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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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Erigena, By His seeing and running all things are made


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If therefore the aforesaid Divine Names are confronted by other names directly opposed to them, the things which are properly signified by them must also of necessity be understood to have contraries opposite to them; and therefore they cannot properly be predicated of God, to Whom nothing is opposed, and with Whom nothing is found to be co-eternal which differs from Him by nature. For right reason cannot find a single one of the names already mentioned or others like them to which another name, disagreeing with it, being opposed or differing from it within the same genus, is not found; and what we know to be the case with the names we must necessarily know to be so with the [things] which are signified by them. But since the expressions of divine significance which are predicated of God in Holy Scripture by transference from the creature to the Creator - if, indeed, it is right to say that anything can be predicated of Him, which must be considered in another place - are innumerable and cannot be found or gathered together within the small compass of our reasoning, only a few of the Divine Names can be set forth for the sake of example. Thus, [God] is called Essence, but strictly speaking He is not essence: for to being is opposed not-being. Therefore He is ὑπερούσιος, that is, superessential. Again, He is called Goodness, but strictly speaking He is not goodness: for to goodness wickedness is opposed. Therefore (He is) ὑπεράγαθος that is, more-than-good, and ὑπεραγαθότης, that is, more-than-goodness. He is called God, but He is not strictly speaking God: for to vision is opposed blindness, and to him who sees he who does not see. Therefore He is ὑπέρθεος that is, more-than-God-for Θεὸς is interpreted "He Who sees." But if you have recourse to the alternative origin of this name, so that you understand Θεός, that is, God, to be derived not from the verb θεωρῶ, that is, "I see," but from the verb θέω, that is, "I run," the same reason confronts you. For to him who runs he who does not run is opposed, as slowness to speed. PHYSIS: Timaeus, Genesis, The Making of ManTherefore He will be ὑπέρθεος, that is, more-than-running, as it is written: "His Word runneth swiftly": for we understand this to refer to God the Word, Who in an ineffable way runs through all things that are, in order that they may be. We ought to think in the same way concerning Truth: for to truth is opposed falsehood, and therefore strictly speaking He is not truth. Therefore He is ὑπεραληθὴς and ὑπεραλήθεια, that is, more-than-true and (more than-)truth. The same reason must be observed in all the Divine Names. For He is not called Eternity properly, since to eternity is opposed temporality. Therefore He is ὑπεραιώνιος, and ὑπεραιωνιότης, that is, more-than-eternal and (more-than-) eternity. Concerning Wisdom also no other reason applies, and therefore it must not be thought that it is predicated of God properly, since against wisdom and the wise are set the fool and folly. Hence rightly and truly He is called ὑπέρσοφος, that is, more-than-wise, and ὑπερσοφία, that is, more-than-wisdom. Similarly, He is more-than-life because to life is opposed death. Concerning Light it must be understood in the same way: for against light is set darkness.

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   Cf. Meister Eckhart, Entirely within, entirely without Erigena (in Latin) at Bibliotheca Augustana Rilke, Ein Wehn im Gott Hoelderlin, The God is near, and hard to grasp Heidegger, Physis and nature Hobbes, Faith needs freedom and counseling M. Laistner, Knowledge of Greek in Western Europe during the earlier Middle Ages Maximus Confessor, God is Thinking Papacy

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