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Meister Eckhart - Selected writings - All suffering comes from attachment and affection



Type of Spiritual Experience


In Buddhist thought a lack of desire and wants  is referred to as detachment, and in one of the most extraordinary areas of Eckhart’s writing he too talks about detachment and non-attachment.  He could have been a Zen Buddhist………….


A description of the experience

Meister Eckhart selected writings – edited and translated by Oliver Davies

All suffering comes from attachment and affection.  Therefore, if I suffer on account of transitory things, my heart still has attachment to and affection for transitory things,...

Now I say further that all suffering comes from our love for what misfortune takes from us.  If the loss of external things causes me pain, then this is a clear sign that I love external things and thus, in truth, love suffering and despair.  Is it surprising then that I suffer, since I love and seek suffering and despair?........

My heart and my affections assign to creatures that goodness which is God's possession. I turn to creatures which, by their nature, are the source of suffering and turn my back on God, from whom all consolation comes. Is it then surprising that I suffer and that I am sad? Truly, it is impossible for God or for the whole world to console someone who seeks consolation from creatures. But they who love only God in the creature and the creature only in God, will find true, just and constant consolation in all places.

The first is that we should take leave of ourselves and of all things and be attached to nothing external which acts upon the senses within, and also that we should not remain in any creature which is either in time or in eternity. 

The second is that we should not love this or that good thing but rather goodness as such from which all good things flow, for things are only desirable and delightful in so far as God is in them

The source of the experience

Meister Eckhart

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Science Items

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