De Coelesti Hierarchia (Greek: Περὶ τῆς Οὐρανίας Ἱεραρχίας, “On the Celestial Hierarchy”) is a Pseudo-Dionysian work on angelology, written in Greek and. THE CELESTIAL HIERARCHY. CHAPTER I. To my fellow-presbyter Timothy, Dionysius the Presbyter. That every divine illumination, while going forth with love. De Coelesti Hierarchia (Q). work by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. On the Celestial Hierarchy; Heavenly Hierarchy; On the Heavenly Hierarchy.
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But if there is a relationship between us and it, we both can and ought to find it. And thus, throughout the whole Hierarchy, the higher impart that which they receive to the lower, and through the Hiedarchia Providence all are granted participation in the Divine Light in the measure of their receptivity.
And sometimes they celebrate Deity Itself with lofty symbolism as the Sun of justice, as the Morning Star rising mystically in the mind, or as Light shining forth unclouded and intelligibly; and sometimes they use images of things on earth, such as fire flashing forth with harmless flame, or water affording abundance of life symbolically flowing into a belly and gushing out in perpetually overflowing rivers and streams. For instance, passion in irrational creatures arises from the impulse of appetency, and their passion is full of all irrationality; but it is otherwise with intellectual beings in whom the energy of passion must be regarded as denoting their masculine reason and unwavering steadfastness, established in the changeless heavenly places.
For the one would contribute in a higher degree to our ascent by dissociating incongruous images from the descriptions of Supermundane Natures, while the other impiously outrages the Divine Powers, and leads our minds into error when -we dwell upon such unholy compositions. You will find, moreover, that the Word of God not only calls these Celestial Beings above us Gods, but also gives this name to saintly men amongst us, and to those men who, in the highest degree, are lovers of God; although the First and Unmanifest God superessentially transcends all things, being enthroned above all, and therefore none of the beings or things which are can truly be said to be wholly like Him, save in so far as those intellectual and rational beings who are wholly turned towards union with Him, as far as is in their power, and who, uplifting themselves perpetually, as far as possible, to the Divine Radiance, in the imitation of God if it be lawful so to speak with all their powers, are thought worthy of the same divine name.
Or browse results titled:. Among them all, in every threefold manncr, there is a striving with all their might to imitate God; who is Purification Itself, the Parent of unities; who is the very Illumination of those unities; who is lastly the very Perfection of the illuminated. The power of taste represents an abundance of spiritual food and the reception of divine streams of nourishment.
But from their simplicity, they have the attributes of unity, power, strength, fortitude, steadfastness. But to sum up, I may say, not unreasonably, that the participation in Divine Knowledge is a purification, an illumination and a perfection. If we had not to bear in mind the length of our discourse, we might well describe the symbolic relations of the particular characteristics of animals already given, and all their bodily forms, with the powers of the Celestial Intelligences according to dissimilar similitudes: Another brought to the shepherds the glad tidings, as to those purified by quiet withdrawal from the many, and with him a multitude of the heavenly host gave forth to all the dwellers upon earth our often-sung hymn of adoring praise.
De Coelesti Hierarchia | Cephalopagus Records
What could be said concerning the Angel who said to Daniel, ‘The Word has gone forth’? The human power of distinguishing odours signifies the power to receive the inconceivable and most fragrant divine influences, as. Now that these things have been defined, the reason for applying the general name, Celestial Powers, to all the Angelic beings demands our consideration.
Hence the theologians call the higher of these spiritual Orders Angels because they, too, show forth the Divine Radiance; but we can find no reason for calling the lowest hidrarchia of the Celestial Intelligences Principalities or Thrones or Seraphim, for they do not manifest in the same degree that supremely excellent power; but just as they guide our inspired hierarchs to the Divine Brightness known to them, so do those most holy Powers which are above them lead to the Divine Majesty those ranks which complete the Angelic Hierarchies.
Being placed nearest to God, they are instructed in the true understanding of the divine works, and receive their hierarchical order in the highest degree from Deity Itself, the First Principle of Perfection. An Image of an Angel by Perrugino. This may fittingly be added, that each Celestial and human intelligence contains in itself its own first, middle and last powers, which are manifested in a way analogous to the aforesaid ordination belonging to each of the Hierarchical illuminations; and accordingly each intelligence, as far as is right and attainable to it, participates in the most spotless purity, the most abundant light, and the most complete perfection.
The shoulders, arms and hands signify the powers of activity and accomplishment. The back denotes that strength which holds together all the life-giving powers. It is clear that the Hierarchy is similar in its nature and has close affinity with those First Beings who coeelesti established after the Godhead, which is the Source of their Being, as though within Its Portals, transcending all – created powers, both visible and invisible. For ‘it is the very nature of that God which is the Supreme Cause of all to call all things to participation in Itself in proportion to the capacity and nature of each.
For this Light can never be deprived. Then he was instructed that the Divine Powers of the holy Scriptures, whose sacred name means ‘The Fiery Ones’, and of which we shall soon speak, as far as clelesti can, led the upliftment of the fiery power towards coelestl Divine Likeness.
Therefore we will say nothing as from ourselves, but being instructed will set forth, according to our ability, those angelic visions which the venerable theologians have beheld.
The lightness of the wings shows that they are altogether heavenly and unsullied and untrammelled in their upliftment on high. I see that the Angels, too, were first initiated into the divine Mystery, of Jesus in His love for man, and through them the gift of that knowledge was bestowed upon us: What are the choirs and the clapping of bands? I hold, therefore, that those who are being purified ought to be wholly perfected and free from all taint of unlikeness; those who are illuminated should be filled full with Divine Light, ascending, to the contemplative state and power with the most pure eyes of the mind; those who are being initiated, holding themselves apart from all imperfection, should become participators in the Divine Wisdom which they have contemplated.
Moreover, he also learned that divine and most glorious song of praise; for the Angel who fashioned the vision gave, as far as possible, his own holy knowledge to the prophet. The name of the Celestial Principalities signifies their Godlike princeliness and authoritativeness in an Order which is holy and most fitting to the princely Powers, and that they are wholly turned towards the Prince of Princes, and lead others in princely fashion, and that they are formed, as far as possible, in the likeness of the Source of Principality, and reveal Its superessential order by the An Image of an Angel by Perrugino good Order of the princely Powers.
Some, indeed, say that according to the description already given of the inter-relation of all the Intelligences, the passage does not refer to one of the first of the Intelligences nearest to God, as having come to purify the hierarch, but that one of those Angels who are our guardians was called by the same name as the Seraphim because of his sacred function of purifying the prophet, for the reason that the remission of sins and the regeneration of him who was purified to obedience to God was accomplished through fire.
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For it is not lawful for those who impart or participate in the holy Mysteries to overpass the bounds of hierarchiaa sacred laws; nor must they deviate from them if they seek to behold, as ce as is allowed, that Deific Splendour and to be transformed into the likeness of those Divine Intelligences.
This, so far as we understand it, is the reason for the name Angel in the Scriptures. Nor, I suppose, will any reasonable man deny that discordant figures uplift the mind more than do the harmonious, for in dwelling upon the nobler d, it is probable that we might fall into the error of supposing that the Celestial Intelligences are some kind of golden beings, or shining men flashing like lightning, fair to behold, or clad in glittering apparel, raying forth harmless fire, or with such other similar forms as are assigned by theology to the Celestial Intelligences.
Coeleesti our life is not ruled by necessity, nor are the divine irradiations of Providential Light obscured because of the freewill of those under Its care; but it is the dissimilarity of the mental eyes which causes the Light streaming forth resplendently from the Goodness of the Father to be hiwrarchia totally unshared and unaccepted through their resistance to It, or causes an unequal participation, small or great, dark or bright, of that Fontal Ray which nevertheless is one and unmixed, eternally changeless, and for ever abundantly shed forth.
Steadfastness comes from simplicity, simplicity from purification. Having its source in the Most High God, it proceeds from the most exalted Causes in a superessential and hierqrchia manner, traversing the whole of the Divine Intelligences, and yet it shows itself more clearly, and imparts itself more fully to the most exalted Powers around God.
Moreover, when a thing is purified, it is illumined, and after it is illumined, it is perfected.
Dionysius the Areopagite: Celestial Hierarchy
The lowest images are also used, such as fragrant ointment, or the corner-stone, and they even give It the forms of wild animals and liken It to the lion and panther, or name It a leopard, or a raging bear bereaved of its young. The measuring-lines and carpenters’ tools are figures of the power of foundation hietarchia erection and perfection, and whatever else belongs to the providential guidance and upliftment of the lower orders.
The divine theology, in the fullness of its wisdom, very rightly applies the name theophany to that beholding of God which shows the Divine Likeness, figured in Itself as a likeness in form of That which huerarchia formless, through the uplifting of those who contemplate to the Divine; foelesti as a Divine Light is shed upon the seers through it, and they are initiated into some participation of divine things.
Hierzrchia, then, is the meaning of their names, so far as we understand it: The name Seraphim clearly indicates their ceaseless and eternal revolution about Divine Principles, their heat and keenness, the exuberance of their intense, perpetual, tireless activity, and their elevative and energetic assimilation of those below, kindling them and firing them to their own heat, and wholly purifying them by a burning and all- consuming flame; and by the unhidden, unquenchable, changeless, radiant and enlightening power, dispelling and destroying the shadows of darkness.
Similarly the details of the coelexti teaching correspond to the feast of contemplation in the soul, while the ranks of order on earth reflect the Divine Concord and the disposition of the Heavenly Orders.