Pseudo-Dionysius – Mystical Theology [Audiobook]

Dionysius the Areopagite – MYSTIC THEOLOGY Translation by John Parker 1897 Read by Dan Attrell Mystic Theology What is the Divine Gloom? TRIAD supernal, both super-God and super-good,
Guardian of the Theosophy of Christian men, direct us aright to the super-unknown and
super-brilliant and highest summit of the mystic Oracles, where the simple and absolute
and changeless mysteries of theology lie hidden within the super-luminous gloom of the silence,
revealing hidden things, which in its deepest darkness shines above the most super-brilliant,
and in the altogether impalpable and invisible, fills to overflowing the eyeless minds with
glories of surpassing beauty. This then be my prayer; but thou, O dear Timothy,
by thy persistent commerce with the mystic visions, leave behind both sensible perceptions
and intellectual efforts, and all objects of sense and intelligence, and all things
not being and being, and be raised aloft unknowingly to the union, as far as attainable, with Him
Who is above every essence and knowledge. For by the resistless and absolute ecstasy
in all purity, from thyself and all, thou wilt be carried on high, to the superessential
ray of the Divine darkness, when thou hast cast away all, and become free from all. p. 131 But see that none of the uninitiated listen
to these things–those I mean who are entangled in things being, and fancy there is nothing
superessentially above things being, but imagine that they know, by their own knowledge, Him,
Who has placed darkness as His hiding-place. But, if the Divine initiations are above such,
what would any one say respecting those still more uninitiated, such as both portray the
Cause exalted above all, from the lowest of things created, and say that It in no wise
excels the no-gods fashioned by themselves and of manifold shapes, it being our duty
both to attribute and affirm all the attributes of things existing to It, as Cause of all,
and more properly to deny them all to It, as being above all, and not to consider the
negations to be in opposition to the affirmations, but far rather that It, which is above every
abstraction and definition, is above the privations. Thus, then, the divine Bartholomew says that
Theology is much and least, and the Gospel broad and great, and on the other hand concise. He seems to me to have comprehended this supernaturally,
that the good Cause of all is both of much utterance, and at the same time of briefest
utterance and without utterance; as having neither utterance nor conception, because
It is superessentially exalted above all, and manifested without veil and in truth,
to those alone who pass through both all things consecratedp. 132 and pure, and ascend above every ascent
of all holy summits, and leave behind all divine lights and sounds, and heavenly words,
and enter into the gloom, where really is, as the Oracles say, He Who is beyond all. For even the divine Moses is himself strictly
bidden to be first purified, and then to be separated from those who are not so, and after
entire cleansing hears the many-voiced trumpets, and sees many lights, shedding pure and streaming
rays; then he is separated from the multitude, and with the chosen priests goes first to
the summit of the divine ascents, although even then he does not meet with Almighty God
Himself, but views not Him (for He is viewless) but the place where He is. Now this I think signifies that the most Divine
and Highest of the things seen and contemplated are a sort of suggestive expression, of the
things subject to Him Who is above all, through which His wholly inconceivable Presence is
shown, reaching to the highest spiritual summits of His most holy places; and then he (Moses)
is freed from them who are both seen and seeing, and enters into the gloom of the Agnosia;
a gloom veritably mystic, within which he closes all perceptions of knowledge and enters
into the altogether impalpable and unseen, being wholly of Him Who is beyond all, and
of none, neither himself nor other; and by inactivity of all knowledge, united in his
better part to. the altogether Unknown, and by knowing nothing,
knowing above mind. CAPUT II. How we ought both to be united and render
praise to the Cause of all and above all. WE pray to enter within the super-bright gloom,
and through not seeing and not knowing, to see and to know that the not to see nor to
know is itself the above sight and knowledge. For this is veritably to see and to know and
to celebrate super-essentially the Superessential, through the abstraction of all existing things,
just as those who make a lifelike statue, by extracting all the encumbrances which have
been placed upon the clear view of the concealed, and by bringing to light, by the mere cutting
away 60 , the genuine beauty concealed in it. And, it is necessary, as I think, to celebrate
the abstractions in an opposite way to the definitions. For, we used to place these latter by beginning
from the foremost and descending through the middle to the lowest, but, in this case, by
making the ascents from the lowest to the highest, we abstract everything, in order
that, without veil, we may know that Agnosia, which is enshrouded under all the known, in
all things that be, and may see that superessential gloom, which is hidden by all the light in
existing things. What are the affirmative expressions respecting
God, and what the negative. IN the Theological Outlines, then, we celebrated
the principal affirmative expressions respecting God–how the Divine and good Nature is spoken
of as One–how as Threefold–what is that within it which is spoken of as Paternity
and Sonship–what the Divine name of “the Spirit “is meant to signify,–how from the
immaterial and indivisible Good the Lights dwelling in the heart of Goodness sprang forth,
and remained, in their branching forth, without departing from the coeternal abiding in Himself
and in Themselves and in each other,–how the super-essential Jesus takes substance
in veritable human nature–and whatever other things, made known by the Oracles, are celebrated
throughout the Theological Outlines; and in the treatise concerning Divine Names, how
He is named Good–how Being–how Life and Wisdom and Power–and whatever else belongs
to the nomenclature of God. Further, in the Symbolical Theology, what
are the Names transferred from objects of sense to things Divine?–what are the Divine
forms?–what the Divine appearances, and parts and organs?–what the Divine places and ornaments?–what
the angers?–what the griefs?–and the Divine wrath?–what the carousals, and the ensuing
sicknesses?–what the oaths,–and what the p. 135 curses?–what the sleepings, and what
the awakings?–and all the other Divinely formed representations, which belong to the
description of God, through symbols. And I imagine that you have comprehended,
how the lowest are expressed in somewhat more words than the first. For, it was necessary that the Theological
Outlines, and the unfolding of the Divine Names should be expressed in fewer words than
the Symbolic Theology; since, in proportion as we ascend to the higher, in such a degree
the expressions are circumscribed by the contemplations of the things intelligible. As even now, when entering into the gloom
which is above mind, we shall find, not a little speaking, but a complete absence of
speech, and absence of conception. In the other case, the discourse, in descending
from the above to the lowest, is widened according to the descent, to a proportionate extent;
but now, in ascending from below to that which is above, in proportion to the ascent, it
is contracted, and after a complete ascent, it will become wholly voiceless, and will
be wholly united to the unutterable. But, for what reason in short, you say, having
attributed the Divine attributes from the foremost, do we begin the Divine abstraction
from things lowest? Because it is necessary that they who place
attributes on that which is above every attribute, should place the attributive affirmation from
that which is more cognate to it; but that they who abstract, with regard to that which
is above every abstraction, should make the abstraction from things which are further
removed from it. Are not p. 136 life and goodness more (cognate)
than air and stone? and He is not given to debauch and to wrath, more (removed) than
He is not expressed nor conceived. CAPUT IV. That the pre-eminent Cause of every object
of sensible perception is none of the objects of sensible perception. WE say then- that the Cause of all, which
is above all, is neither without being, nor without life–nor with- out reason, nor without
mind, nor is a body–nor has shape–nor form–nor quality, or quantity, or bulk–nor is in a
place–nor is seen–nor has sensible contact–nor perceives, nor is perceived, by the senses–nor
has disorder and confusion, as being vexed by earthly passions,–nor is powerless, as
being subject to casualties of sense,–nor is in need of light;–neither is It, nor has
It, change, or decay, or division, or deprivation, or flux,–or any other of the objects of sense. That the pre-eminent Cause of every object
of intelligible perception is none of the objects of intelligible perception. ON the other hand, ascending, we say, that
It is neither soul, nor mind, nor has imagination, or opinion, or reason, or conception; neither
is expressed, nor conceived; neither is number, nor order, nor greatness, nor littleness;
nor equality, nor inequality; nor similarity, nor dissimilarity; neither is standing, nor
moving; nor at rest; neither has power, nor is power, nor light; neither lives, nor is
life; neither is essence nor eternity, nor time; neither is Its touch intelligible, neither
is It science, nor truth; nor kingdom, nor wisdom; neither one, nor oneness; neither
Deity, nor Goodness; nor is It Spirit according to our understanding; nor Sonship, nor Paternity;
nor any other thing of those known to us, or to any other existing being; neither is
It any of non-existing nor of existing things, nor do things existing know It, as It is;
nor does It know existing things, qua existing; neither is there expression of It, nor name,
nor knowledge; neither is It darkness, nor light; nor error, nor truth; neither is there
any definition at all of It, nor any abstraction. But when making the predications and abstractions
of things after It, we neither predicate, nor abstract from It; since the all-perfect
and uniform Cause of all is both above every definition and the pre-eminence of Him, Who
is absolutely freed from all, and beyond the whole, is also above every abstraction.

This is amazing. Very much reminds me of the great mystics Meister Eckhart and Jacob Boehme who were around 700 and 1000 years later respectively. Thank you. Never read or heard this before.

"Timothy… leave behind both sensible perceptions and the intellectual efforts and all objects of sense and intelligence and all things being and not being and be raised aloft unknowingly to the union, as far as attainable, with Him who is above every essence and Knowledge."
~Nagarjuna (amplified)
…as well as several other Buddhist writers and writings such as the Heart Sutra…

G'day mate found you through Greg J. Subbed and am looking forward to getting acquainted with you work…… Cheers πŸ‘

I studied Pseudo-D years ago as part of research into the divine names and angels, but never got to this work. What a putz. Course now I'm more into mystics, St Theresa of Avila anyone?


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