Deep in the shadows wings take to flight through clouds of chaos where stars die
– Inquisition, “Across the Abyss Ancient Horns Bray,” Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm
The deeper secrets of a spiritual life are unravelled to those who take risks and who make bold experiments with it. They are not meant for the idler who seeks guaranties for every step. He who speculates from the shore about the ocean shall know only its surface, but he who would know the depths of the ocean must be willing to plunge into it.
– Meher Baba, Discourses
[E]very visible and invisible creature can be called a theophany, that is, a divine apparition. For . . . the more secretly it is understood, the closer it is seen to approach the divine brilliance. Hence the inaccessible brilliance of the celestial powers is often called by theology “Darkness.”
– John Scotus Eriugena, Periphyseon
The world—insofar as it is absolutely, irreparably profane – is God.
– Giorgio Agamben
O blissful distance from God, how lovingly am I connected with you!
– Mechthild of Magdeburg
I love black metal. In secret. In the secrecy wherein black metal keeps its own secret, above all from itself, and below. “Love sets on fire the one who finds it. At the same time it seals his lips so that no smoke comes out. Love is meant to be experienced and not disclosed. What is displayed is not love. Love is a secret which is meant to remain a secret save for the one who receives it and keeps it.” As Bathory sings in The Return, “Dark as her closed eyelids / Her secret . . . She don’t fear the flames . . . BORN FOR BURNING.” Or as Marguerite Porete, burned for heresy in 1310, explains, the annihilated soul (a secret who unknown to others and itself) “is the phoenix who is alone; for this Soul is alone in Love who alone is satisfied in her.” So is it true what The Scapegoat said, that “the first rule of black metal is that YOU DO NOT FUCKING TALK ABOUT BLACK METAL.” About, from OE onbutan, means ‘on the outside of, around’. No one speaks about black metal – they do not know what they are talking about, nor what they are doing (forgive them). Discourse on black metal is blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege. That is the condition of its truth, that it break faith with itself. “It seemed to her a kind of blasphemy,” writes the compiler of Angela of Foligno’s Memorial, “to try to express the inexpressible. . . . More than anyone else I ever knew, she was in the habit of saying: ‘My secret for myself’.” And this secret love (of black metal) is also precisely, perfectly, what demands discourse. “I want to speak about it,” says the Soul to Love in Porete’s text, “and I don’t know what to say about it. Nevertheless . . . my love is so certain that I would prefer to hear something slanderous [médiscance] about you than one should say nothing about you.” The secret is what can and must endure all blasphemy. This black metal love, inviolable in the radically immanent solitude of its negative transcendence, is born for burning: “She is not afraid to die / She will burn again tonight / (she will always burn) / But her spirit shall survive.” Do not talk about it. We will speak in black metal, there, where the secret of black metal is, wherever black metal is the secret of itself. Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult. Because black metal is love.
The mystical love of black metal is not a distinct or particular form of the love of black metal, not one of several loves, but the very love of black metal love itself, its pure and purifying form, the superlative intensity of a love that is essentially mystical, a hidden love of the Hidden. All love of black metal is, willy-nilly, mystical. Mystical love of black metal is its true love. This is my theoretical blasphemy, to out the black metal head as secret mystic heart, to accuse black metal of divine love. The indictment is distorted, twisted as usual around the complicity between inquisition and heresy, at once ridiculous and patently true, a sentence whose denial is simultaneously meaningless and indicative of a profound, unspeakable significance. I envision the prosecution of it as an inversion of the medieval precedent grounded in a schematic genealogical analogy that contains a modicum of historical truth: contemporary theory is to medieval theology as black metal is to medieval mysticism – a connexion that, stretched upon the cross of modernity, becomes evident in contestation over heterodoxy. In the premodern situation, a hypocritical, falsely-orthodox theology faculty accuses the mystic of heresy: becoming God. In the postmodern situation, a hypocritical, falsely-heretical theory faculty accuses black metal of orthodoxy: loving God. Where the material flame reveals the first to be a true saint, the intellectual flame reveals the second to be real mysticism.
Meaning what? How is black metal, a musical art, real mysticism? I am not referring to black metal’s mystical themes, or to mystics who love black metal. I say black metal itself is a real mysticism. One might say, and surely someone has, that black metal is a subjectless and objectless mysticism, mysticism without self and without God. But black metal love has a living subject, the black metal head, and an actual object, the black metal art. So we must refine this to mean that, mystically, the black metal head is a subjectless subject of an objectless object, a self without itself (metal head) in love with a God who is not God (metal). Subject and object remain, but only without themselves through a mutual transformation that inters and occludes each term in the other. Head becomes metal, yet remains a head. Metal becomes head, yet stays metal. This is the essential reality of black metal as mysticism, its being a musical materialization of the mystical relation in which the transcendent subject and object, self and God, are equally dislocated and secreted in an immanent and blackened inter-becoming of metal with everything, an amorous pestilential alchemy that nigredically melts being into an ancient cosmic essence that cannot be, taking flight through clouds of chaos where stars die, into the darkest divine body, named by Eriugena as “that which neither creates nor is created . . . [which] is classed among the impossibles, for its essence lies in not being able to be [cuius differentia est non posse esse].” The mystical experience of black metal is likewise something that cannot happen. One is somehow there to hear and see it, but the experience is not one’s own. It is more like black metal possesses things in order to experience itself, not reductively, but in a way that hiddenly opens into the All, that leads without locating into the “Hidden Secret Sabbat summoning my name” (Inquisition, “The Initiation,” Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult). Dagon says, “The music is the drug, the poison, the spiritual experience and even war all in one dose. Come to an Inquisition event and I promise you will walk out feeling just fine. I can’t use many words here.” As if within the negative magnetism of blackening sonic pressure the twin engines of mystical ascent, intellectus and affectus, head and heart, are projected into a twisted transposition of the lover-beloved dyad. Head, embodying intellect, is now metal, the materialization of the object of love phantasmatically held in the heart, and heart (the place of feeling, memory, experience, self-presence etc) is now exploded into space-filling metal sound itself, an omnipresent, diffused but essentially dislocated sonic heart that everywhere feels all the more intensely without oneself, a transsubjective volitional field that, rather than holding within itself the image of what it lacks, continuously auto-deictically shows the fact of its own being what it wills. This, it seems to me, is a perfect inverse of the traditional model of the mystical intimacy of divine longing or ‘holy desire’, wherein the heart is an interior domain paradoxically lacking, as absent presence and present absence, the Being that most acutely penetrates and informs it, like a mirror into which self and God are always both looking, glimpsing but never grasping the other, fitfully speaking across impassible proximate distance. Where the ideal atmosphere of that spiritual heart is silence, the medium of incommunicable communication whose ocular analog is the gaze, the atmosphere of black metal mystical intimacy is noise, the medium of communicable incommunication whose ocular analog is the stare. Diamanda Galás expresses something of this noisy heart-exploding becoming-metal: “Noise blasts a human being into infinity and he lands in an iron chair without a nametag, an overwounded fleshmachine melted down into an unrecognizable form.”
The reality of black metal as mysticism may thus be thought as the secret shadow of the transformation conventionally figured in Christian mysticism as the becoming-fire of black metal: “All love is a fire, but a spiritual fire. What a corporeal fire does for iron, the fire . . . does the same for an impure, cold, and hardened heart. In consequence of the infusion of such a fire, the human mind gradually removes all blackness, coldness, and hardness; and the whole mind changes into the similitude of him who inflames it. The whole mind becomes white-hot from the igniting of the divine fire; it flares up and, at the same time, liquefies in the love of God.” I conceive the love of black metal as an inside-out flame of this fire, a hyper-cold or meta-hot black flame (cf. Sabbat’s “Black Fire” et al) within the heart of the metal head that preserves and ensures, precisely by preventing, the all-out becoming-fire of love. For such a dark burning, as the very vehicle of the opposite of transubstantiation (in which accidents survive the alteration of substance), is also discernible within the metaphor as the secret virtue of iron that allows its cold black hardness to be affected by fire, to preserve itself in the midst of burning, and to achieve total transformation without loss of its own substance, that is, to really achieve it. As Eriugena says, describing the becoming-divine of the individual, “Iron or any other metal melted into fire is seen to be converted into fire, so that it appears to be pure fire, yet the substance of the metal is safely preserved.” No one would claim that the capacity of black metal to remain black metal in the midst of the infinite fire of love is incidental to its mystical, divine becoming. Rather, this complicit resistance is its very ground, what gives flame to fire in the first place, what permits fire to be its endlessly burning self, what effortlessly suffers forever the perverse infinity of divine love and overmasters even its own being totally overcome by it. “Once my soul was elevated,” says Angela, “. . . I did not see love there, I then lost the love which was mine and was made nonlove [non amor]. . . . Afterward, I saw him in a darkness . . . anything conceivable or understandable does not attain this good or even come near it. . . . In this good, which is seen in the darkness, I recollected myself totally.” The icy burning of the black metal essence that burns so hot that even the fieriest infernal love-fire is burnt by it and retreats more secretly within the metal substance is the profound property of an infinite, non-subtractable individuality, a one of many who is nonetheless and all the more One without number, the only and final insurance that when you become God, you can really say, with Al-Hallaj, I am God, the Truth. In being melted, in wholly changing into the similitude of him who inflames it, the iron is most intensively weaponized, made into a superdirectional liquid blade, something cutting in all directions at once, all the more easily wielding itself even against the All. ‘It is a certain and necessary truth,” says Meister Eckhart, “that he who resigns his will wholly to God will catch God and bind God, so that God can do nothing but what that man wills.” Note that, in Inquisition’s “Summoned by Ancient Wizards Under a Black Moon,” fire is accordingly invoked as both ultimate wieldable weapon and medium of final self-dissolution: “I will open gates of unknown time / I will breathe my fire towards the cosmic eye . . . Far before all time, far beyond all time / I shall fade away in the fire realm below.” The love of black metal is a mystical sword of unconquerable fire. I lose myself in the analogy. Let’s return to the argument.
The love of black metal is a secret, inverted mysticism, a hidden love of hidden universal divine reality, the absolute continuum that holds the supreme, superessential essence of your so-called self. It is the love of something (black metal) that materially makes and perceptually does what mysticism spiritually is, namely: “a most secret [secretissima] talking with God, no longer through a mirror and through the images of creatures, but the kind where the mind transcends all creatures and itself, and relaxes [otiatur] from the acts of all the powers that are able to grasp anything created, in the desire of seeing and holding him who is above all, waiting [expectans] in the darkness of the privation of actual comprehension, that is, in the darkness of the actual unknowing of all things, until the one it desires may manifest himself.” It therefore does this precisely as if not doing it, as if not withdrawing from the mirror of things but staying, aesthetically dwelling in its very darkness, not seeking the face to face vision that the dark mirror promises and prevents, but artistically folding and vinylly pressing vision into the darkness of the mirror itself, compounding darkness in darkness so as to sonically fly away free from the necessity of vision all together. “O Cryptic One I see – black / the veiled one chanting near . . . the shadow one in the mist / Wings flock to my crypt, I fly to my throne” (Inquisition, “Desolate Funeral Chant,” Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm).
The love of black metal is an inside-out mysticism, not only in the sense of a profanation of mysticism, but in the deeper sense of a mystical inversion of mysticism, an unconscious occult recording or perverse intuitive preservation of the heterodox love of God. Inversion must here be recognized as a universal logical operator for transpositionally revealing-by-concealing and concealing-by-revealing the essence of something. Inversion is a secret, cultic veneration of what remains in-version, immanent within the midst of turning. It is a destructive-creative disclosure of the still point or axis of inversion, for instance, the martyric moment of identity with Christ on the Petrine cross (somewhere near the navel), a minimum intersection at the center of all difference that antipodal movement at once occludes and twistingly intensifies. Inversion repeats without repetition, without recording, keeping the old as the shadow of the new. The love of black metal, far from being mere medievalism or anti-modern nostalgia for a lost sacred world, is a new (blind) perception of spiritual reality. An insoluble sonic synthesis or a-synthesis of premodern mystical negativity and the expanding image of the unbounded cosmos. Dagon says: “The massive chaos, titanic cosmic bodies that dwindle around, everything around us is so massive and powerful that I see the parallel of what all the known mythologies have written about heaven and hell as a direct inspiration from it (space) as something we have been overlooking our entire lifetime. . . . The simple notion that my spirit is as ancient as time time itself, I am here in ‘modern times’ but my spirit is very old therefore my inspiration is old and cryptic . . . the eternal black universe, the cosmic sea of Lucifer. How can one not be enlightened by such greatness after a deep look into something so primitive, vast and timeless. . . . the cosmos and all nature holds the secrets of mankind, creation and destruction, everything about it is so Satanic in essence, so ‘Black Metal’ essence.”
The love of black metal twists toward absolute cosmic exteriority along a mystical path of intensive inversion. Ordinate mysticism takes an inward and upward path to God as the source and goal of everything, withdrawing from the exterior phenomenal world in order to ascend beyond it to the One in a movement that is anabatic (rising, upriver) and anagogic (leading upward). The love of black metal, reversely and contrarily, leads downwards and outwards into a paradoxically disordered and multiple cosmos that is no less divine, pursuing a musical path that is catabatic (descending) and apogogic (leading away). Where music traditionally aims to mimetically ascend to hyper-central divine truth through the harmony of the celestial spheres, black metal’s noisy anti-modern sonic drive coordinately plunges into the depths only to release and radically fly upon the infinite centrifugal power or negative cosmic wind of sound itself. “Through cosmic chaos, through burning stars, abyss horns now bray. . . . The kingdom closes through which I fly as darkness opens / Our Earth has opened as lunar craters become infernos / As ancient hymns call I sing the song in caves of sorrow / The echoes wander with lifeless moan as horns are braying” (Inquisition, “Across the Abyss Ancient Horns Bray, Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm).
As if black metal were indeed a subcultural Dionysian echo of antinomian or ‘anarchic’ medieval spirituality, the truth of Marguerite Porete the real outsider occluded in the inquisitorial memory of Baphomet (the putative god of the Templars who were burnt only weeks before her in Paris), black metal truths remain backwardsly legible within medieval mystical discourse, above all in places where the ordered and integrative movement of the return to the One is reversely accented toward individual reality. A short list:
1) Irreligion. The principle that divine truth lies beyond religion, an institution that separates rather than unites world and God. “[T]his Soul is above the law, / Not contrary to the law,” says Porete, in the voice of Holy Church. As opposed to such persons she calls “donkeys, [who] seek God in creatures, in monasteries for prayer, in a created paradise, in words of men and the Scriptures.”
2) Freedom. The principle of absolute independence. “This Soul, says Love, is free, yet more free, yet very free, yet finally supremely free . . . She responds to no one if she does not wish to.” Nor is she “a servant of onself.” Eckhart: “The just man serves neither God nor creatures, for he is free, . . . and the closer he is to freedom . . . the more he is freedom itself. Whatever is created, is not free. . . . There is something that transcends the created being of the soul, not in contact with created things . . . not even an angel has it . . . It is akin to the nature of deity, it is one in itself, and has naught in common with anything.”
3) Intoxication. The principle of radical, concernless bliss. “And she is inebriated not only from what she has drunk, but very intoxicated and more than intoxicated from what she never drinks and nor will ever drink.”
4) Knowing oneself as totally evil. The principle that you are intelligible only as pure perversion of the good. “[T]his Soul knows in herself only one thing, that is, the root of all evil, and the abundance of all sins without number, without weight, and without measure.” “This is the sign of the spirit of truth,” says Angela of Foligno, “to realize that God’s being is total love and to acknowledge oneself as total hate.”
5) Dereliction, desolation, and despair. “I perceive that demons,” says Angela, “hold my soul in a state of suspension; just as a hanged man has nothing to support him, so my soul does not seem to have any supports left. The virtues of my soul are undermined . . . and when it when it perceives all its virtues being subverted and departing . . . the pain and the anger that it feels pushes it to such a point of despair that at times it cannot weep and at other times it weeps inconsolably. There are even times when I am so overwhelmed with rage that I can hardly refrain from tearing myself apart.”
6) Rejection of creationism, the pervasive insidious habit of thinking being as creature or inscrutable effect of an external cause, whether divine architect or a mute given cosmos that it is stupidly ‘out there’ before and after one’s own being. Eckhart says no: “For in that essence of God in which God is above being and distinction, there I was myself and knew myself so as to make this man. Therefore I am my own cause according to my essence, which is eternal, and not according to my becoming, which is temporal.” Don’t worry about how to return or keep or throw away the ‘gift of being’.
7) Paradoxical denial of God. The upside down truth on which the Christian ecclesia and black metal kvlt are both founded. “I pray to God to make me free of God,” says Eckhart. The negation is necessary to open the continuum, to realize the universal as an open system, i.e. a world of wonders and monstrous births. Logically, the continuum is what is thinkable in negation as the difference between X and not not X. Their equation is the basis for the apogogic or indirect proof, which Kant notes “can produce certainty, to be sure, but never comprehensibility of the truth in regard to its connection with the grounds of its possibility,” calling it “more of an emergency aid than a procedure which satisfies the aims of reason.” It is valid only within closed, finite systems, in “sciences where it is impossible to erroneously substitute the subjective for the objective.” In the procedure of apophatic mysticism (negating what is not God), the indeterminacy of the apogogic, the gap between X and ~~X, is figured in the recognition that the negation of the not-God does not produce God but leads only to the place of God and that a further negation of the negation conditions divine illumination, which transcends both objective subjectivity and logical binarism, realizing a truth that, as Dionysius says in the Mystical Theology, is “beyond assertion and denial.” “Here,” he continues, “being neither oneself nor someone else, one is supremely united by a completely unknowing inactivity of all knowledge, and knows beyond the mind by knowing nothing.” Essential to this deployment of the negative is the principle, contra Aristotle, that negation is not the opposite of assertion, but the assertion of what is beyond it, a term of intensification that negatively indicates what is in excess of the positive, such that “one might even say that nonbeing itself longs for the Good which is above being. Repelling being, it struggles to find rest in the Good which transcends all being, in the sense of a denial of all things.” Black metal is similarly intelligible as intensive negation, negative indication of the excess beyond God, exuberant sacrilegious signification of divinity in excess of deity. And/or intensive double negation: aesthetic formal demonstration of the denial of divine inexistence, negation of the God who is not (neither with nor without assertion of a God-to-come). Investment in double negation is correlative to open or non-positive affirmation, futurity, and the tautological whylessness of the will to live, famously presented by Eckhart as an endless iterable question and answer between man and Life: “If a man asked life for a thousand years, ‘Why do you live?’ if it could answer it would only say, ‘I live because I live.’ That is because life lives from its own ground, and gushes forth from its own. Therefore it lives without Why, because it lives for itself.” Here the depth of the continuum is perfectly exposed in the difference between willing to be and not willing not to be. The essence of holy desire or divine love is defined in medieval mystical texts not only (and less) in terms of its absolutism (for the all-in-all, Bataille’s ‘desire to be everything’), but in terms of negative continuity, as desire that will not go away, a ceaselessness at once affiliated with cosmic order (Dante’s ‘love that moves the sun and the other stars’) and what aims beyond it, within the unlimitedness of desire for self-becoming. “For not what thou arte, ne what thou hast ben, beholdeth God with his merciful ighe, bot that that thou woldest be” (Cloud of Unknowing). The whole of the law shall be . . . Denial of God = non-propositional affirmation of the anarchy of divine life . . .
And so forth. I say nothing, and could say too much more of the same. Ominous doctrines of the perpetual mystical macrocosm are not doctrines of in the sense of about. They are about the perpetual mystical macrocosm only insofar as the words name the black metal they entitle, insofar as black metal is the ominous doctrines, called by a name that never ceases bleeding into the thing itself. Ominous doctrines of the perpetual mystical macrocosm, the very doctrines of the macrocosm itself, that belong to it, that are it. There is no understanding without being them. “Gloss this if you wish, or if you can,” says Porete, “If you cannot, you are not of this kind; but if you are of this kind, it will be opened to you.”
(asks the last human being, blinking)
 “[O]mnis visibilis, et invisibilis creatura Theophania i.e. divina apparition potest appellari; . . . siquidem . . .in quantum occultus intelligitur, in tantum divinae claritati appropinquare videtur. Proinde a Theologia coelestium virtutum, inaccessibilis claritas saepe nominator tenebrositas” (De divisione naturae, [Monasterii Guestphalorum: Aschendorff, 1838], III.19)
 The Coming Community, 89.
 Meher Baba, Listen Humanity (New York: Harper & Row, 1957), 19.
 Bathory, “Born for Burning,” The Return (Black Mark Productions, 1985).
 Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of Simple Souls, trans. Ellen L. Babinsky (New York: Paulist Press, 1993), ch. 11. On self-secrecy, cf. “But who they are [says Love to the three theological virtues(faith, hope, charity)] . . . this is known neither to you nor to them” (ch.19); “She is where she loves . . . without her feeling it” (ch. 41); “. . . the true seed of divine Love, which makes the Soul completely surprised, without being aware of it” (ch.18).
 Angela of Foligno, Complete Works, trans. Paul Lachance (New York: Paulist Press, 1993), 248.
 Mirror of Simple Souls, ch. 11.
 Quorthon, “Born for Burning,” The Return.
 De divisione naturae, 1.
 Interview: Inquisition,
 Cf. the opening prayer of The Cloud of Unknowing: “God, unto Whom alle hertes ben open, and unto Whom alle wille spekith, and unto Whom no privé thing is hid: I beseche Thee so for to clense the entent of myn hert
with the unspekable gift of Thi grace that I may parfiteliche love Thee, and worthilich preise Thee. Amen” (ed. Patrick J. Gallacher [Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute, 1997], 21.
with the unspekable gift of Thi grace that I may parfiteliche love Thee, and worthilich preise Thee. Amen” (ed. Patrick J. Gallacher [Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute, 1997], 21.
 Cited from blurb to Hillel Schwartz, Making Noise (Zone, 2011).
 Richard of St. Victor, On the Trinity, 6.12.
 “Ferrum aut aliud aliquod metallum in igne liquefactum, in ignem converti videtur, ut ignis purus videatur esse, salva metalli substantia permanente” (De divsione naturae, 4.8).
 Complete Works, 202.
 Meister Eckhart, The Complete Mystical Works, trans. Maurice O’ C Walshe (New York: Herder & Herder, 2009), sermon 10, p.92.
 Mystical Theology: The Glosses by Thomas Gallus and the Commentary of Robert Grosseteste on De Mystica Theologia, ed. and trans. James McEvoy (Paris: Peeters, 2003), p.65 [citing Grosseteste’s commentary on 1.1.].
 Cf. Valter’s commentary on Aarseth’s belly button as punctum, “Black Metal Getting Medieval,” Documents < http://surrealdocuments.blogspot.com/2009/03/black-metal-getting-medieval.html>.
 Cf. “I think that black metal is an artistic movement that is critiquing modernity on a fundamental level saying that the modern world view is missing something. It’s missing acknowledgement of a spiritual reality. That estrangement from spiritual knowledge is the source of very deep sadness and alienation. I think that is fundamentally what black metal is all about” (Aaron Weaver, An Interview with Wolves in the Throne Room’s Aaron Weaver < http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2009/05/an_interview_w_13.html>)
 Cited from
 See Plotinus, Enneads, 4.8.1; Augustine, Confessions, 7.10,16; Pseudo-Dionysius, Mystical Theology, 1.1.
 Mirror of Simple Souls, Chapter 121, p. 196.
 Mirror of Simple Souls, Chapter 69, p. 144.
 Mirror of Simple Souls, Chapter 85, p.160.
 Mirror of Simple Souls, Chapter 48, p. 127.
 Complete Mystical Works, Sermon 17.
 Mirror of Simple Souls, Chapter 23, p. 105. Cf. “[the] God-intoxicated . . . experiences just that same senation that a drunkard enjoys, and cares for no one and nothing, in proportion to the extent of his intoxication; the difference is that his intoxication is continual, that it may increase but can never decrease, and it has no physical or mental reaction. It is a state of permanent and unalloyed intoxication” (Wayfarers, 22).
 Mirror of Simple Souls, Chapter 11, pp. 88-9.
 Complete Works, 229.
 Complete Works, 197.
 Complete Mystical Works, Sermon 87.
 Complete Mystical Works, Sermon 87.
 Kant, A789-90/B817-18.
 Anthony Winterbourne, The Ideal and the Real: An Outline of Kant’s Theory of Space, Time and Mathematical Construction, 117.
 1001A, 1048B.
 Divine Names 697A. “Now we should not conclude that the negations are simply the opposites of the affirmations, but rather that the cause of all is considerably prior to this” (Mystical Theology 100B). “In it is nonbeing really an excess of being” (Divine Names 697A).
 Sermon 13.