Marguerite Porete - The Mirror of Simple Souls - Themes
Annihilated is used by Marguerite in
the same sense that 'crucified' is used by most christians. A soul that has
been crucified is dead; and her sin nature cannot respond to the world, the
flesh, or the devil; or to the lust of the mind, the lust of the flesh, or the
pride of life. I like the word annihilated because it is stronger.
Creatures. A recurring theme in the middle ages is the perception that emotions and thoughts are 'other'. That they have a life of their own.
Gnosis has taken on the meaning of knowing
directly through the spirit without logic or thought. The Gnostics were condemned
early in western church history. Not to say that the Gnostics were without their
excesses; or that without the Spirit of the Lord some were not completely deluded;
but the Church may have overreacted to a perceived threat to her authority.
How without knowing directly can you explain "the Spirit (Him)self beareth
witness with our spirit that we are the children of the Lord"? (Rom 8:16)
Law and Grace. A large part of Galatians and Corinthians is devoted to explaining the difference between the Old Covenant and the New covenant.. Between the Law and Grace. A Christian who is under the Law says things like "The bible is a rulebook.. all you have to do is follow the rules..." A Christian who is under Grace, understands Augustine when he says "Love the Lord.. and do whatever you want".
Nobility. In Marguerite's view, a noble
soul is selfless, giving, courteous, and gracious.. Souls are born noble. or
Reason is always used by Marguerite to refer to the natural fallen intellect.
Understanding. Marguerite distinguishes
between the soulish man, who understands with his natural intellect,
and the spiritual man who understands with his spirit; a truism that
is misunderstood mostly by men with natural understanding. Soulish-man is highly
likely to mistake psychic phenomena for spiritual. There should be an english
word for a person with limited understanding; who ThinksHeKnowsButDoesn't. Spiritual
understanding is an attribute - and a gift - of the Spirit of the Lord (Isaiah
Unencumbered soul. A soul that has been annihilated and is moved only by God's love. This soul is no longer encumbered by her old nature, or by the law of the virtues. This soul has died to her own will, her own wanting, and her own knowing, leaving her wlling, knowing, and wanting to be energised by the Lord's willing, knowing, and wanting.