No, not that transcendence

transcendence-johnny-depp-posterDavid B. Hart, from his chapter “The Destiny of Christian Metaphysics” in The Analogy of Being (ed. Thomas J. White, O.P.), a great collection of reflections on that controversial topic. We reference it here too if you wanna find the entire chapter. Bracketed [] remarks are mine.

I say this with some care, I should add, since — anxious though I am to do full justice to Przywara’s insight — I am equally anxious to avoid conceding any legitimacy to the terms in which this particular rejection of the analogy is couched. Speaking entirely for myself, I am quite happy to embrace a metaphysics that might loosely be called the metaphysics of traditional Platonism, or even the metaphysics of certain kinds of Vedanta philosophy; indeed, I would argue that, as far as a philosophy of essences goes, any attempt to speak intelligibly of God and creation, one that does not ultimately dissolve into childish mythology, requires some such metaphysics. And in fact, if we confine ourselves entirely to questions of the causality of created things, we must ultimately conclude that, speaking purely logically – purely metaphysically – there is no significant difference between the idea of creation and that of emanation (unless by the latter one means some ridiculously crude, intrinsically materialist concept of a divine substance that merely “expands” into universal space and time). The basic structure of exitus and reditus [“exit and return”], diastole and systole – as, among many others, the Areopagite and Thomas both understood – is as inevitable for a doctrine of creatio ex nihilo as it is for a Platonian metaphysics of the One. Moreover, I would go on to say that it is impossible to speak meaningfully of a God who is all Goodness and Truth, the source of all being and knowing, without acknowledging that our being and our knowing are sustained from within by a God who is for each of us interior intimo meo, and that at the level of nous or spirit (or whatever one would call the highest intellective principle within us) there is that place where the Fünklein [that which is not touched either by space or time] or scintilla [“spark”] resides, where our ground is the divine ground, where (as Augustine says) nihil intersit [sic on Hart! nihil interit = “nothing perishes”], where Brahman and Atman are one, and in regard to which one may say of all things “Tat tvam asi” [Sanskrit, “You are that”].

(Picture here.)

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