Briefly on Meister Eckhart

4 03 2019

I listened recently to Charlotte Radler’s brief audio lecture, Living Without a Why: Meister Eckhart’s Mysticism as a refresher concerning his thought. I came away fairly lukewarm concerning Eckhart. When I was younger, Eckhart seemed interesting and a bit transgressive, especially in the circles I was in. I guess years of experience has made me impatient with his word games and exaggerations. Talk about some “oneness” beyond the Trinity or “the eye by which I see God is the same eye with which he sees me,” leaves me rather cold. For me, the austere negation and moving beyond all concepts just births nasty things like Hegel and the New Age (New Agers love Eckhart). Maybe that isn’t fair, but the burden of being understood lies with the author, not with the careless readers with agendas. Eckhart played fast and loose with much of his rhetoric, and Radler seems to concede that at times. Eckhart was prepared to submit to Holy Mother Church when he died during his heresy trial. I am not sure how useful his thought is now, considering our current intellectual atmosphere.