Saint Sophrony of Essex taught that the reason Holy Orthodoxy calls humility a divine Name is because God is humility. God’s Name is ‘I AM,’ humble awareness in communion with humble presence, the humble ‘I’ of wisdom in union with the humble ‘AM’ of presence. God’s Name, ‘I AM,’ communicates God’s humility, curing pride, and does not therefore, like our hardened hearts, require purification from pride. It is proud confusion that insinuates itself between awareness and presence causing separation. It is proud confusion between ‘I AM’ and ‘me’ that obscures communion between humble awareness and humble presence. God is humble but when angels fall from glory, seducing us to fall from glory with them, God’s humility is overlaid by our delusion. ‘I AM’ is no longer God’s God-centred humility but pride parading as God usurping God. Demonic delusion does not, of course, delude God but misconstrues the humility of God in us so that it becomes pride or the expression of pride. It is very easy for pride to be proud of humility, insinuating delusion into the very heart of humble awareness or humble presence. But pride has to confuse in order to divide, whereas when confusion enters into God, it is is communion curing pride, just as division in God is difference sustaining humble union. It is sometimes assumed that wisdom is always pride but this is to confuse sophistry with wisdom. it is often assumed that all glorification is vainglorious delusion but this is to confuse glorification with pride.
Humble awareness beholds humble presence in the midst not as ‘me’ obsessed with ‘me,’ but as humble wisdom beholding humble glory without trace of confusion. To turn and see is to restore this humble union of wisdom and glory in the midst. But when confusion reigns, ‘I AM’ is confused with ‘me,’ so that division separates awareness from presence. Separation rules as long as confusion poisons perception from within. But awareness is pure in itself just as presence is the pure presence of pure awareness, upstream from every kind of delusion. So when we turn and see, God’s Name saves, freeing every perception from delusion. ‘I AM’ is ‘I AM,’ ‘I AM’ who ‘I AM,’ God from God, light from light. Christ is radically free of every trace of the presumption and pretension of anti-christ wherever we turn. This takes the sting out of death, the fear out of love, the doubt out of trust and the vainglory out of glory. Wisdom is utterly innocent of pride just as long as sophisticated sophistry is exposed and released within wisdom’s humble gaze. The Great Groan is pride’s despair that nothing pride can do ever overcomes the confusions and divisions of pride. The Great Sigh is the relief that arises through Christ in the Spirit, liberating communion from confusion and union from division, restoring glory to the Father in his Name.
If pride cannot overcome pride because humility in its hands is subtle parody, then neither can confusion cure confusion nor division heal division, because every new pretence is just more presumption and every fresh posture is deceit, deceiving deceit with more deceit. Wisdom trusts God, not pride, to cure pride. God alone saves and his Name humbly delivers pride from pride, confusion from confusion, division from division. Humility is without trace of ‘humble’ pretence or ‘humble’ posturing, being the straight forward humility of God, which is without trace of pride. The humility of God cuts through confusion and easily leaps over all that separates and divides. Pride has nothing to get hold of when wisdom’s awareness is the presence of glory in the midst. Wisdom and glory purify the heart by embracing awareness with presence in the Holy of Holies. The humility of God purifies the heart with the fire of uncreated light, opening it to humble illumination by the glory of God. God’s humble glorification of God is what cures pride, way beyond the comprehension of pride. Indeed, the humility of God is God’s humble God-centred glorification of God: God’s humble love revealed, glorified and glorifying in Holy Trinity.