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 “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.”

2 “You will find nothing in the world which is not in the One….Everything owes to the One its individual existence and the process whereby it is perfected and preserved.”

3 "God displays neither a grudge nor profane anger over previous apostasy and transgressions. In godlike fashion he gives to all who approach his guiding light and does so in harmonious and orderly fashion and in proportion to the disposition of each one toward the sacred."

4 "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."

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

6 "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."

7 "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."

8 “God is providentially available to all.”

9 "Providence occurs everywhere."

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 “This transcendently real Godhead is the source of everything. It is the cause which gives being. It is the power holding all things together and the goal embracing all things.”

12 "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."

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

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

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

16 “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.”

17 "He is all in all, as scripture affirms, and certainly He is to be praised as being for all things the creator and originator, the One who brings them to completion, their preserver, their protector, and their home, the power which returns them to itself, and all this in the one single, irrepressible, and supreme act."

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

19 "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."

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

21 "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."

22 “God penetrates without hindrance through everything.”

23 "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."

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

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

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite