Mystical Theology

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Mystical Theology (Περὶ μυστικῆς θεολογίας) by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite

Negative (apophatic) theology, as translated by Jones (1999: 219-222)

Chapter 4[edit | edit source]

In preeminence, the cause of all that is sensible is not anything sensible
We say this of the cause of all be-ing beyond all:
It is
not being-less,
not lifeless,
not without reason, not without intellect.
Not body,
not figure, not form,
not what has quality, quantity, or mass,
not in space,
not visible,
not what has sensible contact,
not what has sensation or what is sensed,
not what has disorder and confusion,
not what is troubled by material passions,
not powerless,
not subjected to what happens to sensibles,
not light in what lacks,
not, and has not, alteration, destruction,
privation, diminution,
or anything else which pertains to what is sensed.

Chapter 5[edit | edit source]

In preeminence, the cause of all that is intelligible is not anything intelligible
Ascending higher we say:
It is
not soul, not intellect,
not imagination, opinion, reason and not understanding,
not logos, not intellection,
not spoken, not thought,
not number, not order,
not greatness, not smallness
not equality, not inequality,
not likeness, not unlikeness,
not having stood, not moved, not at rest,
not powerful, not power,
not light,
not living, not life,
not being,
not eternity, not time.
not intellectual contact with it,
not knowledge, not truth,
not king, not wisdom,
not one, not unity,
not divinity,
not goodness,
not spirit (as we know spirit),
not sonhood, not fatherhood,
not something other [than that] which is known by us or some other beings,
not something among what is not,
not something among what is,
not known as it is by beings,
not a knower of beings as they are:
There is neither logos, name, or knowledge of it.
It is not dark nor light,
not error, and not truth.
There is universally neither position nor denial of it.
While there are produced positions and denials of those after it,
we neither position nor deny it.
beyond all position is
the all-complete and single cause of all;
beyond all negation:
the preeminence of that
absolutely absolved from all
and beyond the whole.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Jones, John D. (trans.) (1999). The Divine Names and the Mystical Theology. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University Press. ISBN 0-87462-221-2.