Poetry of Vision: Wisdom of Stillness

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The unspoken horizon of stillness is given within the revelation of the Name, and its ineffable theophany is given the divine name glory, and its ineffable epiphany is given the divine name wisdom.  Hesychast wisdom inspires a poetry of vision that plays with multifaceted symbolism, which in turn infuses pure prayer of the Spirit in the heart, prayer that assimilates what poetic prophecy imparts.  The Name is a call to turn and see, to awaken on the inside of what is unveiled in the Name.  This metanoia unseats the subject and the object of external reason from their seat.  Turning sees with a seeing, theoria, which is God seeing God in God, Holy Trinity as revelatory opening not closed dogmatic data.  The elaborate structures of Orthodox dogmatics veil what is unveiled in the Name so as to preserve revelation from profanation.  The Name reveals what dogmatic theology conceals so that as mystical theology, stillness in the desert can transmit the releasing glory that is the living heart of Orthodoxy.  The task of stillness is to save the unthought heart of Orthodoxy, to listen to the unspoken Logos that unveils the Name, to burn in the midst of the burning bush on Mount Sinai and to be one spirit with the silent whisper that reveals God on Mount Horeb. That gives to stillness the wisdom of Moses and Elijah, wisdom that sees the transfiguring glory of Christ on Mount Tabor.

Desert poetics is prophetic vision, theoria, assuming form as symbolic unveiling, logos as revelation not rational argument.  It works with rational impasse as break-through, singing poetic wisdom songs as transmission of release.  The Name conceals unconditioned awareness at the heart of unconditional presence, divine wisdom discerning the advent coming, parousia, of divine glory.   Vision, theoria, is the meaning of Logos, showing that the metanoesis of the nous, the intellectual intuition of heart knowing, and uncreated isness or esse are one in the Name ‘I AM.’  The Name erupts beyond the structures of the subject of every subjectivism and breaks through the structures of essence and every essentialism.  The Name ‘I AM’ inverts all naming by offering the opposite of a definition, giving a definition which denies all definition the power to define.   At the heart of the Name we encounter enigma head on, for it refuses to say what God is.  It refuses to be grasped or comprehended.  There can be no concept of God as ‘I AM,’  because there is no form or structure to uncreated awareness or unconditioned presence.  God is indefinable, but awakened heart-intelligence can recognise what the rational intellect cannot grasp.  Within God’s Name,’ the ‘I’ is its own ‘AM’ and the ‘AM’ is its ‘I ‘ in act.  The ‘I’ and the ‘AM’ of God are one.  We can know that God is but not what God is.  We can say what God is not, but cannot define what God is.  The ineffable oneness of ‘I’ and ‘AM’ is vision and joy, blessing and bliss.  

Metanoia opens to the metanoesis of pure illumined nous, breaking through the logical structures of discursive dianoia.  Desert elders call this metanoesis angelic vision because it is the blessed vision of all who are gods by grace, whether angels or saints.  It is the direct, intuitive wisdom of the deified.  The angel knows all at once, by intuitive insight, not by deduction step by step, like reason, and not perception after perception, as unawakened  thinking ordinarily does.  But wisdom in Christ grants the grace of angelic intuition and so unites heaven and earth.  Noetic intuition graces the heart when wisdom awakens the heart to glory.  Desert ‘philosophy’ never loses touch with love, its love of wisdom, love’s unceasing tending toward wisdom.  This love means that philosophy always seeks to overcome itself as deductive way or means, in order to find itself as direct, intuitive wisdom.  There is a radical critique of rationalism inherent in this love of wisdom, a critique which does not take rational form but sings wisdom songs, sustaining wisdom. This wisdom is ineffable capacity, expansive clarity, radical self-emptying in which God beholds God through God.  The poetry of vision, theoria, opens to a desert clearing that makes way for deification, theosis, glory beyond all restriction to what representation can grasp.  Figurative parable hides mysteries of glory until intuitive wisdom can discern them.  Initially, the uncreated light of glory irrupts as a transient grace, but if welcomed, can become the way of truth beyond all ways, a way of life beyond all reason.  Such wisdom appears as folly to reason, but turns out to be direct intuition of glory that grounds all reason, glory that unveils the goodness of reason.  The war of reason and wisdom ends in the desert clearing where wisdom weds glory and glory completes reason in the radiant goodness of the Name.  The poetry of pure vision instills the wisdom of pure stiilness, releasing the contractions that obstruct glory in the desert of the Name.