Angelus Silesius – God Cannot Be Grasped

Angelus Silesius (c. 1624-1677), born Johann Scheffler, was a German Catholic priest and physician known as a mystic poet.

In his collection of poems The Cherubinic Wanderer, we find the following wisdom:

The Godhead is a nothing.
The tender Godhead is a nothing and beyond a nothing: he who sees nothing in everything, believe, O human! He sees it! (I. 111)

God cannot be grasped.
God is a pure nothing, untouched by now or here: the more you reach for him, the more he evades you. (I. 25)

God is a spirit, a fire, a being and a light.
And yet at the same time he is also none of these. (IV. 38)

God beyond creation.
Go where you cannot go! Look where you cannot look!
Hear where there is no sound or echo: then you will be where God speaks. (I. 199)

Silent prayer.
God is above everything, so that nothing can be spoken:
Therefore, best of all, pray to him in silence too. (I. 240)

God is nothing and everything.
God is nothing and everything without any sophistry!
For can you name something which he is?
Or something which he isn’t?

From: Johannes Angelus Silesius, Cherubinischer Wandersmann oder Geistreiche Sinn- und Schlussreime, Ed. Louise Gnadinger, Zurich 1986