The Cloud of Unknowing


Read by David Barnes

(4.7 stars; 34 reviews)

The Cloud of Unknowing (Middle English: The Cloude of Unknowyng) is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century. The text is a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages. The book counsels a young student to seek God, not through knowledge and intellection (faculty of the human mind), but through intense contemplation, motivated by love, and stripped of all thought. This is brought about by putting all thoughts and desires under a "cloud of forgetting", and thereby piercing God's cloud of unknowing with a "dart of longing love" from the heart. This form of contemplation is not directed by the intellect, but involves spiritual union with God through the heart. (Summary by Wikipedia) (5 hr 24 min)

Chapters

00 - Introduction 40:27 Read by David Barnes
01 - Prologue and the First Chapter - Of four degrees of Christian men's living… 7:30 Read by David Barnes
02 - The Second Chapter - A short stirring to meekness, and to the work of this… 3:16 Read by David Barnes
03 - The Third Chapter - How the work of this book shall be wrought, and of the… 3:21 Read by David Barnes
04 - The Fourth Chapter - Of the shortness of this word, and how it may not be … 14:00 Read by David Barnes
05 - The Fifth Chapter - That in the time of this word all the creatures that e… 3:43 Read by David Barnes
06 - The Sixth Chapter - A short conceit of the work of this book, treated by q… 2:16 Read by David Barnes
07 - The Seventh Chapter - How a man shall have him in this work against all th… 5:59 Read by David Barnes
08 - The Eighth Chapter - A good declaring of certain doubts that may fall in t… 9:15 Read by David Barnes
09 - The Ninth Chapter - That in the time of this work the remembrance of the h… 4:27 Read by David Barnes
10 - The Tenth Chapter - How a man shall know when his thought is no sin; and i… 4:55 Read by David Barnes
11 - The Eleventh Chapter - That a man should weigh each thought and each stirr… 1:34 Read by David Barnes
12 - The Twelfth Chapter - That by Virtue of this word sin is not only destroye… 3:46 Read by David Barnes
13 - The Thirteenth Chapter - What meekness is in itself, and when it is perfec… 3:33 Read by David Barnes
14 - The Fourteenth Chapter - That without imperfect meekness coming before, it… 4:08 Read by David Barnes
15 - The Fifteenth Chapter - A short proof against their error that say, that t… 3:14 Read by David Barnes
16 - The Sixteenth Chapter - That by Virtue of this work a sinner truly turned … 5:10 Read by David Barnes
17 - The Seventeenth Chapter - That a Very contemplative list not meddle him wi… 3:42 Read by David Barnes
18 - The Eighteenth Chapter - How that yet unto this day all actives complain o… 2:42 Read by David Barnes
19 - The Nineteenth Chapter - A short excusation of him that made this book tea… 3:20 Read by David Barnes
20 - The Twentieth Chapter - How Almighty God will goodly answer for all those … 3:59 Read by David Barnes
21 - The One and Twentieth Chapter - The true exposition of this gospel word, '… 5:09 Read by David Barnes
22 - The Two and Twentieth Chapter - Of the wonderful love that Christ had to m… 2:54 Read by David Barnes
23 - The Three and Twentieth Chapter - How God will answer and purvey for them … 3:57 Read by David Barnes
24 - The Four and Twentieth Chapter - What charity is in itself, and how it is … 3:07 Read by David Barnes
25 - The Five and Twentieth Chapter - That in the time of this work a perfect s… 4:17 Read by David Barnes
26 - The Six and Twentieth Chapter - That without full special grace, or long u… 3:53 Read by David Barnes
27 - The Seven and Twentieth Chapter - Who should work in the gracious work of … 1:04 Read by David Barnes
28 - The Eight and Twentieth Chapter - That a man should not presume to work in… 2:23 Read by David Barnes
29 - The Nine and Twentieth Chapter - That a man should bidingly travail in thi… 2:24 Read by David Barnes
30 - The Thirtieth Chapter - Who should blame and condemn other men's defaults. 1:17 Read by David Barnes
31 - The One and Thirtieth Chapter - How a man should have him in beginning of … 1:45 Read by David Barnes
32 - The Two and Thirtieth Chapter - Of two ghostly devices that be helpful to … 2:44 Read by David Barnes
33 - The Three and Thirtieth Chapter - That in this work a soul is cleansed bot… 2:50 Read by David Barnes
34 - The Four and Thirtieth Chapter - That God giveth this grace freely without… 5:43 Read by David Barnes
35 - The Five and Thirtieth Chapter - Of three means in the which a contemplati… 3:22 Read by David Barnes
36 - The Six and Thirtieth Chapter - Of the meditations of them that continuall… 2:26 Read by David Barnes
37 - The Seven and Thirtieth Chapter - Of the special prayers of them that be c… 3:08 Read by David Barnes
38 - The Eight and Thirtieth Chapter - How and why that short prayer pierceth h… 3:37 Read by David Barnes
39 - The Nine and Thirtieth Chapter - How a perfect worker shall pray, and what… 3:51 Read by David Barnes
40 - The Fortieth Chapter - That in the time of this work a soul hath no specia… 3:50 Read by David Barnes
41 - The One and Fortieth Chapter - That in all other works beneath this, men s… 2:55 Read by David Barnes
42 - The Two and Fortieth Chapter - That by indiscretion in this, men shall kee… 2:28 Read by David Barnes
43 - The Three and Fortieth Chapter - That all witting and feeling of a man's o… 3:15 Read by David Barnes
44 - The Four and Fortieth Chapter - How a soul shall dispose it on its own par… 4:59 Read by David Barnes
45 - The Five and Fortieth Chapter - A good declaring of some certain deceits t… 4:31 Read by David Barnes
46 - The Six and Fortieth Chapter - A good teaching how a man shall flee these … 2:41 Read by David Barnes
47 - The Seven and Fortieth Chapter - A slight teaching of this work in purity … 5:06 Read by David Barnes
48 - The Eight and Fortieth Chapter - How God will be served both with body and… 5:06 Read by David Barnes
49 - The Nine and Fortieth Chapter - The substance of all perfection is nought … 2:18 Read by David Barnes
50 - The Fiftieth Chapter - Which is chaste love; and how in some creatures suc… 3:21 Read by David Barnes
51 - The One and Fiftieth Chapter - That men should have great wariness so that… 4:27 Read by David Barnes
52 - The Two and Fiftieth Chapter - How these young presumptuous disciples misu… 2:31 Read by David Barnes
53 - The Three and Fiftieth Chapter - Of divers unseemly practices that follow … 5:08 Read by David Barnes
54 - The Four and Fiftieth Chapter - How that by Virtue of this word a man is g… 4:23 Read by David Barnes
55 - The Five and Fiftieth Chapter - How they be deceived that follow the fervo… 4:41 Read by David Barnes
56 - The Six and Fiftieth Chapter 2:14 Read by David Barnes
57 - The Seven and Fiftieth Chapter - How these young presumptuous disciples mi… 3:30 Read by David Barnes
58 - The Eight and Fiftieth Chapter - That a man shall not take ensample of Sai… 6:42 Read by David Barnes
59 - The Nine and Fiftieth Chapter - That a man shall not take ensample at the … 4:05 Read by David Barnes
60 - The Sixtieth Chapter - That the high and the next way to heaven is run by … 2:52 Read by David Barnes
61 - The One and Sixtieth Chapter - That all bodily thing is subject unto ghost… 3:38 Read by David Barnes
62 - The Two and Sixtieth Chapter - How a man may wit when his ghostly work is … 2:30 Read by David Barnes
63 - The Three and Sixtieth Chapter - Of the powers of a soul in general, and h… 2:51 Read by David Barnes
64 - The Four and Sixtieth Chapter - Of the other two principal powers Reason a… 2:08 Read by David Barnes
65 - The Five and Sixtieth Chapter - Of the first secondary power, Imagination … 2:29 Read by David Barnes
66 - The Six and Sixtieth Chapter 2:36 Read by David Barnes
67 - The Seven and Sixtieth Chapter - That whoso knoweth not the powers of a so… 4:15 Read by David Barnes
68 - The Eight and Sixtieth Chapter - That nowhere bodily, is everywhere ghostl… 3:42 Read by David Barnes
69 - The Nine and Sixtieth Chapter - How that a man's affection is marvelously … 3:10 Read by David Barnes
70 - The Seventieth Chapter - That right as by the defailing of our bodily wits… 4:20 Read by David Barnes
71 - The One and Seventieth Chapter - That some may not come to feel the perfec… 3:52 Read by David Barnes
72 - The Two and Seventieth Chapter - That a worker in this work should not dee… 1:47 Read by David Barnes
73 - The Three and Seventieth Chapter - How that after the likeness of Moses, o… 3:04 Read by David Barnes
74 - The Four and Seventieth Chapter - How that the matter of this book is neve… 3:34 Read by David Barnes
75 - The Five and Seventieth Chapter - Of some certain tokens by the which a ma… 5:37 Read by David Barnes

Reviews

Thought provoking book

(5 stars)

Really interesting book.

Good Idea, though Limited

(3 stars)

As one who practices Union with God daily, I do feel that in my life it is the best of all things. I prefer some of the Eastern yoga meditation practices personally. Although this book does contain some great ideas, I feel that the author was too much influenced by superstitions and a few issues with the Christianity of his day. I don't believe that a loving God would eternally punish one for making mistakes in a world we don't understand fully, rather I believe there are many paths and All Souls return home at last. I also feel one should have loving self-forgiveness and not despise oneself. In my studies of the many religions of the world, I have come to the conclusion that it's about the individual issues and not each religion as a whole. I have learned much from Christianity, and I prefer the views of Emmet Fox in his book The Sermon on the Mount. There are just those issues of eternal punishment and also exclusivity, in which some religions believe theirs is the only right way that I disagree with.