Dionysius the Pseudo-Aeropagite

Excerpts from the Original Electronic Text at the web site of the Saint Pachomius Library.

Letter to Gaius Therapeutes

Darkness becomes invisible by light, and specially by much light. Varied knowledge [ai gnoseis], and especially much varied knowledge, makes the Agnosia [Unknowing] to vanish. Take this in a superlative, but not in a defective sense, and reply with superlative truth, that the Agnosia, respecting God, escapes those who possess existing light, and knowledge of things being; and His pre-eminent darkness is both concealed by every light, and is hidden from every knowledge. And, if any one, having seen God, understood what he saw, he did not see Him, but some of His creatures that are existing and known. But He Himself, highly established above mind, and above essence, by the very fact of His being wholly unknown, and not being, both "is" super-essentially, and is known above mind. And the all-perfect Agnosia, in its superior sense, is a knowledge of Him, Who is above all known things.

Letter to Gaius Therapeutes

How is He, Who is beyond all, both above "source of Divinity" and above "source of Good"? [It is possible] provided you understand Deity and Goodness as the very Actuality of the Good-making and God-making gift, and the inimitable imitation of the super-divine and super-good (gift), by aid of which we are deified and made good. For, moreover, if this becomes source of the deification and making good of those who are being deified and made good, He, -- Who is super-source of every source, even of the so-called Deity and Goodness, seeing He is beyond source of Divinity and source of Goodness, in so far as He is inimitable, and not to be retained -- excels the imitations and retentions, and the things which are imitated and those participating.

Letter to Gaius Therapeutes

"Sudden" is that which, contrary to expectation, and out of the, as yet, unmanifest, is brought into the manifest. But with regard to Christ's love of man, I think that the Word of God suggests even this, that the Superessential proceeded forth out of the hidden, into the manifestation amongst us, by having taken substance as man. But, He is hidden, even after the manifestation, or to speak more divinely, even in the manifestation, for in truth this of Jesus has been kept hidden, and the mystery with respect to Him has been reached by no word nor mind, but even when spoken, remains unsaid, and when conceived unknown.

Letter to Dorotheus, Leitourgos

The Divine gloom is the unapproachable light in which God is said to dwell [1 Tim. 6:6]. And in this gloom, invisible indeed, on account of the surpassing brightness, and unapproachable on account of the excess of the superessential stream of light, enters every one deemed worthy to know and to see God -- by the very fact of neither seeing nor knowing, really entering in Him, Who is above vision and knowledge, knowing this very thing, that He is after all the object of sensible and intelligent perception, and saying in the words of the Prophet, "Thy knowledge was regarded as wonderful by me; It was confirmed; I can by no means attain unto it," [Ps. 138 (139):6]; even as the Divine Paul is said to have known Almighty God, by having known Him as being above all conception and knowledge. Wherefore also, he says, "His ways are past finding out and His Judgements inscrutable," [Rom. 11:33], and His gifts "indescribable", [2 Cor. 9:15], and that His peace surpasses every mind [Phil. 4:7], as having found Him Who is above all, and having known this which is above conception, that, by being Cause of all, He is beyond all.

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