THE VIA AFFIRMATIVA IN THE LETTERS OF DENYS
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Denys’ four treatises (CH, EH, DN, MT) describe the logic of conversion of how the soul achieves a contemplative union with the One beyond-being and beyond-knowing through an informed and deliberate unknowing, by means of an ascending liturgical prayer. A tightly structured reversal of the logic of the four major treatises, Letters I-X demonstrate how the person who has ascended to the contemplative state described in the MT never “leaves behind” that union with the “One beyond-knowing” but by way of the Incarnation through participation in the sacrament of Communion, that contemplative union of the soul is maintained through its descent and she continues to experience union with the One beyond-knowing in every circumstance of daily life. The ascent (CH, EH, DN, MT) and the descent (Letters I-X) do not describe a temporal succession, but both movements are simultaneous in the soul that participates in the Incarnation through the sacraments.