Many / One

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Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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Pseudo-Dionysius, The Complete Works
John Farina, Editor-in-Chief
Complete works of Dionysius the Aeropagite

1 “As St. Paul said and as true reason has said, the ordered arrangement of the whole visible realm makes known the invisible things of God.”

2 "His transcendent power is inexpressible, unknowable, inconceivably great, and, as it flows over, it empowers whatever is weak and it preserves and directs the humblest of its echoes….God's infinite power is distributed among all things and there is nothing in the world entirely bereft of power….The benefits of this inexhaustible Power reach out to humans, to animals, to plants, and indeed to all of nature."

3 “There is only one Providence over all the world, a supra-being transcending all power visible and invisible.”

4 “There is nothing in the world without a share of the Beautiful and the Good.”

5 "We must make the holy journey to the heart of the sacred symbols."

6 "We must learn about Wisdom from all things. As scripture says, 'Wisdom has made and continues always to adapt everything (Ps. 104:24). It is the cause of the unbreakable accomodation and order of all things and it is forever linking the goals of one set of things with the sources of another and in this fashion it makes a thing of beauty of the unity and the harmony of the whole."

7 “Every number preexists uniquely in the monad and the monad holds every number in itself singularly. Every number is united in the monad; it is differentiated and pluralized only insofar as it goes forth from this one.”

8 "This essential Good, by the very fact of its existence, extends goodness into all things. Think of how it is with our sun….by the very fact of its existence it gives light to whatever is able to partake of its light. So it is with the Good. Existing far above the sun, an archetype far superior to its dull image, it sends the rays of its undivided goodness to everything with the capacity to receive it. These rays are responsible for all intelligible and intelligent beings, for every power and every activity….Their longing for the Good makes them what they are and confers on them their well-being. Shaped by what they yearn for, they exemplify goodness and, as the Law of God requires of them, they share with (all) the good gifts which have come their way."

9 “The goodness of the Deity has endless love for humanity.”

10 “Whatever is, is from the Good, is good and desires the beautiful and the Good.”

11 “All the radii of a circle are brought together in the unity of the center which contains all the straight lines brought together within itself. These are linked one to another because of this single point of origin and they are completely unified at this center.”

12 "Everything in some way partakes of the providence flowing out of this transcendent Deity which is the originator of all that is. Indeed nothing could exist without some share in the being and source of everything. Even the things which have no life participate in this, for it is the transcendent Deity which is the existence of every being."

13 “The power of the Godhead spreads out everywhere, penetrates all things irresistibly.”

14 "The divine Light, out of generosity, never ceases to offer itself to the eyes of the mind, eyes which should seize upon it for it is always there, always divinely ready with the gift of itself."

15 "We owe to God's goodness our being and our life…using the everlasting model of beauty, God has made us in his image and he has given us a share of the divine condition and uplifting."

16 “Wisdom is the One who renews and makes perfect.”

17 “The Transcendent One predefined and brought into being everything that is.”

18 “There is a concerned and authoritative Providence and Lordship over all things.”

19 "If we are enlightened by the contemplation of and knowledge of the One we are enabled to be unified, to achieve a truly divine oneness and it will never happen that we succumb to that fragmentation…which is the source of hostility between equals."

20 “God is one and he dispenses his oneness to every part of the universe as well as to its totality, to the single as well as to the multiple. He is one in an unchanging and transcendent way.”

21 “Providence has neither a beginning nor an end, and is open to all and encompasses all.”

22 “God precontains all opposites in one single, universal cause.”

23 "The soul has movement – First it moves in a circle, that is, it turns within itself and away from what is outside and there is an inner concentration of its intellectual powers. A sort of fixed revolution causes it to return from the multiplicity of externals, to gather in upon itself and then, in this undispersed condition, to join those who are themselves in a powerful union. From there the revolution brings the soul to the Beautiful and the Good, which is beyond all things, is one and the same, and has neither beginning nor end."

24 “Nothing possessed of being lies outside the workings of Providence.”

25 “Everything, and every part of everything, participates in the One.”

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite