EckhartEckhart, Meister, a German mystic philosopher and divine of the 13th century. He was a Dominican, and attained a high standing in the order. In the later years of his life he preached at Strasburg, Frankfort, and Cologne, dying in 1327. His theory was that ultimate Being is without personality, but contains potentially the differentia?
of existence and personality; that self-conscious personality arising from absolute personality became God the Father, the self-consciousness giving rise to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Who is the will of Father and Son. This development, however, is not successive but simultaneous and eternal. He further held that all creation contains part of the Divinity, and that the soul of man has a spark of Divine Essence, which strives to return to its original source. His views of the expurgation of the soul till it is filled with the Divinity have much that is akin to the Buddhist doctrines. In 1325 Eckhart was accused of heresy, and cited before the Archbishop of Cologne, but the charge was not made good, though after his death a papal bull eleclared his writings heretical. Sermons and tracts of his in Latin and German are extant.