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sexta-feira 25 de março de 2022

(Armstrong   Selection and Translation)

[The experience of the mystic union described.]

This is what the command given in those mysteries intends to proclaim, ’Do not reveal to the uninitiated.’ Because the Divine is not to be revealed it forbids us to declare It to anyone else who has not himself had the good fortune to see. Since there were not two, but the seer himself was one with the Seen (for It was not really seen, but united to him), if he remembers who he became when he was united to That, he will have Its image in himself. He was one himself then, with no distinction in him either in relation to himself or anything else; for there was no movement in him, and he had no emotion, no desire for anything else when he had made the ascent, no reason or thought; his own self was not there for him, if we should say even this. He was as if carried away or possessed by a god, in a quiet solitude, in the stillness of his being turning away to nothing and not busy about himself, altogether at rest and having become a kind of rest. He did not belong to the realm of beauties, but had already passed beyond Beauty and gone higher than the choir of the virtues, like a man who enters into the sanctuary and leaves behind the statues in the outer shrine. They are the first things he looks at when he comes out of the sanctuary, after his contemplation within and his converse There, not with a statue or image but with the Divine Itself; they are secondary objects of contemplation. That other, perhaps, was not a contemplation but another kind of seeing, a being out of oneself, a simplifying, a self-surrender, a pressing towards contact, a rest, a sustained thought directed to perfect conformity, if it was a real contemplation of That Which was in the sanctuary: if one does not look in this way one finds nothing. These are only images, by which the wise among the soothsayers express in riddles how That God is seen. A wise priest reads the riddle and makes the contemplation of the sanctuary real by entering it. Even if one has not been There, and thinks of the sanctuary as something invisible, the Source and Principle, one will know that one sees principle by principle and that like is united with like, and will not neglect any of the divine properties which the soul can have. Before the vision one seeks the rest from the vision; and the rest, for him who has gone higher than all, is That Which is before all. Soul is not of a nature to arrive at absolute non-existence. When it goes down it comes to evil, and so to non-existence, but not to absolute non-existence; and when it travels the opposite way it comes, not to something else, but to itself; and so when it is not in anything else it is in nothing but itself. But when it is in itself alone and not in being, it is in That; for one becomes oneself not being but beyond being by that intercourse. So if one sees that one’s self has become this, one has it as a likeness of the Divine; and if one goes on from it, as image to original, one reaches the end of one’s journey. And when a man falls from the vision, he wakes again the virtue in himself and considers himself in all his order and beauty, and is lightened and rises through virtue to Noûs and through wisdom to the Divine. This is the life of gods and divine and blessed men, deliverance from the things of this world, a life which takes no delight in the things of this world, escape in solitude to the Solitary.