Philokalia and Glory

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Wisdom is not only love of beauty, philokalia, but is in love with beauty, wedded to glory that is beautiful and loves beauty.  Saint Denis sees this glorious co-inherence as wisdom’s vision of theadrocosmic radiance, a resplendent icon of divine beauty that embraces the cosmos with Christ’s divine-human glory.  Visible worlds are theophanies of invisible glory, but this is visible through Christ’s grace of wisdom, not to the addictive mind-sets of consumerism.  For St Maximus, theophanies are everywhere if the eye of the heart is open, but this counters the self-interest of the passions, including what today we call addictive consumerism.  The full force of established power is against wisdom because awakening is subversive, and frees hearts from addiction.  

Consumer capitalism depends on addiction to retain imposed control, through compulsive consumption, so wisdom is silenced in case liberation breaks out.  The revealed Name must be re-veiled in case it saves and frees.   Wonder must be reduced to fear so that no-one is free to embrace the goodness, truth and beauty of the Name, no-one sees the co-inherence of glory, no-one awakens to the beauty of glory embracing all.  God is ‘I AM’ unveiling God in his Name, dethroning false gods such as money, profit and power.  Since ‘I AM’ is God, ‘I AM’ is one in all, through all, imparting throne vision to all.  ‘I AM’ is enthroned in glory, giving glory to God alone, but shared with all so freedom truly frees.  No addictive god-substitutes can withstand the light of glory or pretend the beauty of truth is not beautiful.  Beauty is saving because it frees addiction to open to wholesome openness, liberating awareness, God’s ‘I,’ opening to holy presence, God’s ‘AM.’

Beauty is the radiance of truth opening hearts to created beauty in the image and likeness of uncreated glory, icons of wild, uncultivated beauty mirroring the translucence of the Name.  The heart sees glory everywhere when wisdom is awake, when wonder replaces fear and joy restores.  Everything sings wisdom’s song of glory, ascribing glory to God, once the sclerosis of the hard heart begins to melt and weep.  Purification, katharsis, of the heart frees the spirit to turn and see as the Spirit sees, granting illumination, theoria, seeing ‘I AM’ in glory, and deification, theosis, co-inherent union and communion.  Purified by tears of deep turning, metanoia, the eye of the heart opens to behold the beauty and glory of grace, revealing earth to be paradise, a heavenly earth wedded to an earthly heaven.  Glory is unseen by hard hearts but even when wisdom sees glory, her vision remains ineffable even as it frees to see.  Wisdom sees glory everywhere, gathering all into the glory of the Name, freeing awareness to awaken to presence everywhere.  The Name saves, undoing consumerist addiction, so when the Name is hallowed, the Kingdom comes in glory.  Beauty hallows the earth with the truth and goodness of the Name, unveiling glory as the Kingdom come.

Elders in the desert wilderness saw that visible beauty was glory made visible, opening saints to invisible beauty mirroring uncreated glory.  They imparted this wisdom as Christ embracing creation with uncreated glory, as his cosmic liturgy renewing the heart and as a spiritual hermeneutic of creation uncovering glorification through illumination.  For the desert, wisdom’s contemplation of the logoi, uncreated words in nature, coheres with her vision of uncreated words of the divine Logos in Scripture, and both inspire her ineffable words awakening hearts to glory.  This wisdom prevented icons from degenerating into idols, preserving beauty from demonic perversion, which confuses the created with the uncreated.  Orthodoxy means right glorification, which undoes demonic confusion so as to cure diabolical division.  

Consumerism is a condition of idolatrous confusion that usurps God with God-substitutes, commodities that play at being god, as ‘gods’ in place of God.  The beauty of glory restores idols to icons in liturgy, confusion to communion in the way of illumination and glorification.  Consumerist idolatry, rooted in fear, is cured by wonder that sees iconic beauty as revelation of glory.  Icons of glory illumine in part, without trace of idolatry, whereas glorification sees Christ as he is, in his beauty as glory.  The philokalia of desert fathers turns attention round so that love of beauty awakens to beauty in glory, liberating hearts from addiction by hallowing the Name.  Elders transmit the Name  as divine image in glorious likeness, because like alone knows like, God alone knows God.  Wisdom unveils the iconic face of things to reveal the uncreated face of glory.  In love with the beauty of glory, philokalia is in love with wisdom imparting illumination and glorification, opening beauty to glory in the Name.