God’s Name reveals God, the Spirit bearing witness to God the Son, the Son bearing witness to God the Father, the Father bearing witness through the Spirit to the Son. The Name ‘I AM’ is awareness bearing witness to presence as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, each person pointing to the other as awareness welcoming presence, as wisdom beholding glory. The Name ‘I AM’ is an ineffable openness of pure witnessing, of awareness embracing presence, of presence bearing witness to oneness as well as difference. The Name reveals God by opening awareness to presence, wisdom to glory, as Holy Trinity revealing Holy Trinity, ineffable but real, incomprehensible but decisive. The mind of Christ is the mind of radical openness, revelatory self-emptying, awareness bearing witness to presence in ineffable first-personhood. Christ is not opposed to Holy Trinity, so the mind that is in the image and likeness of Christ is neither monistic confusion nor dualistic division, but unconfused communion steady and sure in the ineffable image and likeness of Holy Trinity. There is nothing in God that is not radical openness, nothing that fails to bear witness to glory, nothing that refuses to point beyond itself as awareness to presence, as wisdom to glory. The Name reveals God but God reveals self-emptying love that points beyond itself as awareness to presence, as wisdom to glory. So although the Name reveals God, God shares God through God with the deified, as wisdom unveiling glory.
Desert Hesychasm receives this wisdom of self-emptying witnessing and transmits it from glory to glory, that is from glorification of God to glorification by God in God. For elders in this tradition of graced stillness, Hesychasm, religion does not point to itself but to God and glorification is not confused with vainglory but cures vainglory by uprooting the confusions and healing the divisions of pride. That is why elders begin with purification of the heart which consumes confusion, sustaining illumination that overcomes division, completed by glorification that overcomes vain delusion. Elders point out the presence of God in the midst so that saints awaken to awareness of God’s presence in the midst. There is nothing standing between ‘I’ awareness and ‘AM’ presence in God’s revelation of his Name, but it is the witness of the Spirit to Christ that guarantees this, not some intrusive, self-centred power substituting itself at centre, usurping God. The Spirit’s witness to Christ undoes all subversive powers, opening the heart to God’s God-centred glorification of God. Elders point God out at centre by revealing God’s Name to the saints, a revelation which hallows saints, a revelation without which there would be no hallowing and so no saints. So what the Name points out is simply what Holy Trinity reveals and the desert is simply doing what Holy Trinity does when it bears witness to the Father, in the Spirit, through the Son.
The witness of the Spirit confirms the Son’s witness to the Father, awareness bearing witness to presence, wisdom bearing witness to glory. The Name of the Father is ‘I AM,’ but without the Spirit’s witness to the Son’s revelation of the Name ‘I AM,’ giving glory to the Father, the Name would remain hidden with Christ in God. Through prophecy, elders in the desert bear witness in the Spirit to the Name and their prayer is for the assimilation of the Name, transmitting prayer of the Spirit in the heart. Everything they do points beyond themselves, leaving no trace of self-centred self-interest, although there are sometimes parodies which subvert this and dysfunctional exceptions that undermine this. These shadows are the inevitable inversions that prove the truth of the Spirit’s witness; they do not destroy the serenity of the Spirit’s witness or the peace of God which permeates Holy Trinity. Self-emptying can be parodied by a diabolical nihilism, but this does not disempower the self-emptying energy of deifying love. Elders bear witness in the Spirit despite invisible onslaughts from fallen powers, paradoxically strengthening the saints in their freedom from subtle insinuation. In the end, parody bears witness, despite itself, to the Spirit of Truth, releasing the despair of the despairing with despair of despair. When despair radically despairs of despair, the Spirit of Truth sings. The witness of the Spirit freely points to the truth of the Name, ‘I AM,’ which the Son freely reveals to the glory of the Father. Radical openness breaks through and oneness of wisdom and glory, awareness and presence, freely illumines and glorifies the saints.