Proclus' Hymn To God


“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
Sole Unspeakable Being, since Thou art the cause of all speaking.
How might the mind know Thy Nature? For mind cannot grasp or conceive
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
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)


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