The Real is always more than what we think God is.
God! God! Rid me of God! This was the holy prayer of the Dominican mystic, Meister Eckhart (d. 1328)—“I pray therefore, God rid me of God” (Sermon 52). They called him a heretic, but perhaps he was the one Dominican who truly understood St. Thomas Aquinas. Both knew that always God is more. The Real is always more.
Like Aquinas, Meister Eckhart tasted the green mango. You can write longwinded treatises about what a green mango tastes like, using the best words possible. It doesn’t come close to actually tasting the green mango.
Here’s a story about that, and God—
The Real is Always More
The real is always more. God is always than the word God. Likewise, God is more than our ideas about God. Indeed, as Eckhart writes, “God is nameless, for no man can either say or understand aught about Him.”
Augustine agreed. “Si enim comprehendis, non est Deus” (Sermon 117). If you understand it, it isn’t God.
And Thomas Aquinas resounds, “Comprehendere Deum impossibile est cuicumque intellecto creato” (“It is impossible for any created intellect to comprehend God,” ST I, q. 12, a. 7, co).
In fact, the Angelic Doctor opens his entire Summa Theologiae talking of the utter Mystery of God. Says St. Thomas, “Quia de Deo scire non possumus quid sit, sed quid non sit, non possumus considerare de Deo, quomodo sit sed quomodo non sit” (ST I, q. 3, pr.) Translated to English: “Now, because we cannot know what God is, but rather what God is not, we have no means for considering how God is, but rather how God is not.”
The Real is Always Greater
God is not a thought to capture, something to be boxed up in our heads and conversations. Instead, God is Holy and Absolute Mystery. God is to be experienced. Amen, the real is more.
People beat their brothers and sisters to death over ideas about God, often without ever having tasted God. Truth, another way of saying “God,” is not to be thought of but experienced. Do you experience God? Many in the West do not. Many in our deader-than-dead U.S. Catholic parishes do not.
We sit in front of the White Circle in the Golden Monstrance. We look for transformation, but we can’t find it. So, we remain grounded, not caught up into Sky Vault like John the Seer. What gives? What is malfunctioning? Many things. We are so bogged down in the West. Our monkey-brains keep spinning around, but we don’t go anywhere. Always the real is more than this!
Human beings starve. Thoughts and words are essential like menus are. But like menu entries, thoughts and words cannot feed us. Instead, they point us to nourishment. How foolish it would be to try and eat the menu!
Words are great. So is thinking. But always God is more. Always the real is more. But going beyond words and thoughts into the ocean of love? That’s way better. That’s where everything begins.
Until then, it is just plain old thinking. Having never tasted a green mango, you can think and think about it. Maybe you’ll even write volumes about what it is like. Or you can bite into one and experience the mystery.
God is like the green mango. And God is nothing like a green mango. The real is more always.