This pocket-sized work of Christian mysticism is “a shortened version in modern English of a fourteenth century devotional classic arranged for modern use.” It was originally written in Middle English by an unknown monk. The text is a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer in the late Middle Ages; its underlying message is that the way to know God is to forget about His activities and attributes and be courageous enough to surrender one’s mind and ego to the realm of “unknowing,” at which point one may begin to glimpse the true nature of God.
As with its companion “Books of the Little Gold-Jacketed Series” A Guide to True Peace and A Method of Prayer, The Cloud of Unknowing was published in association with Pendle Hill by Harper & Brothers (New York and London).
From the foreword:
“‘The Cloud of Unknowing’ was one of the most penetrating and profound, yet also one of the simplest of the many books of devotion produced in that greatest century of Christian mysticism, the fourteenth. [This] interpretation […] was written at Pendle Hill by a student member of the community who, like the author interpreted, prefers to remain anonymous. It is published in the hope that it will introduce others as it has already introduced Pendle Hill to a great devotional classic. We are happy to be associated in the publication with Harper & Brothers, who have already performed an important service by bringing literature of this kind to the attention and within reach of the public.” —Howard Haines Brinton