I recently discovered the following comment on the conversion of Saint Paul. The exquisiteness of Eckhart’s text and deep conection to my non-religious experiences forces me to report it here.
I do not add any further impressions on this. I find it simply beautiful.
Meister Eckhart’s comments on Saint Paul’s conversion
He saw God, where all creatures are nothing. He saw all creatures as nothing, for He has the essence of all creatures within Him. He is an essence that contains all essence.
A second thing he means by saying “He saw nothing. ” Our masters say that whoever perceives external things, something must enter into him, at least an impression. If I want to get an image of anything, such as a stone, I draw the coarsest part of it into myself, stripping it off externally. But as it is in the ground of my soul, there it is at its highest and noblest, there it is nothing but an image. Whatever my soul perceives from without, an alien element enters in. But when I perceive creatures in God, nothing enters but God alone, for in God there is nothing but God. When I see all creatures in God, I see nothing. He saw God, in Whom all creatures are nothing.
The third reason why he saw nothing: the nothing was God. A master says, all creatures are in God as naught, for He has in Him the essence of all creatures. He is the essence that contains all essence. A master says there is nothing under God, however near it may be to Him, but has some alien taint. A master says an angel knows himself and God without means. But into all else he knows, there comes an outside element – there is an impression, however slight. If we are to know God it must be without means, and then nothing alien can enter in. If we do see God in this light, it must be quite private and indrawn, without the intrusion of anything created. Then we have an immediate knowledge of eternal life.
Full text here.