Tuesday, February 1, 2011

God, angels, Jesus do theurgy in Dionysius... Wear on angelncontemplation as initiation

EH 429CD "[the theologians] teach that God himself thus gives substance and arrangement to everything that exists, including the legal hierarchy and society... they praise the divine works of Jesus the man ... and [they engage in] sacred writing about the divine songs, which have as an aim to praise all the divine words [theologiai] and divine works [theourgiai] and to celebrate the sacred words [hierologiai] and operations [hierourgiai] of sacred men, forms a universal song and exposition of divine things, granting to those chanting the sacred words sacredly the ability to receive and distribute the entire rite of the hierarchy."

Wear126 ...for even with this higher brand of theoria, ritual is still necessary for eliciting henosis. This is seen both in the angelic ranks, where primary contemplation is described as an 'initiation' by Jesus, and in the human realm, where the hierarch enters into mystical contemplation by the angels when he is fully initiated into the sacraments. Moral excellence is necessary for proper theoria--but this excellence is only part of the structure of initiation. The need to perform liturgies that are experienced is the mandate of henosis. This section will show that theoria as mystical contemplation is performative in function, very much as in the Neoplatonic theurgical tradition. Because the mystical contemplation of the hierarchs mimics angelic contemplation, this section will begin with an examination of angelic theoria. First and foremost, angelic ranks (the angelic hierachies) partake of a pure enlightenment because of their proximity to the One. Although all the angels are so called because they share a superior capacity to conform to the divine, ranks vary considerably in this power of divine conformity. This distinction in power means that those angels farther away from God rely on the first hierarchy of angelic beings for initiation into pure unification. We in the EH also receive light mediated through the connective angels. Our theoria, however, differs from that of lower angelic orders in that it begins with material symbols and has a limited performative function: primarily, theoria serves to purify us for higher unification which is hyper-noetic and non-discursive.

The Divine Names, as indeed the whole Dionysian corpus, has also the obsession with explicit structural order which we associate with Proclus.
-Wayne Hankey, "Three Procline Logics"

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