Flash XXIV

The Real Being is One alone, at once the true Existence and the Absolute. But He* possesses different degrees.

In the first degree He is unmanifested and unconditioned, and exempt from all limitation or relation. In this aspect He cannot be described by epithets or attributes, and is too holy to be designated by spoken or written words; neither does tradition furnish an expression for His Majesty, nor has reason the power to demonstrate the depth of His perfection. The greatest philosophers are baffled by the impossibility of attaining to knowledge of Him; His first characteristic is the lack of all characteristics, and the last result of the attempt to know him is stupefaction.*

To you convictions and presumptions wrought
By evidence intuitive are naught;
How can one prove your own reality
To such as you who count all proofs as naught?

However great our heavenly knowledge be,
It cannot penetrate Thy sanctuary;
Saints blest with visions and with light divine
Reach no conceptions adequate to Thee.

Our love,* the special grace of souls devout,
To reason seems a thing past finding out;
Oh, may it bring the dawn of certitude,
And put to flight the darksome hours of doubt!

The second degree is the self-display of Very Being in an epiphany containing in itself all the active, necessary, and divine manifestations, as well as all the passive, contingent, and mundane manifestations. This degree is named the “First Emanation”,* because it is the first of all the manifestations of the Very Being; and above it there is no other degree than that of the “Unmanifested”.

The third degree is named the “Unity of the Whole Aggregate”,* which contains in itself all the active and efficient manifestations. It is named the degree of “Divinity”.*

The fourth degree is the manifestation in detail of the degree named Divinity; it is the degree of the names and the theatres wherein they are manifested. These two last-named degrees refer to the outward aspect of Being wherein “necessity”* is a universal condition.

The fifth degree is the “Unity of the Whole Aggregate”, which includes all the passive manifestations whose characteristic is the potentiality of receiving impressions, i.e. passivity. It is the degree of mundane existence and contingency.*

The sixth degree is the manifestation in detail of the preceding degree; it is the degree of the sensible world.* These two last degrees refer to the exterior of the intelligible world,* wherein contingence is one of the invariable qualities. It consists of the revelation of the Divine Mind to Himself under the forms of the substances of the contingent.

Consequently, in reality there is but One Sole Being, who is interfused in all these degrees and hierarchies which are only the details of the Unity (“Singleness”).* “Very Being” in these degrees is identical with them, just as these degrees when they were in the Very Being were identical therewith. [“God was, and there was not anything with Him.”]*

The “Truth” appears in all; wouldst thou divine
How with Himself He doth all things combine?
See the wine-froth: the wine in froth is froth,
Yet the froth on the wine is very wine.

'Tis the bright radiance of Eternity
That lights Not-being, as we men may see;
Deem not the world is severed from the “Truth”:
In the world He's the world, in Him 'tis He.