The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [31]

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.

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Using of dokei/n from the line 98 does not indicate a conjecture, a simple supposition of the young George. The verb doke,w, used with his intransitive significance as in Acts 15, 28; 17, 18, I Cor. 12, 22, Hebr. 12, 11 translates with: to seem, in comparison with the transitive form where it means: to think, to believe, to presuppose, to consider[1].

In the symeonian text, we have that connotation of the verb that we find and in the synodal tomos from Acts 15, 28.

When Symeon said about the young George, that to him it seemed that he was made light entirely, that he is a light in the light of God, more concrete said, he had no doubt that this was reality.

He lived not a state of unreality, of appearance, which might be presupposed based on the aorist of the verb doke,w, but he was convinced, as the Synod’s Fathers from Jerusalem, that this was reality: he was filled with divine light, because he was in the light of the Trinity and not into an impersonal light and depersonalized.

Our young man sees himself joined with the light, made entirely the light and seeing only those who appeared to him in the light which revealed him the Trinity.

He does not choose what to see in the light, but he sees in wonder, he was only the one seeing eye of those that God shows him. For that the ecstasy is precisely in this: in our raising to communion with the Trinity, through His glory.

Symeon touches with more perspicacity the fact that light flooded the young man without that he to oppose the interior resistance.

The light flooded him with everything. Being into a state of repentance and of fervent prayer, into a deep state of concentration, by spiritual introspection, our young man is kidnapped with the mind to God and he sees the divine light.

The ecstatic state is incompatible with the memory, says Symeon, using the participle evpilaqo,menoj.

He forgot all world suddenly [98 line], then when appeared the light.

The detail, how that he arrived in this moment „full of tears and unspeakable joy and gladness” [99-100 lines], it does not belong of the ecstatic moment, but it is a spiritual result of the ecstasy in his life.

That what keeps by ecstasy, by development of the ecstatic moment is the final specification, that „his mind ascended into heaven and it saw another light more limpid than which that was close to him. And standing in proximity of that light was showed to him, in paradoxically face, that old man Holy and wise and alike with Angels” [100-103 lines], and namely Saint Symeon the Pious, his spiritual Father.

The problems raised by the end of ecstatic confession to an exegete are insurmountable, as long as we consider that we are dealing with a prime light and with a second light, the latter being separated from the first by its reality.

The symeonian expression ouvrano.n avnh/lqen o` nou/j auvtou/ [his mind was exalted/ ascended to heaven, acc. 100 line], it should not be interpreted as a crossing from an ecstatic sight with terrestrial connotations at an ecstatic sight with heavenly qualities, divine, for that this passage does not exist in reality.

Our young man was already in the light, he was full of light.

The ascension of mind about which Symeon speaks and the heaven that he indicates for us here, is not than a revelation more intense, from part of God, of those things seen in the divine light.

Speaking in anthropomorphic manner about this ecstatic situation, Symeon wants to tell us only that, his mind was widened in the light of divine, that it received a more pronounced sight of the mysteries of light, this crossing towards an all-more-knowledge/ sight of those from the light being called ouvrano.n, heaven.

The young George, with other words, he did not pass from heaven to another as in mythology, but he passed from one spiritual heaven to another and more impressive, from the light to a light and more clear/ limpid, ie from an initial sight to a more divine and overwhelming, in which appeared his spiritual Father.

Symeon points out all these ecstatic details, internal of ecstasy, for to show that the ecstasy is not only sight but also the advancement in the sight, in knowledge, in the discovery, from part of God, of those divine.

The increasing clarity of light is a divine gift and the sight of Symeon the Pious in light was a confirmation, from part of God, of his holiness.

Saint Symeon the New Theologian was taught, on the one hand, about those of the light of God, God Himself initiated him into the mysteries of His eternal glory but, in the same time, God ensures him that the holiness is known by Him, that Saints are His people and that only they can be credible with truly for those who want to sanctify their lives.

[1] Acc. Gingrich Lexicon, apud BW 0.7.

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