Wisdom says: ‘Turn and see.’ The praxis of turning is called metanoia. It turns the nous right round so that it awakens to illumined theoria of God in the heart. It steps back from oblivious perception into spiritual insight. It restores remembrance of God by awakening the ‘eye’ of the heart. Turning, then, initiates the praxis of theoria, the practice of single-eyed seeing, which sees the wholeness of things in God and the completeness of God in everything.
In metanoia, the nous turns round and awakens to God ever present at centre in the midst. In theoria, God is seer and seen, and God’s is the seeing that mysteriously works the holy healing called theosis. Deification, or theosis is not our doing, but it does call for our whole-hearted co-operation, our synergy. Theoria is recognition that ‘I AM’ is God’s Holy Name, unveiling God. Without recognition, everything is upside down and the wrong way round. Experiences in time come and go, but recognition of ‘I AM,’ hallowing the Holy Name of God, is the same yesterday, today and forever.
It is recognition that is the foundation of the remembrance of God, not ephemeral experience. Patristic wisdom trusts the Name that saves, not our subjective self-obsessions. Nevertheless, awakening to God in uncreated light is living, personal experience, not mental abstraction. Experience, peira, for Patristic wisdom, is neither reifying objectification nor subjective self-obsession. Theosis, called glorification by the Bible, is the experience of deep God-centred love, and love’s glory is ineffable.