Sunday, 1 January 2012

iCloud of Unknowing?

Happy New Year everyone! I looked back at my first ever post on this blog and found that I'd promised myself I'd post every week. I lasted - about a week! So this year, no resolutions. No promises. It gets done when it gets done. Which means there might be more of it. I've decided this year not to have any goals, just to take things a day at a time.

I recently signed up for 'Dropbox'. It's  one of those 'cloud' thingys. With Dropbox, instead of keeping all your files, photos, videos etc. on your computer, you keep them up in the sky somewhere and you can access them from any computer, tablet, android or iPhone. And you can get access anywhere, any time. So you don't have to worry about losing all your stuff from your computer, or losing a memory stick or card. (You just have to worry about it all being hacked into instead. But you never know who's looking into your computer these days anyway so I thought it's worth the risk.)

Well, all that information isn't up in the sky but it's as if it was, up there, out of sight, in and beyond the clouds. A bit like God, or how we think of Him. When we pray it seems a bit like getting access to your files in your Dropbox or other 'cloud'. God's 'up there' and we upload stuff to Him and we hope we can access and download a response.

In the 14th century an English priest wrote a book which was given the title 'The Cloud of Unknowing'. He said that basically, getting to know God is like going into a cloud; what he called a 'cloud of unknowing', meaning that the more you learn about God and get to know Him, the more there is to learn and get to know.

He said too that you can never know God through your rational mind, through your reason. The only way to know God is through loving Him. He said that we should 'pierce the cloud with the sharp dart of longing love'.  (that's a 14th century equivalent of your username and password.)  I think that sounds reasonable!!?? And I think would do to anybody who's tried to figure out God with their mind. He just won't be figured. The more you think you've grasped about God, the more there is to grasp. And you know that knowing about God isn't the same as knowing God. It's all just like walking into a cloud.

I wonder if that anonymous priest is now looking down from beyond the clouds and thinking 'Hey, that was my idea! Where's the royalties?!!

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