But take heed lest the profane hear those, I say, who cling to creatures, and imagine in themselves that nothing is beyond being, beyond existences, but suppose themselves to know him “who maketh darkness his hiding place.”
If, then, the divine mysteries are beyond such, what shall be said of those yet more profane, who conceive that the underlying cause of all in terms of the outward forms of things and assert that he exceeds not these impious and manifold conceits of their own making? Insofar as he is the cause of all things, we must needs impute and affirm of him all their attributes; but in so far as he is beyond and above all, we must needs deny those attributes to him entirely, yet not suppose that this affirmation and denial are contradictory, but that he himself is before and above all denials, and beyond all negating and imputing.
After this manner, then, the blessed Bartholomew says that divine truth is both much and very little, and the gospel both wide and great, and yet brief. This seems to me a marvelous insight, for the excellent cause of all things may be revealed with many words, with few words, and even with no words, inasmuch as he is both unutterable and unknowable, because beyond being he stands above all nature. He is truly revealed without coverings only to those who pass above all things impure and pure, who go beyond all climbing of sacred heights, and leave behind all heavenly lights and sounds, and supernal discourses, and are taken up into that darkness where he truly is who is beyond all things.
For not unmeaningly was the blessed Moses himself first bidden to be purified, and then to be set aside from the unpurified; and after entire purification he heard the many-voiced trumpets, and beheld a multitude of lights giving forth pure and manifold beams. After he was set aside from the manyfolk, he went before the elect priests to the uttermost peak of sacred heights. But thus far he had not yet converse with God himself nor beheld him, for he is without aspect, but saw only the place where he dwells.
This I take to mean that the most heavenly and lofty of things which may be seen and known are no more than certain images of things subordinate to him who transcends all. Through them is shown his presence exceeding all comprehension standing on those heights of his holy places which may be known of the mind.
And at times he who is set free of things seen and of things seeing, enters into the truly mystical darkness of unknowing, wherefrom he puts out all intellectual knowledge and cleaves to that which is quite beyond touch and sight – the entire essence of him who is beyond all. Thus through the voiding of all knowledge he is joined with the better part of himself - not with any creature nor with himself nor with another - but with him who is inwardly unknowable; and knowing nothing he knows beyond the mind.
A philosopher walked into a bakery and ordered a delicious fruitcake to be made with extravagant decorations.