Timeless Presence

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The Hesychast wisdom of stillness points beyond the world’s strident exteriors to the timeless presence of God in his Name.  The Hesychast poetics of prophecy regenerates the degenerated imagination, purifying old prophetic symbolism in the uncreated energies of wisdom and glory, radicalising its prophetic power to awaken the heart, sustaining pure prayer of the Spirit in the midst.  Invisible angels listen and intercede as visible elders quietly pray, without pressure, listening to ineffable words of the eternal Word in the inmost heart.  Past glory unites with future glory in the ever-present glory of the Name as it is hallowed in the desert, completing the temporal incompleteness of past glory in the thunderous completeness of God’s lightening glory.  Desert saints bear witness to uncreated, timeless presence as wisdom and glory unite in a dance of love, hallowing the Name, reconciled amongst the Holy Ones, whose glorification they complete on earth as it is always being completed in heaven.  Stillness turns right round to see with God’s eye, as God’s wisdom sees, generating silence that turns deep within, to be graciously in-seen, neither fleeing from incompleteness nor racing towards completeness.  The dance of God in Holy Trinity moves, like the tides, in and out of incoherent time as timeless co-inherence weds wisdom and glory in the Bridal Chamber.  Divine movement circulates like life-blood through God, from God to God, without disrupting stillness, renewing prayer of stillness with the timeless life of wisdom, wisdom conjoining with the timeless presence of glory in the Holy of Holies.

Timeless presence conquers time, not by vacuous indifference to past or future, but by remembering past or future in God, fulfilling glory in the beginning with glory at the end.  The union of wisdom and glory is brought forth as timeless presence in the embrace of the eternal present.  Wisdom ascends whilst glory descends, so that as they meet at centre, here and now, stillness turns and silence sees.  Hesychast elders unite the wisdom of humility with the glory of self-emptying love, opening time past and time future to timeless presence, without degenerating into doubt, which dithers and hesitates between time before or time after.  Glory in the beginning is always already aware of wisdom in the end, so when wisdom begins again in every moment, she renews glory in Christ so all glory’s fatal falls are always being undone.  This is the joy of stillness, knowing in Christ that forgiveness loves to forgive, so all is gracefully forgiven.  Stillness does not have to strain because wisdom does not need to struggle, knowing Christ in glory is always already undoing falls even as they arise in us, so that in Christ they are released.  In the dazzling darkness of Holy Trinity, wisdom and glory are forever dancing as Lover and Beloved, dancing the love-dance of Holy Trinity together as they hallow God’s Name.  Hesychast seers humbly behold these mysteries of wisdom and glory, releasing the heart from straining after future achievements or stressing over past failure, as temporal wounds heal and timeless presence saves.  Wisdom’s eschatological Last Day was always already present, ever since the beginning.  Glory begins again in every moment as wisdom unites with glory’s endless presence, overcoming temporal incompleteness with the timeless presence of Christ’s infinite completeness.  

The Name was always timeless presence, so is always present in Christ as the Spirit was graciously present, coming to be anew as timeless presence in every moment.   Glory seeds future glory when wisdom interprets its hints, not with vague guesses, but as catalytic inklings of gracious glory to come, offering insight into glory coming to be anew in every present moment.  The mystery of the Incarnation says it all, although what it says transcends all that can theologically be said about it.  The desert is point zero, the place that is nowhere in particular anymore, never confined because always opening to heavens within ever-opening heavens.  Here, the uncreated ineffably intersects with the created so that their co-inherence is always tongued with fire, Pentecostal fire, yet their everyday union remains quite ordinary.  Glory knows that to mature from glory to glory, ignorance must needs fall from glory, so although not desirable, falls do inevitably happen, being glory’s way of trying to hit the mark but failing because of ignorance. Glory attempts to overcome glory’s temporal incompleteness, as glory expands through wisdom into ever-increasing completeness.  The purification of the heart is the ground of the Spirit’s enlightening prayer, turning fires of hell into purifying fires of hallowing glorification.  The question for elders and saints is whether the fire of hell continues to condemn, as before, when glory fell, or turn to condemn condemnation itself to hell, liberating hell from the hells it inevitably spawns when it compulsively continues to condemn.  This crucial difference hinges on love, whether love is vainglorious or right-glorifying, whether love is proud or humble.  Wisdom tells the difference, seeing through the pretensions of condemnation, without which proud condemnation continues to win the day.  Wisdom begins again from timeless presence, generating glory from glory anew, revealed yet wisely veiled in the desert by divine humility and holy simplicity.  If there is nothing pride can grasp, here, where God is all in all, where the dance of wisdom with glory in Holy Trinity co-inherently coheres, then wisdom humbly enfolds the created in uncreated light.  The mysteries of timeless presence and holy simplicity mysteriously reveal hallowing union without confusion and holy communion without division in the timeless presence of wholesome glorification.