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By Neil Rhodes

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Extra info for English Renaissance Prose: History, Language, and Politics (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies)

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But [the Good] is enthroned upon them, not that it may have a base, but that it may base the form of the first forms, itself formless. And in this way Intellect is to soul a light upon it, as the [Good] to Intellect; and when Intellect also defines and limits [˛r√sfi] the soul it makes it rational by giving it a trace of what it has. Therefore Intellect is a trace of that [Good]; but since Intellect is form and is in extension and multiplicity, that [Good] is shapeless and formless; for thus it makes form [eÎdopoieƒ].

But if in using these very words created and produced, we use terms proper to activity . . 17 Here the doctrine of production as manifestation, rather than the making of additional things, becomes explicit. For Proclus no less than for Plotinus, all reality, no matter how many levels and triadic subdivisions may be found within it, is nothing but the unfolding, the differentiated presentation, of the One. We are now in a position to see what Dionysius means when he describes God as not any thing but the cause of all things and hence subject to no name and to all names.

Something distinct, finite, and intelligible, ipso facto is not God. Indeed, since to be is to be intelligible and therefore to be finite, to be means to be not God. This, again, is precisely why God is beyond being. Every being, then, absolutely is not God. ” As all things without distinction, God is neither any one thing nor all things in their plurality. All things, qua all things, the whole of reality, are absolutely other than God. But if Dionysius is not a monist or pantheist, neither is he a dualist, regarding God as another being over against the world.

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