The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back to Where We Started From

This divine beauty has generated love, that is, a desire for itself, in all things, Since if God attracts the World to Himself, and the World is attracted, there exists a certain continuous attraction (beginning from God, emanating to the World, and returning at last to God) which returns again, as if in a kind of circle, to the same place whence it issued. And so one and the same circle from God to the World and from the World to God is called by three names. Inasmuch as it begins in God and attracts to Him, it is called Beauty; inasmuch as emanating to the World it captivates it, it is called Love; inasmuch as returning to its author it joins His work to Him, it is called Pleasure. Love, therefore, beginning from Beauty, ends in Pleasure. This was expressed in that famous hymn of Hierotheus and Dionysius the Areopagite, where these theologians sang as follows: "Love is a good circle which always revolves from the Good to the Good." For Love is necessarily good since it is born from the Good and returns to the Good.

-Marsilio Ficino, Commentary on Plato's Symposium on Love. Translated by S. Jayne


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