His argument begins by setting out a theological framework which engages with apophatic, or negative, theology where God can only be described by what God is not provocatively put by the 9th-century mystic John the Scot
Eriugena: 'God Himself does not know what He is because He is not anything.
Maybe there's something in the Scottish character (or climate!)--for instance, the hard doctrine of the great ninth century theologian John the Scot
(Johannes Scotus Erigena, i.e.
John the Scot's contribution to an understanding of "Cosmic Unification" is worth a rereading in the light of Teilhard de Chardin's theology in the 20th century.
In conclusion, we find two prayers: the first by John the Scot, the second by William of St.
Episcopus, following Hugh of St Victor, argues that he is.(23) Special supernatural information is necessary ut per summum sacerdotium alii spiritualiter informentur.(24) He quotes Dionysius' examples of the divine illumination from The Celestial Hierarchy chapter eight, citing Ezekiel 9 and Zechariah 2, as interpreted by John the Scot, where Ezekiel and Zechariah are theologians illuminated by God through an angel.(25) Easton follows The Celestial Hierarchy in thinking that in the orders of angels there is hierarchy, each level illuminating the level below, each with a first, a middle, and a lower rank.
Episcopus says they do, but understands royal power as exercising wisdom, not coercive power, according to John the Scot's gloss on chapter nine of The Celestial Hierarchy.
In this connection he quoted John the Scot and John the Saracen on The Celestial Hierarchy chapter fifteen saying that man was created to rule the world.(44) But in effect this section quotes hardly at all from Dionysius, because the author had almost nothing to say on the question.
Here we meet Plotinus discussing the Awakening without an Awakener; John the Scot
Eriugena propounding a nonsubstantialist understanding of creatio ex nihilo by equating the nihil with the divine nothingness; Ibn Arabi, the great Andalusian Sufi, who speaks of removing the psychic smudge due to the soul's resting in finite forms and stations, so that the Real can reveal itself to itself in the polished mirror of the soul; Marguerite Porete, the French beguine burned at the stake for heresy, who describes the annihilated soul which loses itself once it has been ravished by the divine lover; and Meister Eckhart, who explains the self-birth of God's Son within the soul, and for whom the apophasis of God's personal characteristics as Trinity recedes back into Unity.