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

99 a new-born child which passes from darkness unlo light.
During the labor of its ascent the mind is strengthened by
its own natural desire for absorption, and by the aid it re¬
ceives from the various essences through which it passes,
and which communicate successively unto it the mysteries
of their knowledge. As the mind rises, it becomes the puri¬
fier and sanctifier of the essences below it, and partakes,
with those through which it passes, of the sacrament of the
Eucharist, by which it communicates unto them the perfec¬
tion of its intelligence and receives from them the mysteries
of their order. These essences, recognizing in it the supreme
nature of the Good, assemble also to offer it adoration. Hav¬
ing passed the multitude of heavens, the mind arrives in
the place called distinction, which is the boundary separa¬
ting the upper world from our own: here does it rest from
it3 labors. Then proceeding on its way, it reaches the holy
plaoe of the Gross: here it understands that it is to endure
its passion and suffer crucifixion, in the same manner that
Christ suffered; for unless the mind undergoes all that Christ
suffered, it cannot be perfected. Then is the mind crucified
in the centre by the angels, who, from being its worshippers,
are turned into its haters: while the soul and body, being
separated from it, are crucified, the former on its right and
the latter on its left. Then is sin vanquished and destroyed.
This is to be understood figuratively and symbolically. The sufferings of the cross may have to be endured more
than once, nay ten or even twenty times; as many as there
are grades separating the mind from the primary essence.
For all minds do not descend into bodies from one essence
alone, but from many *): these essences are more or less 11) This is strongly Origenistic.