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Publisher's Summary

This anonymous fourteenth-century text is the glory of English mysticism, and one of the most practical and useful guides to finding union with God ever written. Carmen Acevedo Butcher’s new translation is the first to bring the text into a modern English idiom - while remaining strictly faithful to the meaning of the original Middle English. The Cloud of Unknowing consists of a series of letters written by a monk to his student or disciple, instructing him (or her) in the way of Divine union. Its theology is presented in a way that is remarkably easy to understand, as well as practical, providing advice on prayer and contemplation that anyone can use. Previous translations of the Cloud have tended to veil its intimate, even friendly tone under medieval-sounding language. Carmen Butcher has boldly brought the text into language as appealing to modern ears as it was to its original readers more than five hundred years ago.Also included in the volume is the companion work attributed to the same anonymous author, The Book of Privy Counsel, which contains further advice for approaching God in a way that emphasizes real experience rather than human knowledge.
©2009 Carmen Acevedo Butcher (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By M. James on 03-24-15

Contemplation -> transformation

This classic work on Christian contemplation has influenced my life profoundly for the good in the years since I first encountered it. (Its ideas undergird the practice of Centering Prayer.) This translation by Carmen is _by far_ the most accessible IMO. I've read and listened to it multiple times. I think provides valuable illumination for contemplatives on all paths.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michael Dudziec on 10-05-16

Nice Listen!!!!

Listened to it several times. Very interesting and informative. I will use this book as a reference, and would recommend this book for someone serious about contemplative prayer!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By TW on 09-27-16


Would you consider the audio edition of The Cloud of Unknowing: With the Book of Privy Counsel to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the book, but I tried reading the original and it was too sticky for me, and couldn't get my head around the old English language, however, this version is fantastic, and loved every word that I listened to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

God - because he is the centre of everything! :)

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Describing the Cloud of Forgetting and how to use it to literally forget everything during contemplation...

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Nope - it was poetry all the way through.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this to anyone just starting to try contemplation.

Personal Takeaways:

Anyone can try contemplation - it is not reserved for monks
Focus on the cloud of unknowing - it looks dark and gloomy but that is where to be
Get comfortable in the cloud
Resist all thoughts about things and people and focus on one syllable words, Sin, God, Love, etc to bring the focus back on the subject
Don't overdo repeating the word you choose
Don't analyse why you chose that word, and it's origin
Play a game with God - don't show God how much you really want him, and he will come to you
don't be a greedy greyhound, chasing after God more and more and more, He will come
Don't lunge for God
Spending time in the Cloud of Unkowing will help towards increasing in virtue as a by product

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Darragh on 07-04-16

Feels as it sounds.

Wait for this to be recomended rather than listen to know the message. This can not be hoarded intellectually no more than gold is used as a paperweight. You can not know or understand it nor follow it as a procedure. It will already be in place, as your path moves beneath your feet. Top marks! Thankyou so much.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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