far as you are nothing in yourself, in so far you are all things and unseparated from all things. And therefore, as far as you are unseparated from all things, in so far you are God and all things, for God’s divinity depends on His being unseparated from all things. And so the man who is unseparated from all things receives the Godhead from where God himself receives it.

Thirdly, the word ‘I’ denotes a kind of perfection of the designation ‘I’, for it is not a proper name: it stands for a name and for the perfection of that name and denotes immutability and imperturbability, and so it denotes that God is immutable, imperturbable and eternal stability.

Fourthly, it indicates the bare purity of the divine being, which is bare of any admixture. For goodness and wisdom and whatever may be attributed to God are all admixtures to God’s naked essence: for all admixture causes alienation from essence. And so the word ‘I’ denotes God’s purity of essence, which is bare in itself, free of alien elements that make it strange and distant. (Walshe II, pp. 38-39)

 

M. O’C. Walshe (1987). Meister Eckhart: Sermons and Treatises Volume II. UK: Element Books Limited.

 

 

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