“Now, because we cannot know what God is, but rather what He is not, we have no means for considering how God is, but rather how He is not. Now it can be shown how God is not, by denying Him whatever is opposed to the idea of Him.” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae 1, q.3, intro.)
The way of remotion seems a groping in the dark; a never ending journey to nowhere; a pretense evoked to pass over challenging perplexities; an intellectual refuge from conflict with sanctioned opinion; an obstruction to pedagogy and theological development; and, ultimately, a denial of the light and grace of Christ. Christians are baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – whereas the Unnameable is seemingly unevokable. In the Eucharist, Christ reveals God – yet how is it possible for “outward signs” to direct our mind to the Unknowable? Moreover, if we cannot know what GOD is, how can we maintain any accurate “idea of Him” by which to discern what GOD is not? If I am making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, of what use telling me where it is not? Through imitation a child becomes like the parent, yet how can we become like the Father if we cannot know what or how the Father is? Truth images what is, what is not is nothing. I may not be able to stare at the sun yet still know it by its light, heat, and motion. The human soul is finite in that it has a beginning but does it have an end? Does not Christ call us to eternal life, to union with God? Surely then, to be capable to unite to God, we must have an innate capacity to know, at some level, WHO GOD IS, WHAT GOD IS, and what is of GOD. Christ leads and lights the way. But how does the way of remotion differ from blindly wandering the circuit of hell: never able to find the way to God?
The Blind Leading the Blind by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1568