The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [94]

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, 92, 93.


All members of God’s world will see then on their Emperor, „how will come with glory and more power our Emperor the desired and too-sweet, Jesus Christ God, to judge the world and to give each after his works. […]

[And], as into a big house or in the imperial palaces are many places of rest and abodes, and in both these kinds of too-divine places is a great otherness, all so and in the new creation He will make divisions, attributing each the legacy after his worthiness and the brightness and the glory which it is entitled from virtues and his deeds.

But whereas they will be ghostual [pnevmaticon] and transparent [diafanon] and united with those abodes and divine resting places, the Kingdom of Heaven will be, in general, as a single hearth, as and it is, and this will be shown to all the Righteous, of over all, unseeing in it than the Emperor of all, co-present [simparonta] with each and each coexisting [sinonta] together with Him, shining in each and each shining in Him [en ecasto eclamponta che ecaston lamponta en Afto]”[1].

The eschatological explanations of our Father have an overwhelming realism, after how can be observed.

The final judgment will represent the entry of each believer in part, after his level of personal inghostualization, in the Kingdom of God; the eternal life means the union and the living together with the Heavenly Powers and this mode of existence of eternity not means something else, than the continuing of interior relation with Christ, the Emperor and our God.

The living in eternity means the brightness of Christ God in each of us and ours in Him, as a without end progression in the understanding and the communion with Him.

Symeon accents very much this detail of our communion with Christ, for that the ghostual life is an interior reality, the single legal reality of man and will be the true constitution of the new world.

The reality of the transfigured world has as foundation the life in the glory of God, ie just the content of this theology of glory, on which we debate it in the pages of this book.

Is from self understood the importance of the eschatological transfiguration of the world in the symeonian theology, if all the energy of this theology was filed in to show the capital importance of the mystical life of the Church.

The mystical life proves its full relevance for history and for eternity and the absolute primacy in the orthodox life, when we inherit, in personal mode, in eternity, its soteriological consequences.

In I, 12, Symeon talks about the Ascension of the Lord and about the ecstatic report with us through the prism of His glory: „God descended on earth and ascended again at heaven and He has put the darkness right His hiding [apocrivin].

For it ought not to show us with the glory of His Father before of Judgment. But this will be made at the time on which His Father has put it into His possession [A. Ap. 1, 7]. […]

[Because] thus are the hidden mysteries [ta mistiria checrimmena] of the Kingdom of Heaven and is not given to everyone to know them, after the word of the Lord  [Mt. 13, 10]”[2].

The hiding in which has hidden Christ God is His light. But He did not hide for all, for those what see His light, they know His mysteries the too mysterious, hidden those who do not have the clean heart through the fulfillment of His commandments.

The glory of Christ will be seen by all at His second coming and at Judgment, but each will perceive it at his level of ghostual growth or will be an insupportable fire, for those who does not love on Him, on the God of the whole world.

Is very evident from the following passage, how that the interior intimation of His glory is real for those who rebuild through faith and the fulfillment of commandments: „before ascending at heaven and to put the darkness His hiding, He has given us His holy commandments, as on some implements…and the faith in Him as on a master. […]

[And we being] vessels, the faith master, and the commandments the implements, through which the master Word remakes and renews on the workers of His commandments, [we can], as through their work, cleanse us and to be enlightened us by the Ghost, advancing in the knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven”[3].

The faith and the ascesis, as fulfillment of commandments, create in us the cleanness, where descends God’s light.

The ghostual experience or the knowledge of the mysteries of God has nothing to do with the occultism, with the secretomania of caste or with the initiation in perverse mysteries and intellectualist.

The knowledge of the mysteries of God means the sight of the divine light, of what shown us by God in the divine light, the light on which we see it only if sanctify us the life.

Any attempt of dodge of the sacramental entry in Church, through Baptism or any misunderstanding of the ghostual life, unresolved at time with Fathers, which already have tasted from the sight of light, with men which know and the joy but and the dangers of ghostual life, it does not lead at the sight of divine light, but at the blackest ghostual deception, at the falling in the net of demons, which show us a pseudo-light, what throws us into a lamentable extremism.

The divine sight has signs and clear manifestations from ghostual point of view and the differentiation between the true sight and the sight brought by demons is reserved those with deep mystical experience and with a great ghostual discernment.

Saint Symeon does not refer in his opera and at what is not authentic sight, but other Holy Fathers did it into a magistral mode.

His Holiness was comprised with all of desire of to highlight the reality and the divine splendor of the mystical experience, for as each of us can compare our experience with the truth of an overwhelming experience.

[1] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 5, 120-137, p. 222 / Ică jr. 1, p. 131.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 12, 137-144, p. 282 / Idem, p. 154-155.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 12, 150-158, p. 282-284 / Idem, p. 155.

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