The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [33]

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.

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The young Symeon forgets the place where he was and who he was [86-87 lines]. His seizure by light and this forgetfulness – real forgetfulness – about that he speaks here are post-ecstatic details.

When he came out from ecstasy was found himself crying: „Lord have mercy!” [87-88 lines]; the cry emphasizing, both, his immense joy but and his surprise.

The line 88 ends the relating proper-said of the ecstasy. Until the line 107, we have a theological elaboration of his reality and, especially, of its consequences with that has resulted the ecstasy.

Symeon says that the young man spoke with the light [92 line]. Using the aorist proswmi,lhsa, he indicates the fact that he did not listen passively to what the light said him or what was told to him from the divine light, but that he conversed with the light, he had a personal attitude towards the light, he felt it as a personal irradiation of Godhead.

The personalistic attitude of Symeon opposite at light is seen from the fact that designated it that being conscious of the fact that they converse [92 line].

In this situation, the form of perfect oi=den, from 92 line, translated by to know, knowing, by us, indicates understanding, mutual discussion of the trinitarian God, Who reveals His overwhelming glory, and Symeon.

But Symeon accepts and the direct significance of oi=da, as we have seen, because he speaks about a sight of us by God, through light, but and about a sight of Him, by us, through intermedium of the light.

In the light, Symeon conversed with God but he also saw God. Converse with Him whom he saw.

The sight of the light scattered the fog and the earthly thought from his soul, removed the burden of the soul and it has made that his body become suddenly vigorous, stripping the garment of the corruption [92-99 lines].

Symeon was invaded by a great joy, by a sensation of the mind and by a divine sweetness [100-101 lines], that we could not acquire only from the prayer without divine sight.

In fact, this is the message which he wants to induce to his listeners and readers: that the ecstatic sight produces a divine knowledge and it has amazing reactions, at holistic level, in the faithful man and is not just a passenger event, who could be forget easily by him.

He lives, post-ecstatic, an amazing interior freedom, he forgets the syllogistic attitude that requires your life in the world and he forget and the death, the fact that he is a mortal man [102-105 lines], for that „all sensations of the mind and of the soul were glued only (mo,nhn) of that ineffable joy of the light” [105-107 lines].


All these evidences show us that the sight is not a mental disorder, nor a paralysis of conscience, is not an unwelcome and uncomfortable pressure of God in our being, but is the meeting, at a deep personal level, of God with the faithful man and the entry in communion, through His glory, with the Most Holy Trinity.

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