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

97 Motion and purification are the acts by which we gloiify
the Arch-Good. The first motion, as has been said, was a
descendent one, out of Nature1): but there are many mo¬
tions, some ascendent, and others descendent. Natural motion belongs to the fully developed condition
of those who have not yet received the meat of knowledge
but are still fed on milk. Post-natural motion is found in
those who (while in a natural condition) desire to live in
an ordered manner, and comprises many divisions, like the
angelic and super-angelic. Extra-natural motion appertains
to those who have a tendency towards evil in the natural
sphere, and are then called sinners, and afterwards beasts
and animals. Super-natural motion is that which is above
the post-natural: instead of having many divisions and de¬
grees and being governed by forms (as the latter is), it is
a still and silent perturbation, a proceeding without a way,
and a knowledge raised above forms; still it desires because
it is not confusedly mingled. Ultra-natural motion is beyond
the extra-natural, for it belongs to demons and to those
minds which have completely left the whole nature of the
Good and acquired a certain union with the Prince (of
Darkness) *). There exist in the space between earth and heaven three 1 21) For the explanation of this we. must call attention to the absolute identification in Hierotheos of nature (rdljUl), i. e. universal nature,
with the arch-good (rtd\(D^ or agatharchy (&yae$aepx/a), the first principle, which in the beginning contained all things undistinguished
within itself. 2) Of these six motions, three are vital and three destructive: the
former are, in order of progression, the natural, post-natural, and super¬
natural (compare with the x6xfuos% wsptxdo-fztoQ and ^wspxda-fzio^ of Dionysios);
the latter are, the original motion out of the Good, the extra-natural
and the ultra-natural. Frothingham, Bar Sudaili. 7