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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"Unknowing knowing" - St. John of the Cross


I entered the unknown,
and there I remained unknowing,
all knowledge transcended.

Where I entered I knew not,
but seeing myself there,
not knowing where,
great things then made themselves known.
What I sensed I cannot say,
for I remained unknowing,
all knowledge transcended.

In this peace and purity
was perfect knowledge.
In profound solitude
I understood with absolute clarity
something so secret
that I was left stammering,
all knowledge transcended.

So deep was I within,
so absorbed, so transported,
that all senses fled,
and outer awareness fell away.
My spirit received the gift
of unknowing knowing,
all knowledge transcended.

He who reaches this realm
loses himself,
for all he once knew
now is beneath his notice,
and his mind so expands
that he remains unknowing,
all knowledge transcended.

And the higher he rises
the less he knows;
That is the dark cloud
that shines in the night.
The one who knows this
always remains unknowing,
all knowledge transcended.

This knowing by unknowing
is of such exalted power,
that the disputations of the learned
fail to grasp it,
for their knowledge does not reach
to knowing by unknowing,
all knowledge transcended.

Of such supreme perfection
is this knowledge
that no faculty or method of mind
can comprehend it;
but he who conquers himself
with this unknowing knowing,
will always transcend.

And if you are ready to receive it,
this sum of all knowledge is discovered
in the deeper ecstasy
of the Divine Essence.
Goodness and grace
grant us this unknowing,
all knowledge transcended.

St. John of the Cross
(1542-1591)
Original title: "I Entered the Unknown"
From: This Dance of Bliss
by Ivan Granger
Poetry Chaikhana





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