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Mystic Treatises

Isaac of Nineveh: Mystic Treatises (XIX)

Trad. A. J. Wensinck

segunda-feira 18 de outubro de 2021, por Cardoso de Castro


The degree of revelation is not the same as that a man deepen his emotions by the study of wisdom and by intellectual labour so as to arrive at some understanding and contemplation of anything by mental investigation. For it is said: Revelation is silence of intellect. And by zealous efforts and human thoughts no one can imagine that he has found knowledge; this happens by spiritual power so that he to whom the revelation is imparted, at that time is not aware of any thought of his soul nor of those things which present themselves to his senses; neither does he use them nor is he acquainted with them.

This we do not assert on our own authority, but it can be proved sufficiently from the writings of the prophets, who, when revelations happened to them, did not perceive any of the usual things nor could they use their thoughts at will nor had they any sensual apperceptions, because they were in ecstasy. Their mind was wholly concentrated upon those things which appeared to them during the revelation. As it happened to the blessed Peter when he was hungry and ascended unto the roof in order to pray: when the revelation began, he did not perceive his hunger. Even the recollection of food was effaced from his mind, because he was in ecstasy, as scripture says.

Concerning all these things one may be well instructed in particulars from the writings of the blessed bishop Theodore, the light of the whole world (NT: Theodore bishop of Mapsuestia). For he speaks about the kind and the rank of revelations, especially in the three volumes on Genesis and in the two volumes on Job and in the last one about the Twelve Prophets, and in the commentaries on the Acts and the Gospel of Matthew.

Scripture mentions six kinds of revelations. The first: that by the senses. The second: by psychic sight. The third: by rapture of the spirit. The fourth: by the rank of prophecy. The fifth: in some intellectual way. The sixth: as it were by a dream.

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