A lovely image conveying the age-old human yearning to be closer to God or heaven or some other source: a flower opening to the sun as it climbs the sky.  This is from a beautifully written history of a period we commonly skim over and yet which has a much richer complexity than a cursory impression suggests. 

‘The yearning for intimacy in a bottomless universe is expressed in the repetition of terms by which the Neoplatonic philosophers expressed the closeness of the One God to the infinite articulations of the visible world: they emphasized the ‘chain’ of beings, the ‘interweaving’, the ‘intermingling’, that linked man to his awesome source.  All creatures responded to this unseen centre, as the lotus-flower quietly opens to the climbing sun.’


Source: Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity, AD 150-750, London: Thames & Hudson, 1971 (1995), p. 77

Photo credit: Andrewkim at pixabay


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