Tuesday, December 7, 2010

blessed are the poor in spirit

[Meister] Eckhart has much to say about the saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," which is the most illuminating statement in the Bible. What does "poor" mean here, asks Eckhart. He replies: "The poor man, the one who is poor, is the one who wants nothing, knows nothing, and has nothing."

[Upon awakening] a Zen monk said, "Last year my poverty was something like the point of a drill, a very small point. My poverty was such that I had nothing but the small point of a drill. This year my poverty is such that there is no drill, and there is no ground in which its point could be inserted. So I am entirely poor."

This corresponds to what Eckhart means...The mind must be entirely empty of the things we generally put in it. When this takes place there is real God, that is, real poverty---not to want anything, not to know anything, not to have anything.

--- D.T. Suzuki


  1. Interesting, I hadn't thought about "poor" in that saying as including the content of one's mind.

    In the corresponding statement, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," the word "rich" could have to do with wanting, knowing and having too much.

  2. Sometimes 'poor' is translated 'pure' which could more easily support an 'inner' interpretation.

    In WWW's book "Unworldly Wise", the unicorn says, "Blessed are the pure in heart---for they shall SEE God." The Owl then walks his friends through a non-dual interpretation of the quote.

    Re the 'rich man' quote (as well as the first one), the only "obstacle" "to seeing God" or "His kingdom" is the false claim of authoring 'awareness', or as Liquorman says, "We usurp the Subjectivity of God." This keeps "us" "separate."