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Dionysius the Areopagite
Spiritual quotes of Dionysius the Areopagite
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Even those who seem to be "devils," derive their existence from the Good, and are naturally good], and desire the Beautiful and Good in desiring existence, life, and consciousness, ... And they are called evil through the deprivation and the loss whereby they have lapsed from their proper virtues. Hence they are evil only insofar as they lack [true] existence; and in desiring evil, they desire non-existence. (1)

... Even so, we say that the air is darkened around us by a deficiency and absence of the light; while yet the light is itself always light and illumines the darkness. Therefore, evil inheres not in the devils or in us, as evil, but only as a deficiency and lack of the perfection of our proper virtues. (2)

Thus evil has no being, nor any inherence in things that have being. Evil is nowhere qua evil; and it arises not through any power but through weakness.(3) ... in a word, evil is weakness, impotence, and deficiency of knowledge... (4)




Quote n 3675 : , bishop of Athens, Christianity
Source : (1) The Divine Names, IV.23; Rolt, 1920 ; (2) The Divine Names, IV.24; Rolt, 1920 ; (3) The Divine Names, IV.34; Rolt, 1920 ; (4) The Divine Names, IV.35; Rolt, 1920  
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He is neither number nor order; nor greatness nor smallness; nor equality nor inequality; nor similarity nor dissimilarity; neither is He still, nor moving, nor at rest; neither has He power nor is power, nor is light; neither does He live nor is He life; neither is He essence, nor eternity nor time; nor is He subject to intelligible contact; nor is He science nor truth, nor a king, nor wisdom; neither one nor oneness, nor godhead nor goodness; nor is He spirit according to our understanding, nor a son, nor a father; nor anything else known to us or to any other of the beings or creatures that are or are not; ... (1)

... He suffers no change, corruption, division, privation or flux; none of these things can either be identified with or attributed to Him. (2)




Quote n 3674 : , bishop of Athens, Christianity
Source : (1) Mystical Theology, V.; Editors of The Shrine Of Wisdom, 1965; P. 16 ; (2) Mystical Theology, IV.; Editors of The Shrine Of Wisdom, 1965; P. 15  
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Do thou, dear Timothy, in the diligent exercise of mystical contemplation, leave behind the senses and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intellectual, and all things in the world of being and non-being, that thou mayest arise by unknowing towards the union, as far as is attainable, with Him who transcends all being and all knowledge. For by the unceasing and absolute renunciation of thyself and of all things, thou mayest be borne on high, through pure and entire self-abnegation, into the superessential radiance of the divine Darkness.




Quote n 3673 : , bishop of Athens, Christianity
Source : Mystical Theology, I.; Editors of The Shrine Of Wisdom, 1965; P. 10  
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The higher we soar in contemplation, the more limited become our expressions of that which is purely intelligible; even as now, when plunging into the Darkness which is above the intellect, we pass not merely into brevity of speech, but even into absolute silence, of thoughts as well as of words ... and, according to the degree of transcendence, so our speech is restrained until, the entire ascent being accomplished, we become wholly voiceless, inasmuch as we are absorbed in Him who is totally ineffable.




Quote n 3672 : , bishop of Athens, Christianity
Source : Mystical Theology, III.; Editors of The Shrine Of Wisdom, 1965; P. 14  
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He is super-essentially exalted above created things, and reveals Himself in His naked Truth to those alone who pass beyond all that is pure or impure, and ascend above the topmost altitudes of holy things, and who, leaving behind them all divine light and sound and heavenly utterances, plunge into the Darkness where truly dwells, as the Oracles declare, that ONE who is beyond all. (1)

That divine Darkness is the unapproachable light in which God dwells. Into this Darkness, rendered invisible by its own excessive brilliance and unapproachable by the intensity of its transcendent flood of light, come to be all those who are worthy to know and to see God. (2)

We pray that we may come unto this Darkness which is beyond light, and without seeing and without knowing, to see and to know That which is above vision and above knowledge. (3)




Quote n 3671 : , bishop of Athens, Christianity
Source : (1) Mystical Theology, I.; Editors of The Shrine Of Wisdom, 1965; P. 10 ; (2) Letter To Dorotheus, a Minister; Hathaway, 1969; p. 134 ; (3) Mystical Theology, II.; Editors of The Shrine Of Wisdom, 1965; P. 12  
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In diligent exercise of mystical contemplation, leave behind the senses and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intellectual, and all things in the world of being and non-being, that you may arise by unknowing towards the union, as far as is attainable, with Him who transcends all being and all knowledge. For by the unceasing and absolute renunciation of yourself and of all things you may be borne on high, through pure and entire self-abnegation, into the superessential Radiance of the Divine Darkness.




Quote n 3362 : , bishop of Athens, Christianity
Source : Mystical Theology, Chapter 1  
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Leave the senses and the workings of the intellect, and all that the sense and the intellect can perceive, and all that is not and that is; and through unknowing reach out, so far as this is possible, toward oneness with him who is beyond all being and knowledge. In this way, through an uncompromising, absolute, and pure detachment from yourself and from all things, transcending all things and released from all, you will be led upwards toward that radiance of the divine darkness that is beyond all being.

Entering the darkness that surpasses understanding, we shall find ourselves brought, not just to brevity of speech, but to perfect silence and unknowing.

Emptied of all knowledge, man is joined in the highest part of himself, not with any created thing, nor with himself, nor with another, but with the one who is altogether
unknowable; and in knowing nothing, he knows in a manner that surpasses understanding.




Quote n 2804 : , bishop of Athens, Christianity
Source : Dionysius the Areopagite, adapted from the translation of the Mystical Theology by Colm Luibheid in Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works (Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press).  
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Trinity!! Higher than any being, any divinity, any goodness!
Guide of Christians in the wisdom of heaven!
Lead us up beyond unknowing and light, up to the farthest, highest peak of mystic scripture,
where the mysteries of God's Word lie simple, absolute and unchangeable in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence.
Amid the deepest shadow they pour overwhelming light on what is most manifest.
Amid the wholly unsensed and unseen they completely fill our sightless minds
With treasures beyond all beauty.




Quote n 2803 : , bishop of Athens, Christianity
Source : Dionysius the Areopagite, adapted from the translation of the Mystical Theology by Colm Luibheid in Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works (Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press).  
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