An exploration of the nature of reality, mysticism begins with the individual struggle toward a clear vision and culminates in a transformed consciousness. This marvelous guide to the contemplative life originated with the reflection of an unknown fourteenth-century priest who believed that a "cloud of unknowing" separates people from God. This cloud, he maintained, cannot be penetrated by intellect —only by love. The Cloud of Unknowing offers an approach to contemplative life that finds holiness at a level deeper than physical experience and beyond language or image. The author advises placing all thought and mental imagery behind a metaphorical "cloud of forgetting" while seeking to love the divine. Hidden from the infinite consciousness by a "cloud of unknowing," divine love can be reached through monologistic prayer — a single-word prayer, like a mantra, that assists in abandoning all extraneous thought. Seekers can thus attain an inner silence, where they may "be still and know the sacred." The author's spiritual gifts, combined with his humorous and straightforward approach, offer a view of divinity that never loses the common touch. Written in everyday language and edited by a popular authority on mysticism, this venerable work can be understood and appreciated by any reader.