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Publisher's Summary

This anonymous fourteenth-century text is the glory of English mysticism, and one of the most practical and useful guides to finding union with God ever written. Carmen Acevedo Butcher’s new translation is the first to bring the text into a modern English idiom - while remaining strictly faithful to the meaning of the original Middle English. The Cloud of Unknowing consists of a series of letters written by a monk to his student or disciple, instructing him (or her) in the way of Divine union. Its theology is presented in a way that is remarkably easy to understand, as well as practical, providing advice on prayer and contemplation that anyone can use. Previous translations of the Cloud have tended to veil its intimate, even friendly tone under medieval-sounding language. Carmen Butcher has boldly brought the text into language as appealing to modern ears as it was to its original readers more than five hundred years ago.Also included in the volume is the companion work attributed to the same anonymous author, The Book of Privy Counsel, which contains further advice for approaching God in a way that emphasizes real experience rather than human knowledge.

©2009 Carmen Acevedo Butcher (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

Contemplation -> transformation

This classic work on Christian contemplation has influenced my life profoundly for the good in the years since I first encountered it. (Its ideas undergird the practice of Centering Prayer.) This translation by Carmen is _by far_ the most accessible IMO. I've read and listened to it multiple times. I think provides valuable illumination for contemplatives on all paths.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Nice Listen!!!!

Listened to it several times. Very interesting and informative. I will use this book as a reference, and would recommend this book for someone serious about contemplative prayer!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Amazing ! Where has this been all my life :-)

loved it. Written with such wisdom and authority. Very enjoyable to listen to with awesome content and excellent narration.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Definitely worth listening to again and again

Butcher's modern translation and Cronin's reading make this a pleasure. I'm sure the original author would be shocked to learn that contemplation is now considered a pagan practice of far eastern religions instead of a traditional way for Christians to press deeper into their life in God. His emphasis on the work of grace in contemplation, one end result being holiness and love, and grounding contemplation in scriptural truth should appeal to Christians of all denominations. I also found the approach of waiting in quietness on God as a kind of prayer to be refreshing. In our age of social media it's a relief to be quiet, to not be constantly chattering, to not be giving God a laundry list of requests or a series of instructions posed as prayers.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Truly Magnificent!!!

Beautifully narrated! An awesome read, and beautifully translated from the old English text. They've done a marvellous job with this. Highly recommended for those walking the contemplative path.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Old Wisdom For a New Time!

The author does a wonderful job of letting us know the basics of Contemplation without making it sound as if we can't obtain it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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great for contemplatives

excellent source for someone looking for a deeper understanding of contemplation higly recomended ..God Bless..

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good read!

Lots of helpful information that guides one into the contemplative journey. Nice explanations! These books are a nice addition to other books on contemplation adding a little different perspective, while giving the student a fuller understanding. God Bless you on your journey!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Book

This is a wonderful book about Contemplative Prayer. I wish I should have read it earlier of my Christian life but by God's grace I found it now and enjoying it. Praise the Lord for this amazing book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Uplifting

Just the right amount of history & interpretive comments. Good contemporary rendering of a classic.

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  • TGW
  • 09-27-16

Beaufitul

Would you consider the audio edition of The Cloud of Unknowing: With the Book of Privy Counsel to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the book, but I tried reading the original and it was too sticky for me, and couldn't get my head around the old English language, however, this version is fantastic, and loved every word that I listened to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

God - because he is the centre of everything! :)

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Describing the Cloud of Forgetting and how to use it to literally forget everything during contemplation...

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Nope - it was poetry all the way through.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this to anyone just starting to try contemplation.

Personal Takeaways:

Anyone can try contemplation - it is not reserved for monks
Focus on the cloud of unknowing - it looks dark and gloomy but that is where to be
Get comfortable in the cloud
Resist all thoughts about things and people and focus on one syllable words, Sin, God, Love, etc to bring the focus back on the subject
Don't overdo repeating the word you choose
Don't analyse why you chose that word, and it's origin
Play a game with God - don't show God how much you really want him, and he will come to you
don't be a greedy greyhound, chasing after God more and more and more, He will come
Don't lunge for God
Spending time in the Cloud of Unkowing will help towards increasing in virtue as a by product

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Darragh
  • 07-04-16

Feels as it sounds.

Wait for this to be recomended rather than listen to know the message. This can not be hoarded intellectually no more than gold is used as a paperweight. You can not know or understand it nor follow it as a procedure. It will already be in place, as your path moves beneath your feet. Top marks! Thankyou so much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brett
  • 08-23-18

The Cloud of Unknowing

A simple, sensitive translation that conveys what the unknown author intended for his audience.

If you want inspiring, practical guidance and advice you can use every day for the rest of your life, get this book. You won’t regret it.

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  • g mac
  • 01-11-18

Pretty impressed.

If you're interested in contemplative prayer for Christians, this book is for you. And it's one of the best translations of an ancient text I've ever heard/read, by which I mean that it's in easy-to-understand, relatable language

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-18

Masterpiece

Rivals any other Mystic writing in history. A clear rendering of a symbolically saturated work of Heart.