The Virgin of the World, by Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, , at sacred-texts.com
SINCE such is the state of the universe, there is nothing immutable, nothing stable, nothing unchanging in nature, either in the heavens or on the earth. God alone, and rightly alone, is wholly full and perfect in Himself, of Himself, and around Himself. He is His own firm stability, nor can He be moved by any impulsion, since all things are in Him, and He alone is all. Unless, indeed, we should dare to say, that His movement is in eternity, but this eternity itself is motionless, since all the motion of time revolves in eternity and takes its form therein. God, then, has ever been and is for ever immutable; with Him likewise is the immutable eternity, bearing within it, as
the image of God, the uncreated universe not yet manifest. Hence, the created universe constitutes the imitation of this eternal universe. Time, despite its perpetual movement, possesses, by means of its necessary revolutions on itself, the force and nature of stability. Thus, although eternity is fixed and immutable, nevertheless, since the motion of time unfolds itself in eternity, and this mobility is the very condition of time, it appears that eternity, immutable in itself, yet revolves by means of the time which is within it, and which contains all motion. Thence it results that the stability of eternity appears mobile, and the mobility of time, stable, by the fixed law of their course. And thus it might seem even that God moves in His own immutability. For there is in the immensity of the equilibrium an unchangeable movement; the law of His immensity is unchangeable.
That, therefore, which is not subject to sense--the Infinite, the Incomprehensible, the Immeasureable--can not be sustained, nor carried, nor sought out; neither can we know whence it comes, whither it goes, where it is, how it is, nor what it is. It is contained in its own supreme stability, and its stability in it; whether God be in eternity, or eternity in God, or both one and the other in the two. Eternity is undefinable by time; and time, which may be defined by number, by alternative, or by periodical revolutions, is eternal. Thus both appear equally infinite and eternal. Stability being the fixed point which serves as the basis of Movement, must, because of this stability, hold the principal place. God and Eternity are, therefore, the principle of all things; but the world, which is mutable, cannot be considered the principle. The mutability of the world takes precedence of its stability, by means of the law of eternal movement
in equilibrium. The whole consciousness of Divinity is then immutable, and moves only in equilibrium; it is holy, incorruptible, eternal; or to define it better, it is eternity, consisting in the very truth of the Supreme God, the plenitude of all feeling and knowledge, or indeed, so to speak, in God Himself. The consciousness of the natural universe includes all sensible things and species; the consciousness of humanity involves memory, by which man remembers his acts performed.
Now, the consciousness of Divinity descends even to the human creature. God has not seen fit to extend to all beings this supreme and divine consciousness, lest, were it common to all animals, the glory of it should be diminished. The intelligence of the human mind,--whatever may be its quality and quantity,--lies wholly in the memory, and it is by means of this tenacity of memory that man has become the lord of the earth. The intelligence of nature, the quality and consciousness of the universe, may be understood by means of the sensible things it contains. Eternity, in the next place, is understood as to its consciousness and its quality, according to the sensible world.
But the intelligence of the Divine Being, the consciousness of the Supreme God, is the only truth, and this truth cannot be discovered,--no, nor so much as its shadow,--in this world full of illusion, of changeful appearances, and of error, where things are known only in the dimension of time.
Thou seest, O Asclepios, what lofty matters we dare to treat! I thank Thee, O most high God, Who hast illumined me with the light of Thy Grace! As for you, O Tat, Asclepios, and Ammon, keep these Divine mysteries in the secret place of your hearts,
and conceal them in silence. Intellect differs from perception in this--that intellect, by means of study, is competent to understand and to know the nature of the universe.
The intellect of the universe penetrates to the consciousness of eternity, and of the super-mundane Gods. And as for us who are men, we perceive heavenly things as it were darkly through a mist, for thus only does the condition of our human sense
permit us to behold them. Feeble, indeed, is our strength to penetrate things so Divine; but, when at last we attain to them, we are indeed blessed by the joy of our inward consciousness.