Geist und Hauch, Diversitas und Assimilatio in Cusanus' "De Genesi"

Wolfgang Christian Schneider
Nicholas of Cusa's "De genesi," which begins as a commentary on the Book of Genesis, offers a reflection on the unfolding of the Divine into the world. It pri-marily considers how the One, the principium that sets and determines everything, can be a basis from which the Other (diversitas) and multiplicity can emerge. The pivotal point is identifying the "Self" that is God and what He transposes outside of Himself such that the transposed is also a "Self." Thus, it addresses an old problem,
more » ... n old problem, directly linked to monotheistic thinking, which preoccupied Platonism and especially Plotinus. In fact, Cusanus takes up Neoplatonic lines of thought, but he transforms them with recourse to Trinitarian ideas. From Plotinus's "return-ing" of the creature released by the One into the world to view the One and Di-vine, he develops the idea of a responding resemblance (assimilatio) to God on the part of the creature, which in turn is a "Self" but also an Other, which the creature in its process of resemblance "sublevates" in reference to God. This not yet fully thought-through or convincing concept leads to the more conclusive explanations given by Cusanus in later texts.
doi:10.25353/ubtr-izfk-6830-d5b0 fatcat:5snakg6vbffotjm6ixo2vevmxy