Knowing God

“We can know God easily so long as we do not feel it necessary to define Him.” Once having grasped this truth I began to see how natural knowing God became. The difficulty of the forced, of the artificial, of the mere assent to what other people say, of which the Caucasian to his credit is always impatient, seemed by degrees to melt away from me. No longer defining God I no longer tried to know Him in senses obviously impossible. I ceased trying to imagine Him. Seeing Him as infinite, eternal, changeless, formless because transcending form, and indescribable because transcending words and thoughts, I could give myself up to finding Him in the ways in which He would naturally be revealed to me.”–Basil King, “Conquest of Fear” (1921)

This book was given to me over twenty years ago when it was out of print. A friend who’s been dead nearly twenty-one years first told me of this book and he gave me one of his last copies. As I read, “Jesus Today” by Albert Nolan last week I was struck by many of the similarities between Nolan’s work and Basil King’s work. Then too there are parallels with Meister Eckhart and other mystics. “Conguest of Fear” is a classic that was first published 85 years ago. It’s wisdom and insight are timeless. I have read it again and again over the last twenty years. You can read it online at Project Gutenberg or you can buy it at

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fear, conquest of fear, basil king, mystic