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Etichetă: the sight of God Page 1 of 15

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [103]

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, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102.

***

The sight of God, being the foundation of deification of the man, gives us to understand the fact, that the theology of glory, on which we analyzed in this book, is the personal solution of the orthodox christian, through which does not live in his life the danger of secularization and nor on that of relativization of ghostual life.

The orthodox christian, which makes from his life an ontological project of the continuous depassioning, which cleanses and lives the personal revelation of Trinity’s glory in his life and deepens in the life of holiness of the Church of God, he lives the communion with the Trinity, with those of a being with himself and with the entire cosmos in Church into a personal mode and enthusiastic, as a son of resurrection and of eternity, which lives on earth and in heaven in the same time and not as a man submerged in the quagmire of history, which is led of the fashion of the time and is exhausted by projects of life, which splits you up interior and does not unify you.

The mystical life or the theology of glory, the savior deep of orthodox churchly life, is the reach of any orthodox christian in Church, for that each of us can understand and to love on the trinitarian God in personal mode, at our ghostual level, through the direct experiencing of Trinity’s glory, both through the personal prayer, through the receiving of the Holy Mysteries, but and through our entire life of communion and of loving facts of faith.

The orthodox triadology cannot be understood in accurate mode without the uncreated grace of which we impart in different modes in Church and nor can we understand personal the interior unity of the persons of Trinity and nor the relation of communion with the Trinity, without the personal revelation of His glory, received as a gift of His love for us.

Nor the christology and nor the pnevmatology of Church do not have an interior reality for us, as long as we do not live together with Christ and with the Ghost in our being, as we do not see the oeconomy of Christ and of the Ghost as a reality on which we live it effective and nor the Holy Mysteries of Church, the Holy Liturgy, the prayer, the works of almsgiving, the services of Church, the books of Scripture and of the Fathers cannot be seised interior, without as the glory of Trinity to flood us on full.

The personal soteriology is an interesting philosophy, on which we can accumulate it, from notional point of view, very easy, but it has no link with us, no interior link with our life, as long as we do not understand from ourselves that, without the grace of God, the the faith and our acts have no transforming sense, transfiguring and if we do not feel, that our premaking of day with day is a reality shattering of beautiful and of perplexing, which makes us ceaseless praise on God, for His mercy with us.

The dynamism of angelology, of sanctology, of mariology and of the orthodox culte becomes for us the personal dynamism in the frame of the theology of glory, in the measure in which our life is a communion with the Saints, lived plenary and, in the same time, is an assuming of the entire existence in prayer, for which we come to shed tears for any human drama and even for adjudicated unhappiness of the demons, but and to rejoice for any repentance, wonder and beauty of God.

The orthodox eschatology, as entry of creation in eternity, through its full pnevmatization, refinds its beginning in the theology of glory, where the sight of divine light, yet from this life, means the actualised living of eschatology, of eternal life.

The deification of the man, as ontological road, ascetical and ecclesial, as and the sight of God, an integrated part of this interior divine-human process, gains the capital importance for our life, if we look to them from future towards present or, better said, from eternity towards our present life.

The existential project of the Church, being one of eternal advancement in good, in the communion with God and with the entire existence, being the project of absolute fulfillment of man, cannot be devanced by any other project of life and nor can it be subsumed to other.

*

Therefore, in conclusion, the consequences of personal assuming of the theology of glory are the interior human fulfillment, manifested as interior unity of soul and of body, as integral deification of the man and the living of a state of continuous divine enthusiasm, which does not end once with the death, but he enters, once with it, into a process of eternal acceleration of personal perfection.

The theology of glory is the experimental knowledge of the dogmas of the Church, of the culte, of the entire traject of the Church, of the man and of the cosmos in its integrality.

Without the personal experience of the sight and of the glory of God, all what we call churchly life has a static character, distant, impersonal.

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [102]

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, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101.

***

The depths of the man are censored and methodical extirpated from the secular discourse or they are stolen to the ghostual life and appear right constitutive elements for the foils of novel, for the area of a piece of theater or for an advertising generating of a guaranteed profit.

However in culture and art the bottomless depths of man are populated only by subliminal monsters, on when, in philosophy and science, the soul is an enigma preferable at the level of intellection, but not and at that of personal racordation at the life of God.

For that does not give two coins on the ghostual necessities of the soul and of the man in his totality, because the interior life is despised in postmodernity, the postmodern overplayings the education and the professional preparation, as biographical landmarks of self-standing and he prefers, in the exchange of these, the retardation or the ghostual backwardness and emotional, staking on the accumulation of disparate dates, against of his growth in wisdom, of obtaining of the interior equilibrium and of deepening in holiness.

Is preferred, into a word, the identitary discourse based on a minimal anthropology, of spontaneous origin, is eulogized, into an exasperating mode, a man who comes from nowhere and is drived chaotic and extremist in life, but, of most of the time, is not found something interesting, in paradoxical mode, into a maximal anthropology, which sees in man a  creation made ​​by God, from love and for to be fulfilled in love, into a responsible life and full of transfiguration, into a holy life.

The concept of life as a jungle masters the frivolity and the incoherence of deepness of the autonomous postmodern, makes him to be, in false mode, a dynamic man and good-willing, with charisma and projects of life, but which do not have nor the seal of the grace and nor the dimension of eternal fulfillment.

Into a schizophrenic mode, the postmodern without roots lives an active life, which empties him of enthusiasm and removes him, of most of the time, of the natal places and of his proper family or a life of the experiment, extremist of most of the time, in which the violence and the lubricity sends him, always, towards underground zones, occult.

Having in its substance the nihilism, as method of intellection and the deconstruction as primordial stake, on which is founded always the new conception about man, world and existence, the postmodernity refuses to receive lessons from history, considers that it can unravel by itself and prefers to be indifferent or false traumatized, panicky traumatized of future into much that to fantasize about him into a depersonalized mode.

If the postmodernity and could translate until end the conception about man and existence, from its gnoseologic mythology in fact, in reality, the future would not have neither any alternative gods, the man would transformed into a performant robot of a post-human epoch, which would no longer have no christian impress and no identitary conscience.

The futurological milenarism of postmodernity, the myth of perennial happiness on the face of an earth untransfigurated by grace, but full of an architechnologised life and ultraperformant, beats head in head with a future imagined as unchaining of energies, as a maladive territory of the anarchism and as a negation of any gnoseology or of personal praxeology.

The black future, horror, of posthumanity of after postmodernity is the final vision of this world, a secular eschatology, which has nothing to do with the perpetuation of life and nor with its everlastingness.

But turning us back in the present, where we recant of communism and we opt, more or less energetic, for a capitalist era in Romania, we are put in the face of the fact to analyze lucid the two ethoses of social life from orthodox perspective.

Thus, the communist ethos of life, which „tends to sink the man in the anonymous mass of nature and to speak of equality[1], of a equality which depreciates the personal choice and the human dignity, is an ethos of that we want to rid, although it went deep under skin, and we live the pathetic fervor of a future capitalist, on which we do not critical review and „which tends to raise the individual above nature and to speak of liberty[2], understood into a discretionary mode and egocentric.

But, says Father Professor Dumitru Popescu, both ideologies, and the one that we want to separate and the one that we want to appropriate, are impersonal ideologies[3], which do not unify interior on man, for that „puts both the freedom but and the equality, above the man and of society, as to dominate and to orient the society towards the earthly world, into a total indifference to the heavenly one”[4].

The orthodox perspective upon the world and of man transpires from the Holy Scripture and from the Holy and the uninterrupted charismatic Tradition of the Church and makes us to constate, „that are not important for us nor the equality and nor the liberty, but the communion or the personal relations between men”[5].

The impersonalism of the political ideologies cannot integrate in the communional dimension of the Church, where the experimental knowledge of the life of God, the impartation of the glory of God makes us to be proper of some relations of real communion between us.

The authentic relation with God is the foundation of real perception of the human condition, of existence in its ensemble and is the mode through which we obtain an interior clarification over the blessed future of humanity, of the future from the perspective of its Creator.

The false dilemma between the preeminence of equality or of liberty is seen in that, that in the measure in which we dissolve the reality of communion inter-human, ridding us of the ecclesial communion and of interior relations and direct of the Church with the Holy Trinity, „both the liberty, but and the equality…[cannot approach us], as long as they are thought in themselves.

[For that] the true liberty cannot be achieved through the unlimited development of proper powers and wealth, because the human being is not made for the individualistic autonomy and for the frantic course for material goods, which leads at soulish vacuum and grave social inequalities, but for communion and love.

And nor the simple searching of equality cannot create the social righteousness, because this is not accomplished through terror and deprivation of liberty, but just in the reciprocal communion, in which each gives the other listening and love, for to become thus man of humanity[6].

In the face of the postmodern ideology, the Orthodox Church is not at all in failure of ideas and nor it feels that is made to it a serious competition to its ontological project from always, that of the deification of the man.


[1] Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Popescu, Christ, Church, Society [Hristos, Biserică, Societate], op. cit, p. 90.

[2] Ibidem.

[3] Ibidem.

[4] Ibidem.

[5] Ibidem.

[6] Idem, p. 91.

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [101]

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, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100.

***

2. 3. The Interior Dissolution of the Man in Postmodernity and the Consequences of Personal Assuming of the Theology of Glory

In our entire theological pleading of until now, we showed, in essence, that the ghostual man and the seer of the glory of the Trinity is the man, which personalizes continuous in his relation of great communion with God and that the interior life is unitary one at the orthodox christian, which inghostualises, in Church.

The one who assumes the theology of glory, the one who goes towards the knowledge what more personal with God, through his cleaning of passions, cannot be than a man, which has eradicated in his being „the opposition between the sensible world and the intelligible world”[1], this presupposes opposition between body and soul or between man and the glory of Trinity, on which the postmodern ideology recognizes it as on de facto existence.

For Father Professor Dumitru Popescu the elimination from our thinking of this opposition between sensible and intelligible means an abolition of the shaky foundation of the phenomenon of secularization[2], which is the anti-theology of postmodernity, for that „estranges the man increasingly of God and transforms him in the prisoner of autonomous material world”[3].

His Holiness, seeing the current situation of the postmodern world right a consequence of the dehumanizing divorce between God and man in modernity, speaks of three major mutations[4], on which the postmodernity has inherited and has continued from the sphere of thinking of modernity.

The first mutation which this emphasizes it is that of transferring of the center of gravity of the world from God at man[5], fact for which the man is centered on its proper interests and closes in himself, is seen as an autonomous being in his reports with God, eliminates from his life any recurrence at eternity and considers „the will of God, as a kind of attempt against of his proper freedom”[6].

The second major mutation is the artificial separation between the public life and the private[7], where the ghostual life is pushed and closed in the sphere of private life and is not permitted to penetrate the social life, as personal mode of thinking, what follows of our communion with God.

Preponderancing the political interests, economical, financial and of advertising in the public sphere, the interests of mondaine life into a word, the religious life is always disturbed as long as it reaches, in positive mode, in the forefront of the mass-media.

A third mutation on which Father Popescu highlights it is that, that the man becames the discretionary master of the world[8], which exploits chaotic his internal resources and external, being, on the one part, the one who provokes and deepens his proper profound crises of personality and, on the other part, being the one who spoils the equilibrium of creation through stunning economical and technological performances, but which provokes, from sins, climatological disorders of planetary proportions.

The closing of God in heaven, into a transcendence which does not interest us[9] or the abolition of God as dynamising factor of human life, makes as the man, which is tributary of postmodern ideology, to be into a continuous deparasitation of self and sinking of him in the life more or less illusory of the moment.

The moment of now, the trice, its ephemerality lived sensualist and egoistical in the same time is preferred to a life conscientized as relation with God and as personal assuming of history, for to be transfigured in our person.

The conceitedness of the postmodern, concretized in that, that we are the biggest manipulators of information of until now, for that we are the most advanced technological, is manifests, in parallel, with a humanism of nihilistic essence and atheistic, which does not see in man than a tool of work, which is beneficial to society only in the measure in which is exhausted in the benefit of a new technological discovery or of the growth of economic profitability and which is remunerated only for his motric force or for the special efficiency of his neuronal capacities.

The man is seen as a complex structure just from anatomic point of view, which is in course of  complete knowledge from scientific point of view, as a summum of diseases, of psychoses, of necessities, which will be satisfied, is a patibulaire being, proscribed, when exits from the rigid system of the humanism without man and an insignificant number as long as is not a factor of decision in the actual society.


[1] Rev. Prof. Acad. D.Th. Dumitru Popescu, Jesus Christ Pantocrator [Iisus Hristos Pantocrator], op. cit., p. 30.  

[2] Ibidem.

[3] Ibidem.

[4] Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Popescu, The Man Without Roots [Omul fără rădăcini], op. cit, p. 11.

[5] Ibidem.

[6] Ibidem.

[7] Idem, p. 12. To see and Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Popescu, The Orthodoxy and Europe [Ortodoxia şi Europa], in The Orthodoxy [Ortodoxia] LVI (2005), no. 3-4, p. 3: „the secularized culture is based on the radical separation between the public domain and the private”.

[8] Idem, p. 13.

[9] Idem, p. 15.

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [100]

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, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99.

***

Wondering, if not perchance the radical apophatism of the Fathers refers only at a theology of ecstasy[1], Professor Lossky reaches, again, at a conclusion outside of mystical experience, speaking about apophatism as about „a disposition of mind, who refuses to form concepts about God”[2].

Is observed that Vladimir Lossky wanted to remove the theology from the sphere of a rationalist understanding and fractional of academic approach, however not on the base of personal experience eminently mystical, but, more, through the intermedium of the theological concepts pretaken orthodox.

But the concepts about God is shattered through the ecstatic experience, for that the mind which has not seen the light does not know that thinks absolute hilarious, fanciful about God.

The killing of the idols of the mind is made through the sight of divine light. But our author gives priority of negative theology in the detriment of sight, for that, he says: „the negative theology is not just a theory [theorizing] of ecstasy itself, but is  the expression of that fundamental attitude, which makes from theology, in general, a contemplation of the mysteries of Revelation”[3].

Remaining in large part the prisoner of the occidental approach of mystical experience, in which the negative theology does not mean sight but an utopian corrective of imagination, Professor Vladimir Lossky gives us the impression that replaces, sometimes, the ghostual experience in the theological approach with the rationalist approach, sentimental at the life and the dogmas of the Church.

We understand, however, fairly trenchant from his pleading, that our author wishes to see in apophatism an expression of ghostual knowledge and that „the apophatic principle of theology”[4] is for this a limitation of the rationalization of God, of the impetus of to replaceon God through the idols about God[5].

The 2nd chapter from book ends with the glorious affirmation and correct of the fact that our God is the Holy Trinity and not „the impersonal God of the philosophers”[6].

The triadology on which our author highlights it in evidence has the declared scope, of  to specify the relation between the trinitarian God and the faithful man: „the happiness of the Kingdom of Heavens is not a sight of being [of God], but, first of all, is the participation at the divine life of the Holy Trinity”[7].

On the idea of ​​participation at God will focus and the 4th chapter, which treats the reality of divine uncreated energies.

Starting from the affirmation, that the trinitarian theology asks „a impartation from what in what more intimate of human person with the God-Trinity”[8], the author speaks about the paradox of accessibility at [the divine] nature, which is inaccessible”[9].

The participation at the divine nature, stipulated by II Pet. 1, 4, represents just the foundation of deification, for that „the being of God or His nature proper-said…is inaccessible, uncognoscible, uncommunicable…[on when, through] the energies or the divine works, ie those natural powers and inseparable of being, in [through] which God proceeds outside, He shows, communicates, gives”[10] on Himself.

Our theologian attracts the attention of its readers, that in the Orthodox Church „the presence of God in His energies…[is] understood in realistic sense[11]. The energies that come from God are not created, but „are the overflows of divine nature”[12]. They come out from the nature of God, „without to separate of it in this procession, which makes it known[13].

To make the experience of uncreated energies of God means to see the light, for „He is fully present in every ray of His deity”[14].

From this motive, in the chapter dedicated to the deification (chap. 10), our theologian sees the scope of the entire christian life and of virtues, as being the interior acquirement of grace[15], that „fixation in good”[16] of our interiority.

The grace is not a recompense for merits[17], says he, but „o presence of God in us, which asks, fom our part, steadfast endeavors. [But]…these endeavors does not determine, not in the least, the grace, nor the grace does not move our freedom as a power what would be foreign[18].

All the preparation for to speak about sight at Professor Vladimir Lossky begins with the discussion about prayer, which is seen as the interior space, in which occurs the union with God[19].

The role of prayer is that of interior passage towards the sight of God, for that, „on a certain stage, when leaves the soul sphere, in which the mind is in motion, all motion ceases, the prayer ceases and it”[20] and takes place the rapture of mind[21].

In ecstasy, the man no longer belongs, but he is led by the Holy Ghost[22]. Appealing at the symeonian theology, our author speaks and him about ecstasies as about the personal events on which live the beginners and not the perfect[23].

He appeals, both, at the paradigm of Tabor, for to speak about sight, but and at that of Lord’s tomb in the Resurrection day, as and the Holy Fathers of Church[24].

Our inghostualization gives us the capacity of to see the light of God[25]. And the sight does not occur into a state of unconsciousness and of its interior elusiveness, for that „the callousness in the inlying life is an abnormal state[26].

The sight is a plenary state, refelt in fundamental mode by us, for that „the divine light appears here, in world, in time”[27], but is „the beginning of Parusia in the holy souls, the beginning  of discoveries from end, when God will show all in His unapproachable light”[28].

Professor Vladimir Lossky catches very well in his theology the eschatological dimension of ecstasy, but and the eschatological dimension of transfiguration of the world through the divine light: „The bodies of the Saints will make the same with the glorified body of the Lord, as shown to the Apostles in the day of the Change at face. God will be all in all and the divine grace, the light of the Holy Trinity will shine in the crowd of the human hypostases, in all those who have acquired it and which will be make as some new suns in the Kingdom of the Father, like the Son, transformed by the Holy Ghost, the Giver of light”[29].

The acquirement of grace, as its interior feeling and the sight of God, are at our theologian  itself the content of personal holiness. Only from the perspective of experience, he says, can be understand the dogmas[30], and „the measure of personal exaltation of each” is that, which determines the theology on which we write it.

The theology, for that is, first of all, experimental understanding of the life of God, is the personal dynamism of our life and represents the level of real communion of us with God.

In conclusion, with his small sideslips from the sphere of understanding of ecstatic experience, the theology of Professor Vladimir Lossky reactualises the need of a theological writing based on personal experience and reminds us that the theology cannot be otherwise than mystical, than personal.

Our author shows faithful of the triadology of the Scripture and of the Fathers and tells us that the living God of the Church is the God, Which comes down, through His energies, until at us, as to deify us and lift us up to Him.

The sight of God is a ghostual reality in his theology, a reality which appears in people’s lives which cleanse of sins and represents the experience in advance, before of time, of the glory of the eighth day.


[1] TMBR, p. 65-66.

[2] Idem, p. 67.

[3] Idem, p. 70.

[4] Ibidem.

[5] Ibidem.

[6] Idem, p. 72.

[7] Idem, p. 93.

[8] Idem, p. 97.

[9] Idem, p. 98-99.

[10] Idem, p. 100.

[11] Idem, p. 102.

[12] Ibidem.

[13] Idem, p. 103.

[14] Ibidem.

[15] Idem, p. 228.

[16] Rev. Marc-Antoine Costa de Beauregard, Pray Without Ceasing! [Rugaţi-vă neîncetat!], trans. from french language by Rodica Buga and Rev. Prof. Nicolai Buga, Pub. IBMBOR, Bucureşti, 1998, p. 271.

[17] TMBR, p. 228.

[18] Idem, p. 229.

[19] Idem, p. 236.

[20] Idem, p. 237.

[21] Ibidem.

[22] Ibidem.

[23] Idem, p. 238.

[24] Idem, p. 252.

[25] Idem, p. 253.

[26] Idem, p. 254.

[27] Idem, p. 261.

[28] Ibidem.

[29] Idem, p. 263-264. Father Professor Dumitru Popescu, into an article dedicated of the centrality of Christ in theology and in the life of all creation, put a pressed accent on the reality of interior rationality of creation and on its interior dynamism.

Therefore, said this: „The most efficient path for the undermining of the centrality of Christ consists in the negation of the interior rationality of creation. […] The orthodox theology, influenced by scholasticism and aristotelianism, commits a grave error then, when identifies the shape of things and of beings with their exterior appearance, as and how God would be a Sculptor, which is concerned only of the exterior form and unchangeable of the statue on which he forms it”, and not and of its interiority, acc. Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Popescu, The Centrality of Christ in the Contemporaneous Orthodox Theology [Centralitatea lui Hristos în teologia ortodoxă contemporană], in The Orthodoxy [Ortodoxia] LIII (2002), no. 3-4, p. 14, 15.

In the measure in which is denied the interiority of relation of God with the man and with the entire creation, through the divine grace, the deification of man and of creation is not possible.

[30] Idem, p. 267.

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [99]

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, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98.

***

3. 2. The Mystical Theology and its Receptation by the Orthodox Professor Vladimir Lossky

In the introductive study at romanian edition of archiknown book of Professor Vladimir Lossky, Essai sur la Théologie Mystique de l’Eglise d’Orient, Father Professor Vasile Răducă notes the fact, that Vladimir Lossky has demonstrated through this book, „that Theology cannot be separated of Mystica. The theology is the rational representation of mystical experience, of the intimate living of the truth and of the divine mystery”[1].

Appeared in 1944, this little mystical orthodox dogmatic wanted to restore the truth, how that the theology, in the measure in which „makes the showing of the divine mystery, so the data of Revelation, is a mystical theology[2].

Professor Vladimir Lossky observes very correct, that the Church, naming its Theologians the triad of the Saints John the Theologian, Gregory of Nazianzus and Symeon the New Theologian, showed that cannot do theology without mystica[3] and that the mystica is „the peak of all theology…[or] the theology through excellency[4].

Therefore, the scope of theology is the deification[5], which does not mean the stopping at a certain stage of knowledge, but the continuous advancement towards God, towards the One who „is beyond of [all] what exists”[6].

Emphasizing the role of mystical experience, our theologian shows, that Saint Dionysius the Areopagite has presented the ascension towards sight as on a road made through the cleansing of passions[7].

Putting the equal sign between apophatism and mystical experience[8], Professor Lossky speaks about a personal experiencing of God, Which is not living as an object[9].

But our author, we believe, is situated outside of the truth of experience as such, then when conceives the mystical sight right a union with God, which does not mean and His knowledge in the same time[10].

As we have seen anterior, the union with the light, the sight of light, means of fact the filling of divine knowledge, of mystical theology.

Evaluating the reality of ecstasy at Saint Dionysius, he says that this divine experience presupposes „an exit from the being as such”[11] and that Dionysius, in comparison with Plotinus, has a kindred theology with the scriptural[12].

The theological cataphatism of the names of God speaks us about His energies, which descends to us[13] but „they do not approach us to His inaccessible being ”[14].

„The conscience of the inability of to touch on God”[15], says Professor Vladimir Lossky, evaluating a fragment from the Stromata of Saint Clement of Alexandria, would not be an appanage of our mind, if we would not be comforted by grace[16].

The conscience of the uncognoscibility of being of God means a real meeting, he says, with „the personal God of Revelation”[17].

But the uncognoscibility of divine being does not temper the fervent seeking of believers to see God, of to see His glory. The sight of His glory means the abyssal conscientization of the uncognoscibility of His being, but and of the infinity of knowledge, on which presupposes it the sight of divine light.


[1] Rev.Vasile Răducă, Introductive study, in TMBR, p. 25.

[2] TMBR, p. 35.

[3] Idem, p. 37.

[4] Ibidem.

[5] Ibidem.

[6] Idem, p. 54.

[7] Idem, p. 56.

[8] Idem, p. 57.

[9] Ibidem.

[10] Ibidem. He says, literal: „God no longer appears as object [in ecstasy], whereas is no longer the word about knowledge, but of union”.

[11] Idem, p. 60.

[12] Ibidem.

[13] Idem, p. 62.

[14] Ibidem.

[15] Idem, p. 63.

[16] Ibidem.

[17] Ibidem.

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [98]

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, 94, 95, 96, 97.

***

The absolute positivity of sight in our life is seen and from the distinction on which our author makes it between the one which only theorizes and the one which experiences it at proper: „No the theoretician theologian sees the divine light and unites in love whit Christ, but the ghostual man or the Saint, which was purified of passions, who has left the egoism and opens with the will toward the love of God and of fellowmen”[1].

Through this Father Professor shows, that the ascesis is the integrant part from theology and that the ascesis, the cleaning of passions is the road toward sight, toward the mystical experiences, mysterious, divine.

The sight of Christ’s glory is, in the same time, knowledge and an endless invitation of deepening in knowledge, in the knowledge as personal relation with God: „In union with Christ, the man has the perspective of an eternal advancement in the divine light and in his spiritual enrichment.

For the light what is communicated to him from Christ is the irradiation of God’s infinite being, which is unbounded. The man, as hypostasis of the human being, increases in its knowledge through the energies potential contained in it.

But when he unites with Christ comes from Him and the works or the energies of God’s being, which is infinite. He feeds thus from all the divine content, from the infinity itself, from all what is created and uncreated”[2].

The ecstatic sight is an anticipation of the Kingdom of God, where, „united with Him, we will be filled with all of light and all the universe will be in the Kingdom of Heavens a Kingdom of light, a Kingdom of light spread between the persons of the Holy Trinity and from Her between the human persons united with Christ”[3].

The divine darkness, repeats Father Professor, is the too much light which comes from God’s being[4]. At Saint Symeon the New Theologian does not exist „the obscure nights” of John of the Cross[5], but only the joy of „the size of divine light”[6], which overwhelmed on this.

His commentaries at Hymns show how much he was familiarized with the flame of theology of Saint Symeon. Over all Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae gives righteousness of Saint Symeon, enthuses of his words and sees in them an accurate interpretation of our faith.

In n. 239 at the Hymn 18, as to give a single example of correct evocation and enthusiastic of symeonian theology, Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae wrote: „Into a time, when in Occident appeared the beginnings of Scholastica, which  will pretend to define rational on God, in Orient was affirmed, through Symeon, in accentuated mode, the union of knowledge with the conscience of the mystery of God and, in general, of reality. It is the testimony of a spiritual maturity[7].

And the theological maturity of Symeon, on which observed it Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae, consists just in that, that he does not attempt at the mystery of God’s life and of living relation with Him, but he presents it right the target and the fulfillment of the entire humanity.

The sight of God is the foundation of salvation and of true joy, for that the eternal life is a continuous deepening in the sight and the understanding of the divine light.

*

In conclusion, we observed how our great theologian has appropriated, with much fidelity, the scriptural ecstatic terminology and on that of the Fathers, and he spoke in the perimeter of sources, without as to try to contradict them, but showing himself as one who has learned from them.

The theology of glory at Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae is personalist and communional, for that the sight means the knowledge and the love of God, through our cleaning of passions and through the wish of Him with all our being.

The centrality of Christ in our life means our filling of light, which flows from His person and the sight is the preamble of eternal life, where all will be one in the light of glory of the Most Holy Trinity.


[1] Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Stăniloae, The Personal Relation with Christ in the Light of Divine Infinity, after Saint Symeon the New Theologian [Legătura personală cu Hristos în lumina infinităţii dumnezeieşti, după Sfântul Simeon Noul Teolog], in Orthodox Dogmatic Theology Studies [Studii de teologie dogmatică ortodoxă], op. cit, p. 315.

[2] Idem, p. 316.

[3] Ibidem.

[4] Idem, p. 317.

[5] Hymns, the edition Stăniloae, n. 117, p. 366.

[6] Idem, n. 144, p. 375.

[7] Idem, n. 239, p. 413.

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [97]

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, 94, 95, 96.

***

Father Professor Stăniloae highlights thus the fact, that the sight is a presence of light in us, that it brings a divine knowledge the one which sees it and a profound communion with God[1].

With other words, Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae assumes the theology of glory and considers it an unique personal event and savior.

The knowledge of light „is an eternal progress”[2], continues his Holiness, and the experiencing of the light gives us the understanding „of absolute unknowability of divine being”[3].

The experiencing of the light is an understanding through communion of the trinitarian God and the one who is full of light „becomes to himself and more full of mysteries, as a deified being, beyond nature, inspiring he himself a continuing self-amazement”[4].

The sight of light deifies us on measure what fills us of a theological experiential understanding  of the dogmas of faith.

The deification is the foundation of charismatic theology, of theology of sight, for that is, in the same time, an ontological reality, interior.  The light penetrates in us and it remains in us and it is the one which personalizes us continuous, because disinfests us of the irrationality of passions[5].

In OSAM III, 2, Father Professor develops the discussion about ecstasy, describing the ecstatic sight right the event, which occurs in the link full of love between man and God[6].

„God sends His energy in man”[7], says Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae, and this divine energy, „once communicated to man…it turns towards God, and in this its return, it dresses the form of the affection of human subject, awakened by the divine energy”[8].

The sight takes place in the frame of personal relation between man and God and it provokes on man at a love and a greater communion with God.

The communion and the reciprocal love between man and God is the frame in which produces the event of ecstasy, for that the divine sight is „just the smiling irradiation of divine love”[9] in our being.

The evaluation of sight, on which makes it Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae, is extreme of positive: „The light is simultaneously knowledge, and the light of knowledge is the fruit of love. But a light or a knowledge, which springs from love, which is not than an expression of the state of love, is, in the same time, life”[10].

Discussing about the role of mind during of ecstasy, Father Professor says, that the mind no longer sees, in this moment, on himself, but it works only through the divine work[11]. The sight is the moment when we live „the love with which God loves us and we love Him”[12].

Then we experience not an ephemeral love, bodily, possessive, but „an uncreated love, springing from the being of God”[13].

The central role of ecstasy in our life is shown by Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae in that, that in the frame of sight of light, God gives us His work[14] for as to deify us.

The exist of mind from itself, which takes place in the frame of divine sight, is not ontological, he specifies, but is a union of the mind with the divine light[15], on which he sees it in himself but and beyond himself [16].

The sight of the divine light means „the supreme step of self-consciousness”[17] and the light of God „is spreading from soul in outside, on the face and on the body the one who has it inwards[18], deifying the entire being of its seer and luminating and on those who see him and maintain themselves at discussion with this.

The Saints Dionysius, Maximus, Gregory Palamas and Gregory of Nyssa appear in recurrent mode in the pages of the theology of glory of Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae.

Is observed over all the personalist mode of the theology of glory, on which his Holiness has developed it and the heat of communion and of beingly confession, plenary, on which educes it his theology to the one who reads it.

Is observable therefore, that Father Professor  Dumitru Stăniloae speaks from within of the theology of glory and not from outside it. This does not put under the sign of question the mystical experiences but he explains them on measure what he assimilates them.

In the introduction and in the commentaries which accompany the translation of the symeonian Hymns, Father Professor returns at the theme of ecstatic knowledge as and personal communion, through love, of the man with God.

Speaking about the impossibility of transmission of proper experience through words[19], Father Professor prepares the ground for the presentation of our capital union with Christ, with the One who „has the supreme sense or the richness of all senses toward which tends the man”[20] and through Whom and into Whom „become and us the possessors of all senses, [ie] become gods after grace”[21].

Therefore he identifies right the central theme of the symeonian Hymns the light, which irradiates from the person of the risen Christ[22], saying that „the sight of the divine light does not depend…only of its spread through the body of Christ, but and of the voluntary opening for/ toward it of the human persons”[23].

The opening towards the light of Christ means ascesis and breaking of the crust of the proper egoism[24].


[1] Father Professor Ştefan Buchiu, commenting the apophatic knowledge at Father Stăniloae, wrote: „The divine infinite knowledge at which accedes the mind in ecstasy, give birth in the human subject at the sentiment of plenitude, of plenary joy, of an unending love”, acc. Rev. Doc. D. Th. Ştefan Buchiu, The Apophatic Knowledge in the Thinking of Father Stăniloae [Cunoaşterea apofatică în gândirea Părintelui Stăniloae], Pub. Libra, Bucureşti, 2002, p. 194.

[2] OSAM, ed. 1992, p. 210-202.

[3] Idem, p. 202.

[4] Ibidem.

[5] Father Professor Dumitru Popescu said, into a critical evaluation of Olivier Clément, that „the theology, the spirituality and the eastern ascetica…[considers the passions] irrational beingly motions, which alters not only the existence, but and the human ontology”, acc. Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Popescu, Christ, Church, Society [Hristos, Biserică, Societate], Pub. IBMBOR, Bucureşti, 1998, p. 131.

[6] OSAM, ed. 1992, p. 260.

[7] Idem, p. 261.

[8] Ibidem.

[9] Idem, p. 280.

[10] Ibidem.

[11] Idem, p. 281.

[12] Idem, p. 283.

[13] Ibidem.

[14] Ibidem.

[15] Idem, p. 284.

[16] Idem, p. 285.

[17] Idem, p. 286.

[18] Idem, p. 289.

[19] Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Stăniloae, The Personal Relation with Christ in the Light of Divine Infinity, after Saint Symeon the New Theologian [Legătura personală cu Hristos în lumina infinităţii dumnezeieşti, după Sfântul Simeon Noul Teolog], in Orthodox Dogmatic Theology Studies [Studii de teologie dogmatică ortodoxă], op. cit, p. 310.

[20] Idem, p. 312.

[21] Ibidem.

[22] Idem, p. 315.

[23] Ibidem.

[24] Ibidem.

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