The Holy Name ‘I AM’ is the pinnacle of paths, as we see when Jesus transmits its glory with wisdom in the words, ‘Before Abraham was, I AM’ (John 8:58). Uncreated glory is what Hesychast tradition lives as glorification of the Name, imparting joyous union of wisdom and glory. But it is also endurance of persecution for God’s Name’s sake, beginning with transmission in seven ‘I AM’ sayings with predicates, like ‘way truth and life’ (John 14:6), ending with the glory of the Cross as seven ‘I AM’ sayings without predicates, ‘before Abraham was, I AM,’ (John 8:58). Transmission of the Name opens awareness to presence and presence to awareness, wisdom unveiling the glory of grace, ensuring the ultimate enduring of meaning as union and joy. Above all other names and ways, the Name of names unveils the Way of ways as the pinnacle of paths, confirmed by the Spirit of Truth as wisdom’s own humble way of life. The Way of the heart is at home on the summit of the Mount of Transfiguration, well able to discern the meaning in all lower approaches and so at ease with their limitations, without being confined by them. Glorification is the key to purification and illumination because it lives awareness as presence and presence as awareness, union of wisdom in glory and communion of glory in wisdom. The completeness of glorification is the expression of the timeless presence of glory, glory as wisdom discerns it in the uncreated grace of the Name, pinnacle of spiritual paths.
Wisdom inspires pure prayer in the Name, which the Spirit prays in us beyond all that we can grasp, understand or comprehend. This, too, is glorification’s home-coming, beyond all our conditioning efforts and conditioned achievements. Illumination is ensured by glory whose uncreated light enlightens, not by self-imposed struggle and self-centred striving for self-improvement. The Name is God’s ‘I’ awareness in union with his ‘AM’ presence, liberating every fixation, so not in itself in need of our deliberations to be what it is. The radiance of the Name is just what it is, infinitely all-pervading and spontaneously translucent, so not in need of purification since it is itself the purity that purifies all without exception. But few are free to permit glory to reveals its mysteries or wisdom to share her secrets. Christ is in all, incarnating the wisdom of glory in all, but we prefer to reduce him to the confinement of our familiar fears rather than permit him to share his wisdom and glory with us. Our self-centred seeking of him unintentionally distances him; our grasp of him in beliefs and opinions actually, though unintentionally, separates us from him. We cling to our status as believers rather than trust him to be who he actually is, ‘I AM’ in the midst, ‘before Abraham was.’
The Name is revealed in the translucent expanse of the heavens of the heart, which is the expansive scope of Christ resurrected, ascended and glorified. Christ is the pinnacle of paths because he is enlightening prophecy that purifies hearts, saving priesthood curing confusion then division and sovereign kingship overcoming all enmity with God. Christ is prophet, priest and king because he is wisdom in person wed with glory in person, so there is no need for us to save ourselves on our own by our own efforts, since we are already gloriously saved in him by his grace. It is curious how difficult we find it to receive the unconditional gift of grace, preferring our unworthiness to receive it to the wondrous gratuity of his generous gift. The culture of fear dominates all our lower approaches, making the Mount of Transfiguration a curious exception, when it is actually the norm of all healthy glorification. The Cross of unselfish love is glory’s hearth, the living flame that warms and welcomes all into him. Love’s glory is unwavering, raising us into resurrection, ascension and glorification in him. Love does not despise fear’s efforts but patiently waits for fear to awaken into the uncreated light of love, knowing that fear must come to the end of itself before it will begin to trust love. So the incompleteness of fear’s lower approaches is embraced by the completeness of the glory of love. The pinnacle of paths is really the humble way of grace, the glory of love embraced, the wisdom to see things as they really are.