The wisdom of Enoch was present at the heart of Orthodox Hesychasm, although the Book of Enoch was no longer read in monasteries except in Ethiopia. Enoch’s visionary journey had unveiled wisdom to the first Christian prophets long ago, wisdom that opened heaven through clouds of glory and mists of mystery, ascending into realms of angelic, heavenly light, ineffably hallowing the glory of the Name (Enoch 14: 8-25). Experiencing expansive translucence, Enoch was surrounded by tongues of fire which he must pass through to enter the inner temple of the heart. Tongues of fire were the Pentecost of his illumining, awakening clarity to transparent translucence, enlightening him as he began to encounter the uncreated energies of Cherubic wisdom, purifying him of all that separates him from wisdom, or wisdom from God.
Enlightening grace opened God’s heart of hearts to Enoch, opening union with wisdom in glory, hidden like an inner sanctuary in the midst of the temple of Enoch’s own heart. This illumination initiated seers into God’s God-centred glorification of God, imparting the ineffable mysteries of the Holy of Holies. Tongues of uncreated fire consumed in him all that separated him from God. Uncreated flame below consumed confusion whilst uncreated flame above dissolved division, releasing everything that hindered him from approaching the Cherubic Throne. Glory enthroned the Name in his midst, whose luminous omniscience and glorious omnipresence was surrounded by Seraphic flame. The unveiled face of Great Glory cannot be objectively observed by saints or even angels, but God makes his glory known, ineffably, in the Spirit of wisdom. The revelatory presence of glory is discerned by wisdom, aware of uncreated presence in the midst of the throne. Struck dumb by awe, wonder trembles to behold even the smallest visionary inkling of what wisdom sees, utterly bewildered by the presence of glory that uncreated light enthrones in the heart.
The Seer of the Apocalypse was well-known to desert elders ascending in the Spirit to the same enthroning glory as Enoch, safely hidden in the midst of the heart. Experiencing rainbow radiance surrounding the enthroned presence (Rev 4:2-11), John the Seer imparted to desert seers the hidden wisdom of glorified elders around the throne, elders who share, like Enoch, in the glory of the hallowed Name. Listening to John the Seer, desert seers saw seven spirits before the throne, seven revelatory flames of the Spirit unveiling the completeness of revelatory light and uncreated glory. Seven flaming lamps of the holy menorah, the seven branched lamp, stood long ago in the Jerusalem temple, like a visible icon of the Spirit’s invisible revelatory completeness. John the Seer remembered this icon and saw with the Spirit’s sevenfold vision, four ineffable, six-winged presences in the midst of the throne, mysteriously surrounding the throne as well as abiding at its centre, glorifying God’s Name with a Thrice Holy Hymn, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is ‘I AM,’ God Almighty, who was and is and is to come’ (Rev 4:8). This Trisagion Chant of wisdom and glory in the Bridal Chamber was the key to the Cherubic Hymn in the Holy of Holies.
John the Seer also indicated that the outer circles of the heaven of the heart are angelic and so to some degree intelligible, but the inner circles are veiled, being the glorious yet ineffable mysteries of the Holy of Holies. He bore witness that wisdom beholds in the Spirit four living presences enthroning the Name in the Holy of Holies (Rev 4:6-8, the Zoa of the LXX). John’s living presences are the Cherubic Hayyot of Ezekiel 1, mysteriously fused with the flaming Seraphim of Isaiah 6 and the Cherubic Ofannim, the winged all-eyed wheels of Ezekiel 10, blessing the Name ‘I AM’ with a Thrice Holy Cherubic Hymn of hallowing glorification. John the Seer was witness to wisdom that discerns the glory of the Name enthroned and hears this glory as a Cherubic Hymn. Moreover, although desert elders knew of seers that the Name clads with uncreated light and wisdom clothes with robes of radiant glory, they also knew the Name hides omniscient presence at the heart of omnipresent awareness until wisdom turns, sees and is seen, knows and is known in glory. Rising on wings of wind, the Spirit transforms angels into luminous spirits and saints into fiery tongues of flame. Desert elders not only listened to the prophecy of the Seer of the Apocalypse, but became one with him through direct experience of the mysteries of illumination and glorification, inspired by ineffable words of the Word and ineffable inspiration of the Spirit, communicating hallowing mysteries from heart to heart.
Desert elders knew that Enoch and John beheld the same mysteries of glorification that the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel knew, but John’s prophecy was also witness to the slaughtered Lamb enthroned, culmination of all ancient prophecy and revelation of mysteries of glorification now transmuting into transfiguring martyrdom (Rev 5:1-14). Red martyrdom left many healing relics, hallows of Christ’s own witness lived directly by the martyrs. White martyrdom also regenerated many saints, unveiling the desert’s piercing Wisdom of the Rood, crucifying everything that obscures wisdom’s glorification of the Name. Desert saints were heirs not only to the wisdom of Enoch but also to the wisdom of John the Seer, including the wisdom of the slaughtered Lamb, who opened scrolls of crucial, transfiguring suffering. Hidden in the hearts of desert solitaries, four living presences cried ‘Amen,’ when all heaven united to glorify the slaughtered Lamb, revealing that the Name imparts eternal life through death, death that gloriously subjects death to death as the Lamb is raised in glory from the spiced tomb into glorious resurrection (Rev 5:12-14). John the Seer never abandoned Enoch, Isaiah, or Ezekiel, but embraced their witness, which was included when glorification expanded and deepened to welcome the descending glory of the Bride, the Beloved Bride of the glorified Lamb (Rev 21:1-4). She is wisdom, enthroned as the Name ‘I AM,’ Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, in him proclaiming, ‘Behold, I AM making all things new’ (Rev 21:5). Desert elders continue to bear witness that It is glory, enthroning the Name in the midst, that transfigures saints with a Cherubic Hymn. It is wisdom that continues to impart the mysteries of glorification to desert saints, glorification that glorifies an earthly heaven as it descends to embrace a heavenly earth.