Nobody can visually perceive God objectively in the world but theoria turns and sees the glory of God’s reign, initiating seers into the mysteries of contemplative vision by awakening the eye of the heart. For Hesychast saints, theoria is the indispensable and quintessential opening, beyond the visible heavens, into the invisible mysteries of wisdom and glory, the revelation of God’s Name that opens the eye of the heart. By turning, metanoia, and seeing, theoria, wisdom sees what ordinary visual perception cannot see, the mysteries of glory enfolding all that is seen, transfiguring and resurrecting all that the senses perceive. The insight of the awakened eye of the heart renews perception in the grace of uncreated light, as wisdom transfigures creation with uncreated glory, uniting creation with uncreated energies that join the visible with the invisible, heaven and earth, paradise and the world we inhabit, male and female. Saint Maximus the Confessor bore witness to these five mysteries of glory on the basis of the Scriptures, giving Orthodox wisdom sound theological foundations from the beginning.
The eye of the heart sees wisdom’s vision of glory, so is not dependent upon thought or perception to behold wisdom’s vision of God, but turns and sees God in uncreated light, wisdom beholding glory wherever she turns. To be in Christ is to behold his glory with his wisdom eye, to see in the Spirit with his single eye, to know him as he knows us and to live his timeless life as he lives it in us. The eye of the heart is, therefore, the key to hallowing wisdom and the glory of the revelatory Name. Desert wisdom begins and ends here, where it begins, in the eye of light at the heart of awareness. In fact, there is no end to the mysteries of the radiant eye, no limit to the radiance of uncreated wisdom, no boundary to the realm of uncreated glory. No wonder wisdom is loved by saints and imparted by elders with such flaming generosity, piercing hearts with wisdom’s vision and transfiguring lives with glorious grace. This fiery love of wisdom leaves philosophy speechless, rendering the learned intelligence awestruck with wonder, awakening contemplative vision at the heart of ever-present awareness.
Because the heart sees what transcends the mind, the mind draws back to centre down into the heart. Speech falls silent as the heart is stilled, centering the mind in the heart. A culture of light grounds realms of glory in the awakened heart, giving Hesychast wisdom its characteristic warmth and generous radiance. Without the eye of wisdom, the heart remains bereft of vision, blind and deaf to the ineffable energies of the Spirit, ignorant of the Spirit’s unceasing prayer in the heart. Generously and freely, the Spirit bears witness to Christ, restoring glory to the Father, healing the rifts that tear things apart, curing the confusions that subvert union and shatter communion. There is nothing, therefore, more crucial than wholeness of heart, which the eye of wisdom gives, nothing greater than the wisdom that unveils glory at the heart of awareness. The Spirit unceasingly restores creation with the eye of the heart, enlightening seers and glorifying saints, whose wisdom regenerates the world, beholding the glory that makes all things new.