the Cloud of Unknowing – Anoymous 14th C

The Cloud of Unknowing (Middle English: The Cloud of Unknowing) is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century. The text is a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages. The underlying message of this work suggests that the way to know God is to abandon consideration of God’s particular activities and attributes, and be courageous enough to surrender one’s mind and ego to the realm of “unknowing”, at which point one may begin to glimpse the nature of God.


-A Study of the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness.

(1911) by Evelyn Underhill

The Way (5 stages):

1. Awakening of Self

2. Purgation of Self (Little Self – Transcendence if Ego)

3. Illumination

4. “Dark Night of Soul”

5. Unitive Self