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Meister Eckhart, Entirely within, entirely without

(From Meister Eckhart: the Essential sermons, commentaries, treatises and defense, translation and introduction by E. Colledge O.S.A. and B. McGinn, NY 1981). Footnotes are not included in the excerpts here selected. 

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2. In interpreting this Word and everything else that follows my intention is the same as in all my works, to explain what the holy Christian faith and the two Testaments maintain through the help of the natural arguments of the philosophers. "God's invisible attributes are seen and understood from the creation of the world in the things that he has made, as well as his everlasting power (that is, the Son), and his divinity (that is, the Holy Spirit)," as the Gloss on Romans, chapter one, says. In the seventh book of the Confessions Augustine says that he read "In the beginning was the Word" and a large part of this first chapter of John in the works of Plato. In the tenth boοk of the City of God he speaks of a Platonist who used to say that the beginning of this chapter as far as the words "There was a man sent from God" should be written in golden letters and displayed in key locations. 

3. Moreover, it is the intention of this work to show how the truths of natural principles, conclusions and properties are well intimated for him "who has ears to hear" (Mt. 13:43) in the very words of sacred scripture, which are interpreted through these natural truths. Now and then some moral interpretations will also be advanced. 

4. The interpretation of "In the beginning was the Word" should be in accord with this intention. First note that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God," as well as much that follows, are contained in the words: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and light was made; and God saw the light was good, and he divided the light from the darkness" (Gn. 1:3-4). To clarify the text "In the beginning was the Word" down to "There was a man sent from God," mark first of all that what is produced or proceeds from anything is precontained in it. This is universally and naturally true, both in the Godhead (the topic here) and in natural and artificial things. A fig could as easily come from a vine or a pear tree as a fig tree, if it were not precontained and preexistent in the fig tree.

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   Related: Meister Eckhart SiteThe Condemnation of Meister Eckhart  Erigena, By His seeing and running all things are made,  Maximus Confessor, He divided the Ages wisely  Symeon the New Theologian, When shall the Day of the Lord come?  Papacy

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