from The Doctrine of Infinite Growth

by Dionysius the Areopagite




Lead us up beyond unknowing and light,
     up to the farthest, highest peak
          of mystic scripture,
     where the mysteries of God's Word
          lie simple, absolute and unchangeable
          in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence.
     Amid the deepest shadow
          they pour overwhelming light
          on what is most manifest.
     Amid the wholly unsensed and unseen
          they completely fill our sightless minds
     with treasures beyond all beauty.

-- from The Essential Mystics: Selections from the World's Great Wisdom Traditions, Edited by Andrew Harvey

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/ Photo by Sudhamshu /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Lead us up beyond unknowing and light,
     up to the farthest, highest peak
          of mystic scripture,
     where the mysteries of God's Word
          lie simple, absolute and unchangeable
          in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence.


This weekend is Halloween, Samhain in Celtic tradition. It is considered to be a time of year when the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thinnest, when we can reconnect with the spirits of our ancestors, when can gain unexpected insight. It is a time of magic and history and stepping into the unknown.

And it is a time of the good darkness. This is the time of year (in the northern hemisphere) when the light of summer and the harvest season recedes, the days grow shorter, and the darkness of winter takes ascendance. This is the good darkness that balances the year. With darker, shorter, colder days, we are less active and turn inward. It is a time that reminds us to return to the dark cave of home and self. It is in this internal, inturning time that we gain insight and strength and, through endurance, find ourselves renewed and ready for the new light to come in springtime. This darkness is the time of spiritual practice that prepares us for the springtime of life and enlightenment. For only in darkness does new life gestate. Only in darkness do our eyes learn to see.

So this weekend, let's celebrate those who came before us and made a way for us in the world. Let's celebrate the infinitely unknown possibilities yet available to us. And let's celebrate the good darkness -- and the light and life we discover there!

     Amid the deepest shadow
          they pour overwhelming light
          on what is most manifest.



Recommended Books: Dionysius the Areopagite

The Essential Mystics: Selections from the World's Great Wisdom Traditions Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies throughout the Ages





from The Doctrine