February 22, 2009

Meister Eckhart

[This is part of a series on the historical stream of Reconnection]

Eckhart von Hochheim, also known as Meister Eckhart was born in approximately the year 1260 and died in 1328. He is said to have been born in the village of Tambach in the Germanic region of Thuringia.

They called him Meister because of the degree he received in Paris. He was part of a Dominican order of preacher-friars and he taught in Cologne and Paris to colleagues and students. He came into prominence at a time of increased tensions between the Fransicans and Eckhart’s Dominican Order of Preacher Friars; and he was brought up on charges later in life before the local Franciscan-led Inquisition.

The man had some unusual ideas for the time. He felt like we could meet with God anywhere we were if we could only still ourselves and listen. He believed we could hang out with God in a field or in the church building, and that God lives within us through Christ. He even told people in socially low position that they were just as important to God as nobles, and that God thought they were equally beautiful.

Meister Eckhart’s ideas challenged the staunch religious code of the 1300’s and his thoughts and writings may still make us stop and ponder today.

“Man never desires anything so earnestly as God desires to bring a man to Himself, that he may know Him. God is always ready, but we are very unready; God is near to us, but we are far from Him; God is within, but we are without; God is at home, but we are strangers…”
– Meister Eckhart

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