Proclus' Hymn To God

sun

“O, Absolutely Transcendent! (what else is it rightful to call Thee?
How shall I fittingly hymn Thee, that art of all things most exalted?
How would words speak Thy Splendour? For words cannot name or denote
Thee,
Sole Unspeakable Being, since Thou art the cause of all speaking.
How might the mind know Thy Nature? For mind cannot grasp or conceive
Thee,
Sole Unknowable Being, since Thou art the cause of all knowing.
All things existing, the speaking and speechless together, proclaim Thee.
All things existing, the knowing and nescient together, adore Thee.
All keen desires or lusts, all painful passions are yearnings
Only for Thee. Thine is the whole world’s prayer; to Thee all,
Sensing Thy tokens within them, utter a paean of silence.
Everything issues from Thee. Only Thou art dependent on nothing.
Everything nestles within Thee. Everything surges upon Thee.
For Thou art the Goal of all beings. And Thou art One Thing, and AIl
Things,
And yet neither one thing, nor all things, O Most-Named, how then shall I
name Thee,
That art alone the Unnameable? What even Heaven-born Mind then
Could possibly penetrate thy distant Shroud? I pray Thee, be gracious!
O, Absolutely Transcendent, what else is it rightful to call Thee”?

(From ‘The Philosophy of Proclus: The Final Phase of Ancient Thought’ by Laurence Jay Rosan published by Prometheus Trust (1 Dec 2008)

‘The Manifestations Of The Names And Attributes Of God

Bahá’u’lláh  was asked a series of philosophical questions by a learned Zoroastrian Mánikchí Sáhib concerning the nature of God and religion.

“Another question raised by the distinguished Sáhib is the following: “There are four schools of thought in the world. One school affirmeth that all the visible worlds, from atoms to suns, constitute God Himself and that naught can be seen but Him. Another school claimeth that God is that Essence that must of necessity exist, that His Messengers are the intermediaries between Him and His creatures, and that their mission is to lead humanity unto Him. Yet another school holdeth that the stars were created by the Necessary Being, whilst all other things are their effect and outcome. These things continually appear and disappear, even as the minute creatures that are generated in a pool of water. A further school maintaineth that the Necessary Being hath fashioned Nature through whose effect and agency all things, from atoms to suns, appear and disappear without beginning or end. What need then for an account or reckoning? As the grass groweth with the coming of the rain and vanisheth thereafter, so it is with all things. If the Prophets and the kings have instituted laws and ordinances, the proponents of this school argue, this hath merely been for the sake of preserving the civil order and regulating human society. The Prophets and the kings, however, have acted in different ways: the former have said ’God hath spoken thus’ that the people might submit and obey, whilst the latter have resorted to the sword and the cannon. Which of these four schools is approved in the sight of God?”

The answer to all this falleth under the purview of the first utterance that hath streamed forth from the tongue of the All-Merciful. By God! It embraceth and comprehendeth all that hath been mentioned. He saith: “Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements”. For in this day He Who is the Lord of Revelation hath appeared and He Who spoke on Sinai is calling aloud. Whatsoever He may ordain is the surest foundation for the mansions reared in the cities of human knowledge and wisdom. Whoso holdeth fast unto it will be reckoned in the eyes of the Almighty among them that are endued with insight.

These sublime words have streamed forth from the Pen of the Most High. He saith, exalted be His glory: “This is the day of vision, for the countenance of God is shining resplendent above the horizon of Manifestation. This is the day of hearing, for the call of God hath been raised. It behoveth everyone in this day to uphold and proclaim that which hath been revealed by Him Who is the Author of all scripture, the Dayspring of revelation, the Fount of knowledge and the Source of divine wisdom.” It is thus clear and evident that the reply to his question hath been revealed in the kingdom of utterance by Him Who is the Exponent of the knowledge of the All-Merciful. Happy are they that understand!

As to the four schools mentioned above, it is clear and evident that the second standeth closer to righteousness. For the Apostles and Messengers of God have ever been the channels of His abounding grace, and whatsoever man hath received from God hath been through the intermediary of those Embodiments of holiness and Essences of detachment, those Repositories of His knowledge and Exponents of His Cause. One can, however, provide a justification for the tenets of the other schools, for in a sense all things have ever been and shall ever remain the manifestations of the names and attributes of God”.

The Tabernacle of Unity

‘Closer To Him Than His Own Self’

Bahá’u’lláh  explained that God is immanent in human beings at all times despite our tendency to forget the divine presence.

“That the heart is the throne, in which the Revelation of God the All-Merciful is centered, is attested by the holy utterances which We have formerly revealed. Among them is this saying: “Earth and heaven cannot contain Me; what can alone contain Me is the heart of him that believeth in Me, and is faithful to My Cause.” How often hath the human heart, which is the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful, erred from Him Who is the Source of that light and the Well Spring of that revelation. It is the waywardness of the heart that removeth it far from God, and condemneth it to remoteness from Him. Those hearts, however, that are aware of His Presence, are close to Him, and are to be regarded as having drawn nigh unto His throne. Consider, moreover, how frequently doth man become forgetful of his own self, whilst God remaineth, through His all-encompassing knowledge, aware of His creature, and continueth to shed upon him the manifest radiance of His glory. It is evident, therefore, that, in such circumstances, He is closer to him than his own self. He will, indeed, so remain for ever, for, whereas the one true God knoweth all things, perceiveth all things, and comprehendeth all things, mortal man is prone to err, and is ignorant of the mysteries that lie enfolded within him….”

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh