One Kingdom: Seven Heavens…3

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The Kingdom of God is unveiled by the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit, one revelatory Name, ‘I AM,’ three ways that God is arche and telos of all that there is.  ‘He who is,’ YHWH, reveals who he is, was and shall ever be in the Name ‘I AM,’ EHYEH, addressing us in the Covenant formula of Theophany as ‘Thou,’ ‘I am I AM, thy God.’  The reciprocating response in the heart of God’s prophets was:  ‘O, Thou that art, my King, my God,’ a reciprocation that transmits awakening to the eye of the heart, enlightening saints, hallowing the Name, so God’s will is done and the Kingdom comes.  Rising into this Kingdom, foundational wholeness manifests in theophanies of victory, overcoming all that opposes God, and majesty, consuming all that usurps God.  Victory overcomes division whilst majesty cures confusion, rising into radiant beauty which, in turn, manifests in theophanies of mercy and justice, where grace bestows mercy on all who fall short of the glory of God, granting true justice in place of all parodies of the glory of God, justifying sinners in the hallowing Name.  Mercy and justice are one in the beauty of grace, just as majesty and victory are one in the wholeness of the Kingdom come.  Oneness is spontaneously present in the Holy Name, just as ineffable openness is revealed in the perfection of wisdom.  Wisdom discerns the glory of the Name as mercy and justice, justifying all who fall short of glory.  Grace reveals the reign of majesty, overcoming all that opposes God, and the power of victory, overturning all that usurps God.  Seven epiphanies of glory are theophanies of the Kingdom come, seven hells restored in the Spirit, through Christ, to seven heavens.

Openness is ineffable as it unfolds the timeless oneness of the Name, opening the Kingdom to its radiance as ineffable expanse.  This releases majesty to reign over all that divides from God and victory to overcome all that usurps God, curing addictive confusion so that allergic division dissolves.  The divine ‘I’ as mercy weds the divine ‘AM’ as justice, uniting grace and rigour in an indissoluble embrace.  Divine beauty shines forth from the union of mercy and justice just as divine wholeness is the union of victory and majesty, for the union above is grounded in the union below, and the glory below is the foundation of the glory above.  The prophet of ineffable openness inspires the prayer of spontaneous oneness.  Elders come home from the desert with this wholeness below mirroring wondrous beauty above, explaining that above and below are metaphors which mislead if taken literally.  The Name names ‘I AM’ within, undoing confusion with ‘me’ without, but inside and outside are also metaphors that mislead if taken literally.  Language employs metaphor because without it there is no showing forth of what cannot literally be said.  Indeed revelatory speech handles symbol and metaphor in the poetics of prophecy so as to awaken pure prayer beyond symbols and contemplative vision beyond metaphor.  The one Kingdom transcends all worldly sovereignty just as the seven heavens transcend celestial imagery and break open myth.

Tri-une completeness embraces our incompleteness in the image of glory’s timeless encompassing of time, victory releasing into majesty as healing wholeness, mercy releasing into justice as ineffable beauty.   Wondrous wholeness inspires beauty beyond speech and silence, evoked in a stillness which lets stillness speak.  When desert wisdom from the Holy Mountain is integrated in the cells of woodland sanctuaries, seven heavens descend to earth, earthly heavens wedded to a heavenly earth.   Wondrous beauty above descends as sustainable wholeness below, hallowing the earth as earthly paradise.  Home is not heaven opposed to earth but earth as hallowed heaven, curing hell’s violation of earth born of hell’s opposition to heaven.  The woods enclose these mysteries of the mountain so as to earth heaven on earth, opening to transmission of wisdom in new ways that hallow the earth.  The tradition of ineffable oneness is handed on by the One Tradition, an east in the west, a west reoriented east, ineffably open to the Name’s revelation of God in the midst.  Elders hand on the one tradition in every generation, renewing the forms of Christian tradition in the light of wisdom, making all things new.  Wisdom brings everything back to where it begins anew, returning full circle to where it all began.  The telos was always the arche, because before the beginning, God is ‘I AM,’ revealing himself to us.  The elder imparted the same Name we were given before ever we met.  The enclosure in the woods was always more than it appeared to be, always humbly bearing witness to hallowing presence ever aware, the Name of God unveiling God in the midst.

The monastery in the woods is a reference to the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Crawley Down in Sussex, where Archimandrite Sophrony went to learn English in 1960.