The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [60]

Here, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59.


In symeonian theology, the passional part of our being is not desired to be destroyed or diminished perhaps, but directed towards the divine light and towards the wishing of God and continuous potentiated.

 As well as the volitional part of being the believer as well diania, our thinking are redirected by the sight of light and just in our filling of light find us the true natural movement of human being.

The ghostual life is not at Symeon a superior floor of human existence but the true mobility of our being, the true dynamism and the real fulfillment of us in the relation with God. Life in God is the normal life of the man and it is a life of holiness.

The image of the cutting of the darkness[1]  is synonymous in its understanding with the opening of the bedroom from before.

The Master of the world put the darkness of His light as concealment/ cover [apocrivin] [r. 166] of Him.

But when He wants to renew us the being with all, to rise us from the dead through the light of His glory [r. 167-168], then He „will cut the darkness [diatemni to scotos] and will pass on there our mind and He will lean on there as through an opening  [ex opis] and He will let us see Him into an indistinct face, as can be seen the disc of the sun or of the moon.

From here the mind learns itself, or, better said, it knows [ghinoschi] and is initiated [miite], entrusting itself that there is not, with true, another partial impartation [merichi metoxi] by the goodies the uttered of God” [r. 169-175] than this.

The cutting of the darkness and the crossing through the opening are not than two suggestive images of the ecstasy.

The habituation with the divine light from the final of the ethical Discourse 1 designates however the quotidian experience of the light, that is no longer a lightning rapture of us by the light, but a cohabitation with the light, a continuous experience with it, according as live it the perfect in holiness.

In this divine state, the perfect, says Symeon, learns from light „wonders over wonders and mysteries over mysteries and sights over sights, being illuminated by it, as to say so, in all the  clock. […] For if he would want to write this things, he would not reach any paper or any ink, but he would lack, I believe, and the time to tell them in detailedness”[2].

The state of the quotidian sight of the light in our being is not a ecstasy but a cohabitation with light, where the deified „sees himself [in light] and the ones concerning himself and on those nearly of his and he predicts, knowing beforehand [many things].

And he knows that, if he will reach outside of this prison, and even and more after the resurrection [of all from the dead] and he will see this light of unbearable [astecton] so as is it, [then he will see] and the goodies from that”[3].

But for to reach at the divine light, as presence and continuous sight in our being, Symeon puts us before the image the dead bones that cannot be reanimated, raised at life than of the Ghost of God.

In the ethical Discourse 7, Symeon shows that the bones of all our virtues cannot form a living man, a full man, without the presence of the Holy Ghost in us:

„For as, if someone put dead bone [tis ostun necron] near dead bone and articulation  [armonian] near articulation [Iez. 37, 7-8]…[this] at nothing uses, if is not the One who makes to see flesh and nerves [over them] and He makes not to unite the articulations with the nerves, all so if over those dead bones is put flesh and skin and is made from them a body, again neither this will not be of any use, [if] lacking the Ghost, Who makes alive and moves it, ie [if] is devoid of soul”[4].

The presence of the grace in us represents for Symeon the soul of our ghostual life.

[1] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 12, 166-183, p. 284-286 / Ică jr. 1, p. 155-156.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 12, 426-431, p. 302 / Idem, p. 163.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 12, 434-439, p. 304 / Ibidem.

[4] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, VII, 310-318, p. 178 / Idem, p. 289.

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