Hidden essences

No one has known my soul; not even I. Like a Platonic Form, it shies from the realm of being. It has never appeared in a mortal shape – this in-dwelling essence, my soul – but it does animate my body.

People have known my body, my face, my voice; but have they known me? What I am, even I cannot see! And yet, holding a lamp is enough to make use of its light; essences needn’t be understood to make friends with the individual.

Then what about God? He is “the most hidden of the hidden”: anywhere you look, you cannot find Him. So hidden, even a believer might disbelieve, if one start demanding evidence.

Perhaps He animates Creation – the form of His will – as a soul does the body, whose actions are the will of the spirit. In that case, we needn’t understand His Essence to form close bonds with His Being. If His “face” is everywhere, perhaps He is “the most manifest of the manifest”: we see Him constantly, in the sense that people see us every day; even if we never see Him, in the sense that souls remain invisible to each other.

So are we invisible or do we make friends? Is God far from Us or is He nearer than our life’s vein? If both are true, why emphasize the hidden nature of God and not dwell on the invisibility of souls? Souls are hidden, so we pay attention to their personality; then if God is hidden, shouldn’t we focus on the character of Creation, and begin to know it as the forms of our Lord?