Wisdom of Stillness

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Hesychast wisdom does not set one thing against another as heresies do, opposing each other with one-sided opinions, spawning confusion and division.  The desert does not set up a dualism between gnosis and ignorance, sowing sectarian Gnosticism.  Elders do not drive a dualistic division between prayer of the heart and liturgical prayer, spawning Messalianism.  Nor do saints impose a divisive separation between prophecy and prayer, generating degenerate Montanism.  Yet, Hesychasm is frequently mistaken for Gnosticism, Messalianism or Montanism in conventional circles that have lost touch with genuine Orthodox Patristic wisdom.  These confusions arise because Hesychasm is not understood.  In fact, Hesychasm bears unconfused witness to genuine gnosis, God’s knowledge of God, genuine prayer of the heart and genuine prophecy inspiring prayer.  It does so without letting heretical tendencies that may arise destroy the wholesome wisdom of Orthodox Patristic Hesychasm.  Heresies tear each other apart, whilst Hesychasm serenely abides in stillness, leaving furious monks to their vacuous tirades and violent exclusions.  Stillness abides in awareness of presence, hallowing God’s Holy Name ‘I AM,’ uncovering the true nature of things in the light of uncreated awareness.  Abiding in the Name, the Spirit frees and sustains freedom from narrow and shallow heresies.  Opinions shape-shift and deceive, whereas wisdom holds steady and stands steadfast in the midst.  Wisdom releases opinions to abide in the Spirit of truth, whereas desire for wisdom can still be unsteady, covering up sound awareness with wavering opinions.  Love of wisdom lives in the light of the glory wisdom loves; consequently, opinions dissolve with the help of wise self-emptying.  Wisdom transcends warring heresies by abiding in the glory of the revelatory Name, including what is transcended in an integral embrace.

Hesychast wisdom loves stillness, whereas heresies agitate, conflict with each other and pass away.  Agitating heresies cannot perturb stillness, nor can conflicting opinions disturb the Great Peace.  Heresies stem from fear, whereas wisdom abides in love, curing fear of fear.  In stillness, heresies melt away just as narrow, shallow opinions dissolve into radiant indifference.  Love does not demonise fear but gently releases fear of its fears, awakening love.  Awareness abides in the presence of glory, empowering presence to abide in the radiance of awareness.  The inconstancies of opinion are inconsistent, wavering from wisdom and confused by binary choice.  Sound reason serves wisdom well by exposing the inconsistencies of conflicting opinion whilst wisdom goes on to fulfil unwavering destiny in wise stillness.    Stillness silences chattering gossip, restoring clarity at the heart of translucent awareness.  Heresies love novelty because the latest opinion appears preferable to warn-out conceptions.  Wisdom grasps nothing and spurns nothing, rising freely into the spaciousness of uncreated light.  Compulsive control binds and imprisons the heart, enclosing the mind with thoughts, including pious thoughts of liberation from thought.  Wise stillness transcends all closure, releasing all thought into pure awareness and mind-binds into freedom.

Stillness is not obsessed with stillness, as if a thought of stillness was usurping God, nor is wisdom addicted to ‘God’, as if ‘God’ notions were God.  Wisdom is not obsessed with freedom either, but frees obsessions into expansive completeness.  The Spirit bears witness that the Name beyond all names reveals God, purifying the heart with illumination.  But purity of heart is not sectarian puritanism, obsessed with purity, betraying the heart.  The heart falls silent when wisdom dawns, preferring wonder to opinion, awe to fear.  Awareness is stillness beyond all expectation, releasing expectations into luminous stillness, opinions into boundless awareness, like waves of the ocean.  Waves or particles once troubled science but neither were ever a problem for Hesychast seers.  Heresies arise and fall like waves of the sea, causing trouble for heresy-hunters but not for wisdom-loving seers.  Stillness neither comes nor goes, witnessing pure awareness abiding in spontaneous presence, pure presence in instantaneous awareness.   The Name saves by having nothing to win and nothing to lose, curing compulsive obsessions with gain or loss.  Stillness purifies the heart of anxious concern for gain or loss, steadying awareness in presence and presence in awareness.  Pure and still, the heart is freed from the wars of heretical opinion, abiding in the clarity of awareness and the awareness of clarity.  Turning sees as turning is seen, empowering divisions to dissolve into indivisible difference.  Union sustains sound communion when Hesychasts abide in the peace of wise stillness, releasing incompleteness to abide in the stillness of wisdom’s blessed completeness.