Mystical Theology

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Mystical Theology, for Hesychast Wisdom, is theological theophany, opening deification, called the angelic estate, to integral wisdom.  The sciences of the soul find their fulfilment in theophany as do the sciences of humanity, because the fulfilment of humankind is cosmic as well as divine-human.  Cosmotheandric theophany is truly integral in its insight into cosmic dimensions of divine-human love, agape, unselfish love that, in Christ, is the burning sacrifice of all egocentric and ethnocentric idolatry.  Mystical Theology is theophany rather than logical God-talk, a burning bush rather than systematic theology.  The wisdom of Hesychast elders lies in kindling fires of theophanic love rather than academic scholasticism, though some elders, under obedience, trained in both the Monastery and the University.

Mystical Theology is able to be theophanic because it is the lived experience of the uncreated fire of agape, which embraces eros as well as philia, as the ‘Hymns of Love,’ by Saint Simeon the New Theologian, indicate.  Love is pure that loves without self-love, despite being despised and rejected, like the suffering servant.  Such love reveals God through sacred theophanies which purify and illumine the heart, transmitting deifying energies to sinners that transform them into saints.  Likeness to the image of God is Christ-like love, not successful control of numerous, admiring disciples.  Genuine elders like Saint Silouan or Saint Sophrony, neither quench the Spirit nor mock God’s Spirit by ascribing grace to demons.  They practice harmony by love, extinguishing self-love by transcending egocentric and ethnocentric loves.

Mystical Theology is practice of harmony that betroths heaven and earth, wedding the betrothed with unselfish love, in accordance with the mystery of the Song of Songs. God’s Holy of Holies is revealed by radical self-emptying to be a Song of Songs, purifying and illumining minds in hearts.  Faith and hope trust love, which is the object of faith and the substance of hope.  Rational theology cannot comprehend love, though the Logos itself reveals perfect, comprehensive love, inspiring Mystical Theology.  Love’s theophanic glory transcends conceptual theology but inspires Mystical Theology, giving decisive priority to theophany.   The light of love is uncreated, giving love’s glory the uncreated capacity to glorify saints who themselves become, like Saint Nicholas or Saint Seraphim, theophanies of uncreated harmony.