13 May 2009

Oh humans

Yet God remained whole like a wheel ... Now this wheel is somewhere, and is full of something. For if the wheel had nothing but an outer rim, it would be empty. And if perchance an outsider came and wanted to work there, this cannot be, for two craftsmen cannot exercise their craft in one and the same wheel. Oh humans, look at the human being! For it contains heaven and earth and other creatures in itself, and is one form, and all things hide in it.
  This is what fatherhood is like. In what way? The round of the wheel is fatherhood, the fullness of the wheel is divinity. All things are in it and all stem from it, and beyond it there is no creator. Lucifer, however, is not whole, but divided in dispersion, since he wanted to be what he should not. For when God made the world, he had in his age-old plan that he wanted to become human.
  And he made the elements of the world, and they are in man, and man operates with them.

Hildegard von Bingen, quoted in Dronke, Women Writers of the Middle Ages (1984: 172)