Introduction to a Metaphysics of the Christian Mysteries

Bruno Bérard

Imprimatur from the diocese of Paris. Foreword from f. Michel Dupuy and Msgr Dubost, bishop of Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes. Afterword from Jean Borella.

The book is in French – here a translation of key elements in English.

Rather than some comparative approach of the seven religions that are hīnayāna and mahāyāna Buddhism, Christianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Taoism, three Christian mysteries are in the center of the presentations. Elements from the other religions are exposed so as to enter in resonance with them.

These three mysteries: Trinity, Virgin, Christ are presented five different ways: concept & doctrine, theology & mystery, esotericism, metaphysics and mysticism, allowing the reader the approach that fits him best.

Guaranteeing the orthodoxy of the exposed Catholic theology, this work benefits from the imprimatur of the Diocese of Paris and a Foreword by Msgr. Dubost, bishop of Évry-Corbeil-Essonnes.


  1. Introduction: Gnosis, Supreme Knowledge and Infinite Ignorance
  2. Part 1 – The Christian Trinity

    1. Chap. 1 Resolution of Paradoxes
    2. Chap. 2 Overcoming Paradoxes
    3. Chap. 3 Dissolving Paradoxes
    4. Chap. 4 Renewal of Paradoxes
    5. Chap. 5 Conclusion: Metaphysical Identity
  3. Part 2 – The Christian Theotokos

    1. Introduction: Paradoxical situation of the Virgin within Christianity
    2. Chap. 6 Dogma, Mystery and Faith
    3. Chap. 7 Marian Mysteries and Dogmas, and Positions of the Christian Churches
    4. Chap. 8 Theological and Esoteric Interpretations of the Mysteries of Theotokos
    5. Chap. 9 Metaphysical Interpretation of the Mysteries of Theotokos
    6. Chap. 10 Conclusion: Marian Identity
  4. Part 3 – The Christian Christ

    1. Chap. 11 A Universal Paradoxical Synthesis
    2. Chap. 12 From the Paradox of the God-Man to the Mystery
    3. Chap. 13 Oneness of the God-Man
    4. Chap. 14 Universality of the Man-God
    5. Chap. 15 From Man-God to God-Man
    6. Chap. 16 Conclusion: Christ Identity
  5. Conclusion: Gnosis: Infinite Ignorance
  6. Afterword by Jean Borella: Problematic of the Unity of Religions


a) The Word, Universal Creator (pp. 187-189)

The Creator Word or the Fruitful Word precedes all creation in the cosmogonies of the traditions of almost all continents:

  • In Africa – for the Dogons (people of Mali) – the first word is the attribute of the First Spirit Amma. Before creation, it is an undifferentiated speech without self-awareness, called dry speech. Then audible speech, called wet speech, germinates as the principle of life and is given to men. This is also the case for the Banamas (Niger Valley), for whom the One represents the Master of the Word and the Word itself.
  • For the Amerindians, God created the foundation of language before anything else (among the Guarani of Paraguay), or else, only the soul endowed with speech joins the “other world” after death (among the Taulipang).
  • In the West, there is not only the Logos (word) of the classical Greeks (divine thought of creation or immanent reason in the order of the world) and the Word of the Old and New Testaments “by whom everything was made”. In Islam, in fact, the Word is called Kalimat Allâh (the Founding Word) and its four consonants Klmh are the quaternary manifestation of the First Unity. Likewise, the Sefer Ietsirah (book of formation) of the Hebrew Qabbalah says that “Memra (the word) produced every object and everything by its one Name” (Sefer Ietsirah, IV, 5).
  • In India, the Vedic texts also say: “in the beginning was Brahmā, with him was Vāc (the creative Word)” and “the divine thought of Brahmā flowing through Vāc, the divine voice, gave birth to the universe by singing”.
  • In China, the Tao Te Ching says: “At the origin of the distinction, there was the name; with the name, existence was” (Laozi, Tao Te Ching, 32).

Thus, like any particular religion, the Word constitutes the purest Symbol of the manifestation of being, the source of existence.

b) The Word, Cosmic Center

“All things under heaven are born in Being; Being is born from Non-Being” (Laozi, Tao Te Ching, 40). Illustrated here by Taoism, but common to all traditions, we can distinguish three “stages” in the Deity—considered as the principle of manifestation—, which are Non-Being, Being and Existence or, the Absolute, the ontological Principle and the Logos, or again Paramātma, Īśvara, Buddhi and, analogically, Father, Son, Spirit.

Non-duality of the supreme Principle, unity of Being and unicity of Existence

Non-Being is the supreme Principle which is beyond all determination, including therefore that of Being which is the first. This Non-Being, knowing that “a name which can be pronounced is not the eternal Name” (Laozi, Tao Te Ching, 1) is designated, in an equivalent way, as the superessential Trinity (S. Dionysius), Gottheit (Master Eckhart), Tao (Taoism), ein sof (Hebrew Qabbalah), Paramātman, puruṣottama, Supreme Brahmā, nirguṇa brahman (Hinduism), or Beyond-Being. It is the metaphysical Zero: the Beyond of unity, the Without-Duality, the Advaita: the non-two of Vedānta.

Being, the first determination of Non-Being (self-determination sui causa), is the Creator and personal God, God Who has a Name, the Trinity, Allâh, YHVH, Īśvara, T’ai-ki and Who encloses all possibilities of manifestation, essentially as well as substantially. And this Being is “That by which everything is manifested, and which is itself manifested by nothing” (Kena upaniad, 1st Khanda, shrutis 5 to 9). As for the universal Existence, it manifests (cosmologically) between two non-manifested principles which are a polarization of the Being, but without its Unity being affected. These polarities can be called: the creative Inspiration and the virginal and maternal Substance, Puruṣa (Aristotelian immobile motor) and Prakṛti (universal passive Substance or undifferentiated primordial Substance) in the Indian Sāṅkhya

Notice of publication

This Introduction to a Metaphysics of the Christian Mysteries presents the Trinity, the Virgin and Christ in different complementary ways. Each reader can therefore approach these mysteries in the way that suits him best: the doctrine, verified by imprimatur, esotericism, the abrupt formulas of metaphysics, extracts from striking texts by S. Denys, Meister Eckhart and so many others, or again through striking analogies with certain elements of other religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism.

Beyond these collected elements, the author takes the reader on his own journey and leads him from words to things, from knowledge to being, from Speech to Silence. The Silence which alone can truly speak of the Christian Mystery.

Finally, anxious to recall that metaphysics remains ordered to Revelation, Jean Borella, in his postscript, undertakes to respond to the excesses of the doctrines of Guénon and Schuon by elaborating a ‘problem of the unity of religions’.


[translated] The Introduction to a Metaphysics of Christian Mysteries by Bruno Bérard is not a work dealing mainly with esotericism; the subject is different, it is a question of ‘showing that Christianity, through the universality of its Sacred Mysteries, alone has all the necessary and sufficient metaphysics to “understand” the relationship between creature and Creator, in the two directions of Creation and Salvation, as if to access a Beyond of Being where the Creator-creature distinction tends to disappear’ (p. 15). To do this, the Author confronts Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist theological, mystical and metaphysical sources around three mysteries: the Trinity (where the soul can realize metaphysical identity by breathing God into God), the Theotokos (where to realize Marian identity) and Christ (where, in Christic identity, man becomes Man-God).

See the review
— Jérôme Rousse-Lacordaire, “Bulletin d’histoire des ésotérismes”, Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques, vol. 91, no. 3, 2007, p. 563-591.

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