Same Difference

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The difference between division and difference mirrors the difference between confusion and communion, revealing the paradoxical completeness of co-inherent communion.  Completeness is not totalitarian sameness nor divisive, premature closure, suppressing difference out of fear of division.  The Spirit prays unceasingly for the reign of the Name to be revealed, lovingly communicating decisive wisdom, wisely curing dithering indecision.  The rational mind cannot conceive the ineffable glory which deifies the saints, but the heart knows glory as glory is known by wisdom, trustingly communicating mysteries of glory.  Sameness opens difference as difference transcends sameness, dazzling the mind with the wisdom of the heart.  The mystery of same difference is the wisdom of Holy Trinity revealing the glory of thrice-holy completeness.

True individuality is perfect indivisibility, contrary to conventional appearances, revealing true personhood to be perfect completeness.  Saint Sophrony the Hesychast saw how true personhood transcended personality and showed how personhood is lived without oppression.  For him, prophecy awakened prayer without quenching the Spirit of wisdom, unveiling personal difference without division.  Prophecy handled the divine unity of essence without crushing personal difference or opposing person to essence.  Accused of ‘essence-hatred’ by those who did not understand him, he avoided the extremes of philosophical personalism and scholastic essentialism, preferring to hold steady in sameness with difference.  This meant abiding in mysteries of communion without confusion, liberating mysteries of difference from division.

Differentiating sameness loves to embrace liberating wisdom and integrating glory, holding steadfast in stillness beyond antagonistic extremes.  This gave Saint Sophrony the Hesychast a taste of the humour of angels and the patience of saints, unveiling the laughter of God.  For him, sameness delighted in difference, empowering union in grave difference in the image and likeness of God.  Saint Silouan the Athonite had taught ‘same difference’ as the mystery of ineffable love, translated by his disciple into the wisdom of graced personhood.  Receiving the wisdom of stillness from Saint Silouan, through Saint Sophrony, renewed Hesychast tradition in our day for many years to come, opening sameness into difference by gathering difference into same stillness, regenerating desert wisdom for generations to come.