Christ in Glory, without beginning or end

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Saint Gregory Palamas bears witness to wisdom’s discernment of glory in circular angelic movements of illumined intelligences, all of them aware of the good and the beautiful in God in ways that are ‘without beginning and without end’, anarchois kai ateleutetois. (150 Chs: 66 p 161; Denis DN 4:8)  This wisdom is able to behold glory: eis tous aionas ton aionon, ‘unto ages of ages,’ within the ‘Amen’ of uncreated grace, which is without beginning and without end.  Indeed, the ‘Amen’ is a deifying name or an ineffable expression of the glory of the uncreated creativity of glory beyond beginnings or ends.  The moment we truly turn and see, we awaken to uncreated glory in the midst, aware that uncreated presence and uncreated awareness are one, for ‘I AM’ is our God, ‘I AM’ is one. The Shema of hearkening is one spirit with the Name or Shem of awakened hearing, illumination through the Name that glorifies all who glorify the Name.  ‘Amen’ is our ‘yes’ to the Name’s revelation of God, which is ‘yes’ to the Logos unveiling glory, ‘yes’ to glorification that deifies one and all.  Prophetic Logos is ‘yes’ that extinguishes the ‘no’ that reduced angels to demons and deprived mankind of glory too.  There is no name of God that says ‘yes’ like this to all divine names, except the Holy Name itself that says ‘yes’ to the glory of grace.   Every ‘Amen’ bears witness to God’s own witness to God, God’s own circular ‘Amen’ to God in God, God’s spiralling ‘Amen’ to glory that glorifies elders and saints.

This circular, doxological motion is characteristic of both theoria and theosis, because the deifying energies of wisdom and glory are uncreated not created, without beginning and without end.  The glory we were in the beginning is none other than the glory we shall be in the end, and the beginning is without beginning and the end is without end.  Like the circling tendrils of Christ, the divine vine, glory before the fall illumines us with the same timeless glory that invests us after the fall is overcome.  We dwell here with wisdom in the Holy of Holies where glory invests us in glory.  We are glorified by the glory that we persecute, just as Saint Paul was glorified by the Christ he was persecuting.  Elders know the arche and the telos of wisdom is glory and the alpha and the omega of glory is the Name. The uncreated grace of wisdom and the uncreated glory that illumines us are communicated as many healing energies and many saving activities, a unity in difference that knows no trace of separation.

Wisdom is manifold although God is one, just as glory is beyond all created ages as well as unto ineffable uncreated ages of ages.  Ages in God, as God, illumine and glorify angels and saints and they are indivisibly different one from another, because God is not dull sameness engendering confusion but differentiating unity engendering communion.  Glory, like wisdom, is manifold because, as Isaiah the Prophet saw, the Spirit is one and many, one and seven, being wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, devotion and awe of ‘I AM.’ ( Isaiah 11:1-2 LXX)  Here, wisdom is the first of seven spirits, seven characteristics of the one Spirit, whose unconfused combinations inspire an ineffable multitude of indivisible unions and communions, without degenerating into dissipation or disintegration.  Here, enlightening activities and deifying energies produce divine worlds within worlds and deifying ages of ages, all of which, being uncreated  are without beginning and without end.  

The Name rides these oceans of light as a chariot throne of glory, timelessly prior to creating all that there is in the image of this differentiating unity.  Causing to be all that there is, the Name says glory before the beginning and after the end of each age, being always glory unto ages of ages without beginning or end.  The seven spirits are the seven eyes of ‘I AM’ ranging over all heavens of heavens above and through all heavens within heavens below.  As eyes of the Throne, these mysterious sevens see as they are seen, know as they are known.  In their eyes, the earth has always been an earthly heaven, so for them there are no hells below, as myth of the fall would have it, because Christ in glory is emptying them back into manifold heavens without ceasing.  Myth clothes wisdom in symbols which wisdom includes as well as transcends.  Christ goes forth in glory into worlds within worlds unto ages of ages without beginning or end.  We are his ‘Amen,’ both in time and out of time.  We are his Yes!  The Yes of holy synergy. There is no ‘no’ in God, only his glory, his ‘Amen,’ which transforms our ‘no’ and the ‘no’ of fallen powers into the transfiguring glory of his ‘Amen.’