click picture for AYCARDUS website

click picture for AYCARDUS website
Meister Eckhart

Friday, October 29, 2010

Status report (of sorts). . .

In October I participated in the XXIII Eckhart Conference held at All Saints Pastoral Centre in London Colney, UK.  The papers were excellent and on a variety of topics from neuroscience to the Our Father, from Nothingness to Chinese philosophy.  My role was a bit of an experiment.  I was the 'Spiritual Narrator' and my task was to offer comment and observations on the spiritual aspects for the group.  I must say it was well received and I was particularly glad that the presenters all found it enhanced their papers.
  Our translations are making progress and I will confess that the summer months were difficult to focus on them. Three are moving along nicely and my hope is that you will begin to see the fruits of this labor beginning in November.  Chief among these will be an excellent article by Rupert Mayer, OP which examines the influences of Aquinas and Dietrich von Freiburg in Eckhart on the question of esse.  I have also gotten word that the first of his sermons on the Trinity is in final revisions, and that the sermons for Corpus Christi are coming along and 'hoping to finish soon'.
  On another note.  I am nearing completion of a work on Meister Eckhart but not the usual sort of thing.  I have taken a stab at writing an historical fictional novel on Eckhart.  I recently recounted to a friend that the difference between the scholarly pieces on Eckhart  I have done and this fictional work has been telling.  In the academic writings I have limited my examination of the data to a critical reading.  Now, in the world of fiction, the same data has been approached not from the aspect of facts, though the facts remain.  Rather, it has been approaching these facts from the aspect of their narrative, the story they suggest.  Behind the facts are so many questions of why, or when or how that contain a story that longs to be told.  I hope that it will be available in Spring, 2011 and will post more information in the future.  The title will be: The Death of Magister Aycardus.
  I think that is the latest news and hope to post blogs more frequently now that the cold is curtailing my romps.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Michael,
    just went over a small section of Eckhart's homily on Augustine (Vas auri solidum ...) and suggest a few changes to the Engl. translation that you have posted in the Aycardus project, I do it here as I would like to encourage people to jointly help in this translation project.
    Here the Latin text (LW V 94,11-95,2):
    'Et haec cognitio operatur ad tria: primo ad occulta vel futura pronuntiandum, secundo ad meritorie operandum, tertio ad divinam dulcedinem praegustandum. Primus modus est prophetalis; secundus in habitibus gratuitis usque ad fructus; tertius in exstasi mentis, et haec in fructibus. Secundus et tertius perfecte erant in eo, quia de tertio dicitur secundum quod est in intellectu practico. Haec cognitio scientia vel sapientia, quasi sapida scientia, quae aliquando intromittit hominem in affectum multum.'
    I suggest the following rendering:
    'And this understanding brings us to three points: First, [it is] for the foretelling of things hidden or future [things]; second for meritorious works; third for the foretasting of divine bliss. The first way is prophecy; the second is the fruition of graced habits; the third is in the ecstasy of the mind, and this happens in the fruit. The second and third were perfectly [found] in [Augustine], the third is said according to practical knowledge. This knowing, by science or by wisdom, like sage [sapida] science, sometimes makes a person very excited.'
    The quote shows how doing philosophy and theology, and working as a scholar was a mind-blowing experience and an exciting pleasure for Eckhart, immersing oneself in the cognition of science and wisdom. Indeed that's what it is. And according to Eckhart it is even more, it is the highest form of foretasting the divine bliss, God himself - in the fruit ...