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The Cloud of Unknowing, ed. by Evelyn Underhill, [1922], at




How a man may wit when his ghostly work is beneath him or without him, and when it is even with him or within him, and when it is above him and under his God.


AND for this, that thou shalt be able better to wit how they shall be conceived ghostly, these words that be spoken bodily, therefore I think to declare to thee the ghostly bemeaning of some words that fall to ghostly working. So that thou mayest wit clearly without error when thy ghostly work is beneath thee and without thee, and when it is within thee and even with thee, and when it is above thee and under thy God.

All manner of bodily thing is without thy soul and beneath it in nature, p. 274 yea! the sun and the moon and all the stars, although they be above thy body, nevertheless yet they be beneath thy soul.

All angels and all souls, although they be confirmed and adorned with grace and with virtues, for the which they be above thee in cleanness, nevertheless, yet they be but even with thee in nature.

Within in thyself in nature be the powers of thy soul: the which be these three principal, Memory, Reason, and Will; and secondary, Imagination and Sensuality.

Above thyself in nature is no manner of thing but only God.

Evermore where thou findest written thyself in ghostliness, then it is understood thy soul, and not thy body. And then all after that thing is on the which the powers of thy soul work, thereafter shall the worthiness and the condition of thy work be deemed; whether it be beneath thee, within thee, or above thee. p. 275

Next: Chapter 63: Of the powers of a soul in general, and how Memory in special is a principal power comprehending in it all the other powers and all those things in the which they work