And so I urge you, go after experience rather than knowledge. On account of pride, knowledge may often deceive you, but this gentle, loving affection will not deceive you. Knowledge tends to breed conceit, but love builds. Knowledge is full of labor, but love, full of rest.
—  The Cloud of Unknowing (14th Century, Anonymous). Taken from Jacob Needleman’s blog. He will be teaching a course at Stanford on How To Read a Spiritual Classic in May.

“The river
took pity on the delicate snowflakes,
which jumped down into the river water
and disappeared, melting shapelessly.
So, it tossed and turned,
to change its posture
before the snowflakes hit its water.
Each time it turned, the river made a fierce sound.
the innocent snow fell endlessly,
and the river,
from the night before,
began to form thin ice, starting from its edge,
in order to save the snow with its own body.”
    ―   Ahn Do-hyun   

the cloud of unknowing

by truce

There’s a pounding sensation in his chest, not too fast and not too slow.

He identifies it as his own heartbeat, his living proof, the one that keeps him going. He feels his blood pumping, rushing throughout his body like a race, one with no particular beginning. His palm is pressed firmly against his chest, feeling the soft thump of his heart, while hearing his own steady breaths in the process.

His heartbeat gets louder.

It’s light, barely enough to be heard, but still. He feels it in him, and it hits him. It’s the fourth time today that he’s realized it, but it doesn’t stop him from letting out a sigh of relief.

He’s alive.

At least, he is for now.

(or; harry knows he’s dying, louis doesn’t)

Words: 22097, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

via AO3 works tagged ‘Harry Styles/Louis Tomlinson’
To put it more simply, let that mysterious grace move in your spirit as it will and follow wherever it leads you. Let it be the active doer and you the passive receiver. Do not meddle with it, but let it be… Your part is to be as wood to a carpenter or a home to a dweller. Remain blind during this time cutting away all desire to know, for knowledge is a hindrance here. Be content to feel this mysterious grace sweetly awaken in the depths of your spirit. Forget everything..

Two remarkable quotations that share the theme of our current Fall issue: “The Unknown.” These are cited from James Walsh (ed.) “The Cloud of Unknowing” (New York: Paulist Press, 1981):

When I say “darkness”, I mean a privation of knowing, just as whatever you do not know or have forgotten is dark to you, because you do not see it with your spiritual eyes. For this reason, that which is between you and your God is termed, not a cloud of the air, but a cloud of unknowing.
–Ch. 4, p. 128.

Humility…is nothing else but a true knowledge and experience of yourself as you are.
–Ch. 13, p. 181.

The photograph is by Gustave Le Gray (1820-1884), “Seascape, study of clouds,” albumen print from a collodion glass negative, ca. 1857. From the Parabola weekly newsletter

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