Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

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95 minds, however, was left by the Good their unconscious and
irrational essence (as the powers of evil), — but even they
will eventually be redeemed. One essence, also, immediately
on receiving consciousness began to oppose itself to the Good,
and unto it were assigned the places under the earth. The Universal Essence (from which all minds were di¬
rectly separated) is called universal, as it existed after se¬
paration from the Good, and before this ordered distinction:
for to it came all that which was separated from the Good,
and from it came forth every nature which appears separately
and distinctly. For all minds were then confusedly mingled
in it, without distinction and without consciousness; and, when
they acquired the consciousness of distinction, they came forth
from itJ). Those however which remained within the limits
of this essence acquired a superior consciousness; and to them
does it pertain to reveal to divine minds, when they (the minds)
reach them%), the glorious and holy doctrines of the divine
mysteries *). 1 2 3 1 21) The same idea seems to be expressed by Pseiido-Dionysios (Div.
Names V, 5) when he says that God, »pro-possessing and super-posses-
»sing the anteriority and preeminence of being, caused the universal
»essence (rd that ttScv) to pre-exist; and from the universal essence itself
»caused being, of whatever kind it be, to exist”. Dionysios, by saying that
the universal essence pre-existed, means that it came into being before
all distinct and particular existence. Cf. Div. N. XI, 6. In this simple
presentation of the same ideas is exhibited, better than by any com¬
ment, the radical difference between the thought of the seer Hierotheos
and the philosopher Dionysios. 2) That is, during the ascent of the minds towards the Good.