In the desert, philosophy ceases as the unceasing wisdom of the poor in spirit dawns. Metaphysics, which reified the revelatory moments of wisdom’s unfolding, dissolves as wisdom cleanses the heart. True poverty of spirit is the action of wisdom’s radiance not a sophisticated conceptual clarification. Wisdom throws metaphysics into crisis as glory opens old ways in the desert, ways of impossible impasse which reduce philosophy to awestruck wonder. Philosophical aporia open the heart to wisdom, whose impossible potential was neglected by centuries of metaphysics. Radical poverty of spirit lets God be God through God beyond every version of a metaphysical or theological Trinity. In place of reified dogmatism, wisdom in the desert lives Holy Trinity as direct unveiling, not as revealed data, fixated datum grasped and known.
A radical desert hermeneutic of the Sinai, Horeb and Tabor theophanies recalls wisdom from centuries of neglect. Wisdom reawakens a poetry of prophecy opening to ineffable glory. The poor in spirit discern theophanic presence, extracting uncreated, creative presence from the ‘metaphysics of presence’ which obscured it for so long. Postmodern philosophy deconstructs the metaphysic of presence in the universities but desert wisdom, unveiled in theophanies of glory, cuts straight through. Philosophy struggles to overcome metaphysics, but in the desert, wisdom’s simple injunctions are to turn and see. Metaphysics conceals wisdom but turning, teshuvah, goes beyond the rational and reifying mind, plunging the heart into profound metanoia. This release beyond the mind awakens metanoesis, wisdom’s intuitive awareness. Teshuvah, turning into God, turns and sees in God through God. Seeing, theoria, sustains wisdom beyond the reifying mind. Theoria, contemplative vision, is participation in the grace of wisdom, which cuts through confusion and leaps over division. The rationalist enlightenment was no final enlightenment for desert wisdom, nor was romantic irrationalism or its postmodern variations a definitive overcoming of enlightenment, capable of sustaining wisdom. Integral Orthodox wisdom includes what was sound in each epoch but its metanoia and its metanoesis continue to transcend their blind spots from within.
It is God who acts in grace of glory when wisdom awakens in the desert. Poverty of spirit says ‘Yes! Amen, So be it.’ God unveils God through God, Holy Trinity, in our midst. Spiritual poverty says: ‘Hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.’ Holy Trinity is no longer the fixed datum of dogmatism, which reifies what transcends reification, but the actual unveiling itself, which undoes reification. The poor in spirit renounce avoidance that voids us of God. The Name ‘I AM’ devoids all compulsive avoidance of the void. Wisdom stays with the void and does not cultivate anything to avoid the void. It refuses to gossip because such speech avoids the void and reifies what undoes reification. God is the healing void that empties the spiritually poor of all that opposes God and so of all that separates them from God. God is neither null nor void but a hallowing self-emptying that negates all nihilist fixation on a void. True, the Name ‘I AM’ is void of this or that, yet free of nihilist fixation, so negates every negation by cleansing the heart of avoidance.
The unconditioned Name frees the heart of all constrictive, conditioning names. He who is neither this nor that, nor is null and void, is God in his Name, ‘I AM,’ beyond this or that. The Name names neither any sort of something nor any kind of nothing but God revealing God in glory. When wisdom turns us inside out, glory turns us outside in. Break-through irrupts beyond representational shallowness and controlling narrowness. The glory of the Name ‘I AM’ is not structured presence because the Name unconditionally transcends all structure, being uncreated awareness ever-present and creative presence ever-aware. Wisdom embraces the Name, releasing with equanimity the narrow theisms of pre-modernity with the shallow atheisms of modernity. The poor in spirit bear witness in wisdom to completeness. They do not stuff their incompleteness with God substitutes. The wisdom of the spiritually poor takes leave of lack by entering into the glory of completeness. The poor in spirit in each epoch inherit the completeness of the Kingdom of heaven.