Wholeness of Heart

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Saint James tells us that God will draw near to those who draw near to God, purifying the heart of double-minded ‘dipsychoi,’ divided psyches suffering divisive confusion (James 4:8).   Divided minds are riddled with doubt, split by habitual uncertainty and addicted to compulsive wavering, quite unable to abide steadily in God, whose certainty of God is unwavering wisdom.  The purified heart is not ‘dipsychic’ or schizophrenic, but singleminded in its spiritual simplicity, whole in its undivided unity, integrated in its wholesome integrity.   Hesychast elders know the heart is changed by grace, not bullied or cajoled, or else it remains fatally confused by uncured division.  Purity of heart, on the other hand, is direct and single, upright rather than dissipated, undivided instead of double-minded.  An upright heart is whole-hearted, neither split by separation nor divided by dissipation.  A whole heart dies to confusion through union and to division through communion, in accordance with the wisdom of the Cross, key to all decisive freedom and undivided joy.  Distractions do arise but there is no addiction to distraction at the heart of awakened saints, because their hearts are purified and their minds enlightened.  Centred in God, distractions release even as they arise, with nothing deflecting the Spirit in their hearts or shattering the wholeness of the Spirit’s wisdom, abiding in the presence of the Father through the Son.  This is why holy Name-hallowing can welcome the coming realm of glory, glorifying the grace of glory, humbly obedient to the holy will of God.  When the heart is surrounded on every side by the realm of uncreated glory, it is purified of every division.

Wholeness of heart is well-rounded, for God-centred purity is not to be confused with self-centred puritan obsessions with uncontaminated purity.  The remembrance of God surrounds the heart with God’s realm of hallowing glorification, restoring glory from above to all that lies below.  As above, so below, wisdom restores glory below in the image of glory above, acknowledging glory on earth as angels acknowledge glory in heaven.  Glory above is inseparable from glory below, for the heart of the glory of wisdom is one.  Wholeness of heart is what the Spirit completes in Christ, to the glory of the Father.  It extinguishes the illusion that what is below can usurp what is above, that the created can parody the uncreated, that antichrist can unseat Christ at centre in the heart.  Wisdom dispels all such delusions that confuse the heart, releasing division into indivisible union, confusion into inseparable communion.  Wholeness of heart restores glory below so that the created rejoins with the uncreated, a heavenly earth with an earthly heaven, in the communion of heavenly glory .  Wisdom bears witness that in God, temporal and spatial worlds conjoin with timeless glory in the revelation of Christ’s ineffable completeness.

Wholeness of heart is the fruit of Christ’s fullness of grace and truth, hidden until the heart is purified and illumined.  Grace reveals the union of the children of God with the uncreated glory of God, but in the absence of wisdom, mysteries of glory remain largely hidden.  Wholeness of heart is hidden to the perceptions of a divided mind, incomprehensible to a split psyche, but unveiled by the wholeness of the power of grace.  Power, exousia, is pure capacity, the deifying capacity of wisdom to discern the mystery of the glory of grace.  Grace, charis, is the joy of wisdom delighting in the glory of the Name, the dynamic energy of truth illumining the mind as uncreated light, purifying the heart of confusion and division.  The sheer gift of grace is a blessing of peace imparted together with the presence of glory, hallowing the heart with the wholeness of ineffable completeness.  Purification is not a separate achievement that qualifies ascetics for illumination but a deifying quality of uncreated light that illumines hearts with uncreated glory.  Holiness is ineffably beautiful, radiantly abiding in the hidden wholeness of God, whilst wisdom rests in glory at centre, purifying and illumining the mind whilst sustaining wholeness of mind and heart.