Dionysius the Areopagite - Celestial Hierarchy - Order of Angels
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Dionysius the Areopagite – The Celestial Hierarchies
the holy ranks of the Celestial Beings are present with and participate in the Divine Principle in a degree far surpassing all those things which merely exist - irrational living creatures and rational human beings..... They receive [in their turn] the Primal Radiance in a pure and immaterial manner, adapting themselves to this in a life wholly intellectual
The knowledge which is said to be imparted by one Angel to another may be interpreted as a symbol of that perfecting which is effective from afar and made obscure because of its passage to the second rank......... For as they say who are wise in the sacred Mysteries, the direct revelations of the Divine Light impart a greater perfection than those bestowed through an intermediary, and in the same way I consider the Order of Angels which is established nearest God participate directly in a more resplendent light than is imparted to those who are perfected through others....................
the 1st level possesses the highest knowledge that angels can have of the work of God, … and since they are uplifted to God directly by their pre-eminent power and rank, they are both established immovably beside the All Holy and are borne up, as far as is allowable to the contemplation of His Intelligible and Spiritual Beauty. Being placed nearest to God they are instructed in the true understanding of the Divine works and receive their hierarchical order in the highest degree from Deity itself, the first Principle of Perfection....
The theologians clearly show that the lower ranks of the Celestial beings receive the understanding of the Divine works from those above them in a fitting manner, but the highest are correspondingly enlightened in the Divine Mysteries by the most High God Himself