The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [92]

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, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91.


Paraphrasing on the Apostle John, Symeon invites us to believe on full, that will be new heavens and new earth[1] and that will exist a general resurrection of the people[2] and that „the heaven and the earth and all ones from it, ie all creation will be renewed and freed from the bondage of corruption [Rom. 8, 21], and the things will share together with us of the brightness [lamprotitos] from there, and in the face in which on all of us will attempt the fire [to pir dochimasi], according to the Divine Apostle [I Cor. 3, 13], all so and the whole creation will be renewed through fire [dia piros anachenistisete]”[3].

But this fire, which transfigures the world, which transforms it, is none other than the divine light, which will cleanse and will prechange all creation, after how prechanges and deifies on the one who sees it in ecstasy.

From this we deduce, that Symeon unites in his theology the personal soteriology with the transfiguration of all creation and he considers the transfiguration of the world an extension, from part of God, of personal transfiguration, which takes place in the believers.

The determined role of the sight of light is understand on full only from eschatological perspective, for that the eternal life presupposes a permanent remaining in the divine light, a ours eternalization in the joy of communion with God.

The world will not have part of an end, of a its destruction in hollywoodian style, where all creation dissolves into a total chaos, but, according to symeonian theology, the world will be prechanged through the divine light, having part of a new beginning, of its reestablishment in the beauty, into which God had created from the beginning, ie being full of the divine light.

But the new beginning of the world will be everlasting, the eschatology not dealing with the final, in the sense of the last things which can be said about God’s creation, for that it would put point at a moment given, but of the last things which will initiate an eternal perspective, non-temporal of creation and of man.

The eschatology, from dogmatic point of view, in paradoxical mode, comprises under its cupola, as we know, both the realities of the second coming of the Lord, the prechanged of world and the resurrection of the dead, together of the last Judgment, but and the two kinds of eternity assumed: the eternal joy with God or the eternal misery in the company of demons.

But at Saint Symeon, the eschatology is not a problem just of those from future but is a reality on which you live it yet of now, in ecstatic mode, if you see the glory of God, which is just the real ambience and deifying of everlasting life.

Now, we will continue to present the variant of future of symeonian eschatology, for to return us, in the finale of this section, at the actual variant, ecstatic, through which we live already the eschatological reality of creation.

The actual creation, continues our Father, being as an obsolete vessel and speckled by our sins[4], „will be remelted and remodeled, and will be made shining [lampra] and unlike newer [chenotera asingcritos] than the one that is seen now”[5].

The divine light will produce the transfiguration of creation and of men instantaneous.

The renewed creation, says Simeon, will not be identical with the one before of the falling of man in sin, but with much more beautiful and divine on full, for that „all creation will be made, at a sign of God, not as it was brought at existence, material and sensible, but will be remade through a birth from new [ti palinghenesia], into a immaterial dwelling and ghostual, above all feeling”[6].

The palingenesis about which speaks Symeon will be an instantaneous divine work and it will consist in the transformation of world and of  man in transfigured existences, ghostual.

The pauline place from I Cor. 15, 51-52 supports the instantaneity of transfiguration of creation[7], without as this to mean a decorporalization of men or an abolition, aneantization of matter.

The transfiguration of the world and of men means just the transfiguration of matter, of entire existence, in so kind that we will inherit „the whole earth spiritual and ghostual…[as some which will acquire] incorporeal bodies [i asomata ta somata]…[and we will get to have] a feeling beyond of feeling [iper estisin en estisi]”[8].

The ghostual print of future world, transfigurated, is refound in the life of every Saint in part yet of now.

In the anterior sections we have called this state of living of the eternal life a quotidian life, a continuous living in the divine light.

The incorporeal bodies of transfigured world and the feeling above of feeling about which speaks Symeon are ecstatic prints of ghostual man, are the consequences of the cleansing of passions and of the sight of light, of continuous sanctification of our life.

And Symeon speaks here not about of eternal existence in light of all, but only of those which, still of now, have sanctified the life.

He does not elude the existence of contrary will to the one of God and the reality of Hell, but he sees in happy eternity a ghostual reality, of which will impart whoever have begun to impart of it, still on when they were in the flesh.

And the entrance in the eternity of communion with God presupposes the orthodox Baptism and living in the Church, through cleaning of passions, of the sight of God, of His eternal light.

The resurrection means for Symeon the achievement of the real state of to be alike to the Holy Angels[9].

[1] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 4, 1, p. 206 / Ică jr. 1, p. 125.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 4, 3-5, p. 206 / Ibidem.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 4, 5-11, p. 206 / Idem, p. 125-126.

[4] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 4, 20-25, p. 208 / Idem, p. 126.

[5] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 4, 25-27, p. 208 / Ibidem.

[6] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 5, 10-13, p. 212 / Idem, p. 128.

[7] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 5, 14-16, p. 212 / Ibidem.

[8] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 5, 20-22, p. 214 / Ibidem.

[9] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 5, 77, p. 218 / Idem, p. 130.

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