The nature of reality. Being as the inner principle of reality


This step constitutes an effort to understand the ultimate nature of reality from a variety of perspectives. Bonaventure at this point examines reality as being (cf. next step: reality as goodness). In answering the question "what is the nature of reality?" Bonaventure presents the fullness of being as its inner principle and speaks of the qualities of pure infinite being, which, according to Bonaventure, will “lift you up in admiration. For being itself is both the first and last; it is eternal and yet most present; it is most simple and the greatest; it is most actual and most changeless; it is most perfect and immense.”


The general theory of the unseen

Bonaventure Itinerarium 5.7

Text of Step 5, transl. by O. Bychkov



Plato, The Republic. “Allegory of the Cave.”


Eastern perspectives

Hinduism: Selections. The Upanishads: Translations from the Sanskrit. Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1965.  (Chandogya Upanishad, pp. 121-26.

Smith, Huston  The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Tradition. San Francisco: Harper, 1991, pp. 22-26.


A Christian perspective

Milton, John Paradise Lost, Book 3 through l. 415


Alternative perspectives

Johnson, Elizabeth. She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse. NY: Crossroad, 1992, pp. 241-45.