The Myth of the Airy Godmother
So our first principle can't even really be Beyond-Being, since by definition it must also be "beyond principle" (or "the principle's orifice"). Thus, the first principle doesn't appear until Being, which one might say is the "first fruit" of Beyond Being (and don't think in temporal terms; this is all "taking place" in eternity, not unlike the relationship between Father and Son, in which the former is "prior," but not in time).
Not to immediately get all soph-referential on you, but you will note in the Cosmonaught section of your local Coonifesto, that in order to leave something to the imagination, the author takes a muddled position between respecting the veils of decency provided by mythological symbolism, vs. just "letting it all hang out." In other words, he presents it all in the form of a divine cosmedy, or Holy Joke, in which one is guided to truth by the higher knowing of the Guffaw-ha! experience.
This was also the playful approach of Meister Eckhart, although certain authorities obviously didn't get the joke. But not for nothing does the first black page of Cosmonaught: Before the Beginning not begin with a page full of nothing, and with Eckhart's orthoparadoxical wise crack about how "there is something in the soul which is above the soul, divine, simple, an absolute nothing; rather unnamed than named; unknown than known.... higher than knowledge, higher than love, higher than grace, for in all these there is still a distinction."
I think that last line about no distinction is where certain unimaginative types can miss the point, and, for example, conflate this teaching with, on the one end, vulgar pantheism, or on the other, complete merger with God. I don't believe that that is what Eckhart is saying.
Rather, I think he's just making the sane point we are, and trying to reconcile the fact that we can both know God and not possibly know him. In one sense, everything that is not God is nothing, but in another, anything that is not nothing is God. Paradox. Deal with it.
Revelation is an explosive transmission from the heart of O, addressed to man (the eros shot into his cardiac center). Being that it is addressed to man, we shouldn't get carried away with certain formal properties that must be veiled in such a way that man can comprehend the inner message.
For as Schuon writes, "To be shocked by the anthropomorphic character of the Biblical God is logically equivalent to being surprised by the very existence of man [boo!], for the Reality we call 'God' necessarily assumes a human character on contact with the human being, though of course this cannot be taken to imply that it is human in its own aseity."
Elsewhere he writes of the potential confusion "brought about by the fact that on the one hand theology envisages God anthropomorphically, as if He were a human subject and that on the other, it claims to take the whole of the Divine Nature into account, which is incompatible with the preceding viewpoint."
So here again, in scriptural exegesis we must respect the distinction between Being and Beyond-Being, or what is traditionally regarded as the husk and the kernel, respectively. To take revelation only literally is to literally deny God, for one is isolating oneself on the human side of the distinction.
But again: Word becomes flesh so that flesh might become Word. This is the ultimate purpose of revelation, which is to say, salvolution -- which is nothing less than crossing the ascending bridge of darkness between natural and supernatural man.
And which is why it is written: Before caterpultering your buddhafly, lotus pray: last rung in's a written gag, so your seenill grammar and gravidad may not be malapropriate for my laughty revelation. If you can unpack that sentence, it truly contains within it everything we are discussing in today's post. See footnotes for assistance.
Also, note that a lotus is the beautiful flower that incongruously grows out of the filthy mud below, like wisdom from tenure (yes, I agree, but we exaggerate for didactic purposes).
Schuon points out that the Scholastics drew a distinction between an Infinitum absolutum and an Infinitum secondum quid, identical to our point, and similar to the distinction in Vedanta between Nirguna and Saguna Brahman, also the Kabbalistic distinction between the Ain Sof (the limitless Godhead) and the more distinct "God of Israel," so to speak.
Now, when we speak of "divine will," it very much matters whether we are speaking of Being or Beyond-Being. Looked at in a certain way, Beyond-Being is feminine, while Being is masculine; also, Beyond Being can be identified with the Infinite or the Divine Substance, while Being can be identified with the Absolute and with Essence (all in a manner of speaking, of course).
Therefore, following this ombilical line of thought, it is as if Beyond-Being -- the Divine Mother, the cosmic womb with a pew -- gives birth to Being, the Father, i.e., the Voidgin Boyth. Is this possible? Well, Eckhart certainly thought so. But even to this deity, people still don't get the yolk.