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 "No duality can be an originating source; the source of every duality is a monad."

3 "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."

4 "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."

5 "Indeed the inscrutable One is out of the reach of every rational process. Nor can any words come up to the inexpressible Good, this One, this Source of all unity, this supra-existent Being."

6 "The name 'One' means that God is uniquely all things through the transcendence of one unity and that He is the cause of all without ever departing from that oneness. Nothing in the world lacks its share of the One…that One which in its utterly comprehensive unity uniquely contains all and everything beforehand, even opposites."

7 “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.”

8 "Providence occurs everywhere."

9 “Contemplate all things, even the things that are opposites, in a simple unity within the universal Cause.”

10 "Each bestirs itself and all are stirred to do and to will whatever it is they do and will because of the yearning for the Beautiful and the Good…..The divine longing is Good seeking good for the sake of the Good."

11 "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."

12 "He is the Source and the measure of the ages. He is the reality beneath time and the eternity behind being. He is the time within which things happen. He is being for whatever is. He is coming-to-be amid whatever happens. From Him who Is come eternity, essence and being, come time, genesis, and becoming. He is the being immanent in and underlying the things which are, however they are."

13 "Each god has his sympathetic representative in the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral world." Proclus (410-485ad), Greek philosopher

14 "For anyone, purification consists of a participation in the transparent clarity of the Godhead."

15 "Now this is unified and one and common to the whole divinity, that the entire wholeness is participated in by each of those who participate in it; none participates in only a part. It is rather like the case of a circle. The center point of the circle is shared by the surrounding radii. Or take the example of a seal. There are numerous impressions of the seal and these all have a share in the original prototype; it is the same whole seal in each of the impressions and none participates in only a part."

16 “The One may be called the underlying element of all things.”

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

18 “The supra-divine transcendentally one God dwells indivisibly in every individual.”

19 "He makes our life, disposition, and activity something one and divine….Formed of light, initiates in God's work, we shall be perfected and bring about perfection."

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

21 “God penetrates without hindrance through everything.”

22 "Godhead is granted as a gift to all things. It flows over in shares of goodness to all. And it becomes differentiated in a unified way. It is multiplied and yet remains singular. It is dispensed to all without ceasing to be a unity….God is indivisible multiplicity, the unified overfullness, which produces, perfects, and preserves all unity and all multiplicity….In fact, He is the one God who dwells indivisibly in every individual and who is in Himself undifferentiated unity with no commixture and no multiplication arising out of His presence among the many."

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

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

25 "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."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite