Twinned Angel of the Name

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The angel of the Name bears witness to the revelation of the Name in the heart, keeping safe the myatery of Name-hallowing until such time as the heart turns to see.  Deification by grace includes this awakening to the witnessing heavenly twin, the angel of realisation, who is the prophet of our glorification.   Orthodox Hesychasm fully acknowledges theosis to be a destiny of timeless, angelic completeness, holiness by grace way ahead of our temporal unfolding, beckoning us out of isolated individual, temporal existence into the timeless mysteries of union with Christ, the heavenly twin.  But the mysteries of angelic mediation do not usurp Christly mediation, because the angel does not usurp God, but draws alongside as an angelic friend and fellow-servant, companion and even lover, bearing witness to the reign of glory to come.  The twin in the Gospel of Thomas is not a demonic distraction but an angelic companion, who is a creative imaginal expression of deified glorification.  The angel of the Name draws near to awaken the heart to wisdom and glory, opening the heart to communion with angels of wisdom and glory.  The twin is not, therefore, a dualistic double but an icon or imaginal symbol of angelic union which communicates mysteries of deified communion, a conjoining with angels of wisdom and glory.  For Hesychast tradition, wisdom and glory are uncreated energies in which both angels and saints participate, empowering angels to co-operate with saints in their mutual, reciprocating deification, jointly unveiling the glorification of creation as a whole.   For Orthodox Hesychasm, Christly mysteries behold creation as an icon of deification in search of the eschatological completeness of glorification, inspiring the co-operation of angels and saints in the communion of wisdom and glory.

For desert Hesychasm, Thomas Didymus was not a literal, dualistic twin but a hallowed icon or image of Christ’s glory unveiling mysteries of illumination and glorification.  As mystery, the twin is not a problem in search of a solution, or a clue to the meaning of bifurcated data or fragmented information, but irreducible paradox, communicating wisdom, unveiling glory.  The mind’s quandaries are resolved to the degree that clever solutions to sacred mysteries are radically dissolved.  Timeless glory bisects time but does not abandon time, because in the light of the incarnation, realised in deification, the timeless is the whole point and the meaning of time.  Christ is our twin, in that he reveals by grace our divine paternity alongside our human paternity.  Closer to the Father than we are, he is like an older brother, an angelic twin, a divine-human fullness that we have forgotten, a completeness of wisdom and glory that we have neglected.  His ancient name, under the Old Covenant, was angel of the Name, but the New Covenant unveils the ineffable mystery of his wisdom and his glory, full of grace and truth.

The sacred twin, then, is not just our heavenly double but an angelic witness to the perfected Completeness through whom we receive the glory and the truth of grace.  The Word of wisdom, twinned with the Spirit of glory, meet us in our holy twin, the angel of the Name.  This angelic twin carries our destiny until we turn and see, but never usurps it.  Demons are angels who, in their confusion, usurp God, falling from glory, losing paradise.  The twin that follows them becomes our shadow, our demonic counterpart, our partner in the catastrophe of the fall.  The angel of the Name, by contrast, is the prophet of our purification and illumination, the angel of our glorification, Christ as he appears among angels unveiling Christ as he manifests among saints.  The mysterious twin bears witness to the truth of grace, unveiling glory by virtue of the grace of truth.  As the angel of wisdom, the Gabriel of our being, he bears witness to glory’s uncreated fire that purifies the heart, glory’s uncreated light that illumines the mind, glory’s uncreated energy that unites mind and heart, through Christ, in the Spirit, with God the Father.  As sacred twin, he is our co-companion in self-emptying sacrifice, not our partner in the crime of idolatrous presumption.  The angel of the Name is, then, the manifold, theophanic twin, who bears witness to God in our midst, humbly standing back lest we worship him instead of God, gloriously beckoning us forward into the completeness of deification.

The sacred mystery of the twin may begin with the unveiling of the angel of the Name, but rises with us into the unveiling of the angel of wisdom, unveiling glory to the degree that we rise, through purification and illumination, into the manifold completeness of glorification.  Keeping company with us, as we partake in the resurrection, ascension and glorification of Christ, the angelic twin changes with us as we change, rising with us as, by grace, we rise.  It follows that there is no fixed meaning of the twin, rather a growing nexus of meanings that deepen as we deepen, an expanding completeness of epiphanies rising to the heights of light and glory as we rise from illumination to glorification.   The twin never ceases to be the angel of the Name, but unveils the mysteries of the Name from purification, through illumination, to glorification.  As these mysteries unfold, the twin becomes friend, co-companion, lover and beloved, until union unveils communion, transcending not only every image but the very capacity of creative imaginal expression itself.  When the twin is reintegrated into the glory of her ineffable mystery, two become one, beyond isolated oneness and dualistic division.   Silence abides in stillness, granting the mystery of the twin freedom to abide in ineffable mystery, aware with us of the presence of glory and of awareness itself as the glory of wisdom.  The angel of the Name abides with wisdom in glory, as twin, friend, co-companion, lover and beloved, in wisdom’s endless embrace of glory and glory’s unceasing delight in wisdom.