The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [50]

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.

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The divine light is one that unifies spiritual and bodily senses of man faithful and in this interior unity he delights of Lord’s glory.

Symeon presents unpassion as a state of inner unification brought to light and preserved through the virtues and personal charisms.

This thing is seen more clearly of cosmic allegory from 4, 769-788, where Symeon resembles on Saint with the heaven, where his heart is the disc of moon, „the divine love” [a`gi,a avga,ph] is the light of moon and „holy unpassion” [a`gi,a avpa,qeia] is kukloeidh.j ste,fanoj [the crown of roundness/ of the circle] of moon[1].

The unpassion, continues here Symeon, is one that protects them and keeps them unharmed on Saints of bad conscience and sin, defends them the enemies and makes them unapproachable to their adversaries[2].

But here is not word about an external protector shield, but about an interior shield, which manifests as a desire and fulfilled nonacceptance of the sin, of the wickedness of any kind.

Symeon uses here three significant verbs, in our opinion, for to describe the role of the state of unpassion in Saints.

He uses on perife,rw [to surround], for to indicate the fact that unpassion protects us from the inside by all evils outside us; on perie,pw [to treat with great care, to care] for to show the dynamism of unpassion in our being and on perifroure,w [to guard], for to emphasize the steadfastness in which keeps us the state of unpassion.

From symeonian allegory results very clear, that the unpassion is an establishment of holiness in our being, a state in which we can keep by all kinds of unfriendly attacks.

Symeon specificates once again that the allegory or the icon [eivkw.n], after how says his Holiness, that we presented it is a prefiguration [evpinohqeisa] of the things that occur in Saints and not a fiction[3].

The unpassion is a quotidian interior reality for one who has it and it manifests as nonattractiveness to the bodily, owing to the ardent longing for the eternal and of interior fulfillment that brought it the light.

Comparing the icon of the bride with the bride herself, namely making the difference between perception of reality through an image and the reality as such, Symeon defines the unpassion as an experience in divine light, as the marked reality of a life experienced beyond the senses, the sensuality.

He says: those who „joined in beingly [ouvsiwdw/j] face with God Himself and were worthy by the sight [qe,aj] and His impartation [meqe,xewj], they no longer expect to have passionate inclination nor to the icon of creatures [th/| eivko,ni tw/n poihma,twn] and nor (any) passionate (annexation) by the shadow of the seen [th/| skia/| tw/n o`rwme,nwn].

For their thinking remaining in those above feeling [evn toi/j u`pe.r ai;sqhsin] and mixing with them and (being) dressed with brightness of the divine nature, they have no feeling (directed) to those seen, which they had previously”[4].

Therefore the unpassion is not an amputation of feeling of the one spiritualized but, on the contrary, is raising at a mode of life, in which the spiritual and bodily senses of man are imbued with light and the spiritual man lives in the flesh with feeling of eternal life.

Our mixing with the light or our union, in beingly face, with God, about that speaks Symeon, represents just the content of the unpassion.

Our nonattraction to sin is not due, in this divine state, to a human effort but to the immensity of light, of the grace that fills us with all.

[1] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 774-783, p. 62-64 /Ică jr. 1, p. 241.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 782-788, p. 64 / Ibidem.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 791-794, p. 64 / Ibidem.

[4] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 917-924, p. 74 / Idem, p. 245.

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