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Posted November 20, 2014

Book: Dark Light of Love
Author: John S. Dunne
University of Notre Dame Press. Notre Dame, IN. 2014. Pp. 98

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Dark Light of Love, John S. Dunne's twenty-third book, was written before his death on November 11, 2013. In this slender, deeply meditative work, Dunne engages with a rich variety of sources --- literature, theology, philosophy, and music --- in an effort to elaborate how "the dark light of love" illuminates a soul in the process whereby it is "oned" with God through emergence, separation, an finally union. As Paul Kollman observes in the foreward, by examining his own knowing and his own loving in that process, Dunne leads us to reconsider our own knowing and loving, thereby shining light on the puzzles that perplex each of us.

An Excerpt from the Book:

"Do not seek death. Death will find you," Dag Hammarskjold writes in his diary. "But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment." That road, it seems to me, must be this road of wholesomeness, of learning to love. It is "the road of the union of love with God," as Saint John of the Cross describes it in Dark Night of the Soul. Learning to love, according to this, takes us into the night of faith, but makes that "a happy night" (una noche dichosa) because love is joy at the thought of the loved one, joy at the thought of God with us, for it speaks to the deep loneliness of the human condition, saying we are not alone. This road of union with God is a road of reunion with others and with all living beings.

"Attention is the natural prayer of the soul," Malebranche says, and so attention can be a relation with God and with others and with all living beings. It is by way of attention that we walk the road of union and reunion. Attention is how we find our way through the dark night of faith, attention to things happening, to signs, to the heart speaking, to the way opening up before us." "If something happens to you it is merely an event," Irving Howe says, "but if you ponder it and absorb it into your consciousness it becomes an experience."

Table of Contents:

1. A Cloud of unknowing
A cloud of unknowing between us and God
A cloud of unknowing between us and all else

2. Emergence
Emergence of the human race
Emergence of the individual

3. Separation
Emergence and separation
"The path taken by the soul of the dancer"

4. Reunion
The road of reunion
The road of union of love

5. A soul is oned with God
Into darkness with love
The circle of knowing and loving

Dark light of love
Dark light: a song cycle