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461[orthodox-synod] Re: Beauty and truth

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  • LJames6034@aol.com
    Jul 31, 1999
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      On The Divine Names:

      'Unto this darkness which is beyond light we pray that we may come and
      may attain unto vision through the loss of sight and knowledge, and that, in
      ceasing thus to see or to know, we may learn to know that which is beyond all
      perception and understanding (for this emptying of our faculties is the true
      sight and knowledge) and that we may offer Him that which transcends all
      things the praises of a transcendant hymnody which we shall do by denying or
      removing all things that are. . . ascending upwards from particular to
      universal conceptions as we strip off all qualities in order that we may
      attain a naked knowledge of that Unknowing which in all existent things is
      enwrapped by all objects of knowledge, that we may begin to see that
      super-essential Darkness which is hidden by all the light that is in existent

      The apophatic theology of (Pseudo) Dionysius the Areopagite is, in some ways,
      more profound than positive theology, since, perforce, circumstanced as we
      currently are, we cannot know what God is, we can only know what God is
      NOT. Being Wholely Other, He is utterly beyond our comprehension. Hence,
      it is to that super-essential Darkness beyond the meritricious gaudiness of
      Existence that we are led, as by the divine hand, by the material things of
      this world.

      Dionysius joined together pancallistic nature with an aesthetic principle
      inherent in the notion that God Himself is the Form of Roms: The One
      Beautiful/Good, the Cause of all things, "flashing upon them all, like light,
      the beautifying communication of its originating ray. . . . "

      While it is the Light which draws us, in that all that God made is "good,"
      and reflects something of that Goodness, yet that Goodness dwells beyond any
      reality our minds can grasp. Hence, the reference to that "Plain of
      darkness," metaphorically speaking. The Beautiful/Goodness of God can be
      (sometimes barely) perceived in natural things. In other words: The
      architecture reveals the Architect, but the Architect is not in the
      architecture, though we see His effects. Adequately perceived, that beauty
      causes us to want to be with/in the Ultimate Beauty, Who is God.

      The image of a Plain of Darkness is not mine. It is Dionysisus'. Dionysius
      taught that: By putting off all extraneous properties and the interests of
      this world, we can come to be transformed by divine grace, becoming more and
      more like God, until, at length, we become God (theoedies) , without ceasing
      to be ourselves. And, thus, we can come to exist with Him, in Him, and
      through Him, where He is, beyond mere Being. We, thus, can come to enjoy
      the immediate Presence of the One Beautiful/Good, the only Truth.

      With apologies for having put my fingers on the wrong button, earlier,

      Father Andrew
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