The praxis of theoria is the practice of contemplative wisdom that sustains the vision of God in Holy Trinity, standing back from fixated conceptions and conventions. The Spirit blows where it wills, inspiring the practice of wisdom that nourishes the remembrance of God. The eye of wisdom penetrates through obscurities, leaping right over mountains of resistance, leaving no trace of wisdom’s catalytic presence. Swifter than motion, brighter than light, wisdom soars with wings of glory as it circulates God’s presence in the midst. Personality gives way to personhood when wisdom resonates with every breath, resolving knotted impediments in translucent light. The great potential of living saints is their capacity to transcend traditionalism as they transmit the living tradition, fostering elders like Saint Silouan the Athonite and Saint Sophrony the Heasychast, who imparted Orthodox Tradition with flames of fire. Such elders consume sectarianism as they turn conventions inside out and outside in, communicating theoria as ‘turning in,’ reversing its inversions that are forever ‘turning out,’ dissipating the hardened heart. Christ is ‘HE WHO IS,’ the timeless face of ‘I AM,’ turning hardened hearts into enlightened hearts, awakening saints to clarity and freedom.
The practice of awakening theoria opens vision to active insight, shattering addictions to marvels and miracles by penetrating through them to the wisdom that manifests them, freeing saints from pride. When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch of delusion, which elders expose with decisive rigour and heal with mercy. It is rare to discover elders in an age of decadence, but their unfathomable humility is the sure foundation of healthy holiness. Their wisdom binds and looses hearts as it extinguishes confusion and releases souls from divisive separation, communicating truth with freedom. Theoria cannot be controlled or tied down, which is why it cannot be permitted to flourish in conventional circles. The pearl of great price is valuable beyond words and precious beyond imagination, for it opens the heavens and transfigures the earth with unfathomable glory. Christ is the pearly host who welcomes the guest as a host of future generations of saints, ensuring the health of the whole.
The practice of turned seeing nourishes a culture of healthy stillness in generation after generation, generating transmission anew in age after age. The Holy Spirit transmits truth by truth, never wavering from the Gospel of grace and freedom. Saint Seraphim of Sarov bore witness to the Holy Spirit as the giver of life-giving wisdom, when Motovilov met him in the falling snow. He knew it was the Spirit rather than his ethnic Russianness that hallowed God’s saving Name, as did every Russian saint since the crucifixion. The glory is the glory of God, not the ethnic glory that nourishes Russian nationalism. Wars are the brainchild of nationalism, not the peace that transcends understanding. Hearts weep with inexplicable joy when wisdom dawns and religion releases into glory, unveiling uncreated oneness in the midst of radical openness. The practice of wisdom is the living heart of Holy Orthodoxy, inspiring saints in every age.