Monthly Archives: February 2023

Supra Omnia

Lorie Stevens

The concluding two chapters of the Theologia Mystica are so brief and cover the same principles that we will include them both at this time. read more

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A Self-Polemic?

Chapter Three: Affirmations And Negations

In my Theological Representations, I have praised the notions which are most appropriate to affirmative theology. I have shown the sense in which the divine and good nature is said to be one and then triune, how Fatherhood and Sonship are predicated of it, the meaning of the theology of the Spirit, how these core lights of goodness grew from the incorporeal and indivisible good, and how in this sprouting they have remained inseparable from their co-eternal foundation in it, in themselves, and in each other. I have spoken of how Jesus, who is above individual being, became a being with a true human nature. Other revelations of scripture were also praised in The Theological Representations. In The Divine Names I have shown the sense in which God is described as good, existent, life, wisdom, power, and whatever other things pertain to the conceptual names for God. In my Symbolic Theology I have discussed analogies of God drawn from what we perceive. I have spoken of the images we have of him, of the forms, figures, and instruments proper to him, of the places in which he lives and of the ornaments he wears. I have spoken of his anger, grief, and rage, of how he is said to be drunk and hungover, of his oaths and curses, of his sleeping and waking, and indeed of all those images we have of him, images shaped by the workings of the symbolic representations of God. And I feel sure that you have noticed how these latter come much more abundantly than what went before, since The Theological Representations and a discussion of the names appropriate to God are inevitably briefer than downward path an ever-increasing number of ideas which multiplied with every stage of the descent. But my argument now rises from what is below up to the transcendent, and the more it climbs, the more language falters, and when it has passed up and beyond the ascent, it will turn silent completely, since it will finally be at one with him who is indescribable. read more

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A Darkness full of Light

Chapter Two: A Darkness full of Light

I pray we could come to this Translucent Darkness so far above light! If only we lacked sight and knowledge so as to see, so as to know, unseeing and unknowing, that which lies beyond all vision and knowledge. For this would be really to see and to know: to praise the Transcendent One in a transcending way, namely through the denial of all beings. We would be like sculptors who set out to carve a statue. They remove every obstacle to the pure view of the hidden image, and simply by this act of clearing aside they show up the beauty which is hidden. Now it seems to me that we should praise the denials quite differently than we do the assertions. When we made assertions we began with the first things, moved down through intermediate terms until we reached the last things. But now as we climb from the last things up to the most primary we deny all things so that we may unhiddenly know that unknowing which itself is hidden from all those possessed of knowing amid all beings, so that we may see above being that darkness concealed from all the light among beings. read more

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Not for the Profane

But see to it that none of this comes to the hearing of the uninformed, that is to say, to those caught up with the things of the world, who imagine that there is nothing beyond instances of individual being and who think that by their own intellectual resources they can have a direct knowledge of him who has made the shadows his hiding place. And if initiation into the divine is beyond such people, what is to be said of those others, still more uninformed, who describe the transcendent Cause of all things in terms derived from the lowest orders of being, and who claim that it is in no way superior to the godless, multiformed shapes they themselves have made? What has actually to be said about the Cause of everything is this. Since it is the Cause of all beings, we should posit and ascribe to it all the affirmations we make in regard to beings, and, more appropriately, we should negate all these affirmations, since it surpasses all being. Now we should not conclude that the negations are simply the opposites of the affirmations, but rather that the cause of all is considerably prior to this, beyond privations, beyond every denial, beyond every assertion. read more

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Dark Gnosis

Chapter One: What is the Divine Darkness?

Direct us, O Trinity, to the heights of Mystical Revelation that is purest beyond all mind-aspects of thought and light! Therein is contained those immutable mysteries of Divine Truth THAT are hidden in the marvelous Translucent Darkness of The Silence THAT alone reveals in secret. This Essential Darkness emanates in Deepest Obscurity, yet simultaneously is radiantly Bright and beyond all aspects of sensate phenomena. It Alone bestows upon us the Clear light of Mind radiating the many splendors of Transcendent Beauty. read more

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Theologia Mystica

Work on The Śūraṃgamasamādhisūtra has been shelved until a later date. For now our interest and purpose turns to the cyclic nature of these blogs, as February into March recounts the spiritual writings of the Masters of old. The premier frontrunner in this mystical enterprise is Dionysius the Areopagite. In the past we have presented insight into many of his works, but our present task is to focus on the one work which serves as a “word-key” for the rest, the Theologia Mystica or the Mystical Theology. This work has served as a major source of inspiration for others who have highlighted the negative, or via negativa way—such as the anonymous writer of the Cloud of Unknowing, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila and Meister Eckhart. Brief as it may be, it is the core solidification of all that follows along the path of Mystical Darkness—or the Luminous Way. St. Paul once encountered an inscription in his travels which stated, “To the Unknown God.” Initially, this provided the fodder for Dionysius to utilize the exact language of the “Unknown” God that encapsulated his deeper use of “Unknowing” which triggered such vast spiritual treatises like the present one and indeed of his entire corpus. read more

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