Logos and Glory

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The Logos of glory is way, truth and life.  As way, it inspires patriarchs and prophets, apostles and saints, imparting wisdom.  As truth, it circulates unceasingly as hallowing glorification, which practices unceasing turning so as to abide in unceasing seeing.  As life, the way of Logos and the Name begins with unceasing circulation of glory within glory, raising turning into unceasing circulation of back-turned recollection and seeing into unceasing circulation of illumination within illumination, reflecting as in a mirror the circulation of glory within glory.  Unceasing glory begins in timely timelessness at the end, and abides in beginningless, endless glory beyond beginning or end.  Denys the Areopagite says this circular motion is an infallible turning back into God within God that is without ceasing.  It heals disintegration by curing dissipation, with an unceasing centripetal movement towards God at centre, reversing all erring movement away from God into centrifugal distraction.  Saint Denys also speaks of a linear motion of providential guidance within glory’s circular motion that should never be confused with erring linear motion out from God into delusion.  This linear motion of caring love inspires elders in their dealings with saints as they begin to turn and see.  Denys also speaks of spiral motion, which simultaneously offers unerring guidance to all below, whilst also remaining in glory’s unceasing motion around God above.  Angels move in these unceasing circular, linear and spiral ways in heaven.  Patriarchs, prophets, apostles and saints participate in these heavenly motions in glorification, when turning turns and seeing sees in unceasing circular, linear and spiralling modes of glorification.

Saint Denys says in Letter 8 that Christ descends lovingly to all who turn away from him.  When they are as far away from him as they can possibly get, they have only to make a backward turn and there he is, hastening to meet them, receiving them with open arms and  greeting them with a kiss of peace.  Wisdom discerns his mysteries of glory as ‘dazzling darkness,’ beyond knowing and unknowing.  The Logos that unveils glory is divine-human union without confusion and difference without division.  The glory of Holy Trinity is ‘one and three’ and the energies of triune oneness are ‘one and many,’ turning within turning following humbly into unknowing beyond unknowing, and seeing beyond seeing abiding in glory beyond glory.  These circular, linear and spiralling motions of uncreated, creative glory are paradoxical yet impart wisdom that is infallible, as Saint Gregory Palamas, following Saint Denys, confirms.  They lie upstream from affirmation and denial, where the superabundance of glory dazzles and the uncreated light of glory overwhelms intuitive intellection as well as sense perception and conceptual thought.  Glory moves around glory, as glory within glory, from glory to glory, without end.  

Shepherds of wisdom impart sacred mystagogy at the heart of Orthodox tradition.  They do not betray the Holy of Holies because they do not profane the mysteries of the Name. They turn to see.  They bear witness to wisdom.  They do not pry or speculate.  They trust Logos, not their own private opinion.  They do not confuse opinion, doxa, with glory, DOXA, because for them glory is only discerned by wisdom, which is ineffable.  So the Logos that does final justice to glory is not a rational logos which proceeds discursively, but a logic of paradox which is Orthodox by humbly submitting logic to doxology, as in the mystagogy of Denis.  He says to Titus, in Letter 9, that elders impart ineffable wisdom which gives the impression of being absurd when they speak in daring riddles.   They communicate deifying truth in mysteries of glory which hide the Name from profane scrutiny.  Inaccessible to unturned inspection, mysteries of glory are unveiled to wisdom.  

Wisdom is a Logos that does not explain but as Heraclitus taught, instead gives signs.  Scripture’s symbols are gifts of Logos, which veils what it unveils and hides what it reveals.  To those who seek, but have not yet found, the Synoptic Gospels offer parables.  To those who turn and see, the Fourth Gospel gives seven signs, seven I AM sayings with predicates and seven without.  Wisdom’s sevens do not impose but wait for us to turn and see, to be the ‘dazzling darkness’ they are meant to be.  There is a place for initial demonstration and for initiation, but what is ineffable is interwoven inextricably with what is said.  In glory, Logos goes out to gather the scattered back into the fold.  In Logos, glory abides.  Logos ascribes glory to wisdom because wisdom discerns the glory of Logos.