Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nicholas da Cusa - On Learned Ignorance

De Docta Ignorantia

“God enfolds all things, and so all things in Him are Himself; He unfolds all things, and so He is all things in themselves.”

“ Therefore, that which was written the Absolute Maximum in Book One, appropriate to the Maximum Absolute absolutely, all of this applies to the contracted maximum in a contracted way…God is the Absolute Maximum and Absolute Oneness, who preceeds and unifies all distance and difference,… an absolute which is everything, in which everything absolutely begins and ends, and in which it has its absolute being and in which all are without plurality in that same Absolute Maximum, most simple, indistinct, as are infinite lines in every figure. Similarly, the world or the universe is a contracted maximum or unity as opposed to one that preceeds contraction…existence is contracted, and includes all that begins and ends in contraction, exists in contraction, infinite contraction or contracted infinity, in which all pluralities are contained within this maximum contraction, with contracted simplicity and indistinguishability, as maximal lines are contracted by and contract all figures.” So that God is the absolute quiddity of the universe; the universe is that same quiddity, but contracted, that is, implemented (as that which is spoken is to the speaker, so to is the effect of existence to [God]). The absolute unity of God is free of every plurality “But a contracted unity such as a universe is a maximum unity even though contracted and not a greater absolute…this is a unity through the contraction of plurality, as infinitude from finitude…God, since He is immense is neither in the Sun nor in the Moon, though in them He is absolutely that which they are…Since the universe is a contracted quiddity, it is neither the Sun nor the Moon, but is neverthess when it is in the Sun it is the Sun, and when it is in the Moon it is the Moon; the identity of the universe is in diversity, as the unity of it is in plurality…So our universe, though it is neither Sun nor Moon, is yet the Sun in the Sun and the Moon in the Moon, where it is the Sun and the Moon without plurality and diversity.”

-from Nicholas da Cusa
De Docta Ignorantia
On Learned Ignorance 

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