Friday, October 5, 2012

Nicolas of Cusa - Truth Coincides with Unity

Nicolas of Cusa was born in 1401 in the city of Kues in Germany. During the sixty-four years of his life, Cusa emerged as one of those rare universal geniuses, whose work transformed in a fundamental way not only his own generation, but generations to come. Here are some excerpts from A Dialogue of Two Men. The One a Gentile, the Other a Christian. On The Hidden God (1444):

... There is only one [truth]: for there is only one unity, and truth coincides with unity, because it is true that there is only one unity. Just as only one unity is found in number, so only one truth is found in the many. And thus whoever does not attain unity, will always be ignorant of number, and whoever does not attain truth in unity, can know nothing truly ... Is not the blind man judged to be insane, who believes he knows the distinctions of color, when he is ignorant of colors? 

... The name God [Deus] comes from theoro, which means “I see”. For God is in our domain, as vision is in the domain of color. Color can only be attained through vision, and so that any color whatsoever could be attained, the center of vision is without color. 

In the domain of color, therefore, vision is not found that is without color. Hence, in regard to the domain of color, vision is nothing rather than something. For the domain of color does not attain being outside its domain, but rather asserts that everything, which is, is inside its domain. And there it does not find vision. Vision, which exists without color, is therefore unnameable in the domain of color, since the name of no color corresponds to it. But vision gives every color its name through distinction. 

Hence all denomination in the domain of color depends on vision, and yet we have discovered, that the name of Him, from whom all names exist, is nothing rather than something. Therefore, God is to everything, as sight is to the visible.