The Chain of Forgetfulness That Exists in Time
When your intellect in its great longing for God gradually withdraws
from the flesh and turns away from all thoughts that have their
source in your sense-perception, memory or soul-body temperament, and
when it becomes full of reverence and joy, then you may conclude that
you are close to the frontiers of prayer.
You cannot attain pure prayer while entangled in material things and
agitated by constant cares. For prayer means the shedding of
-- Evagrios the Solitary, On Pure Prayer
Disciple: Sir, how may I come to the Supersensual Life, so that I may
see God, and hear God speak?
Master: Son, when thou canst throw thyself into That, where no
Creature dwelleth, though it be but for a Moment, then thou hearest
what God speaketh.
Disciple: Is that where no Creature dwelleth near at hand; or is it
Master: It is in thee. And if thou canst, my Son, for a while but
cease from all thy thinking and willing, then thou shalt hear the
unspeakable Words of God.
Disciple How can I hear Him speak, when I stand still from thinking
Master: When thou standest still from the thinking of self, and the
willing of self; "When both thy intellect and will are quiet, and
passive to the Impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit; and when
thy Soul is winged up, and above that which is temporal, the outward
Senses, and the Imagination being locked up by holy Abstraction,"
then the Eternal Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking will be revealed in
thee; and so God heareth "and seeth through thee," being now the
Organ of His Spirit; and so God speaketh in thee, and whispereth to
thy Spirit, and thy Spirit heareth His Voice. Blessed art thou
therefore if that thou canst stand still from Self-thinking and Self-
willing, and canst stop the Wheel of thy Imagination and Senses
forasmuch as hereby thou mayest arrive at length to see the great
Salvation of God being made capable of all Manner of Divine
Sensations and Heavenly Communications. Since it is nought indeed but
thine own Hearing and Willing that do hinder thee, so that thou dost
not see and hear God.
Disciple: But wherewith shall I hear and see God, forasmuch as He is
above Nature and Creature?
Master: Son, when thou art quiet and silent, then art thou as God was
before Nature and Creature; thou art that which God then was; thou
art that whereof He made thy Nature and Creature: then thou hearest
and seest even with that wherewith God Himself saw and heard in thee,
before ever thine own Willing or thine own Seeing began.
--Jacob Boehme, THE SUPERSENSUAL LIFE
It is said that the highest state of prayer is reached when the
intellect goes beyond the flesh and the world, and while praying is
utterly free from matter and form. He who maintains this state has
truly attained unceasing prayer.
-- Saint Maximos the Confessor
I was set loose from a world.....
and from the chain of forgetfulness
that exists in time.
-- Gospel of Mary Magdalene