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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93 The Good, which we glorify, is the universal constituting,
providing, and sustaining power of the Universe; from which
all distinct existences came to be through separation, by
which their being is sustained, and to which they constantly
• desire to return. Distinctions were established from the Universal Essence
in this wise. The Good being uniform could not produce
anything not uniform: therefore, when the fall from the Good
took place, distinct orders of existence did not immediately
come into being, for uniformity cannot produce distinction:
on the contrary, distinction comes from the distinct orders
of the Divine Nature, from all the distinct and unequal na¬
tures of man, and of the animals that crawl upon the earth,
and of birds and of beasts and of fishes, and also of the
distinct beings that are under the earth, and those which
suffer many torments in hellx). Unto all these the measure
of their descent from the Good determines the extent of their
fall*). When the fall from the Good happened to all things
at once, a quiet and silence extended itself over all: they
were then like that which is not *): perhaps they possessed 8) Compare, with this idea of the emanation of matter and evil from
God, the same idea as expressed in the Zohar: this is one of the strong¬
est coincidences which can be traced, and one of the clearest traces of