A absoluta transcendência do Uno

VI. 8. 11

[The absolute transcendence of the One as unconditioned, unlimited, Principle of all things: particular necessity of eliminating all spatial ideas from our thought about Him.]

But what is This which does not exist ? We must go away silent, involved by our thought in utter perplexity, and seek no further: for what could anyone look for when there is nothing to which he can still go on? Every search moves to a first principle and stops when it has reached it.

Besides, we must consider that every inquiry is either about what a thing essentially is, or its quality, or its cause, or the fact of its existence. But the existence of That, in the sense in which we say that It exists, is known from the things which come after It; inquiry into Its cause is looking for another principle beyond It, and there is no principle of the Universal Principle. To seek Its quality is to seek what are Its incidental attributes, and It has none. To seek Its essential nature makes still more clear that we should make no inquiry about It, but only grasp It, if we can, in our intellect and learn that it is a profanation to apply any terms to It.

We seem in general to conceive these difficulties about This Nature if we start by conceiving space and place, a sort of primal abyss, and then introduce This Nature when space already exists into the place which we imagine as having come into being or existing: when we have brought Him into this sort of place we inquire how and from where He came there. We investigate His presence and His existence as if He was a stranger, projected into our imaginary place from some depth or height. So we must get rid of the cause of our difficulties by expelling from the movement of our thought towards Him all consideration of place. We must not set Him in any place whatever, either as eternally resting and established in it or as an incomer. We must think of Him only as existing (the necessity of discussion compels us to attribute existence to Him), and of place and everything else as later than Him — place latest and last of all. Conceiving this Placeless Existence as we do, we shall not set other things round Him in a sort of circle or be able to circumscribe Him and measure His dimensions; we shall not attribute quantity to Him at all, or quality either; for He has no form, not even intelligible form: nor is He related to anything else, for He exists in and by Himself before any other thing.