Hidden Wisdom of Heraclitus

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The hidden wisdom of Heraclitus lies concealed within the Logos that the desert welcomed home at the heart of its mortal, immortal life, dying its life and living its death in the paradoxes of the divine-human Logos.  Gnomic wisdom tradition in the desert revered wisdom that hearkened to the Logos, not only because wisdom IS the Logos awakening the heart to divine insight, but also because the Logos is many logoi, many voices bearing witness to the co-inherence of all things in Logos.   The desert agreed that it was wise to listen to the divine-human Logos wherever God within God (the Son), bore witness to God beyond God (the Father), in God beside God (the Holy Spirit), to use the terminology of Saint Clement of Alexandria, which was assimilated but became implicit in the desert.  The wisdom of the Logos became the desert’s wisdom through the influence of Origen on many desert fathers, such as Evagrius, no longer something external to its living tradition, but the very same Logos that spoke and was heard as wisdom by Heraclitus, the same wisdom discerning the Logos of glory, Christ in the midst.  For Patristic Platonism, the Logos that spoke in Scripture and in the logoi of created things is one wisdom guiding everything, restoring everything in glory.  Such wisdom is inseparable from God within God, who reveals God beyond God, from whom God beside God proceeds, abiding in God within God, as Clement, often quoting Heraclitus, and after him, Origen reminded desert elders.  

It is the wisdom of Logos that discerns the intentions of God or logoi in everything, in Scripture and in creation, both of which are revelation of the Logos in different created realms.  How does the desert know what wisdom knows?  By hearkening to the Logos that discerns the One transcending all, the Logos that discerns One in all through all.  God beyond God is the One and only One of Parmenides’ First Deduction, whilst God within God is the One in all, uniting all, the integral One of Parmenides’ Second Deduction.  Clement embraced both discernments in the one Christly Logos, bequeathing wisdom to the desert that both transcends and includes.  Unconfused with things, this deifying wisdom is present within God in everything, transcending everything whilst being immanent in everything as wisdom and glory.  When we are unmindful of the Logos, we fall from glory, but wisdom heeds the Logos, reading the signs which prophetic oracles bequeath to us, invoking the Name that the Logos imparts to save us.  Logos does not blindly assert or deny but signifies, as in the seven signs of the Gospel of John.  Private opinion prefers its individualistic ‘idiocy’ to the common Logos, so fails to read the signs in the seven ‘I AM’ sayings with predicates.  Conventional ‘idiocy’ is self-centred delusion that refuses to hearken to Logos but it is Logos who speaks in the seven ‘I AM’ sayings beyond all predication. 

Saints withdrew into the desert to listen to the Logos in wisdom’s many mysterious sevens, plunged into wonder that there is anything at all and not nothing.  THAT there is anything at all, provokes wonder but wonder THAT Logos discerns the meaning of being, opens to primordial, desert wonder beyond initial wonder.  Logos transcends the world but is not for that reason other-worldly.  Logos sees deeply into the heart of the world even though Logos is not ‘of’ this world.  The sound in mind are mindful of Logos, for they turn and see Logos in the midst.  Withdrawal into the desert is not at all what it seems.  Wisdom withdraws to awaken the eye of the heart, which is not escape from the world but insight into the very heart of the world itself.  Wisdom chooses insight over knowledge of many things, because polymathy misses the point when it confuses information with wisdom.  Wisdom once did mean crafty ‘know-how,’ but Heraclitus turned wisdom back into Logos, transmitting wise insight beyond clever ‘know-how,’and the desert agreed.  Desert elders saw this was the Logos that unites without confusion, communicating union without division.  ‘HEN : PANTA’ for Heraclitus meant, ‘One: Everything.’ Christ in union with the One is in communion with the One in everything.  But this wisdom is antinomic, paradoxical, unapparent, hidden.  It is not pantheism but neither is it cautious dualism.  The concept of panentheism also fails to express the powerful alchemy of back-stretched wisdom, of antinomic co-inherence, of transcending inclusion.  Logos is uncreated, creative flame, crystallising what dissolution dissolves.  Alchemical wisdom works with a manifold Logos in the desert that embraces many logoi in one Logos, a dynamic, immanent transcendence aflame as God’s God-centred glorification of God.

Wisdom discerns the logoi spoken by the Logos with the help of analogies, expressing sameness as difference in unsettling metaphors, which transcend yet include radical difference.  Here antagonistic opposition is embraced because truth is expressible as tension between opposites, not as simplistic assertion or denial.  Radical difference generates indivisible union, as in palintonic attunement or in palintropic tension. Good harmony works with dissonance as well as consonance, attuning sameness together with difference.  Christophanic wisdom is back-turned completeness which embraces incompleteness as intrinsic to completeness, wholeness that embraces brokenness as integral witness to wholeness.  Divine-humanity is not just vibrant tension but fierce dissension when falls from glory are the rage, but it is these falls that wisdom heals, unafraid to risk all.  Logos includes union of transformed antithetical contradictories as well as complimentary contraries, because if it did not, all hope of healing would be in vain.  But the therapy works only because negative contradiction has no ontological foundation, so when it is overcome, only the positive pole remains.   Hidden wisdom holds together antithetical contradictories as transformed contraries in the ground of antinomic Logos, lest the creative tension of uncreated energies collapses into confusion or lapses into division.

Desert wisdom continues to listen to the Logos although the aphorisms of Heraclitus are never explicitly referred to in Hesychast literature.  The wisdom of Heraclitus remains hidden in the wisdom logic of Patristic tradition, simply because the agony of unreduced opposition still nourishes the roots of all divine-human mysteries.  When the Fourth Gospel chose the word Logos in preference to Sophia or any alternative, Justin and Clement knew it was because Heraclitus was a prophet-sage who loved the Logos long before Christ, together with his paradoxes and his antinomic mysteries.  They knew it was the wisdom logic of the Logos that mattered and like Heraclitus they knew same difference was not to be watered down.  The Logos is in everything but the Logos is One.  God the Logos is a consuming fire, extinguishing confusion but sustaining difference.  Illumination awakens hearts to the logoi or ineffable words of the Logos, the wordless utterance of Logos as well as the dia-logical Logos of Christian dialectic.  Wisdom is unceasing in her searching discernment of awareness and of presence, uncovering Logos as wisdom discerning glory.  The depths of divine-human Logos are unsearchable but inform every renewing research of Logos in the light of wisdom and glory.  The Patristic tradition often spoke of sound-minded sobriety (sophrosyne), which springs from turning within Logos and beholding Logos in the midst.  Heresy is one-sided opinion, usurping the Logos of communion.  Its cure is wisdom embracing extremes, without collapsing into extremism.  The hidden wisdom of Heraclitus lived on in the Patristic logic of the Logos, which continues to impart insight and co-inherence to the desert in every generation.