Genova Maaa my mother


The Forgetfullness Of Self - Poem by Genova Maaa my mother

„The forgetfullness of self is, in a measure, a transformation in God, who then becomes, in a certain manner all things for the soul.
In this rapture, the soul disappears, but not entirely.
It acquires, certain qualities of divinity, but does not naturally become divine.
The soul is rapt, by the divine power of resplendent Being, above its natural faculties, into the nakedness of Nothing"

(Heinrich Seuse, Leben, chp. iv)

Topic(s) of this poem: god, mystical love, mystical philosophy, self


Comments about The Forgetfullness Of Self by Genova Maaa my mother

  • Marie Shine (8/6/2017 3:37:00 PM)

    Heinrich Seuse, a mystic of the Catholic Church (also known as Henry Suso or Amandus) was born circa 1295 in Überlingen, Germany and died in 1366. He was a German Dominican Friar and It is noteworthy that he was a disciple of Meister Eckhart (But Eckhart was more than a teacher to him: there is a touching account in Suso's autobiography of how he went to Eckhart when his hypersensitive conscience was tormenting him, and how Eckhart gave him complete peace) who was accused of heresy and asked by the Papal Court in Avignon to recant his teaching. Meister Eckhart, excommunicated by Pope John XXII 1329, was one of the most important Neoplatonics of the Middle Age and had an immense influence on medieval mysticism. After his condemnation, his two famous disciples Johannes Tauler and Heinrich Seuse carried further the teaching of their master. Seuse was declared a Blessed of the Church by Pope Gregory XVI in year 1831. Among his many admirers we can find illustrious names like Thomas à Kempis and St. Peter Canisius, who was nominated Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI. The first writings by Suso was “Büchlein der Weisheit” (Little Book of Eternal Wisdom) which he later translated into Latin and expanded to an almost entirely new work which is called “Horologium Sapientiae” (Clockwork of Wisdom) . It became extremely influence in Late Medieval Times and was read in the Netherlands, France, Italy and England. Some years after entering the Dominican Order in his native Constance he had a profound religious experience which he described in great detail. It was the beginning of a great love story, told with impressive literary skill in the tender language of courtly love...The language of chivalry, parodied in a later century in Don Quixote, was still viable in Suso's century. 'Your young unruly heart, ' he said to himself, 'can scarcely endure to be without a special object of love.' So he often 'meditated about her, thinking of her lovingly, and liking her full well with all his heart and soul.' The medieval knight delighted to suffer for the lady he worshipped. Two of his books are written as dialogue, a favourite literary form in the 14th century. Henry Suso is a bundle of contradictions, and a person, moreover, who has gathered legends about him like a snowball rolling downhill. He was a poet, which is not always a key to happiness in this world; a mystic of the highest order; a hard working Dominican; and a man with a positive genius for getting into embarrassing situations... It will require many years of exhaustive research to sort out the diverse elements in his personality, if, indeed, it can ever be accomplished. Poets are not easy to analyze, and Henry, before all else, was a poet...Henry was born in Switzerland, in 1290, the son of a warlike family of counts and crusaders. His father said more than once that he wished Henry had been a girl and some of his spirited daughters had been boys; for Henry was not a type to carry a sword. Henry was a gentle, dreamy lad, who liked to accompany his mother on pilgrimages and read about heroic deeds. He had taken his mother's name of Suso, perhaps out of sheer inability to live up to the warlike title of the Count von Berg...The best known work of Henry Suso is his Little Book of Eternal Wisdom, which is a classic of spiritual writing. He also composed many other short treatises on the mystical union of the soul with God, all written with the same poetic language and the same intensity of feeling. The man who had carved the lovely name of Jesus into the flesh over his heart was just as intense in his spiritual life. Among all the medieval mystics, the Rhineland mystics are perhaps the ones best known today. They are widely accessible and cited more frequently than any others. Their message has a directness and freshness of expression that communicates itself across the centuries...Initially one might expect that all mystics from the Rhine region would be counted as Rhineland mystics...But the term “Rhineland mystics” is customarily used in a more restricted sense. It refers only to the mystics of the fourteenth century who lived in Germany and the Low Countries. It applies particularly to a group of several men—Meister Eckhart, Henry Suso, Johannes Tauler and Jan van Ruusbroec...The most daring and original of the Rhenish mystics was Meister Eckhart, whose disciples were Johannes Tauler and Henry Suso. These three Germans all belonged to the Dominican order. Suso is seen as the most intimate and personal mystic, Tauler was known as an inspiring preacher, whereas the Flemish mystic Jan van Ruusbroec limited the fusion of human soul and God by stating that at the summit of the ascent the soul still preserves its identity. These men, deeply involved in the theological debates of their own age, describe the deepest levels of inward experience where God is known in the inner recesses of the human soul, a most intimate presence that is also a transcendence. Their message addresses us so directly because it relates to a search for what is most essential to religion, its deepest, most inward dimension, and it emphasises a real indwelling of ourselves in God and of God in us. The mysticism of the Rhineland is known in German as Wesensmystik, a mysticism of being or essence. Ursula King, in Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies Throughout the Ages (2001) tells us a little bit about Henry Suso as follows: The son of a noble Swabian family, he was born near Lake Constance, on the border between Switzerland and Germany. His father was very worldly, his mother deeply devout. As he tells us in his own Life, written in later years, one of his earliest memorable experiences occurred on the death of his mother when he was still young. She appeared in a vision and told him to love God, then kissed and blessed him, and disappeared. Suso’s sense of loneliness and abandonment, his excessive asceticism in later life, harshly maltreating his body in imitation of Christ’s suffering, and his expressions of tender love addressed to God may all have been linked to “starved human affections seeking an outlet, ” as Evelyn Underhill has suggested. Suso entered the Dominican order at the age of thirteen, but found monastic life rather difficult until he experienced a conversion and spiritual awakening. He subsequently studied under Eckhart in Cologne and became a devoted follower and great admirer of his beloved teacher. By 1326 Suso was back in Constance, where he wrote his famous Büchlein der Wahrheit, or Little Book of Truth, which is full of mystical reflection...Suso experienced intense mystical states and visions that made him see ultimate reality as eternal, uncreated truth in which all things have their source and being. He goes even beyond Eckhart in his understanding of divine and human oneness—a state in which “something and nothing are the same.”...Suso preached widely in the Upper Rhineland and Switzerland, enjoying great popularity wherever he went...The savage asceticism and austerities that he practiced over many years are vividly described in his Life, where he speaks of himself in the third person...But after some twenty years of severe ascetic practices he abandoned them as nothing more than a beginning on the way to the highest knowledge of God, whose overwhelming beauty he praised with great tenderness: “Ah, gentle God, if Thou art so lovely in Thy creatures, how exceedingly beautiful and ravishing Thou must be in Thyself! … Praise and honour be to the unfathomable immensity that is in Thee! ” Suso must have left a deep impression on his contemporaries, for the veneration of the “Blessed Henry Suso” began soon after his death, although officially the Church did not beatify him until 1831. His feast day falls on March 2nd. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags


Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 6, 2017



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. Television
    Roald Dahl
  10. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
[Report Error]