Know yourself

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To know yourself is to know God, according to the ‘Letters of Saint Antony the Great,’ so to turn and see is to awaken to God at centre in the midst, which wisdom does when she beholds the glory of God.  According to Saint Maximus the Confessor, the Name reveals oneness of being, well-being and timeless openness of being, by awakening to God in the midst, whose gift of life, goodness and eternal life is the Spirit’s truth. Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi said that self-knowledge is knowledge of the Lord, and his disciple, Awhad al-din Balyani, wrote a little treatise on ‘Self-knowledge’ that for centuries bore his Sufi master’s name.  The mystery of self-knowledge is the hidden mystery of everything because it opens the soul to the Spirit of God at the heart of everything.  The quest for God does not disperse the attention among things but plunges awareness back into awareness, where wisdom is revealed.  Self-recollection is the key to the remembrance of God, whose glory is timeless and whose wisdom is now as it has always been.  The Name of oneness is indeed always one, because the Name and oneness are one. 

The Name is alpha and omega because God is first and last, beginning and end of all that there is.  No-one can see God but God, whose wisdom sees and glory never forgets God.  God sees God, through God, which is the mystery of Holy Trinity, revealing perfect oneness, through oneness, in oneness.  Conventional monotheistic polemic falls short of spiritual prophecy awakening prayer of the heart, missing the point of the divine intermediary, Christ, who unveils God through God.  Christ’s ‘I AM’ sayings in the Gospel of John reveal God, whose Name is ‘I AM,’ whom to know is to know God.  Self-centred delusion is dissolved by self-knowledge, which reveals God-centred illumination, purifying the heart in uncreated light.  Knowing oneself is true knowledge of God, extinguishing confusion with God and division from God, but when egoism usurps wisdom, glory falls short of glory, exuding vainglory and pride.

Self-centred delusion needs no real extinction, because it has no real existence, so annihilation of the self is never confused with self-knowledge.  The timeless timeliness of wisdom is the timeless timelines of glory, which is wisdom without beginning, knowing glory without end.  God alone knows God, which wisdom sees and glory knows, revealing the mystery of self-knowledge, which is God’s own knowledge of God. God just is; nothing usurps God, because ultimately, in God, there is nothing but God. Otherness is God unveiled in otherness, not a ‘second god’ other than God.  Wisdom sees things as they are, and glory glorifies God as He is.  Ignorance of God dissolves, but not God, nor what God creates.  Saint Antony the Great was great because he transmitted the greatness of God’s Name, uniting self-knowledge and God’s knowledge of God through God, revealing the true greatness of the timeless glory of Holy Trinity, grounding co-inherent Orthodoxy in holy wisdom, making all things new.