The Cloud of Forgetting

December 30, 2009

Father Richard Rohr, OFM, writes: ‘The sin in the beginning of the Bible is “to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). The moment I sit on my throne where I know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, then I’m capable of great evil—while not thinking of it as evil!  I have eaten of the wrong tree, according to the Bible.  Don’t judge, don’t label, don’t rush to judgment. You don’t usually know other people’s real motives or intentions.  You hardly know your own.

What the author of the classic Cloud of Unknowing says is that first you have to enter into “the cloud of forgetting.”  Forget all your certitudes, all your labels, all your explanations, whereby you’ve put this person in this box; this group is going to heaven, this race is superior to that race. Just forget it. It’s largely a waste of time. It’s usually your ego projecting itself, announcing itself, and protecting itself. It has nothing to do with objective reality or real love of the truth.

If the world, and the world’s religions, do not learn this kind of humility and patience, I think we’re in definite trouble.’


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