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Philokalia-St Gregory Palamas 2
Introductory Note

In the Calendar of the Orthodox Church, St Gregory Palamas (1296-1359)^ - 'St Gregory of Thessaloniki', as he  is usually termed in Orthodox texts - enjoys a particular prominence, since his memory is celebrated not only on  the day of his death (14 November) but also on the second Sunday in Lent. The first Sunday in Lent,  commemorating the definitive restoration of the holy ikons in 843 at the end of the  iconoclast controversy, is known as 'the Sunday of Orthodoxy' or 'the Triumph of Orthodoxy'. If St Gregory's  feast was assigned to the following Sunday, this means that his successful defence of the divine and uncreated  character of the light of Tabor and his victory over the heretics of his time - Barlaam, Akindynos, Gregoras and  others - were seen as a direct continuation of the preceding celebration, as nothing less than a renewed Triumph of  Orthodoxy.

Bom and brought up in Constantinople, St Gregory Palamas came from a distinguished family, closely linked  with the imperial house; his father was a personal friend of the Emperor Andronikos II and tutor to the future  Emperor Andronikos III.
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This longing is likewise from the intellect and coexists eternally with the thought-form and the intellect, and can  be called spirit since by nature it accompanies the thought-form. But this spirit in the case of angels is not life-  generating, for it has not received from God an earthy body conjoined with it, and so it has not received the power to  generate and sustain life. On the other hand the noetic and intelligent nature of the human soul has received a life-  generating spirit from God since the soul is created together with an earthy body, and so by means of the spirit it  sustains and quickens the body conjoined to it. This makes it clear to those who possess understanding that the spirit  of man 'that quickens the body is noetic longing (eros), a longing that issues from the intellect and its thought-form,  that exists in the thought -form and the intellect, and that possesses in itself both the thought-form and the intellect.  Through the spirit the soul possesses such a natural union of love with its particular body that it never wants to  abandon it, and it would never leave it at all if it was not forced to do so by some grave illness or affliction that  assails it from without.

39. Since the noetic and intelligent nature of the human soul alone possesses intellect, thought -form and life-  generating spirit, it alone -more so than the bodiless angels - is created by God in His image. This image the soul  possesses inalienably, even if it does not recognize its own dignity, or think and live in a manner worthy of the  Creator's image within it. After our forefather's transgression in paradise through the tree, we suffered the death of  our soul - which is the separation of the soul from God - prior to our bodily death; yet although we cast away our  divine likeness, we did not lose our divine image. Thus when the soul renounces its attachment to inferior things and  cleaves through love to God and submits itself to Him through acts and modes of virtue, it is illuminated and made  beautiful by God and is raised to a higher level, obeying His counsels and exhortations; and by these means it  regains the truly eternal life. Through this life it makes the body conjoined to it immortal, so that in due time the  body attains the promised resurrection and participates in eternal glory. But if the soul does not repudiate its  attachment and submission to inferior things whereby it shamefully dishonors God's image, it alienates itself from  God and is estranged from the true and truly blessed life of God; for as it has first abandoned God, it is justly  abandoned by Him.

40. The triadic nature sequent to the supreme Trinity - that is to say, the human soul - has more than other natures  been made by the  

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Trinity noetic, intelligent and spiritual. In this way it is created more than other natures in the image of the  Trinity. Thus it ought to maintain its proper rank, be sequent to God alone, yoked to Him alone, and subject and  obedient to Him alone. It ought to look only to Him and adorn itself with the constant mindfulness and  contemplation of Him, and with most fervent and ardent love for Him. For by these means it is wondrously drawn  back to itself or, rather, it draws to itself the mystical and ineffable glory of God's nature. Then the soul truly  possesses the image and the likeness of God and is thereby made gracious, wise and divine. When this glory is  manifestly present or when it approaches unnoticed, the soul now increasingly learns to love God more than itself  and to love its neighbor as itself. From this it learns to know and preserve its own dignity and rank, and truly to love  itself. On the other hand, 'He who loves injustice hates his own soul' (Ps. 11:5. LXX), and through tearing apart and  crippling the image of God in himself he suffers in a way similar to the mentally deranged who pitifully rend their  own flesh without being aware of it. Such a person unconsciously outrages and most wretchedly mutilates his innate  beauty, mindlessly shattering the soul's triadic, supra-mundane and love -filled world. What can be more wrong-  headed and pernicious than to refuse to remember, to refuse to gaze continually upon and love Him who created and  adorned the soul with His own image, thus conferring the capacity for spiritual knowledge and love, as well as  lavishing indescribable gifts and eternal life upon all who use this capacity aright.

4 1 . The noetic serpent, the author of evil, is one of the beings inferior to our soul, as he is also far inferior to other  creatures. He has now become an angel and herald of his own wickedness as a result of his wicked counsel to human  beings. He is so much more base than and inferior to all other beings that he desired in his arrogance to become like  the Creator in authority; and he was justly abandoned by God to the same degree that he himself had first abandoned  God. So total was his defection from God that he became His opponent and adversary and manifest enemy. Thus if  God is living Goodness and the Quickener of living things, clearly the devil is deadly and death-dealing evil. God  possesses goodness as His essence and by nature does not admit of its opposite, that is, evil, so that whoever  partakes of evil of any sort may not so much as draw near Him. How much more will He not drive as far as possible  from Himself the creator and originator of evil and the  

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cause of it in others? The evil one possesses not evil but life as his essence, and hence he lives immortally. Yet  his essence was capable of admitting evil since he was honored with free will. Had he voluntarily accepted a  subordinate status and cleaved to the everflowing Well-spring of goodness he would have partaken of true life. But  since he deliberately gave himself over to evil, he was deprived of true life and was justly expelled from it, having  himself abandoned it in the first place. Thus he became a dead spirit, not in essence - since death lacks substantial  reality - but through his rejection of true life. Yet unsated in his pursuit of evil and adding more and more to his  wretchedness, he made himself into a death-generating spirit, eagerly drawing man into communion with his own  state of death.

42. The mediator and cause of death, twisted in character and inordinate m craftiness, once insinuated himself into  a twisting serpent in God's paradise. He did not himself become a serpent (nor could he, except in an illusory form;  and this he preferred not to adopt at that time, for fear of being detected); but, not daring an open confrontation, he  chose a deceitful approach, trusting that by this means he would escape detection. Thus, having the. visible aspect of  a friend he could secretly insinuate the most hateful things, and by the extraordinary fact of his talking- for the  visible serpent was not endowed with intelligence, nor did it previously appear capable of speaking - he could  astonish Eve and draw her whole attention entirely to himself and by his devices make her easy to deal with. In this  way he was able immediately to induce her to subject herself to what is inferior and so to enslave herself to things  over which she was appointed to reign worthily, as she alone among visible beings had been honored by God with  intelligence and created in the image of the Creator. God permitted this so that man, seeing the counsel coming from  a creature inferior to himself - and, indeed, how greatly is the serpent his inferior - might realize how completely  worthless this counsel was and might rightly reject with indignation the idea of submitting to what was clearly  inferior to him. In this way he would preserve his own dignity and at the same time, by obeying the divine  commandment, would keep faith with the Creator. Thus he would have won an easy victory over the spirit that had  fallen away from true life, and would have justly received blessed immortality and would abide eternally in life  divine.

43. No being is superior to man so as to be in a position to advise  

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him and propose opinions and thus discern and provide what is fitting for him. But this is the case only if man  maintains his rank, knows himself and knows, too. Him who alone is superior to him, observing those things which  he learns from God and resolutely accepting God's counsel alone as regards anything proposed to him by others. For  although angels are superior to us in dignity, it is their task obediently to execute God's designs respecting us; for  they are ministers sent to serve 'those who are to be the heirs of salvation' (Heb. 1 : 14) - not all angels, of course, but  only the beneficent angels who have kept their own rank. The angels have received intellect, intelligence and spirit  from God, three co-natural qualities; and like us they should obey the creative Intellect, Intelligence and Spirit.  Although the angels are superior to us in many ways, yet in some respects - as we have said and as we will repeat -  they fall short of us with regard to being in the image of the Creator; for we, rather than they, have been created in  God's image.

44. The angels are ordained to serve the Creator effectively and their appointed role is to be ruled by God. But  they are not appointed to rule over beings inferior to themselves unless they are sent to do so by the Sovereign Ruler  of all. Yet Satan presumptuously yearned to rule contrary to the will of the Creator, and when together with his  fellow apostate angels he forsook his proper rank he was rightly abandoned by the true Source of life and  illumination and clothed himself in death and eternal darkness. But because man was appointed not merely to be  ruled by God but also to rule over all creatures upon the earth, the arch-fiend looked upon him with malicious eyes  and made use of every ploy to deprive him of his dominion. Being unable to use constraint, since he is prevented  from doing this by the Sovereign Ruler who created all intelligent nature free and self-determining, he deceitfully  suggested such counsel as would abolish man's dominion. He beguiled him or, rather, persuaded him to disregard,  disdain and reject, and indeed to oppose and to act contrary to the commandment and counsel given him by God. In  this way he induced man to share in his apostasy, and so to share also in his state of eternal darkness and death.  45. St Paul has taught us that the soul endowed with intelligence can be as if dead even though it possesses life as  its being; for he writes, 'The self-indulgent widow is dead while still alive' (1 Tim. 5:6). He could not have said  worse than this about the present subject of our  

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discourse, namely, the soul endowed with intelligence. For if the soul deprived of the spiritual Bridegroom does  not humble itself and mourn, and does not adopt the strait and grievous life of repentance, but is, on the contrary,  profligate, sunk in sensual pleasure and self-indulgence, it is dead even while it lives and even though it is immortal  in essence. It has the capacity for what is worse, death, and likewise for what is better, life. The apostle says that if a  widow deprived of her earthly bridegroom lives self -indulgently, although alive in her body she is utterly dead in her  soul. He also says elsewhere, 'Even when we were dead because of our sins God quickened us together with Christ'  (Eph. 2:5). As St John says, 'There is sin that leads to death and there is sin that does not lead to death' (1 John 5:16-  17). And the Lord Himself, in commanding a man to 'let the dead bury their own dead' (Matt. 8:22), made it clear  that those involved in the funeral, although alive in body, were utterly dead in soul.

46. The ancestors of our race willfully desisted from mindfulness and contemplation of God. They disregarded  His commandment, made themselves of one mind with the dead spirit of Satan and, contrary to the Creator's will,  ate of the forbidden tree. Stripped of their resplendent and life-giving garments of supernal radiance, they became,  alas, dead in spirit like Satan. But since Satan is not merely a dead spirit, but also brings death upon those who draw  near him, and since those who shared in his deadness possessed a body through which the deadly counsel took  effect, they transmitted those dead and death-dealing spirits of death to their own bodies. The human body would  have immediately decomposed and returned to the earth whence it was taken (cf Gen. 3:19), had it not been  preserved by divine providence and power, patiently awaiting the decision of Him who brings about all things  through His word alone. Without this decision nothmg at all is accomplished, and it is always just. As the Psalmist  says, 'The Lord is just and He loves justice' (Ps. 11:7. LXX).

47. Scripture tells us, 'God did not create death' (Wisd. 1:13). Rather, He impeded its inception in so far as this  was fitting, and in so far as it was consistent with His justice to obstruct those to whom He Himself had given free  will when He created them. For from the beginning God gave them a counsel that would lead to immortality, and so  that they would be safeguarded as far as possible He made His life-generating counsel a commandment. He clearly  foretold and forewarned that death would be the consequence of rejecting this  

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vivifying commandment, so that either through love or knowledge or fear they would protect themselves from the  experience of death. For God loves, knows and has the power to effect what is profitable for every created being. If  God only knew what is profitable but did not love it. He might have left unfinished what He knew to be good.  Again, if He loved what is profitable but did not know it or was unable to accomplish it, perhaps against His will  what He loved and knew would have remained unaccomplished. But since to the highest possible degree He loves,  knows and is able to effect what is profitable for us, everything that comes to us from Him, even though it be  without our wanting it, will certainly prove to be to our profit. On the other hand, it is greatly to be feared that  whatever we engage in on our own initiative, as creatures endowed with free will, will prove to be unprofitable for  us. When, however. God in His providence has plainly forbidden something, whether speaking directly, as He does  in paradise and in the Gospel, or else speaking through the prophets, as He does to the Israelites, or through the  apostles and their successors, as He does in the law of grace, it is clearly most unprofitable and destructive for us to  desire and pursue it. And if someone proffers it to us and induces us to seek it, either by persuasive words or by  enchanting us with apparent friendship, he is manifestly an enemy and hostile to our life.

48. Hence - whether out of love for Him who wants us to live (for why would God have created us as living  creatures if He did not especially want us to live?), or because we recognize that He knows what is for our profit  better than we do (and how could He who grants us knowledge and is the Lord of knowledge not know this  incomparably better than we do?), or out of fear for His almighty power - we ought not to have been misled, lured  and persuaded at that time into rejecting God's commandment and counsel; and the same now holds good with  regard to those saving commandments and counsels which we later received, just as now those who do not choose  courageously to resist sin, and who set the divine commandments at nought, end up - if they do not renew their souls  through repentance - by following a path that leads to inner and eternal death, so our two primal ancestors, by not  resisting those who persuaded them to disobey, violated the commandment. Because of this the sentence previously  proclaimed to them by Him who judges justly immediately took effect, so that as soon as they ate of the tree they  died. At this they understood in

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practice the meaning of the commandment which they had forgotten -the commandment of truth, love, wisdom  and power -and they hid themselves in shame (cf Gen. 3:7-8), perceiving themselves to be stripped of the glory that  bestows on immortal spirits a more excellent life and without which the life of spiritual beings is believed to be and  is indeed far worse than many deaths.

49. That it was not yet to our ancestors' benefit to eat of the tree is made clear by St Gregory of Nazianzos when  he writes: 'The tree, in my vision of things, is divine contemplation, which only those established in a high degree of  perfection can safely approach, while it is not good for those who are still immature and greedy in their desires, just  as solid food is not good for those who are yet tender and have need of milk.' But even if you do not want to refer  that tree and its fruit anagogically to divine contemplation, it is not difficult, I think, to see that eating its fruit was of  no benefit to our ancestors, since they were still immature. In my opinion they saw that the tree was the most  attractive in paradise to look at and to eat from. But the food most pleasant to the senses is not truly and in every  way good, nor is it always good, nor good for everyone. Rather it is good for those who can make use of it without  being mastered by it, and then only when it is necessary and to the extent that it is necessary, and for the glory of  Him who made it; but it is not good for those who are unable to make use of it in such a manner. It is on account of  this, I think, that the tree was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (cf. Gen. 2: 17). For only those fully  established in the practice of divine contemplation and virtue can have concourse with things strongly attractive to  the senses without withdrawing their intellect from the contemplation of God and from hymns and prayers to Him.  Only such people can make these things the material and starting-point for raising themselves to God, and through  this noetic movement towards God can totally master sensual pleasure. And even though displeasure may be novel,  and may be greater and more powerful because of its novelty, they will not allow their soul's intelligence to be  overcome by that which is evil, even though at the time it is regarded as good by those totally captured and mastered  by it.

50. Consequently our ancestors - who since they dwelt in the  

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sacred land of paradise should never have forgotten God - ought first to have acquired more practice and, so to  speak, schooling in simple, genuine goodness and to have gained greater stability in the life of contemplation. Being  still in an imperfect and intermediate state - that is to say, easily influenced, whether for good or evil, by whatever  they made use of - they should not have ventured on the experience of things pleasant to the senses. They ought  especially to have been on their guard against things that by nature greatly allure and dominate the senses and that  seduce the entire intellect and give access to evil passions, thus rendering plausible the originator and creator of  these passions. Now, after the devil, the cause of the passions is the impassioned eating of the most delectable kinds  of foods. For if, as Scripture testifies, simply the sight of the tree was enough to make the serpent an acceptable and  trustworthy counselor, how much more would the taste of the fruit have the same effect? And if this is true for the  taste, how much more is it so for eating to repletion? Thus is it not clear that it was not yet profitable for our  ancestors to eat of that tree through the senses? And because they did eat of it at the wrong time, was it not  necessary for them to be cast out of paradise, to prevent them from making that divine land a council-chamber and  workshop of evil? And should they not have undergone bodily death immediately after their transgression? But the  Lord was long-suffering and patient with them.

51. The soul's death sentence, brought into effect by man's transgression, was in accord with the Creator's justice;  for when our forefathers forsook God and chose to do their own will. He abandoned them, not subjecting them to  constraint. And, for the reasons we have stated above. God in His compassion had already forewarned them of this  sentence (cf Gen. 2:17). But in the abyss of His wisdom and the superabundance of His compassion he forbore and  delayed in executing the sentence of death upon the body; and when He did pronounce it He relegated its execution  to the future. He did not say to Adam, 'Return whence you were taken', but 'You are earth, and to earth you will  return' (Gen. 3:19). Those who listen to these words with intelligence can gather from them that God did not make  death (cf. Wisd. 1:13), neither that of the soul nor that of the body. He did not originally give the command, 'Die on  the day you eat of it'; on the contrary. He said simply, 'You will die on the day you eat of it' (Gen. 2:17). Nor did He  say, 'Return now to earth', but 'You will return'

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(Gen. 3:19). This He said as a forewarning, but He then delayed its just execution, without prejudicing the  eventual outcome.

52. Death was thus to become the lot of our forefathers, just as it lies in store for us who are now living, and our  body was rendered mortal. Death is thus a kind of protracted process or, rather, there are myriads of deaths, one  death succeeding the next until we reach the one final and long-enduring death. For we are bom into corruption, and  having once come into existence we are in a state of transiency until we cease from this constant passing away and  coming to be. We are never truly the same, although we may appear to be so to those who do not observe us closely.  Just as a flame that catches one end of a slender reed changes continually, and its existence is measured by the  length of the reed, so we likewise are ever changing, and our measure is the length of life appointed to each of us.

53. That we should not be entirely ignorant of the superabundance of His compassion for us and the abyss of His  wisdom. God deferred man's death, allowing him to live for a considerably longer time. From the first God shows  that His discipline is merciful or, rather, that He delays a just chastisement so that we do not utterly despair. He also  granted time for repentance and for a new life pleasing to Him, while through the succession of generations He  eased the sorrow produced by death. He increased the human race with descendants so that initially the number of  those being bom would greatly exceed the number of those who died. In the place of one man, Adam, who became  pitiable and impoverished through the sensible beauty of a tree, God brought forth many men who by means of  things perceptible to the senses became blessedly enriched with divine wisdom, with virtue, with knowledge and  divine favor: for example, Seth, Enos, Enoch, Noah, Melchisedec, Abraham, and those who were their  contemporaries or who lived before them and after them, and who proved to be their equals, or nearly so. But there  was no one among these great men who passed his life utterly free of sin, so that he might retrieve the defeat which  our forefathers had suffered, heal the wound at the root of our race and be sufficient warranty for the sanctification.  

blessing and return to life of all who followed. God foreknew this; and during the course of time He chose out  people from among the races and tribes who would produce that celebrated staff from which would blossom the  Flower that was to accomplish the saving economy of our whole race (cf Num. 17:8; Isa. 11:1).  

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54. the depth of God's riches, wisdom and compassion (cf. Rom. 1 1:33)! Had there been no death and had our  race not become mortal prior to death - for it is from a mortal root - we should not in fact have been enriched with  the firstfmit of immortality, nor should we have been called into the heavens, nor would our nature have been  enthroned 'above every principality and power' (Eph. 1:21) 'at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens' (Heb.  8:1). Thus God in His wisdom, power and compassion knows how to change for the better the lapses we suffer as a  result of our freely -willed perversion.

55. Many may blame Adam for being so easily persuaded by that wicked counselor and for rejecting the divine  commandment, thus becoming the agent of death for us all. Yet to wish to taste a deadly plant before actually doing  so, and to desire to eat of such a plant after having learned by experience that it is deadly, are not the same thing.  The man who drinks poison knowing that it is poison, and so wretchedly causes his own death, is more culpable  than he who takes poison and so kills himself without knowing beforehand that it is poison. Therefore each of us is  more culpable and guilty than Adam. But, you might ask, is that tree really within us? Do we still have a  commandment from God forbidding us to eat from that tree? Perhaps exactly that same tree is not within us, yet the  commandment of God is with us even now. And if we obey it, and try to lead our life in accordance with it, it frees  us from punishment for all our sins, as well as from the ancestral curse and condemnation. But if we now reject it,  and choose instead the provocation and counsel of the evil one, we cannot but fall away from the life and fellowship  of paradise and be cast into the gehenna of everlasting fire with which we were threatened.

56. What, then, is the divine commandment now laid upon us? It is repentance, the essence of which is never  again to touch forbidden things. We were expelled from the land of divine delight, we were justly shut out from  God's paradise, and we have fallen into this pit where we are condemned to dwell together with dumb creatures  without hope of returning - in so far as it depends on us - to the paradise we have lost. But He who initially passed a  just sentence of punishment or, rather, justly permitted punishment to come upon us, has now in His great goodness,  compassion and mercy descended for our sake to us. And He became a human being like us in all things except sin  so that by His likeness to us He might teach us anew and rescue us; and He gave us the saving counsel and  commandment of  

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repentance, saying: 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near' (Matt. 3:2). Prior to the incarnation of the  Logos of God the kingdom of heaven was as far from us as the sky is from the earth; but when the King of heaven  came to dwell amongst us and chose to unite Himself with us, the kingdom of heaven drew near to us all.

57. Since the Logos of God through His descent to us has brought the kingdom of heaven close to us, let us not  distance ourselves from it by leading an unrepentant life. Let us rather flee the wretchedness of those who sit 'in  darkness and the shadow of death' (Isa. 9:2). Let us acquire the fruits of repentance: a humble disposition,  compunction and spiritual grief, a gentle and merciful heart that loves righteousness and pursues purity, peaceful,  peace-making, patient in toil, glad to endure persecution, loss, outrage, slander and suffering for the sake of truth  and righteousness. For the kingdom of heaven or, rather, the King of heaven - ineffable in His generosity - is within  us (cf Luke 17:21): and to Him we should cleave through acts of repentance and patient endurance, loving as much  as we can Him who so dearly has loved us.

58. Absence of passions and the possession of virtue constitute love for God; for hatred of evil, resulting in the  absence of passions, introduces in its place the desire for and acquisition of spiritual blessings. How could the lover  and possessor of such blessings not love God above all, the Master who is Benediction itself, the only provider and  guardian of every good thing? For in a special way such a person is in God, and by means of love he also bears God  within himself, in accordance with the words, 'He who dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him' ( 1 John 4: 16).  Thus we can see both that love for God is begotten from the virtues and that the virtues are bom of love. For this  reason the Lord said at one point in the Gospel, 'He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who  loves Me' (John 14:21), and at another point, 'He who loves Me will keep My commandments' (cf. John 14:23). But  without love the works of virtue are not praiseworthy or profitable to the man who practices them, and the same is  true of love without works. St Paul makes this folly clear with reference to works when he writes to the Corinthians,  'If I do this and that, but have no love, it profits me nothing' (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-3); and with reference to love the  disciple especially beloved by Christ writes, 'Let us not love in word or tongue but in action and truth' (1 John 3:18).
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59. The sublime and worshipful Father is the Father of Truth itself, that is, of the Only-Begotten Son; and the  Holy Spirit is a spirit of truth, as the Logos of truth proclaimed (cf John 14:17). Those who worship the Father 'in  Spirit and in Truth', and who believe accordingly, are activated by Them. As St Paul says, 'It is through the Spirit  that we worship and pray' (cf. Rom: 8:26), while the Only-Begotten Son of God says, 'No one comes to the Father  except through Me' (John 14:6). Hence those who worship the supreme Father 'in Spirit and in Truth' are the true  worshippers (John 4:23).  

60. 'God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth' (John 4:24) - that is to say,  by conceiving the Incorporeal mcorporeaUy. For thus they will truly behold Him everywhere in His spirit and His  truth. Since God is spirit. He is incorporeal. That which is incorporeal is not situated in place, nor is it circumscribed  by spatial boundaries. Thus he who claims that God must be worshipped in certain restricted places within the  plenitude of heaven and earth neither speaks nor worships truly. As incorporeal, God is nowhere; as God, He is  everywhere. For if there were a mountain or place or creature where God is not. He would be circumscribed by  something. He is, therefore, everywhere, since He has no limit. But how can God be everywhere? As encompassed,  not by a part, but by the whole? Assuredly not, for then once again He would be a body. Thus since He sustains and  embraces everything. He is in Himself both everywhere and beyond everything, and is worshipped by His true  worshippers in His Spirit and His Truth (cf. John 4:23).

61. Since angels and souls are incorporeal beings, they are not in a particular place, yet neither are they  everywhere. They do not sustain all things, but themselves depend on Him who sustains them. Hence they, too, are  in Him who sustains and embraces all things, and they are appropriately delimited by Him. The soul, since it  sustains the body with which it is created, is everywhere in the body, although not in the sense of being located in a  place or encompassed; but it itself sustains, encompasses and quickens the body, by virtue of the fact that it is in  God's image.

62. Man is created more perfectly in God's image than the angels, both because he possesses in himself a  sustaining and quickening power and because he has a capacity for sovereignty. There is within our soul's nature a  governing and ruling faculty, and there is also that which is naturally subservient and obedient, namely, will,  appetite.  

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sense-perception, and in general everything that is sequent to the intellect and that was created by God together  with the intellect. And these things may be termed subservient even though, incited by a sin-loving disposition, we  rebel not only against the all-ruling God but also against the ruling power inherent in our nature. God, then, by virtue  of our capacity for sovereignty, has given us lordship over all the earth. But angels do not have a body joined to  them and subject to their intellect. Angels that have fallen have acquired a noetic volition which is perpetually evil,  while the good angels possess one that is perpetually good and has no need of a bridle. The evil one has no dominion  upon earth which he has not stolen, and it is therefore evident that he was not created as ruler of the earth. The Ruler  of All appointed the good angels to be overseers of the earth after our fall and our subsequent loss of rank, even  though, due to God's compassion, the fall was not total. For, as Moses said in his Ode, God established boundaries  for the angels when He divided the nations (cf. Deut. 32:8). This division took place after Cain and Seth, when  Cain's descendants were called men and Seth's descendants were called the sons of God (cf. Gen. 6:2). From that  time, it seems to me, the race from which the Only -begotten Son of God would take His flesh was foretokened by  the differentiation of names.  

63. As others have also pointed out, the threefold nature of our knowledge likewise demonstrates that we, to a  greater extent than the angels, are created in God's image. Indeed, this knowledge is not only threefold but also  encompasses every form of knowledge. We alone of all creatures have a faculty of sense -perception in addition to  our noetic and rational faculties. Since this faculty is united to our reason we have invented multifarious arts,  sciences and forms of knowledge. Only to man is it given to farm, to build and to produce from nothing -but not  from absolute non-being, for this pertains only to God. Indeed, even in God's case scarcely anything that He effects  in the world starts from nothing or utterly perishes, but when differently combined together things take a different  form. In addition, by the gift of God it pertains to men alone both to make the invisible thought of the intellect  audible by uniting it with the air and to write it down so that it may be seen with and through the body. God thus  leads us to a steadfast faith in the abiding presence and manifestation of the supreme Logos in the flesh. But angels  have no share whatsoever in any of these things.  

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64. Even though we still bear God's image to a greater degree than the angels, yet as regards the likeness of God  we fall far short of them. This is especially true if we compare our present state with that of the good angels.  Leaving aside other matters for the present, I shall simply say that perfection of the divine likeness is accomplished  by means of the divine illumination that issues from God. There is, I think, no one who reads the divinely inspired  Scriptures with diligence and understanding who does not know that the evil angels are deprived of this illumination  and are therefore 'under darkness' (Jude 6), whereas the divine intellects are entirely filled with divine illumination  and for this reason are called 'a secondary light' and 'an emanation of the Primal Light'. As emanations of the First  Light, the good angels also possess knowledge of sensible objects, though they do not apprehend these things by any  physical faculty of perception, but know them by means of a divine power from which nothing present, past or  future can be hidden.

65. Whoever partakes of this divine illumination, partakes of it to a certain degree; and to a proportionate degree  he also possesses a spiritual knowledge of created things. All who assiduously study the writings of the divinely  wise theologians know that the angels likewise partake of this illumination, and that it is uncreated but is not the  divine essence. Yet those who hold the views of Barlaam and Akindynos think otherwise and blaspheme this divine  illumination, obstinately affirming either that it is created or that it is the essence of God. And when they affirm it to  be created, they deny that it is the light of the angels. But let the revealer of things divine, St Dionysios the  Areopagite, concisely elucidate these three matters for us. 'The divine intellects,' he writes, 'move in a circular  fashion, uniting themselves with the unoriginate and unending illuminations of the Beautiful and Good.' It is clear to  everyone that by divine intellects he means the good angels. And by referring to these illuminations in the plural, he  distinguishes them from the divine essence, since this is single and is altogether Indivisible; and by calling them  unoriginate and endless, what else could he mean to say except that they are uncreated?

66. Through the fall our nature was stripped of this divine illumination and resplendence. But the Logos of God  had pity upon

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our disfigurement and in His compassion He took our nature upon Himself, and on Tabor He manifested it to His  elect disciples clothed once again most brilliantly. As St John Chrysostom says. He shows what we once were and  what we shall become through Him in the age to come, if we choose to live our present life as far as possible in  accordance with His ways.

67. Adam, before the fall, also participated in this divine illumination and resplendence, and because he was truly  clothed in a garment of glory he was not naked, nor was he unseemly by reason of his nakedness. He was far more  richly adorned than those who now deck themselves out with diadems of gold and brightly sparkling jewels. St Paul  calls this divine illumination and grace our celestial dwelling when he says, 'For this we sigh, yearning to be clothed  in our heavenly habitation, since thus clothed we will not be found naked' (2 Cor. (5:2). And St Paul himself  received from God the pledge of this divine illumination and of our investiture in it on his way from Jerusalem to  Damaskos (cf Acts 9:3). As St Gregory of Nazianzos, sumamed the Theologian, has written, 'Before he was  cleansed of his persecutions Paul spoke with Him whom he was persecuting or, rather, with a brief irradiation of the  great Light.'

68. The divine supraessentiality is never named in the plural. But the divine and uncreated grace and energy of  God is indivisibly divided, like the sun's rays that warm, illumine, quicken and bring increase as they cast their  radiance upon what they enlighten, and shine on the eyes of whoever beholds them. In the manner, then, of this faint  likeness, the divine energy of God is called not only one but also multiple by the theologians. Thus St Basil the  Great declares: 'What are the energies of the Spirit? Their greatness cannot be told and they are numberless. How  can we comprehend what precedes the ages? What were God's energies before the creation of noetic reality?' For  prior to the creation of noetic reality and beyond the ages - for the ages are also noetic creations - no one has ever  spoken or conceived of anything created. Therefore the powers and energies of the divine Spirit - even though they  are said in theology to be multiple  

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- are uncreated and are to be indivisibly distinguished from the single and wholly undivided essence of the Spirit.  69. The theologians affirm that the uncreated energy of God is indivisibly divided and multiple, as St Basil the  Great has explained above. And since the divine and deifying iUumination and grace is not the essence but the  energy of God, for this reason it comes forth from God not only in the singular but in multiplicity as well. It is  bestowed proportionately on those who participate in it, and corresponding to the capacity of those who receive it  the deifying resplendence enters them to a greater or lesser degree.

70. Isaiah has said that these energies are seven in number, and for the Jews the number seven signifies a  multiplicity. 'There shall come forth', he says, 'a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall come from it; and  seven spirits shall rest upon Him: the spirit of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, reverence, counsel, strength and  fear' (cf. Isa. 11:1-2). Those who hold the views of Barlaam and Akindynos dementedly maintain that these seven  spirits are created; but this error we have refuted exhaustively in our Refutation of Akindynos. Moreover, referring to  these energies of the Spirit, St Gregory of Nazianzos says, 'Isaiah likes to call the energies of the Spirit spirits.' And  Isaiah himself, the clarion voice of the prophets, not only distinguished them plainly from the divine essence by their  number, but also indicated the uncreated nature of these divine energies by the words 'rest upon Him'. For to 'rest  upon' is the privilege of a superior dignity. How, then, could those spirits that rest upon the humanity the Lord  assumed from us have a created character?

71. Our Lord Jesus Christ cast out demons 'with the finger of God', according to Luke (1 1:20); but Matthew says  'by the Spirit of God' (12:28). St Basil explains that the finger of God is one of the Spirit's energies. If one of these  energies is the Holy Spirit, most certainly the others are as well, as St Basil also teaches us. Yet there are not for this  reason many gods or many Spirits. These energies are processions, manifestations and natural operations of the one  Spirit and in each case the operative agent is one. Yet the heterodox make the Spirit of God a created being seven  times over when they assert that these energies are created. But let them be humiliated sevenfold, for

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the prophet Zechariah calls these energies 'the seven eyes of the Lord that look upon all the earth' (4:10). And St  John writes in Revelation, 'Grace be with you, and peace from God and from the seven spirits that are before His  throne, and from Christ' (cf Rev. 1 :4-5), thus making it clear to the faithful that these are the Holy Spirit.

72. When God the Father preannounced through the prophet Micah the birth in the flesh of His Only -begotten  Son, and wished to indicate also the unoriginate nature of Christ's divinity. He said: 'And His goings forth have been  from the beginning, even from an eternity of days' (5:2. LXX). The holy fathers explain that these 'goings forth' are  the energies of the Godhead, for the powers and energies are the same for Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet those  who strive to vindicate the views of Barlaam and Akmdynos proclaim these energies to be created. Let them,  however, come to their senses, late though it is, and comprehend who it is that exists from the beginning, and who it  is to whom David says: 'From eternity' - which has the same meaning as 'from an eternity of days' - 'and to eternity  Thou art' (Ps. 89:2). Let them intelligently consider, if they will, that when God said through His prophet that these  goings forth are from the beginning. He did not say that they came into being, or were made or created. And St  Basil, inspired by the Spirit of God, said, not that the energies of the Spirit 'came into being', but that they existed  'prior to the creation of noetic reality' and 'beyond the ages' ' Only God is operative and all-powerful from eternity,  and therefore He possesses pre-etemal operations and powers.

73. In obvious opposition to the saints, those who champion the views of Akindynos say that there is only one  thing that is uncreated, namely, the divine nature, and that anything that is in any way distinguished from the divine  nature is created. Hereby they declare the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to be created beings, for there is one and the  same energy for the three, and that of which the energy is created cannot itself be uncreated. Thus that which is  created is not God's energy - this is impossible - but what is effected and accomplished by the divine energy. This is  why St John of Damaskos teaches that the energy, although distinct from the divine nature, is

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also an essential, that is to say, a natural activity of that nature.' Since, then, it is the property of the divine energy  to create, as St Cyril has said, how could this energy be something created, unless it was activated by another  energy, and that energy in turn by still another, and so on ad infinitum. In this way we would always be looking for  the uncreated source of the energy.

74. Because both the divine essence and the divine energy are everywhere inseparably present. God's energy is  accessible also to us creatures; for, according to the theologians it is indivisibly divided, whereas the divine nature,  they say, remains totally undivided. Thus St John Chrysostom says, 'A drop of grace filled all things with  knowledge; through it miracles were wrought and sins forgiven.' Here, while indicating that this drop of grace is  uncreated, he hastens to make it clear that it is an energy of God but not His essence. Further, in order to show how  the divine energy diners both from the divine essence and from the hypostasis of the Spirit, he adds, 'I mean a part of  the energy, for the Paraclete is not divided.' Therefore God's grace and energy is accessible to each one of us, since it  is divided indivisibly. But since God's essence is in every way indivisible, how could it be accessible to any created  being?

75. Three realities pertain to God: essence, energy, and the triad of divine hypostases. As we have seen, those  privileged to be united to God so as to become one spirit with Him - as St Paul said, 'He who cleaves to the Lord is  one spirit with Him' ( 1 Cor. 6: 17) - are not united to God with respect to His essence, since all the theologians testify  that with respect to His essence God suffers no participation. Moreover, the hypostatic union is fulfilled only in the  case of the Logos, the God-man. Thus those privileged to attain union with God are united to Him with respect to  His energy; and the 'spirit', according to which they who cleave to God are one with Him, is and is called the  uncreated energy of the Holy Spirit, but not the essence of God, even though Barlaam and Akindynos may disagree.  Thus God prophesied through His prophet saying, 'I shall pour forth', not 'My Spirit', but 'of My Spirit upon the  faithful' (cf Joel 2:28. LXX).  

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76. According to St Maximos, 'Moses and David, and whoever else became vessels of divine energy by laying  aside the properties of then-fallen nature, were inspired by the power of God'; and. 'They became living icons of  Christ, being the same as He is, by grace rather than by assimilation.' He farther says. The purity in Christ and in the  saints is one.' As the divine Psalmist chants, 'May the splendor of our God be upon us' (Ps. 90:17. LXX). For  according to St Basil, 'Spirit-bearing souls, when illumined by the Spirit, both become spiritual themselves and shed  forth grace upon others. From this comes foreknowledge of things future, understanding of mysteries, apprehension  of things hidden, distribution of spiritual gifts, citizenship in heaven, the dance with the angels, unending joy, divine  largesse, likeness to God, and the desire of all desires, to become God.'

77. The angels excel men with respect to this grace, resplendence, and union with God. On this account they are  secondary luminaries, ministers of the supreme resplendence. The noetic powers and ministering spirits are  secondary lights and irradiations of the primal Light.' The angels are 'the first luminous nature after the Primal  Being, because they shine forth from It'. 'An angel is a secondary light, an emanation or a communication of the  Primal Light.' The divine intellects move in a circular fashion, uniting themselves with the unonginate and unending  illuminations of the Beautiful and Good', for 'God Himself and naught else is light for eternal beings'. 'What the sun  is for sensory beings. God is for noetic beings. He is the primal and supreme light illumining all intelligent nature.'  As St John Chrysostom says, when you hear the prophet saying, '1 saw the Lord sitting upon a throne' (Isa. 6:1),  understand that he saw not God's essence but His gift of Himself, and this even more obscurely than the supreme  powers behold it.

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78. Every created nature is far removed from and completely foreign to the divine nature. For if God is nature,  other things are not nature; but if every other thing is nature. He is not a nature, just as He is not a being if all other  things are beings. And if He is a being, then all other things are not beings. And if you accept this as true also for  wisdom, goodness, and in general all. things that pertain to God or are ascribed to Him, then your theology will be  correct and in accordance with the saints. God both is and is said to be the nature of all beings, in so far as all  partake of Him and subsist by means of this participation: not, however, by participation in His nature - far from it -  but by participation in His energy. In this sense He is the Being of all beings, the Form that is in all forms as the  Author of form, the Wisdom of the wise and, simply, the All of all things. Moreover, He is not nature, because He  transcends every nature; He is not a being, because He transcends every being; and He is not nor does He possess a  form, because He transcends form. How, then, can we draw near to God? By drawing near to His nature? But not a  single created being has or can have any communication with or proximity to the sublime nature. Thus if anyone has  drawn close to God, he has evidently approached Him by means of His energy. In what way? By natural  participation in that energy? But this is common to all created things. It is not, therefore, by virtue of natural  qualities, but by virtue of what one achieves through free choice that one is close to or distant from God. But free  choice pertains only to beings endowed with intelligence. So among all creatures only those endowed with  intelligence can be far from or close to God, drawing close to Him through virtue or becoming distant through vice.  Thus such beings alone are capable of wretchedness or blessedness. Let us strive to lay hold of blessedness.

79. When created beings are compared among themselves, some are said to be naturally akin to God and others  alien. The noetic natures that are apprehended by the intellect alone are, so it is claimed, akin to the Divinity,  whereas all natures subject to sense-perception are in every way alien to It; and those among them that are utterly  bereft of soul and unmoving are the most remote of all. Thus, when compared among themselves, created beings are  said to be naturally either akin or alien to God. Properly speaking, however, all of them in themselves are alien to  Him by nature. Indeed, it is no more possible to say how distant noetic nature is from God than how remote sense-  perception and the things of the realm of the senses are from noetic  

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beings. If we are, then, by nature so far removed from God, alas for us if we do not draw close to Him by freely  choosing to act well and to conduct ourselves with probity.

80. The inspired and universal tongue of the divine theologians, St John of Damaskos, says in the second of his  theological chapters: 'A man who would speak or hear anything about God should know with all clarity that in what  concerns theology and the divine economy not all things are inexpressible and not all are capable of expression, and  neither are all things unknowable nor are they all knowable. ' We know that those divine realities of which we desire  to speak transcend speech, since such realities exist according to a principle that is transcendent. They are not  outside the realm of speech by reason of some deficiency, but are beyond the conceptual power innate within us and  to which we give utterance when speaking to others. For neither can our speech explain these realities by  interpretation, nor does our innate conceptual power have the capacity to attain them of its own accord through  investigation. Thus we should not permit ourselves to say anything concerning God, but rather we should have  recourse to those who in the Spirit speak of the things of the Spirit, and this is the case even when our adversaries  require some statement from us.

81. It is said that on the portals of Plato's academy were inscribed the words, 'Let no man enter who is ignorant of  geometry.' A person incapable of conceiving and discoursing about inseparable things as separate is in every respect  ignorant of geometry. For there cannot be a limit without something limited. But geometry is almost entirely a  science of limits, and it even defines and extends limits on their own account, abstracted from that which they limit,  because the intellect separates the inseparable. How, then, can a person who has never learnt to separate in his  intellect a physical object from its attributes be able to conceive of nature in itselt7 For nature is not merely  inseparable from the natural elements in which it inheres, but it cannot even exist at any time without them. How  can he conceive of universals as universals, since they exist as such in particulars and are distinguished from them  only by the intelligence and reason, being perceived intellectually as prior to the many particulars although in truth  they can in no way exist apart from these many particulars? How shall he  

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apprehend intellectual and noetic things? How shall he understand us when we say that each intellect also has  thought and that each of our thoughts is our intellect? How shall he not ridicule us and accuse us of saying that each  man possesses two or many minds?

If, then, someone is unable to speak or conceive of things indivisible as distinct, how will he be able to discuss or  be taught anything of this sort concerning God, with respect to whom, according to the theologians, there are and are  said to be many unions and distinctions? But although the unions pertaining to God prevail over and are prior to the  distinctions, they do not abolish them nor are they at all impeded by them. The followers of Akindynos, however,  cannot accept nor can they understand the indivisible distinction that exists in God, even when they hear us speaking  - in harmony with the saints - of a divided union. For to God pertains both incomprehensibility and  comprehensibility, though He Himself is one. The same God is incomprehensible in His essence, but  comprehensible from what He creates according to His divine energies: according, that is, to His pre-etemal will for  us. His pre-etemal providence concerning us. His pre-etemal wisdom with regard to us, and - to use the words of St  Maximos - His infinite power, wisdom and goodness. But when Barlaam and Akindynos and those who follow in  their footsteps hear us saying these things which we are obliged to say, they accuse us of speaking of many gods and  many uncreated realities, and of making God composite. For they are ignorant of the fact that God is indivisibly  divided and is united dividedly, and yet in spite of this suffers neither multiplicity nor compositeness.

82. St Paul, the mouth of Christ, the chosen vessel, the glorious chariot of the divine name, says, 'From the  creation of the world the invisible realities of God, namely. His eternal power and divinity, may be perceived in  created things by means of intellection' (Rom. 1 :20). May, then, the essence of God be perceived in created things  by means of intellection? Certainly not. This is the madness of Barlaam and Akindynos and, before them, the  delusion of Eunomios. For, prior to them but in the same manner, Eunomios in his discourses wrote that from  created things we may comprehend nothing less than God's  



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essence itself. St Paul, however, is very far from teaching any such thing. For having just stated, 'What can be  known of God is manifest' (Rom. 1:19), and having thus indicated that there exists something else beyond that  which can be known about God and which He Himself has made manifest to all men of intelligence, he then adds:  'For from the creation of the world the invisible realities of God may be perceived in created things by means of  intellection.' You may in this way learn what it is that is knowable about God. The holy fathers explain that what is  unknowable in God is His essence, while what may be known is that which pertains to His essence, namely,  goodness, wisdom, power, divinity and majesty. These St Paul also calls invisible, though they are perceived in  created things by means of intellection. But how could these things, which pertain to God's essence and may be  perceived in things created, be themselves created? Therefore the divine energy, mtellected through created things,  is both uncreated and yet not the essence. For the divine energy is referred to not only in the singular but also in the  plural.

83. In refuting Eunomios, who claimed that the essence of God is revealed by created things, St Basil the Great  writes that 'created things manifest wisdom, art and power, but not essence'. Thus the divine energy made manifest  by created things is both uncreated and yet not God's essence; and those who like Barlaam and Akindynos say that  there is no difference between the divine essence and the divine energy are clearly Eunomians.

84. Most excellently does St Gregory of Nyssa, St Basil's bodily and spiritual brother, say in his refutation of  Eunomios: 'When we perceive the beauty and grandeur of the wonders of creation, and from these and similar things  derive other intellections concerning the Divinity, we interpret each of the intellections produced in us by its own  distinctive name. "For from the grandeur and beauty of created things the Creator is contemplated by way of  analogy" (Wisd. 13:5). We also call the Creator the Demiurge; Powerful, in that His power is sufficient to make His  will reality; and Just, as the impartial judge. Likewise the term God (Theos) we have taken from His providential  and overseeing activity. In this manner, then, by the term God we have been taught about a certain partial activity of  the divine nature, but we  
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have not attained an understanding of God's essence by means of this word. '

85. St Dionysios the Areopagite, the most eminent theologian after the divine apostles, having clarified the  distinction of the hypostases in God, says: 'The beneficent procession is a divine distinction, for the divine unity in a  transcendently united manner multiplies and makes itself manifold through goodness.' And a little further on he  says: 'We call divine distinction the beneficial processions of the Thearchy. For m bestowing itself upon all beings  and abundantly pouring forth participation in all good things, it is distinguished in its unity, multiplied in its  oneness, and made manifold without ceasing to be one ' Later he writes: 'These common and united distinctions - or,  rather, these beneficent processions - of the whole Godhead we will try to praise to the best of our ability.'

Thus St Dionysios shows clearly that there is also another distinction in God besides the distinction of the  hypostases, and this distinction that is different from that of the hypostases he calls the distinction of the Godhead.  For, indeed, the distinction of the hypostases is not a distinction pertaining to the Godhead. And he says that  according to the divine processions and energies God multiplies Himself and makes Himself manifold, and he states  in this respect that the procession may be spoken of both in the singular and in the plural. In regard to the distinction  of the hypostases, however, the Deity certainly does not multiply Himself, nor as God is He subject to distinction.  For us God is a Trinity, but not triple. St Dionysios also affirms that these processions and energies are uncreated,  since he calls them divine and says that they are distinctions pertaining to the whole Godhead. He likewise says that  the very Thearchy itself multiplies and makes Itself manifold according to these divine processions and energies,  though not certainly by assuming anything external. Furthermore, this most sublime of the divine hymnologists  promises to celebrate these processions; but he adds, 'to the best of our ability', in order to show that they transcend  all celebration.

86. Having said that the beneficent procession is a divine

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distinction, this same revealer of things divine adds: 'Yet the unconditioned communications are united with  respect to the divine distinction.' Here he groups together all the processions and energies of God and calls them  communications. He says further that they are unconditioned, lest anyone should suppose that these communications  are created effects such as the individual essence of each thing that exists, or the physical life of animals, or the  reason and intellect inherent in rational and noetic beings. For how could these things be unconditioned in God and  at the same time be created? And how could God's unconditioned processions and communications be created  things, since the unconditioned communication is naturally inherent in the communicator, as we see in the case of  light?

87. St Dionysios now goes on to celebrate these processions and energies with other godlike names, calling them  participable principles and essential participable principles. In many places in his writings he shows them to be  superior to existent things, and that they are the paradigms or exemplars of existent things, pre-existing in God by  means of a supra-essential union. How, then, could they be created? He then tells us what these paradigms are,  saying: 'We call paradigms the essence-forming logoi or inner principles of existent things; they unitedly pre-exist in  God, and theology refers to them as the predeterminations and divine and sacred volitions that determine and create  existent things. It is in accordance with them that the Supra-essential both predetermines and brings forth everything  that is.' How could me predeterminations and the divine volitions that create all existent things be themselves  created? Is it not clear that those who maintain that these processions and energies are created degrade God's  providence to the level of something created? For the energy that creates individual essence, life and wisdom, and in  general makes and sustains created beings, is identical with me divine volitions and the divine participable principles  and the gifts of supernal Goodness, the Cause of all.

88. The participable principle of absolute Being in no way participates in anything, as the great Dionysios also  says. But the other participable principles, in that they are participable principles of existent things, also participate  in nothing else whatsoever, for

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providence does not participate in providence, nor life in life. But in that they possess being they are said to  participate in absolute Being, since without this they can neither exist nor be participated in, just as there can be no  foreknowledge without knowledge. Thus, as essential participable principles, they are in no way created. Hence,  according to St Maximos, they never began to be and they are seen to pertain to God in an essential manner, and  there was never a time when they were not. But when the followers of Barlaam impiously suppose that because life  itself, goodness itself and so forth, share in the common denomination of existent things they are therefore created,  they do not comprehend that although they are called existent things, they are also superior to existent things, as St  Dionysios says. Those who for this reason place the essential participable principles among created things could  easily regard the Holy Spirit as created, whereas St Basil the Great says that the Spirit shares in names befitting the  Divinity.

89. Should someone claim that only absolute Being is a participable principle since it alone does not participate in  anything but is solely participated in, whilst the other participable principles participate in it, he should know that he  does not think aright with regard to the other participable principles. For living things or holy things or good things  are said to live and to become holy and good by participation, not simply because they exist and participate in  absolute Being, but because they partake of absolute life, holiness and goodness. But absolute life - and the same  applies to other such realities - does not become absolute life by participation in some other absolute life. As  absolute life, it is among those realities that are participated in, not among those that participate. How could that  which does not participate in life, but is itself participated in by living things and quickens them, be something  created? And one may say the same with regard to the other participable principles.

90. Let St Maximos now lend us his support. He writes in his Scholia that the providence creating existent things  is identical with the processions of God. He says: 'The creative providences and good-nesses' - those that bestow  individual essence, life and wisdom - 'are  

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common to the tn -hypostatic differentiated Unity ' By stating that these providences and goodnesses are many  and distinct, he shows that they are not the essence of God, since that is one and ahogether indivisible. But because  they are common to the tri-hypostatic differentiated Unity, he shows us that they are not identical with the Son or the  Holy Spirit, for neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit is an energy common to the three hypostases. Yet by stating that  they are not only providences and goodnesses but are also creative, he shows them to be uncreated. For if this were  not the case, then the creative power would itself be created by another creative power, and that in turn by another,  and so on to the uttermost absurdity, not even stopping at infinity. Thus God's processions and energies are  uncreated, and none of them is either divine essence or hypostasis.

91. In the incomparable superabundance of His goodness He who brought forth and adorned the universe  established it as multiform. He willed that some things should simply possess being, while others should possess life  in addition to being. Of these latter He willed that some should possess noetic life, that others should enjoy merely a  sensible life, while others again should possess a life mingled of both. When this last category of beings had  received from Him rational and noetic life. He willed that by the free inclination of their will towards Him they  should achieve union with Him and thus live in a divine and supernatural manner, having been vouchsafed His  deifying grace and energy. For His will is generation for things that exist, whether for those brought forth out of  non-being, or for those being brought to a better state; and this takes place in diverse ways. Because of the diversity  of the divine will with respect to existent things, the one providence and goodness of God - or, in other words. God's  turning towards inferior beings by reason of His goodness - both is, and is thus called by the divinely wise  theologians, many providences and goodnesses, for they are indivisibly divided and differentiated among divisible  things. Thus one is called God's power of foreknowledge, and another His creative and sustaining power. Further,  according to the great Dionysios, some bestow individual essence, some life, and some wisdom. Now each of these  powers is common to Father, Son and  

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Holy Spirit, and in each good and divine volition with respect to us it is Father, Son and Holy Spirit that are its  essence-bestowing, life-bestowing and wisdom-bestowing energy and power. These St Dionysios calls  unconditioned and undiminishable communications, elevating them above all created things and teaching us that  they inhere by nature in Him who communicates them.

92. Just as the sun without diminution communicates heat and light to those who participate in them, and itself  possesses these qualities as its inherent and essential energies, so the divine communications, since they inhere  without diminution in Him who bestows communion, are His natural and essential energies. Thus they are also  uncreated. When the sun sets beneath the horizon and is no longer visible, not even a trace of its light remains; yet  when it is visible, the eye that receives its light cannot but be mingled with it and united by it to the wellspring of  light. The sun's warmth, however, and its effects which contribute to the generation and growth of sensible things,  and to the manifold diversity of humors and qualities, do hot desert these creatures, even when there is no contact  with the sun through the sun's rays. In the same manner as indicated in this inadequate image taken from sensible  reality, only those who aspire after the supernal and most divine light participate integrally in deifying grace and by  it are united to God. All other beings are effects of the creative energy, brought forth from nothing by grace as a free  gift but not illumined by grace, which is the same as God's resplendence.

93. This resplendence and deifying energy of God, that deifies those who participate in it, constitutes divine grace,  but it is not the nature of God. This does not mean that God's nature is distant from those who have received grace -  and this is Akmdynos' ridiculous slander - for God's nature is everywhere; but it means that it is not participable,  since no created thing, as we have already shown, is capable of participating in it. The divine energy and grace of  the Spirit, being everywhere present and remaining inseparable from the Spirit, is imparticipable, as though absent,  for those who on account of their impurity are unfit to participate in it. Just as faces, so it is said, are not reflected by  every material, but only by such materials as possess smoothness and transparency, so the energy of the Spirit is not  found in all souls, but only in those possessing no perversity or deviousness. Again, it is said that the Holy Spirit is  present to all, but He manifests His power only in those who are purified from the passions, and does  

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not manifest it in those whose intellect is still confused by the defilement of sin.

94. The light of the sun is inseparable from the sun's rays and from the heat which they dispense; yet for those  who receive the rays but have no eyes the light is imparticipable and they sense only the heat coming from the rays.  For those bereft of eyes cannot possibly perceive light. In the same way, but to a greater extent, no one who enjoys  the divine radiance can participate in the essence of the Creator. For there is absolutely no creature that possesses the  capacity to perceive the Creator's nature.

95. Here let St John, the Baptist of Christ, as well as St John who was more beloved by Christ than the other  disciples, and St John Chrysostom, now bear witness with us that the participated divine energy is neither created  nor the essence of God. St John the Evangelist does so by what he writes in his Gospel, the Forerunner and Baptist  of Christ when he says: 'It is not by measure that the Spirit is given to Christ by God the Father' (cf. John 3:34). St  John Chrysostom explains this passage when he states: 'Here "Spirit" means the energy of the Spirit. For all of us  receive the energy of the Spirit by measure, but Christ possesses the Spirit's entire energy in full and without  measure. But if His energy is without measure, how much more so is His essence.' By calling the energy 'Spirit' - or,  rather, the very Spirit of God - as the Baptist did, and by saying that the energy is without measure, Chrysostom  showed its uncreated character. Again, by saying that we receive it by measure he indicated the difference between  the uncreated energy and the uncreated essence of God. For no one ever receives the essence of God, not even if all  men are taken collectively, each one receiving in part according to his degree of purity. Chrysostom then goes on to  reveal another difference between the uncreated essence and the uncreated energy, for he says, 'If the energy of the  

Spirit is without measure, how much more so is His essence '

96. If, according to the absurdities of Akmdynos and those who share his views, the divine energy does not m any  respect differ from the divine essence, then the act of creating, which is something that pertains to the energy, will  not in any respect differ from the act of

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begetting and the act of procession, -which are things that pertain to the essence. But if the act of creating is not  distinct from that of begetting and of procession, then created things will in no way differ from Him who is begotten  and Him who is sent forth. But if this is the case - as according to these men it is - then both the Son of God and the  Holy Spirit will in no way differ from creatures: all created things will be begotten and sent forth by God the Father,  creation will be deified, and God will share His rank with creatures. For this reason St Cyril, affirming the  distinction between God's essence and energy, says, 'The act of generation pertains to the divine nature, whereas the  act of creating pertains to His divine energy.' Then he clearly underscores what he has affirmed by saying, 'Nature  and energy are not identical.'

97. If the divine essence does not in any respect differ from the divine energy, then the act of generation and of  procession will in no respect differ from the act of creating. But God the Father creates through the Son in the Holy  Spirit. Thus, in the view of Akmdynos and his adherents. He also begets and sends forth through the Son in the Holy  Spirit.

98. If the divine essence does not in any respect differ from the divine energy, then neither does it differ from the  divine will. Thus the Son, who alone is begotten from the Father's essence, is according to these people also created  from the Father's will.

99. If the divine essence does not in any respect differ from the divine energy, and if the holy fathers testify that  God has many energies - for, as shown above. He has creative providences and goodnesses - then God also has  many essences. This is a view that no member of the Christian race has ever uttered or entertained.

100. If the energies of God do not in any respect differ from the divine essence, then neither will they differ from  one another. Therefore God's will is in no way different from His foreknowledge, and consequently either God does  not foreknow all things - because He does not will all that occurs - or else He wills evil also, since He foreknows all.  This means either that He does not foreknow all things, which is the same as saying that He is not God, or that He is  not good, which is also the same as saying that He is not God. Thus God's

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foreknowledge does differ from His will, and so both differ from the divine essence.

101. If the divine energies do not differ from one another, then God's creative power is not distinct from His  foreknowledge. But in that case, since God began to create at a particular moment. He also began to foreknow at a  particular moment. Yet if God did not have foreknowledge of all things before the ages how could He be God?

102. If God's creative energy does not differ in any respect from divine foreknowledge, then created things are  concurrent with God's foreknowledge. Thus because God unongmately has foreknowledge and what is foreknown is  unoriginately foreknown, it follows that God creates unoriginately, and therefore that created things will have been  created unoriginately. But how shall He be God if His creatures are in no way subsequent to Him?

103. If God's creative energy in no respect differs from His foreknowledge, then the act of creating is not subject  to His will, since His foreknowledge is not so subject. In that case God will create, not by an act of volition, but  simply because it is His nature to create. But how will He be God if He creates without volition?

104. God Himself is within Himself, since the three divine hypostases co-naturally and eternally cleave to one  another and unconfusedly interpenetrate each other. Yet God is also in the universe and the universe is within God,  the one sustaining, the other being sustained by Him. Thus all things participate in God's sustaining energy, but not  in His essence. Hence the theologians say that divine omnipresence also constitutes an energy of God.

105. If we have conformed ourselves to God and have attained that for which we are created, namely, deification -  for they say that God created us in order to make us partakers of His own divinity (cf 2 Pet. 1 :4) - then we are in  God since we are deified by Him, and God is in us since it is He who deifies us. Thus we, too, participate in the  divine energy - though in a different way from the universe as a whole - but not in the essence of God. Hence the  theologians say that 'divinity" is also an appellation of the divine energy.

106. The supra-essential, supra-existential nature that transcends the Godhead and goodness, in that it is more than  God and more than goodness, and so on, can be neither described nor conceived nor in any way contemplated, since  it transcends all thmgs and is surpassingly unknowable, being established by uncircumscribed power beyond the  

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supracelestial intelligences, and always utterly ungraspable and ineffable for all. Neither in the present age nor in  the age to come is there any name with which it can be named, nor can the soul form any concept of it or any word  express it; and there can be no contact with or participation in it, whether sensible or noetic, nor any imagining of it  at all. Thus the theologians hold that the closest idea we can have of this nature is that of its perfect  incomprehensibility attained by means of negation, or apophasis, since this nature is transcendentally privative of all  that exists or can be expressed. Hence he who possesses knowledge of the truth beyond all truth, if he is to name it  correctly, cannot legitimately call it either essence or nature. Yet it is the cause of all things and all things pertain to  it and exist on its account; and it is prior to all things and in a simple and undetermined manner it precontains all  things in itself. Thus it can be named loosely and inexactly from all things. Accordingly it can be called both essence  and nature, though property speaking we should name it the creative procession and energy whereby God creates  individual essences; for the great Dionysios says that this is 'the proper theological name for the essence of Him who  truly is'.

107. One can find the term 'nature' applied also to natural attributes, both in the case of created beings and in the  case of God. Thus St Gregory of Nazianzos says somewhere in his poems, 'It is the nature of my King to bestow  blessedness.' Now bestowing is not the nature of anything; it is, rather, the natural attribute of one who is beneficent.  Similarly, with regard to fire one can say that its nature is to ascend upwards and to cast light upon those who behold  it. Yet the motion in itself is not the nature of fire, nor is the production of light; rather its nature is the origin of the  motion. Hence natural attributes are also called nature. This is confirmed by the great Dionysios when he says  somewhere, 'It is the nature of the Good to bring forth and to save,' meaning that these acts are attributes of the  divine nature. Thus when you hear the fathers saying that God's essence is imparticipable, you should realize that  they refer to the essence that does not depart from itself and is unmanifest. Again, when they say that it is  participable, you should realize that they refer to the procession, manifestation and energy that are God's natural  attributes.  

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When you accept both statements in this sense you will be in agreement with the fathers.

108. Even the smallest portion of an essence possesses all that essence's powers. Thus a spark is both brilliant and  illuminating, it melts and bums whatever comes close to it, it is self -moving by nature and rises upwards and, in  brief, it is whatever fire is, of which it is a part. Similarly a drop of water possesses every quality that water has, of  which it is a drop; and a nugget possesses whatever quality is possessed by the metal of which it is a fragment. Thus  if we participate in the unmanifest essence of God, then, whether we participate in the whole of it or a part of it, we  would be all-powerful, and in the same way each existent being would be all-powerful. But all-powerfulness is not a  quality that even all mankind or all creation collectively possesses. St Paul shows this with abundant clarity when  referring to those who share in the deiiying gifts of the Spirit; for he testifies that not all the gifts of the Spirit belong  to each individual. 'To one', he says, 'is given the quality of wisdom, to another the quality of knowledge, to another  some other gift of the same Spirit' (cf 1 Cor. 12:8). And St John Chrysostom clearly thwarts in advance the error of  Barlaam and Akmdynos when he says, 'A man does not possess all the gifts, lest he think that grace is nature.' Yet  no intelligent person would suppose that grace, here distinguished from the divine nature, is created, for obviously  no one would be in any danger of supposing a created thing to be the nature of God. Moreover, the grace of the  Spirit, though differing from the divine nature, is not separated from it; rather, it draws those privileged to receive it  towards union with the Holy Spirit.

109. An essence has as many hypostases as there are partakers of it. We make as many hypostases of fire as the  number of lamps we light from a single lamp. Yet if, as our opponents assert. God's essence is participated in, and is  even participated in by everyone, this means that His essence is not tn-hypostatic, but multi-hypostatic. Who trained  in the divine doctrine will not recognize this as the absurdity of the Messalians? For the Messalians maintain that  those who have  

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attained the height of virtue participate in the essence of God. Yet the followers of Akindynos in their zeal to  surpass this blasphemy say that not only do certain people distinguished in virtue participate in the divine essence,  but all beings in general participate in it; and they say this on the spurious pretext that the divine essence is  everywhere present. But St Gregory of Nazianzos, eminent in theology, long ago refuted the dotty views of both the  Messalians and the Akindymsts when he said, 'He is "Christ", the Anointed, on account of His divinity; for it is the  divinity that anoints His human nature. This anointing sanctifies the human nature not merely with an energy, as is  the case with all others who are anointed, but with the presence of the whole of Him who anoints.' With one voice  the holy fathers have declared that the divinity dwells in those who are fittingly purified, but not as regards its  nature. Thus a person does not participate in God either according to His essence or according to His hypostases, for  neither of these can be in any way divided, nor can they be communicated to any one at all. Hence God is in this  respect totally inaccessible to all, though indeed He is also everywhere present. But the energy and power common  to the tri-hypostatic nature is variously and proportionately divided among those who participate in it, and is  therefore accessible to those who are blessed with it. For, as St Basil says, 'the Holy Spirit is not participated in to  the same degree by each person who receives Him; rather. He distributes His energy according to the faith of the  participant; for though He is simple in essence. He is diverse in His powers.'

110. That which is said to participate in something possesses a part of that in which it participates; for if it  participates not in a part only but in the whole, then strictly speaking it does, not participate in but possesses that  whole. Hence, if the participant must necessarily participate in a part, what is participated in is divisible. But the  essence of God is in every way indivisible, and therefore it is altogether unparticipable. On the other hand, the  property of the divine energy is to be divisible, as the holy father St John Chrysostom frequently affirms. Hence it is  the divine energy that is participated in by those who have been privileged to receive deifying grace. Listen, then,  once

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more to St John Chrysostom, as he clearly elucidates both these points, namely, that it is the energy that is  indivisibly divided and also participated in, and not the imparticipable essence from which the divine energy  proceeds. Citing the gospel words, 'Of His fullness we have all received' (John 1 : 16), he says, 'If in the case of fire,  where what is divided is both essence and body, we both divide it and do not divide it, how much more so is this the  case with respect to the energy, especially the energy of the unembodied essence?'

111. Further, that which participates in something according to its essence must necessarily possess a common  essence with that in which it participates and be identical to it in some respect. But who has ever heard that God and  we possess in some respect the same essence? St Basil the Great says, 'The energies of God come down to us, but  the essence remains inaccessible.' And St Maximos also says, 'He who is deified through grace will be everything  that God is, without possessing identity of essence.' Thus it is impossible to participate in God's essence, even for  those who are deified by divme grace. It is, however, possible to participate in the divine energy. To this does the  measured light of truth here below lead me, to behold and experience the splendor of God,' states St Gregory of  Nazianzos. As the Psalmist says, 'May the splendor of our God be upon us' (Ps. 90:17. LXX). There is a single  energy of God and the saints,' St Maximos clearly writes, who was one of their number; they are 'living icons of  Christ, being the same as He is, by grace rather than by assimilation.'

112. God is identical within Himself, since the three divine hypostases mutually coinhere and interpenetrate  naturally, totally, eternally, mseparably, and yet without mingling or confusion, so that their energy is also one. This  could never be the case among creatures. There are similarities among creatures of the same genus, but since each  independent existence, or hypostasis, operates by itself, its energy is uniquely its own. The situation is different with  the three divine hypostases that we worship, for there the energy is truly one and the  

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same. For the activity of the divine will is one, originating from the Father, the primal Cause, issuing through the  Son, and made manifest in the Holy Spirit This is clear from the created effects, for it is from the effects that we  know every natural energy. Although they are similar, different nests are made by different swallows, and different  pages are written by different scribes, though the materials used are the same. But with the Father, Son and Holy  Spirit it is not the case that each one of the hypostases has His own particular effect. Rather, all creation is the smgle  work of the three. Thus we have been initiated by the fathers to recognize from creation that the divine energy of the  three Persons whom we worship is one and the same, and that they do not each possess an individual energy which  merely resembles that of the other two.  

113. Since Father, Son and Holy Spirit unconfusedly and unmix-edly interpenetrate one another, we know that  they possess an activity and energy that is strictly one and unique. The life or power mat the Father possesses in  Himself is not different from that in the Son, since the Son possesses the same life and power as the Father; and the  same can be said of the Son and me Holy Spirit. As for those who think that the divine energy does not differ from  the divine essence because our life is nothing else but God Himself, and He Himself is pre-etemal life not in relation  to something else but in Himself, they are both ignorant and heretics. They are ignorant because they have not yet  learnt that the supreme Trinity is none other than God Himself, and that the supreme Unity is none other than God  Himself, though this in no way prevents the Unity from being distinguished from the Trinity. They are heretics  because they abolish both essence and energy, the one through the other. For what is dependent on another is not  essence; and what is self-subsistent is not dependent on another. Thus if the essence and the energy in no way differ  from each other, they abolish each other, or, rather, 1 should say that they expel from the number of the godfearing  those who say that there is no difference between them.

1 14. We, on the contrary, confess that the Son of God is our life as regards cause and energy, and that He is also  life in Himself absolutely and mdependently of all; and we declare mat He possesses both these attributes  uncreatedly. We likewise confess the same thing with reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. Thus this life of  ours, that as the cause of living things quickens us, is none other than Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For our tri-  hypostatic God is said to be our life as

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being its cause. And when in theology the divine life is spoken of not as cause, nor in relation to something else,  but absolutely and in itself, again it is not anything other than the Father and also the Son and the Holy Spirit. Such  doctrines in no way give offence to those who affirm that God is uncreated, not only as regards His essence and  hypostases, but also as regards the divine energy that is common to the three. We proclaim in our theology one God  in three hypostases, possessing a single essence, power and energy, as well as whatever other realities pertain to the  essence - realities that are called in Scripture assembly and fullness of divinity (cf Col. 2:9), and are perceived and  theologically declared to belong to each of the three holy hypostases.

115. Those who reject this divine energy, saying sometimes that it is created, and sometimes that it differs in no  respect from the divine essence, fabricate at other times a new heresy, teaching the doctrine that the sole uncreated  energy is the only-begotten Son of the Father. In order to validate this view they appeal to the words of St Cyril:  'The life that the Father possesses in Himself is nothing other than the Son, and the life that is in the Son is nothing  other than the Father. Thus He speaks the truth when He says, "1 am in the Father and the Father is in Me" (John  14:11).' Briefly and so far as we can we will now clarify the sense of the saint's words, and we will refute the  impiety of those who in their undisceming darkness oppose us. They wrongly maintain that the Son is not only  unlike the Father, but is also posterior to the Father, because He possesses the faculty of life and life itself not by  nature, but as something added from without, and by participation and adventitiously, and because He takes and  receives life from the Father, according to the words of Scripture, 'For as the Father has life in Himself, so has He  granted the Son also to have life in Himself (John 5:26).

St Cyril counters those who interpret the text of the Gospel in such an impious way. 'God', he says, 'is called life  by virtue of His energy, as the Quickener of living things. He is Himself the life of things that naturally live, since  He is the Creator of nature, just as He is also the Bestower of grace on those who live in a divine manner. But God is  also said to be life in Himself, not in relation to another, but mdependently  
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and in every way unconditionally.' The divine Cyril wanted to show that in neither of these two cases does the  Son differ from the Father, and that the fact that the Son receives something from .the Father does not indicate that  He is posterior to the Father, or that where His essence is concerned the Son is second to the Father in a temporal  sense. Thus among many other things St Cyril says, 'It is not as receiving something that the Son possesses being,  but as being He receives something.' Then he adds in conclusion: 'Therefore, the fact that the Son receives  something from the Father does not mean that where His essence is concerned the Son is second to the Father in a  temporal sense.' Here, then, he does not accept that the life which the Father has and which the Son receives from  the Father is the divine essence.

1 16. Further, the divine Cyril shows that although the Son of God is said by virtue of His energy to be life in  relation to living things, since He quickens them and is called their life, yet not even in this is He unlike the Father;  rather, by nature He is their life and He quickens them, just as the Father does. Then, continuing, St Cyril writes, 'If  the Son is not life by nature, how can He be speaking the truth when He says, "He that believes in Me has eternal  life" (John 6:47), and again, "My sheep hear my voice, and I give them eternal life" (John 10:27-28)?' Shortly after  St Cyril writes, 'To those who believe in Him He promises to give the life that belongs to and inheres in Him  substantially. How, then, is it possible to think that the Son did not have this life but received it from the Father?'  They should be ashamed, then, to say in their madness that, because this life is a natural attribute of God, therefore it  must be identical with God's essence. For neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Spirit offers us believers their  essence. We must dismiss such impiety.

1 17. The great Cyril confutes in a similar way those who are infected with Barlaam's disease when he says shortly  afterwards, 'In proceeding from the Father the Son takes with Him all that is by nature the Father's. Now one of the  Father's attributes is life.' By the words, 'one of the Father's attributes', he clearly demonstrates that the  

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Father has many attributes. In the opinion of those who think that life is the essence of God, this must mean that  God has many essences. Yet, apart from this impiety, to say that being and attribute are the same, except perhaps  with regard to some particular relation, also displays excessive ignorance. And even more senseless is it to say that  being and attributes - in other words, the one and what is more than one - are in no way different. For it is utterly and  completely impossible and senseless to assert that something should be both one and many with respect to the same  thing.

118. In stating, then, that life is one of the Father's attributes, the divine Cyril shows that in this passage, when  referring to life', he does not mean the essence of God. But let us produce his exact words where he states that God  has many attributes. For slightly later he says, 'Many excellent properties pertain to the Father, but the Son is not  without them either.' How could these many things that pertain to God be the divine essence? Wishing to indicate  some of these excellent properties that pertain to the Father, he refers to the words of St Paul, To the immortal,  invisible, and only wise God' (1 Tim. 1:17). Thus he shows even more clearly that none of God's attributes  constitutes the essence. How, indeed, could immortality, invisibility, and in general all the things said of God  privatively and apophatically, whether collectively or severally, be equated with the essence? For there is no essence  unless there exists this or that definite object. If to the divine attributes described apophatically are added those that  the theologians ascribe to God cataphatically, it is evident that none of them can be shown to disclose God's essence,  even though when necessary we apply all the names of these attributes to the supra-essential Being that is absolutely  nameless.

119. When attributes are in question, we necessarily ask what they pertain to. If they do not pertain to anything,  they are not attributes, and it is wrong to call them such. But if the attributes pertain to any one thing, and if this is  the essence, which according to our adversaries in no way differs from each one of the attributes and all of them  together, then, since there are many attributes, the one essence will be many essences; and that thing which is one in  essence will be many in essence, and therefore will have many essences. But if it is one and also has many essences,  it is necessarily composite. Delivering his adherents  

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from such impious and ignorant opinions, the divine Cyril says in his Treasuries: 'If that which pertains to God  alone is inevitably also His essence. He will be composed of many essences. For there are many thmgs that pertain  by nature to God alone and to no other being. Indeed, the divine Scriptures call Him King, Lord, incorruptible,  invisible, and say many thousands of other things about Him. If, then, each of His attributes is ranked with essence,  how can the simple God not be composite? But this is a most absurd view to hold.'  120. By many arguments St Cyril, wise in things divine, shows that even though the Son is life and is said to  possess life as energy, since He quickens us and is the life of living things, still He is not on this account unlike the  Father, for the Father, too, bestows hfe. He wanted also to show that even when the Son is said to be hfe and to have  hfe not in relation to something else but altogether independently and absolutely, yet in this case also He will not be  unlike the Father with respect to life. For when we call God our life, not in so far as He bestows life on us, but  altogether independently and absolutely, then we are naming His essence on the basis of the energy that pertains to  Him by nature, as we do also when we call Him wisdom, goodness, and so on. Wishing, then, to demonstrate this, St  Cyril says: 'When we say that "the Father has life in Himself" (John 5:16), we are at the same time calling the Son  life, for He is other than the Father only with respect to His hypostasis, but not with respect to life. For this reason  there is no question of compositeness or twofoldedness in the Father. And again, when we say that the Son has life  in Himself, and we mean life absolute, we are at the same time calling the Father life. For as the Father is life, not in  relation to anything else, but independently and in Himself, the Father and the Son coinhere in one another, as the  Son Himself said: "I am in the Father and the Father is in Me" (John 14:11).' In this way, then, the divine Cyril  demonstrates that the life that is in the Father - namely, the Son - is somehow both other and not other than the  Father. But our opponents say that the life that is in the Father is in no way other than the Father and is entirely  identical with Him since it is in no respect different By proposing such things and affirming that this life is the Only-  begotten Son of the Father, they necessarily range

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themselves not with the doctrines of the venerable Cyril but with those of Sabellius.

121. Do not the followers of Barlaam and Akmdynos roundly condemn themselves when they claim that the  divine Cyril contradicts himself? To affirm sometimes one thing, sometimes another, when both affirmations are  true, is a distinguishing mark of every orthodox theologian. But to contradict oneself does not betoken an intelligent  person. St Cyril quite rightly says that by nature the Son has life, which He gives to those who believe in Him. By  this he shows that not only the essence of God - which no one receives - but also His natural energy is called life.  This life has been received as a gift of grace by those whom He has quickened, and thus they themselves are able to  save - that is to say, to render immortal in spirit - those who previously were not alive in spirit, and sometimes to  restore people lifeless in one of their limbs or even in their whole body. How could St Cyril, who has demonstrated  these things so excellently and clearly, subsequently assert, with the intention of denying what he has said about the  divine energy, that only God's essence is called life? For this is what is senselessly maintained by those who now  pervert or, rather, misrepresent, what St Cyril says.

122. Not just the Only -begotten Son of God but also the Holy Spirit is called energy and power by the saints, and  this because the Son and the Spirit possess precisely the same powers and energies as the Father. For according to St  Dionysios God is called power, 'as both possessing it originally in Himself and transcending all power'. Therefore,  whenever one of those two distinct hypostases, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is called power or energy, it is  understood or expressed that He is so together with the Father. Thus St Basil the Great says. The Holy Spirit is a  sanctifying power that possesses essence, existence and hypostatic subsistence.' But in his writing about the Spirit he  also shows that the energies of the Spirit are none of them self-subsistent, in this way clearly distinguishing them in  turn from created things; for what come forth from the Spirit as created objects  

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are independent existences, for God creates them as essences with specific qualities.

123. Apophatic theology does not contradict or confute cataphatic theology, but it shows that although statements  made cataphatically about God are true and reverent, yet they do not apply to God as they might to us. For example.  God possesses knowledge of existent things, and we, too, possess this in some cases. But we know things in so far  as they exist and have come into existence, whereas God does not know them solely in this way, since He knows  them just as well even prior to their coming into existence. Thus he who says that God does not know existent things  as existent does not contradict him who says that God knows existent things and knows them as existent. There is  also a cataphatic theology which has the force of apophatic theologv, as when one says that all knowledge is  affirmed of some object, namely, the thing known, while God's knowledge does not refer to any object. This is the  same as saying God does not know existent things as existent, and He does not have knowledge of existent things -  that is to say, does not have it as we do. In this way it can be said that in terms of His pre-eminence God does not  exist But he who asserts this in order to show that people who say God exists are not speaking correctly, clearly  employs apophatic theology not in a way that connotes pre-eminence, but as though it connoted deficiency and  signified in this case that God has absolutely no existence whatsoever. This is the uttermost impiety, of which, alas,  those are guilty who by means of apophatic theology attempt to deny that God has both an uncreated essence and  uncreated energy. We, however, embrace both modes of theology, since the one does not exclude the other - rather,  by means of each we confirm ourselves in a sound way of thought.

124. I think a brief patristic quotation will be sufficient to confute utterly all the sophistries of Barlaam's followers  and prove them to be sheer folly. St Gregory of Nazianzos says: 'The Unoriginate, the First Originate and the One  who is with the First Originate, constitute one God. But the First Originate is not, because it is the First Originate,  separated from the Unoriginate. For its origin is not its nature, any more than to be without origin is the nature of the  other. These things pertain to the nature, but are not the nature itself" What, then? Shall we say that because origin  and unongmateness are not nature but  

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pertain to the nature that they are therefore created? Not unless we are out of our mind. And is God composite  because origin and unoriginateness are uncreated and pertain to His nature? Certainly not; for though they pertain to  His nature, they are yet distinct from it. But, as St Cyril and other fathers teach at length, if the natural attributes of  God are identified with the nature, then the Divinity is composite. Read through the writings against Eunomios by  St Basil the Great and his brother, St Gregory of Nyssa, who fraternally shares his views. There you will find clearly  that the followers of Barlaam and Akindynos are in agreement with Eunomios, and you will have ample refutations  to use against them.

125. The Eunomians asserted that the Father and the Son did not have the same essence, and they came to this  conclusion because they imagined that everything predicated of God is said with regard to His essence; and so they  contentiously argued that because to beget and to be begotten are different, on this account there are also different  essences. The Akindynists assert that it cannot be one and the same God who possesses both a divine essence and  divine energy, because they imagine that everything predicated of God is essence; and so they contentiously argue  that, if there is any difference between divine essence and energy, there are also many different gods. To refute both  groups it is enough to show that not everything predicated of God is said with regard to His essence; it can be said  relatively, that is, with relation to something that is not God's essence. For example, the Father is spoken of in  relation to the Son, for the Son is not the Father. And God is called Lord in relation to the subject creation, for God  is Lord over beings that are in time and in the eternal age, and also Lord over the ages themselves. But this dominion  is an uncreated energy of God, distinct from His essence in that it is said in relation to something else, something  which He Himself is not

126. The Eunomians maintain that everything that is attributed to God is essence. In this way they conclude that  unbegottenness is God's essence, thus degrading - so far as they can - the Son to the rank of a creature because He  differs from the Father. Their purpose, they claim, is to avoid positing two Gods; the first, unbegotten, and the one  who comes second after Him, begotten. In imitation of the Eunomians, the Akindynists maintain that everything that  is attributed to God is

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  essence, and in this way they impiously degrade God's energy to the rank of creature - the energy that although  inseparable from God nevertheless differs from His essence in that it originates from the essence and is participated  in by created things; for, as St Dionysios says, 'AH things participate in the providence that wells forth from the  Godhead, the Cause of all.' Their purpose, the Akindynists claim, is to avoid positing two Godheads: one, the tri-  hypostatic essence that transcends name, cause, and participation; and the other, God's energy that proceeds from the  essence, is participated in, and is named. They do not comprehend that, just as God the Father is called Father in  relation to His own Son and fatherhood pertains to Him as an uncreated property, even though the name 'Father'  does not betoken the essence, so likewise God possesses energy uncreatedly, even though energy differs from  essence. When we speak of one Godhead, we speak of everything that God is, namely, both essence and energy.  

Consequently the Akindynists are the ones who impiously split God's single divinity into created and uncreated.

127. An accident is that which comes into existence and passes out of existence, and in this way we can conceive  of inseparable attributes as well. From one point of view, a natural attribute is also an accident, since it increases and  decreases, as, for instance, knowledge in the soul endowed with intelligence. But there is no such thing in God  because He remains entirely changeless. For this reason nothing can be attributed to Him that is an accident. Yet not  all things said of God betoken His essence. For what belongs to the category of relation is also predicated of Him,  and this is relative and refers to relationship with something else, and does not signify essence. Such is the divine  energy in God. For it is not essence, nor an accident, even though it is called a kind of accident by some theologians,  who mean to say simply this, that it is in God and that it is not essence.

128. St Gregory of Nazianzos, when writing about the Holy Spirit, teaches us that, even though the divine energy  is as it were also an accident, it is still seen to be m God without thereby making God composite. For he says, 'The  Holy Spirit must either be ranked among beings that are self-existent or among those that are seen to be in another.  Those skilled in such matters call the former essence and the latter accident. If the Holy Spirit were an accident. He  would be an  

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energy of God. For what else, or of whom else, could He be? And this avoids making God composite.' He is  clearly saying that if the Spirit is one of the things seen to be in God, and so is not essence, but is an accident and is  called Spirit, He cannot be anything other than God's energy. This he indicated by saying, 'For what else, or of  whom else, could He be?' In order to make it clear also that apart from energy nothing else - not quality, or quantity,  or anything else of this kind - can be seen to be in God, he adds, 'And this avoids making God composite.' But how  does the energy, though it is seen to be in God, not introduce composition into God? Because only God possesses  completely impassible energy: He alone acts without being acted upon. He does not come into existence, nor does  He change.

129. Slightly before this, in contrasting this energy with what is created, St Gregory also shows that he regarded it  as uncreated. For he says, 'Of the wise men among ourselves, some have supposed the Spirit to be an energy, others  a created thing, and still others God.' By 'God' here he means the actual hypostasis; and by distinguishing the energy  from what is created he clearly demonstrates that it is not created. Shortly afterwards he calls the energy an activity  of God. How could God's activity not be uncreated? St John of Damaskos writes on this question: 'The energy is the  dynamic and essential activity of the nature. That which possesses the capacity to energize is the nature from which  the energy proceeds. That which is energized is the effect of the energy. That which energizes is what uses the  energy, that is to say, the hypostasis. '

130. In the same work St Gregory also says, 'If He is energy, then He will be energized but will not energize; and  He will cease to exist once He has been energized.' From this the followers of Akmdynos conclude and declare that  the divine energy is created. They do not understand that being energized can also be said of uncreated realities, as  St Gregory shows when he says that if 'Father' is the name of an energy, 'then what the Father energizes will be the  consubstantiality of the Son'. And St John of Damaskos also says, 'Christ sat at the right  

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hand of God, divinely energizing universal providence" Yet neither does the expression 'He rested' call in  question the uncreated nature of the energy. For in creating God begins and ceases: as Moses says, 'God rested from  all the works that He had begun to make' (Gen. 2:1). But the act of creating itself, with respect to which God begins  and ceases, is a natural and uncreated energy of God.

131. After saying, 'The energy is the dynamic and essential activity of the nature', St John of Damaskos seeks to  demonstrate that, according to St Gregory of Nazianzos, this energy is both actuated and ceases to act. For he adds,  'We should realize that the energy is an activity and is energized rather than energizes. As St Gregory the  Theologian says in his homily on the Holy Spirit, "If He is energy, then He will be energized but will not energize;  and He will cease to exist once He has been energized".' Thus it is obvious that those who share the views of  Barlaam and Akindynos, and who teach that the energy of which St Gregory here speaks is created, mindlessly  degrade to the rank of a creature God's natural and essential energy. Yet St John of Damaskos, when he affirms that  this energy is not only energized but also energizes, shows thereby that it is uncreated. That in this St John does not  disagree with St Gregory I have made abundantly clear in my longer works.

132. In God the hypostatic properties are affirmed relatively one to the other. The hypostases differ from each  other, but not with respect to essence. Sometimes God is also referred to in relation to creation. Yet God, the All-  Holy Trinity, cannot be called Father in the same way that He is called pre-etemal, pre-unoriginate, great and good.  For it is not each of the three hypostases that is the Father, but only one of them, from whom and to whom  subsequent realities are referred. None the less, in relation to creation the Trinity can also be called the Father,  because creation is the joint work of the Three, brought forth from absolute nothingness, and because our adoption  as sons is achieved through the bestowal of the grace common to the Three. The scriptural texts, 'The Lord your God  is one Lord' (cf. Deut. 6:4) and 'One is our Father in heaven' (cf. Matt. 6:9; 23:9), refer to the Holy Trinity as our one  Lord and God, and also as our Father who  

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through His grace confers on us a new birth. As we said, the Father is called Father only in relation to His  

coessential Son. In relation to both Son and Spirit He is called Principle, as He is also called Principle in relation to  creation, but here in the sense that He is the Creator and Master of all creatures. Thus when the Father is called such  things in relation to creation, the Son is also Principle, though they constitute not two Principles but one. For the Son  is called Principle in relation to creation, as He is likewise called Master in relation to the created things subject to  Him. Thus the Father and the Son, together with the Spirit, are - in relation to creation - one Principle, one Master,  one Creator, one God and Father, one Provider and Overseer, and so on. Yet none of these properties constitute the  essence, for if it was the essence it could not have been spoken of in relation to another.

133. States, conditions, places, times, and any other such thing are not literally but metaphorically predicated of  God. But to create and to energize can in the truest sense be predicated of God alone; for only God creates. He does  not come into existence nor with respect to His essence is He acted upon. He alone through all things creates each  one. He alone creates from absolute nothingness, since He possesses energy that is all-powerful. With respect to this  energy He can be referred to in relation to creation and possesses potentiality. For He Himself in His own nature is  not capable of being affected by anything at all, but if He wishes He is capable of adding to His creations. For God  in His essence to be capable of being affected, of possessing or acquiring something, would denote weakness. But  for God through His energy to be capable of creating, and of possessing and adding to His creations whenever He  wishes, is a token of divinely fitting and almighty power.

134. All existent things can be grouped into ten categories, namely, essence, quantity, quality, relation, place,  time, activity, passivity, possession and dependence; and these ten categories apply likewise to everything  subsequently seen to pertain to essence. But God is supra-essential essence, in which can be seen only relation and  activity or creation, and these two things do not produce in His essence any composition or change. For God creates  all things without being affected in His essence. He is Creator in relation to creation, and also its Principle and  Master in that it has its origin in Him and is dependent on Him. But He is also our Father, since by grace He confers  on us rebirth. Yet He is Father, too, in relation to the Son who is completely without any temporal beginning. The  Son is Son in relation to the

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Father, while the Spirit is the projection of the Father, coetemal with the Father and the Son, being of one and the  same essence. Those who assert that God is only essence, with nothing to be seen in Him, fabricate a God who has  neither creativity and energy nor relation. But if He whom they suppose to be God does not possess these properties,  then He is neither active nor Creator, nor does He possess an energy; and neither is He Principle, Creator and  Master, nor is He our Father by grace. For how could He be these things if relation and creativity are not to be  envisaged in His essence? Furthermore, if relation is not to be envisaged in God's essence, the tri-hypostatic  character of the Godhead is also abolished. But He who is not tn-hypostatic is not the Master of all or God. Thus  those who hold the views of Barlaam and Akmdynos are atheists.

135. God also possesses that which is not essence. Yet because it is not essence it is not on that account an  accident. For that which not only does not pass away but which also neither admits nor induces in itself the slightest  increase or decrease, cannot be included among accidents. But the fact that it is neither an accident nor essence does  not mean that it has no existence: it exists and it truly exists. It is not an accident, because it is altogether changeless.  But again it is not an essence, because it is not among those things that are self-subsistent. It is because of this that  some theologians say that it is in a certain way an accident, by which they wish only to indicate that it is not essence.  But because each hypostatic property and each of the hypostases is neither an essence nor an accident in God, is it  on this account totally nonexistent? Certainly not. In the same way, then. God's divine energy is neither an essence  nor an accident, nor is it something utterly nonexistent. To speak in accord with all the theologians: if God creates  by will and not simply because it is His nature to do so, then to will is one thing and natural being is another. If this  is so, it means that God's volition is other than the divine essence. Does it follow from this that because in God the  will is other than the nature and is not an essence it therefore does not exist at all? Certainly not: it does exist and it  pertains to God, who possesses not only essence but also a will with which He creates. One may if one wishes say  that it is in a certain way an accident, since it is not an essence; yet neither is it in the strict sense an accident, since it  does not produce any composition or alteration. Thus God possesses both essence and that which is not essence,  even if it should not be called an accident, namely, the divine will and energy.  

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136. Unless an essence has an energy distinct from itself, it will entirely lack actual existence and will be a mere  mental concept. For man as a general concept does not think, does not have opinions, does not see, does not smell,  does not speak, does not hear, does not walk, does not breathe, does not eat and, in short, does not have an energy  which is distinct from his essence, and which shows that he possesses an individual state of being. Thus man as a  general concept entirely lacks actual existence. But when man possesses an inherent energy distinct from his  essence, whether it be one or many or all of those activities we have mentioned, it is known thereby that he  possesses an individual state of being and does not lack actual existence. And because these energies are observed  not only in one or two or three but in a great number of individuals, it is clear that man exists in countless individual  states of being.

137. According to the true faith of God's Church which by His grace we hold, God possesses inherent energy that  makes Him manifest and is in this respect distinct from His essence. For He foreknows and provides for inferior  beings; He creates, sustains, rules and transforms them according to His own will and knowledge. In this way it is  clear that He possesses an individual state of being, and that He is not simply essence lacking actual existence. But  since all these energies are to be seen not in one but in three Persons, God is known to us as one essence existing in  three individual states of being or hypostases. But the followers of Akmdynos, by asserting that God does not have  inherent energy that makes Him manifest and is in this respect distinct from His essence, are saying that God does  not possess an individual state of being, and they entirely deprive the tri-hypostatic Lord of actual existence. In this  way they excel Sabellius the Libyan in heresy; for their total impiety is worse than his corrupt piety.  

138. The energy of the three divine hypostases is one not in the sense that each has an energy similar to that of the  others, as is the case with us, but in the sense of true numerical unity. This is something which those who hold the  views of Akmdynos are unable to accept. For they say that there is no common, uncreated energy pertaining to the  three hypostases and that the hypostases are energies of one another, since according to them there is no common  divine energy. Thus they are unable to affirm that the three hypostases possess a single energy, and by excluding  now one, now another energy they again deprive the tri-hypostatic God of actual existence.  

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139. Because those diseased in soul with Akmdynos's delusions say that the energy that is distinct from God's  essence is created, they conclude that God's creative power is created. For it is impossible to act and create without  an energy, just as it is impossible to exist without existence. Therefore, just as one cannot say that God's existence is  created and at the same trnie affirm that His being is uncreated, so also one cannot say that God's energy is created  and at the same time affirm that His power to act and create is uncreated.

140. According to those who hold the true faith - and contrary to Akindynos's nonsensical and impious ramblings  - created things are not the energy of God, but they are the effects of the divine energy. For if the created things are  the energy, either such things are uncreated - which is sheer folly, for it would mean that they exist before they are  created - or else prior to created things God possesses no energy; and this is mere godlessness. For of course God is  eternally active and all-powerful. Thus creatures are not God's energy, but things that (whatever the precise  terminology employed) have been actualized and effected. But God's energy, according to the theologians, is  uncreated and coetemal with God.

141. The energy is not known from the essence; but we do know from the energy that the essence exists, though  we do not know what it is. Thus according to the theologians God's existence is known from His providence, not  from His essence. Such, then, is the way in which energy can be distinguished from essence: the energy is that  which makes known, while the essence is that whose existence is made known by the energy. The advocates of  Akindynos's impiety,, in their anxiety to persuade us that the divine energy in no way differs from the divine  essence, abolish that which makes God known, and so end up by trying to convince us that we cannot know that  God exists - since they at any rate have no knowledge of Him. But he who does not even know that God exists will  be the most godless and stupid of men.

142. When the Akmdymsts say that, although God possesses an energy, it does not in any way differ from His  essence, they attempt thus to cloak their own impiety and sophistically to mislead and deceive their hearers.  Sabellius the Libyan likewise said that God the Father has a Son who differs in no way from the Father. But just as  he was guilty of teaching that the Father is without a Son, since he denied their hypostatic distinction, so now these  people are guilty of holding that God has no energy whatsoever, since they assert that the divine  

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energy in no way differs from the divine essence. If, indeed, there were no difference between these two, God  would possess no capacity for creating and actuating, for according to the theologians it is impossible to act without  an energy, just as it is impossible to exist without existence. For those who think rightly, there is also another fact  which indicates that there is a difference between the divme energy and the divine essence. The energy actuates  something else, not identical with the one who acts. God actuates and makes created things, but He Himself is  uncreated. Further, a relationship is always affirmed in relation to something else: son is spoken of in relation to  father, but a son is never father of his father. Therefore, as it is impossible for the relationship not to differ in any  way from the essence and for it to be itself the essence instead of being in the essence, so likewise it is impossible  for the energy not to differ from the essence but to be the essence, even though this may give offence to Akindynos.

143. St Basil the Great, when he writes of God in his Syllogistic Chapters, says, 'The energy is neither the one  who energizes nor that which is energized. Therefore the energy is not to be confused with the essence." St Cyril  likewise affirms concerning God: To create pertains to energy, to beget pertains to nature. But nature and energy are  not identical' And St John of Damaskos writes, 'Generation is an operation of the divine nature, but the creation is  an operation of the divine will.' And elsewhere he says clearly, 'Energy is one thing and that which has the capacity  to energize is another. For energy is the essential activity of the nature. That which possesses the capacity to  energize is the nature from which the energy proceeds.' The energy, then, according to the holy fathers, differs in  many ways from the divine essence.

144. God's essence is entirely unnamable since it is also completely incomprehensible. Therefore we name it on  the basis of all its energies, although with respect to the essence itself none of those names means anything different  from any other. For by each name and by all names together nothing other is named except that which is hidden and  whose real identity is unknown to all. But with respect to the energies.  

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each of these names has a different significance, for we all know that the acts of creating, ruling, judging,  providential guidance, and of God's adopting us as sons through His grace, are acts that differ from one another.  Thus when the Akindynists say that these natural, divine energies are created because they differ both from one  another and from the divine nature, what else are they doing except degrading God and making Him a creature? For  things that are created, ruled, judged and so on, are creatures and not the Creator, the Ruler, and the judge. And the  same can be said of the acts of judging, ruling, and creating, which are acts that by nature pertain to God.  

145. Just as the essence of God is altogether without name because according to the theologians it transcends all  names, so it is also miparticipable in that according to them it transcends participation. Thus those who in our day  disbelieve the teaching of the Spirit given through our holy fathers and who revile us when we agree with the  fathers, say that if the divine energy differs from the divine essence, even though it is envisaged as wholly pertaining  to God's essence, then either there will be many gods or the one God will be composite. They are unaware that it is  not activating and energy but being acted upon and passivity that produce composition. God activates without in any  way being acted upon or subject to change. Thus He is not composite on account of His energy. Furthermore, God  also possesses relationship and is related to creation, as being its Principle and Master; but He is not on this account  numbered among things that have come into existence. And how will there be many gods because of God possessing  an energy, since the energy pertains to one God or, rather, since God Himself is both the divine essence, and the  divine energy? All this is clearly folly deriving from a demented state of mind.

146. The Lord said to His disciples, 'There are some standing here who will not taste death till they have seen the  kingdom of God come with power' (Mark 9:1); and after six days He took Peter, James and John, and when they had  ascended Mount Tabor He shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light (cf Matt. 17:1-2). When the  disciples could look at it no longer or, rather, because they lacked the strength to gaze at the brightness, they fell  prostrate to the earth (cf. Matt. 17:6). None the less, in accordance with the Savior's promise they did see the  kingdom of God, that divine and inexpressible light. St Gregory of Nazianzos and, St Basil call this light 'divinity',  saying that 'the light is the divinity manifested to the disciples on the  

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Mount', and that it is 'the beauty of Him who is almighty, and His noetic and contemplatable divinity'. St Basil the  Great also says that this light is the beauty of God contemplated by the saints alone in the power of the divine Spirit;  and again he writes, 'On the mountain Peter and the sons of thunder saw His beauty shining more brightly than the  sun; and they were privileged to receive with their eyes a foretaste of His advent.' St John of Damaskos as well as St  John Chrysostom call that light a natural ray of the Divinity. The former writes, 'Because the Son was begotten  unoriginately from the Father, He possesses the natural, unongmate ray of the Divinity; and the glory of the Divinity  becomes the glory of His body.' And St John Chrysostom says, 'The Lord appeared upon the mountain more radiant  than Himself because the Divinity revealed its rays.'

147. This divine and inexpressible light. God's divinity and kingdom, the beauty and resplendence of the divine  nature, the vision and delight of the saints in the age without end, the natural ray and glory of the Divinity - this the  followers of Akindynos call an apparition and a creature. Further, they slanderously call ditheists those who refuse  to blaspheme as they do against the divine light and who affirm God to be uncreated both in His essence and in His  energy. But they should be ashamed, for though the divine light is uncreated, there is for us one God in one divinity,  since, as has been shown above in many different ways, both the uncreated essence and the uncreated energy - that  is, this divine grace and illumination - pertain to one God.  

148. Because the followers of Akindynos at the Synod audaciously asserted and strove to demonstrate that the  divine light that shone from the Savior on Tabor was an apparition and a creature, and because they did not change  their views although they were frequently confuted, they were placed under a writ of excommunication and  anathema. For they blaspheme God's economy in the flesh, and  

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mindlessly say that God's divinity is created; and in this way-since the divinity of the three Persons is one and the  same - they degrade the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit themselves to the rank of a creature. And when they  claim to worship an uncreated divinity, they plainly profess that there are two divinities in God, the one created and  the other uncreated. In this manner they strive to surpass in impiety all the ancient heretics.

149. At other times these people contrive to conceal their heresy by saying that the light that shone on Tabor is  both uncreated and also the essence of God, and in this they blaspheme in many ways. For since that light was seen  by the apostles, these people perversely imagine that the essence of God is visible. Let them listen to him who says,  'No one has been in such a position as to see or disclose the essence and nature of God.' Not only men but also the  angels are unable to do so; for even the six-winged Cherubim cover their faces with their wings because of the  surpassing brilliance of the illumination shining from the divine essence (cf. Isa. 6:2). God's supraessentiality has  never appeared to anyone at any time. Thus when the followers of Akindynos identify it with the light of the  Transfiguration, what they are asserting is that this light is entirely invisible, that not even the chosen apostles were  able to see it on Mount Tabor, that the Lord did not truthfully promise them the sight of it, and that he who said, 'We  saw His glory when we were with Him in the holy mount' (cf. John 1 : 14; 2 Pet. 1:18), and 'Peter and those with him  stayed awake and saw His glory' (cf. Luke 9:32), did not speak the truth; nor did that other who says that Christ's  especially beloved disciple 'saw disclosed upon the mountain the actual divinity of the Logos'. Thus they saw, they  truly saw that uncreated and divine effulgence, while God yet continued invisible in His supraessential hiddenness,  although Barlaam and Akmdynos and their followers may explode with indignation at this.

150. Whenever one asks the Akindynists who say that the light of the Divinity is the essence: 'Is, then, the  essence of God visible?', they are forced to unmask their treachery. For they assert that this light is the essence, since  through it the essence of God is manifest; thus God's essence can be seen by means of created things. So once again  these  
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wretches assert that the hght of the Lord's Transfiguration is a created thing. Yet that which is seen through  created things is not God's essence but His creative energy. Therefore those who say that by means of creatures  God's essence is seen speak irrehgiously and in agreement with Eunomios, so prohfic is the crop of their impiety.  Thus we should shun them and their company, for their teaching is a soul-destroying and many-headed serpent,  corrupting the tme faith in a multitude of ways.

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(Prologue) The mysteries of the Mosaic law, once foreseen in the Spirit by the prophets alone, have now become  doctrines known to all alike and openly proclaimed. Similarly the way of life according to the Gospel has also its  own mysteries; and these are the blessings of the age to come which are promised to the saints, and which are now  disclosed prophetically to those whom the Spirit accounts worthy, but only to a limited extent and as a pledge and a  foretaste. If one of the Jews of old, lacking a proper spirit of reverence, were to hear the prophets proclaiming the  Logos and the Spirit of God to be pre-etemal and coetemal with God, he might have stopped up his ears, supposing  that he heard things forbidden to piety and opposed to what was openly confessed by true believers, namely. The  Lord your God is one Lord' (cf Deut. 6:4). Similarly a person today who without proper reverence hears of the  mysteries of the Spirit that are known only by those who have been purified through virtue might react in the same  way. Agam, the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Old Testament showed the mysteries of that time to be  concordant with what was later made manifest, so that now we believe in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the tri-  hypostatic Godhead, one simple, non-composite, uncreated, unseen, incomprehensible nature. Similarly, when in its  own time the age to come is revealed according to the ineffable manifestation of the one God in three perfect  hypostases, it will be clear that the present mysteries accord with all that is then made manifest.

Yet we must also take into account the fact that, although the tri-hypostatic nature of the Godhead - that is in no  way destroyed by the  

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principle of unity - was in later times revealed to the ends of the earth, it was also fully known to the prophets  prior to the fulfillment of the things prophesied and was readily accepted by those who trusted in them. In the same  manner, even at this present time we are not ignorant of the doctrines of the Christian confession, both those which  are openly proclaimed and those which are mystically and prophetically revealed by the Spirit to such as are  accounted worthy. These are persons who have been initiated by actual experience, who have renounced  possessions, human glory and the ugly pleasures of the body for the sake of the evangelical life; and not only this,  but they have also: strengthened their renunciation by submitting themselves to those who have attained spiritual  maturity in Christ. Through the practice of the life of stillness they devote their attention undistractedly to  themselves and to God, and by transcending themselves through sincere prayer and by establishing themselves in  God through their mystical and supra-intellectual union with Him they have been initiated into what surpasses the  intellect. Others again have learnt about these things through their reverence, faith and love for such persons.  When, therefore, we hear the great Dionysios in his second epistle to Gaios referring to God's deifying gift as  'divinity and the source of divinity and goodness', we conclude that the God who grants this grace to those worthy to  receive it surpasses this divinity; for God does not suffer multiplicity, nor can we speak thus of two divinities. And  St, Maximos, when speaking about Melchisedec, writes that this deifying grace of God is 'uncreated', declaring it to  be 'eternally existent, proceeding from the eternally existing God', and elsewhere in many places he says it is a light,  ungenerated and completely real, that is manifested to the saints when they become worthy of receiving it, though it  does not come into being merely at that moment. He also calls this light 'the light of utterly inexpressible glory and  the purity of angels'; while St Makarios calls it the nourishment of the bodiless, the glory of the divine nature, the  beauty of the age to come, divine and celestial fire, inexpressible noetic light, foretaste and pledge of the Holy Spirit,  the sanctifying oil of gladness.'

' Cf. St Symeon Metaphrastis, Paraphrase of the Homilies of St Makarios, §§62, 70, 73, 74; E.T., The Philokalia,  vol. hi, pp. 312,315,317-18.  

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1. If, then, anyone condemns as Messalians those who declare this deifying grace of God to be uncreated,  ungenerated and completely real, and calls them ditheists, he must know - if indeed there is such a person - that he is  an adversary of the saints of God, and that if he does not repent he excludes himself from the inheritance of the  redeemed and falls away from Him who by nature is the one and only God professed by the saints. But if anyone  believes, is persuaded by and concurs with the saints and does not 'make excuses to justify sin' (Ps. 141:4. LXX),  and if although ignorant of the manner of the mystery he does not because of his ignorance reject what is clearly  proclaimed, let him not refuse to enquire and learn from those who do possess knowledge. For he will find that there  is nothing inconsistent either in the divine words and acts, especially with respect to those things that are most  essential and without which nothing can stand firm, or in the sound doctrine that concerns ourselves, or in the  mystery that is altogether divine.

2. If anyone declares that perfect union with God is accomplished simply in an imitative and relative fashion,  without the deifying grace of the Spirit and merely in the manner of persons who share the same disposition and  who love one another, and that the deifying grace of God is a state of our intellectual nature acquired by imitation  alone, but is not a supernatural illumination and an ineffable and divine energy beheld invisibly and conceived  inconceivably by those privileged to participate in it, then he must know that he has fallen unawares into the  delusion of the Messalians. For if deification is accomplished according to a capacity inherent in human nature and  if it is encompassed within the bounds of nature, then of necessity the person deified is by nature God. Whoever  thinks like this should not attempt, therefore, to foist his own delusion upon those who stand on secure ground and  to impose a defiled creed upon those whose faith is undefiled; rather he should lay aside his presumption and learn  from persons of experience or from their disciples that the grace of deification is entirely unconditional, and there is  no faculty whatever in nature capable of achieving it since, if there were, this grace would no longer be grace but  merely the manifestation of the operation of a natural capacity. Nor, if deification were in accord with a natural  capacity, would there be anything miraculous in it; for then deification would truly be the work of nature, not the  gift of God, and a man would be able to be and to be called a God by nature in the full sense of

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the words. For the natural capacity of every being is nothing other than the undeviating and natural disposition for  active accomplishment. It is, indeed, incomprehensible how deification can raise the person deified outside or  beyond himself if it is encompassed within the bounds of nature.

The grace of deification is, therefore, above nature, virtue and knowledge and, according to St Maximos, all such  things infinitely fall short of it. For all the virtue we can attain and such imitation of God as lies in our power does  no more than fit us for union with the Deity, but it is through grace that this ineffable union is actually accom-  plished. Through grace God in His entirety penetrates the saints in their entirety, and the saints in their entirety  penetrate God entirely, exchanging the whole of Him for themselves, and acquiring Him alone as the reward of their  ascent towards Him; for He embraces them as the soul embraces the body, enabling them to be in Him as His own  members.

3. If anyone asserts that those who regard the intellect as seated in the heart or in the head are Messalians, let him  know that he is misguidedly attacking the saints. For St Athanasios the Great says that the soul's intelligence resides  in the head, and St Makarios, who is in no way inferior, says that the intellect is active in the heart; and nearly all the  saints concur with them. When St Gregory of Nyssa writes that the intellect is neither within the body nor outside it  for it is bodiless, this does not contradict what all these other saints affirm; for they say that the intellect is in the  body because it is united to it, and thus they state the same thing in a different fashion, not in the least disagreeing  with St Gregory. For if someone says that the Logos of God once dwelt within a virginal and immaculate womb, out  of ineffable divine compassion united there to our human substance, he does not contradict someone who maintains  that whatever is divine is not contained within a place because it is unembodied.  

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4. If anyone maintains that the light which shone about the disciples on Mount Tabor was an apparition and a  symbol of the kind that now is and now is not, but has no real being and is an effect that not only does not surpass  

comprehension, but is inferior to it, he clearly contends against the doctrines of the saints. For the saints both in  hymns and in their writings call this light ineffable, uncreated, eternal, timeless, unapproachable, boundless, infinite,  limitless, invisible to angels and men, archetypal and unchanging beauty, the glory of God, the glory of Christ, the  glory of the Spirit, the ray of Divinity and so forth. The flesh of Christ, it is said, is glorified at the moment of its  assumption and the glory of the Godhead becomes the body's glory. But this glory was invisible in His visible body  to those unable to perceive that upon which even angels cannot gaze. Thus Christ was transfigured, not by the  addition of something He was not, nor by a transformation into something He was not, but by the manifestation to  His disciples of what He really was. He opened their eyes so that instead of being blind they could see. While He  Himself remained the same, they could now see Him as other than He had appeared to them formerly. For He is 'the  true light' (John 1:9), the beauty of divine glory, and He shone forth like the sun - though this image is imperfect,  since what is uncreated cannot be imaged in creation without some diminution.

5. If anyone maintains that only God's essence is uncreated, while His eternal energies are not uncreated, and that  as what energizes transcends all it activates, so God transcends all His energies, let him listen to St Maximos, who  says: 'AH immortal things and immortality itself, all living things and life itself, all holy things and holiness itself, all  good things and goodness itself, all blessings and blessedness itself, all beings and being itself are manifestly works  of God. Some began to be in time, for they have not always existed. Others did not begin to be in time, for goodness,  blessedness, holiness and immortality have always existed.'' And again he says: 'Goodness, and all that is included  in the principle of goodness, and - to be brief - all life, immortality, simplicity, immutability and infinity, and all the  other qualities that

' Texts on Theology i, 50: E.T., The Philokalia, vol. ii, p. 124.  

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contemplative vision perceives as substantively appertaining to God, are realities of God which did not begin to  be in time. For non-existence is never prior to goodness, nor to any of the other things we have listed, even if those  things which participate in them do in themselves have a beginning in time. All goodness is without beginning  because there is no time prior to it: God is eternally the unique author of its being, and God is infinitely above all  beings, whether participant or participable.'' It is clear, therefore, from what has been said that not everything which  issues from God is subject to time. For there are some things issuing from God that are without beginning, without  this in the least impairing the principle of the Triadic Unity, that alone is intrinsically without beginning, or God's  supraessential simplicity. In the same way the intellect, which is the imperfect image of that transcendent  indivisibility, is not in the least compound because of the variety of its inherent intellections.

6. If anyone does not acknowledge that spiritual dispositions are stamped upon the body as a consequence of the  gifts of the Spirit that exist in the soul of those advancing on the spiritual path; and if he does not regard dispassion  as a state of aspiration for higher things that leads a person to free himself from evil habits by completely spuming  what is evil and to acquire good habits by espousing what is good, but considers it to be the deathlike condition of  the soul's passible aspect, then, by adhering to such views, he inevitably denies that we can enjoy an embodied life  in the world of incorruption that is to come. For if in the age to come the body is to share with the soul in ineffable  blessings, then it is evident that in this world as well it will also share according to its capacity in the grace  mystically and ineffably bestowed by God upon the purified intellect, and it will experience the divine in conformity  with its nature. For once the soul's passible aspect is transformed and sanctified - but not reduced to a deathlike  condition - through it the dispositions and activities of the body are also sanctified, since body and soul share a  conjoint existence. As St Diadochos states, in the case of those who have abandoned the delights of this age in the  hope of enjoying the blessings of eternity, the intellect, because of its freedom from worldly cares, is able to act with  its full vigor and becomes capable of perceiving the ineffable goodness of God. Then according to the measure of its  own progress it

^ Op. cit, 1,48-9; E.T., pp. 123-4.  

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communicates its joy to the body too, and this joy which then fills both soul and body is a true recalling of  incorruptible life.'  The intellect perceives one light, and the senses another. The senses perceive sensible light, which manifests  sensory things as sensory. The light of the intellect is the spiritual knowledge inherent in intellection. Thus sight and  intellect do not perceive the same light, but each operates to the limit of its nature in what is natural to it. When  saintly people become the happy possessors of spiritual and supernatural grace and power, they see both with the  sense of sight and with the intellect that which surpasses both sense and intellect in the manner that - to use the  expression of St Gregory of Nazianzos - 'God alone knows and those in whom these things are brought to pass'.

7. These things we have been taught by the Scriptures and have received from our fathers; and we have come to  know them from our own small experience. Having seen them set down in the treatise of our brother, the most  reverend Hieromonk Gregory, In Defense of Those who Devoutly Practice a Life of Stillness, and acknowledging  them to be fully consistent with the traditions of the saints, we have adjoined our signature for the assurance of those  who read this present document.

♦ The Protos of the venerable monasteries on the Holy Mountain, Hieromonk Isaac.

♦ The abbot of the venerable, imperial and sacred Lavra, Theodosios Hieromonk.

♦♦♦ The signature of the abbot of the monastery of Iviron in his own language \in Georgian^.

♦ The abbot of the venerable and imperial monastery of Vatopedi,

♦♦♦ Hieromonk loanmkios.

♦♦♦ The signature of the abbot of the monastery of the Serbs in his own language \in Slavonic]^

♦♦♦ I, Philotheos, the least of hieromonks, being of the same mind, have undersigned.  

♦ Amphilochios, the least of hieromonks and the spiritual father of the venerable monastery of Esphigmenou. v ♦ I, Gerasimos, the lowly hieromonk, having seen and read what has here been written with love for the trath,

  and having assented thereto, have undersigned.

' Cf. On Spiritual Knowledge 25: ed. des Places, p. 97; E.T.. The Philokalia, vol. i, p. 259.

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A Life of Stillness  v♦ I, Moses, the lowly elder and least of monks, being of the same mind, have undersigned.

♦ Theodosios, the least of hieromonks and the spiritual father of Vatopedi.

♦ The abbot of the sacred monastery of Koutloumousiou, Theostiriktos Hieromonk.

♦ I, Gerontios of Maroula, the sinner, one of the council of elders of the venerable Lavra, being of the same  mind, have undersigned.

*X* Kallistos of Mouzalon, the least of monks.

♦ I, the lowly and least of monks, Gregory of Stravolangado, and perhaps a hesychast, being of the same  mind and opinion, have undersigned.

♦ I, the elder from the Skete of Magoula and least of hieromonks, Isaias, being of the same mind, have  undersigned.

♦ Mark of Sinai, the least of monks.

♦ Kallistos of the Skete of Magoula and least of hieromonks.

♦ The signature of an elder and hesychast from Syria in his own language \in Arabic].  *X* Sophromos, the least of monks.

♦ loasaph, the least of monks.

♦ I, lakovos, the humble bishop of Hierissos and the Holy Mountain, who was reared on the traditions of the  Holy Mountain and the fathers, testify that by the signatures of these select men the entire Holy Mountain  has undersigned with one accord, and I myself, assenting to these things and putting my seal thereto, have  undersigned. I add, furthermore, together with all the rest, that we shall have no communion with anyone  who is not in agreement with the saints, as we are, and as were the fathers who immediately preceded us.

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Glossary

AGE (aicbv - aeon): the ensemble of cosmic duration. It includes the angelic orders, and is an attribute of God as  the principle and consummation of all the centuries created by Him. The term is used more particularly in two  ways:

(i) Frequently a distinction is made between the 'present age' and the 'age to come' or the 'new age'. The first  corresponds to our present sense of time, the second to time as it exists in God, that is, to eternity understood, not  as endless time, but as the simultaneous presence of all time. Our present sense of time, according to which we  experience time as sundered from God, is the consequence of the loss of vision and spiritual perception  occasioned by the fall and is on this account more or less illusory. In reality time is not and never can be  sundered from God, the 'present age' from the 'age to come'. Because of this the 'age to come' and its realities  must be thought of, not as non-existent or as coming into existence in the future, but as actualities that by grace  we can experience here and now. To indicate this, the Greek phrase for these realities ( e , - ta  mellonta) is often translated as 'the blessings held in store'.

(ii) Certain texts, especially in St Maximos the Confessor, also use the term aeon in a connected but more  specific way, to denote a level intermediate between eternity in the full sense (aiSldTrjg - aidiotis) and time as  known to us in our present experience ( m g - chronos). Where this is the case we normally employ the  rendering 'aeon' instead of 'age'. There are thus three levels:

(a) eternity, the totum simiil or simultaneous presence of all time and reality as known to God, who alone has  neither origin nor end, and who therefore is alone eternal in the full sense;

(b) the aeon, the totiim simul as known to the angels, and also to human persons who possess experience of  the 'age to come':

[VI] 358, [V2] 380, [V3] 356, [V4] 428

Glossary

although having no end, these angelic or human beings, since they are created, are not self-originating and  therefore are not eternal in the sense that God is eternal;

(c) time, that is, temporal succession as known to us in the 'present age'.

APPETITIVE ASPECT OF THE soul, or the soul's desiring power {to smOvfirjiiKov- to epithymitikon): one of the  three aspects or powers of the soul according to the tripartite division formulated by Plato (see his Republic,  Book iv, 4.34D-441C) and on the whole accepted by the Greek Christian Fathers. The other two are, first, the  intelligent aspect or power (to Xoyiatixov - to logistikon: see Intelligent); and, second, the incensive aspect or  power (to OvfUKov - to thymikon), which often manifests itself as wrath or anger, but which can be more  generally defined as the force provoking vehement feelings. The three aspects or powers can be used positively,  that is, in accordance with nature and as created by God, or negatively, that is, in a way contrary to nature and  leading to sin (q.v.). For instance, the incensive power can be used positively to repel demonic attacks or to  intensify desire for God; but it can also, when not controlled, lead to self-indulgent, disruptive thought and  action.

The appetitive and incensive aspects, in particular the former, are sometimes termed the soul's passible  aspect (to KaOrjTiKov - to pathitikon) , that is to say, the aspect which is more especially vulnerable to pathos or  passion (q.v.), and which, when not transformed by positive spiritual influences, is susceptive to the influence  of negative and self-destructive forces. The intelligent aspect, although also susceptible to passion, is not  normally regarded as part of the soul's passible aspect.

ASSENT (avyKardOecng - synkatathesis): see Temptation.

ATTENTIVENESS {jipoaox') - prosochi) : see Watchfulness.

COMPUNCTION {Kardw^iQ - katanyxis): in our version sometimes also translated 'deep penitence'. The state of  one who is 'pricked to the heart', becoming conscious both of his own sinfulness and of the forgiveness extended  to him by God; a mingled feeling of sorrow, tenderness and joy, springing from sincere repentance (q.v.).

CONCEPTUAL IMAGE {vorjua - noyma): see Thought.

CONTEMPLATION (Oecopia - theoria): the perception or vision of

[VI] 359, [V2] 381, [V3] 357, [V4] 429

Glossary

the intellect (q.v.) through which one attains spiritual knowledge (q.v.). It may be contrasted with the practice of  the virtues {npaKTiKrj - praktiki) which designates the more external aspect of the ascetic life - purification and the  keeping of the commandments - but which is an indispensable prerequisite of contemplation. Depending on the  level of personal spiritual growth, contemplation has two main stages: it may be either of the inner essences or  principles (q.v.) of created beings or, at a higher stage, of God Himself.

COUPLING {awdvaai^ioQ - syndyasmos) : see Temptation.

DELUSION {jiXavrj - plani): see Illusion.

DESIRE, Desiring power of the soul: see Appetitive aspect of the soul.

DISCRIMINATION (diaKpiaiq - diakrisis): a spiritual gift permitting one to discriminate between the types of  thought that enter into one's mind, to assess them accurately and to treat them accordingly. Through this gift one  gains 'discernment of spirits' - that is, the ability to distinguish between the thoughts or visions inspired by God  and the suggestions or fantasies coming from the devil. It is a kind of eye or lantern of the soul by which man  finds his way along the spiritual path without falling into extremes; thus it includes the idea of discretion.  DISPASSION (anaQsia - apatheia): among the writers of the texts here translated, some regard passion (q.v.) as  evil and the consequence of sin (q.v.), and for them dispassion signifies passionlessness, the uprooting of the  passions; others, such as St Isaiah the Solitary, regard the passions as fundamentally good, and for them  dispassion signifies a state in which the passions are exercised in accordance with their original purity and so  without committing sin in act or thought. Dispassion is a state of reintegration and spiritual freedom; when  translating the term into Latin, Cassian rendered it 'purity of heart'. Such a state may imply impartiality and  detachment, but not indifference, for if a dispassionate man does not suffer on his own account, he suffers for his  fellow creatures. It consists, not in ceasing to feel the attacks of the demons, but in no longer yielding to them. It  is positive, not negative: Evagrios links it closely with the quality of love (agape) and Diadochos speaks of the  'fire of dispassion' (§ 17: in our translation, vol. i, p. 258). Dispassion is among the gifts of God.

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Glossary

ECSTASY {eKoraaiQ - ekstasis): a 'going out' from oneself and from all created things towards God, under the  influence of eros or intense longing (q.v.). A man does not attain ecstasy by his own efforts, but is drawn out of  himself by the power of God's love. Ecstasy implies a passing beyond all the conceptual thinking of the  discursive reason (q.v.). It may sometimes be marked by a state of trance, or by a loss of normal consciousness;  but such psychophysical accompaniments are in no way essential. Occasionally the term ekstasis is used in a bad  sense, to mean infatuation, loss of self-control, or madness.

FAITH (jiiariQ - pistis): not only an individual or theoretical belief in the dogmatic truths of Christianity, but an all-  embracing relationship, an attitude of love and total trust in God. As such it involves a transformation of man's  entire life. Faith is a gift from God, the means whereby we are taken up into the whole theanthropic activity of  God in Christ and of man in Christ through which man attains salvation.

FALLEN NATURE {naXaioQ dvOpmnoq - palaios anthropos): literally, the 'old man'. See Flesh, sense (ii).

FANTASY {(pavraaia -fantasia): denoting the image -producing faculty of the psyche, this is one of the most  important words in the hesychast vocabulary. As one begins to advance along the spiritual path one begins to  'perceive' images of things which have no direct point of reference in the external world, and which emerge  inexplicably from within oneself This experience is a sign that one's consciousness is beginning to deepen: outer  sensations and ordinary thoughts have to some extent been quietened, and the impulses, fears, hopes, passions  hidden in the subconscious region are beginning to break through to the surface. One of the goals of the spiritual  life is indeed the attainment of a spiritual knowledge (q.v.) which transcends both the ordinary level of  consciousness and the subconscious; and it is true that images, especially when the recipient is in an advanced  spiritual state, may well be projections on the plane of the imagination of celestial archetypes, and that in this case  they can be used creatively, to form the images of sacred art and iconography. But more often than not they will  simply derive from a middle or lower sphere, and will have nothing spiritual or creative about them. Hence they  correspond to the world of fantasy and not to

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Glossary

the world of the imagination in the proper sense. It is on this account that the hesychastic masters on the whole  take a negative attitude towards them. They emphasize the grave dangers involved in this kind of experience,  especially as the very production of these images may be the consequence of demonic or diabolic activity; and  they admonish those still in the early stages and not yet possessing spiritual discrimination (q.v.) not to be enticed  and led captive by these illusory appearances, whose tumult may well overwhelm the mind. Their advice is to pay  no attention to them, but to continue with prayer and invocation, dispelling them with the name of Jesus Christ.

FLESH (aap^ - sarx): has various senses: (i) the human in contrast to the divine, as in the sentence, 'The Logos  became flesh' (John 1:14); (ii) fallen and sinful human nature in contrast to human nature as originally created  and dwelling in communion with God; man when separated from God and in rebellion against Him; (iii) the body  in contrast to the soul. The second meaning is probably the most frequent. If the word is being employed in this  sense, it is important to distinguish 'flesh' from 'body' (achjua - soma). When St Paul lists the 'works of the flesh' in  Gal. 5: 19-21, he mentions such things as 'seditions', 'heresy' and 'envy', which have no special connection with  the body. In sense (ii) of the word, 'flesh' denotes the whole soul-body structure in so far as a man is fallen;  likewise 'spirit' denotes the whole soul-body structure in so far as a man is redeemed. The soul as well as the body  can become fleshly or 'carnal', just as the body as well as the soul can become spiritual. Asceticism involves a  war against the flesh - in sense (ii) of the word - but not against the body as such.

GUARD OF THE HEART, OF THE INTELLECT {cpvXaKrj Kapdiaq, voh - phylaki kardias, nou): see Watchfulness.

HEART {xapdia - kardia): not simply the physical organ but the spiritual centre of man's being, man as made in  the image of God, his deepest and truest self, or the inner shrine, to be entered only through sacrifice and death,  in which the mystery of the union between the divine and the human is consummated. ' "I called with my whole  heart", says the psalmist - that is, with body, soul and spirit' (John Klimakos, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step  28, translated by Archimandrite Lazarus [London, 1959], pp. 257-8).

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Glossary

'Heart' has thus an all-embracing significance: 'prayer of the heart' means prayer not just of the emotions and  affections, but of the whole person, including the body.  ILLUSION {jiXavrj - plani): in our version sometimes also translated 'delusion'. Literally, wandering astray,  deflection from the right path; hence error, beguilement, the acceptance of a mirage mistaken for trath. Cf. the  literal sense of sin (q.v.) as 'missing the mark'.

INCENSIVE POWER or aspect of the soul {Oujidq - thymos; to Ou^ikov - to thymikon): see Appetitive aspect of the  soul.

INNER ESSENCES OR PRINCIPLES (Uyoi - logoi): see Logos.

INTELLECT (yoijq - nous): the highest faculty in man, through which - provided it is purified - he knows God or  the inner essences or principles (q.v.) of created things by means of direct apprehension or spiritual perception.  Unlike the dianoia or reason (q.v.), from which it must be carefully distinguished, the intellect does not function  by formulating abstract concepts and then arguing on this basis to a conclusion reached through deductive  reasoning, but it understands divine truth by means of immediate experience, intuition or 'simple cognition' (the  term used by St Isaac the Syrian). The intellect dwells in the 'depths of the soul'; it constitutes the innermost  aspect of the heart (St Diadochos, §§ 79, 88: in our translation, vol. i, pp. 280, 287). The intellect is the organ of  

contemplation (q.v.), the 'eye of the heart' (Makarian Homilies).

INTELLECTION (vorjaig - noisis): not an abstract concept or a visual image, but the act or function of the intellect  (q.v.) whereby it apprehends spiritual realities in a direct manner.

INTELLIGENT (Xojikoq - logikos): the Greek term logikos is so closely connected with Logos (q.v.), and  therefore with the divine Intellect, that to render it simply as 'logical' and hence descriptive of the reason (q.v.) is  clearly inadequate. Rather it pertains to the intellect (q.v.) and qualifies the possessor of spiritual knowledge  (q.v.). Hence when found in conjunction with 'soul' (logiki psychi), logikos is translated as 'deiform' or as  'endowed with intelligence'. Intelligence itself (to Xojikov - to logikon; x6 loyiaiiKov - to logistikon; 'o Xoyia^og -  ho logismos) is the ruling aspect of the intellect (q.v.) or its operative faculty.

INTENSE LONGING (spojg - eros): the word eros, when used in these

[VI] 363, [V2] 385, [V3] 361, [V4] 433

Glossary

texts, retains much of the significance it has in Platonic thought. It denotes that intense aspiration and longing  which impel man towards union with God, and at the same time something of the force which links the divine  and the human. As unitive love par excellence, it is not distinct from agapi, but may be contrasted with agapi in  that it expresses a greater degree of intensity and ecstasy (q.v.).

INTIMATE COMMUNION {nappiaia - parrisia): literally, 'Rankness', 'freedom of speech'; hence freedom of  approach to God, such as Adam possessed before the fall and the saints have regained by grace; a sense of  confidence and loving trust in God's mercy.

JESUS PRAYER (Irjaoi) ehji] -Tisou evchi): the invocation of the name of Jesus, most commonly in the words,  'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me', although there are a number of variant forms. Not merely a  'technique' or a 'Christian mantra', but a prayer addressed to the Person of Jesus Christ, expressing our living  faith (q.v.) in Him as Son of God and Saviour.

LOGOS {Adyoq - Logos): the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, or the Intellect, Wisdom and Providence of God  in whom and through whom all things are created. As the unitary cosmic principle, the Logos contains in  Himself the multiple logoi (inner principles or inner essences, thoughts of God) in accordance with which all  things come into existence at the times and places, and in the forms, appointed for them, each single thing  thereby containing in itself the principle of its own development. It is these logoi, contained principally in the  Logos and manifest in the forms of the created universe, that constitute the first or lower stage of Contemplation  (q.v.).  vMIND: see Reason.

NOETIC: {vorjTOQ - no'itos): that which belongs to or is characteristic of the intellect (q.v.). See also Intellection.

PASSION (ndOog - pathos): in Greek, the word signifies literally that which happens to a person or thing, an  experience undergone passively; hence an appetite or impulse such as anger, desire or jealousy, that violently  dominates the soul. Many Greek Fathers regard the passions as something intrinsically evil, a 'disease' of the  soul: thus St John Klimakos affirms that God is not the creator of the passions and that they are 'unnatural', alien  to man's true

[VI] 364, [V2] 386, [V3] 362, [V4] 434

Glossary

self (The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 26, translated by Archimandrite Lazarus [op. Cit.], p. 21 1). Other Greek  Fathers, however, look on the passions as impulses originally placed in man by God, and so fundamentally good,  although at present distorted by sin (cf St Isaiah the Solitary, § 1 : in our translation, vol. i, p. 22). On this second  view, then, the passions are to be educated, not eradicated; to be transfigured, not suppressed; to be used  positively, not negatively {see Dispassion).  PRACTICE OF THE VIRTUES {jipaKTiKrj - praktiki): see Contemplation.  

PREPOSSESSION (Tzpolrjif/ig - prolipsis): see Temptation.

PROVOCATION {jipoaPoXi) - prosvofi): see Temptation.

REASON, mind {didvoia - dianoia): the discursive, conceptualizing and logical faculty in man, the function of  which is to draw conclusions or formulate concepts deriving from data provided either by revelation or spiritual

knowledge (q.v.) or by sense-observation. The knowledge of the reason is consequently of a lower order than  spiritual knowledge (q.v.) and does not imply any direct appre- hension or perception of the inner essences or

principles (q.v.) of created beings, still less of divine truth itself Indeed, such apprehension or perception, which

is the function of the intellect (q.v.), is beyond the scope of the reason.  REBUTTAL {dvnXoyia - antilogia; avtipprjaic - antirrisis): the repulsing of a demon or demonic thought at the  moment of provocation (q.v.); or, in a more general sense, the bridling of evil thoughts.  REMEMBRANCE OF GOD (jivrjiirj - mnimi Theou): not just calling God to mind, but the state of recoUectedness or

concentration in which attention is centred on God. As such it is the opposite of the state of self-indulgence and

insensitivity.  REPENTANCE (jisxavoia - metanoia): the Greek signifies primarily a 'change of mind' or 'change of intellect': not  only sorrow, contrition or regret, but more positively and fundamentally the conversion or turning of our whole  life towards God.

SENSUAL PLEASURE {r\dovi\ - hidoni): according to the context the Greek term signifies either sensual pleasure  (the most frequent meaning) or spiritual pleasure or delight.  SIN (dfiapiia - hamartia): the primary meaning of the Greek word is 'failure' or, more specifically, 'failure to hit the  mark' and so a

[VI] 365, [V2] 387, [V3] 363, [V4] 435

Glossary  v'missing of the mark', a 'going astray' or, ultimately, 'failure to achieve the purpose for which one is created'. It is  closely related, therefore, to illusion (q.v.). The translation 'sin' should be read with these connotations in mind.

SORROW {XuTirj - lypi): often with the sense of 'godly sorrow' - the sorrow which nourishes the soul  with the hope engendered by repentance (q.v.).  vSPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE {yvmaig - gnosis): the knowledge of the intellect (q.v.) as distinct from that of the  reason (q.v.). As such it is knowledge inspired by God, and so linked with contemplation (q.v.) and immediate  spiritual perception.

STILLNESS {rjavxia - hesychia): from which are derived the words hesychasm and hesychast, used to denote the  whole spiritual tradition represented in The Philokalia as well as the person who pursues the spiritual path it  delineates (see Introduction, vol. i, pp. 14-16): a state of inner tranquillity or mental quietude and concentration  which arises in conjunction with, and is deepened by, the practice of pure prayer and the guarding of heart (q.v.)  and intellect (q.v.). Not simply silence, but an attitude of listening to God and of openness towards Him.

TEMPERAMENT (Kpdaig - krasis): primarily the well-balanced blending of elements, humours or qualities in  animal bodies, but sometimes extended to denote the whole soul-body structure of man. In this sense it is the  opposite to a state of psychic or physical disequilibrium.

TEMPTATION (Tzsipaajxoq - peirasmos): also translated in our version as 'trial' or 'test'. The word indicates,  according to context: (i) a test or trial sent to man by God, so as to aid his progress on the spiritual way; (ii) a  suggestion from the devil, enticing man into sin.

Using the word in sense (ii), the Greek Fathers employ a series of technical terms to describe the process of  temptation. (See in particular Mark the Ascetic, On the Spiritual Law, §§ 138-41, in vol. i of our translation, pp.  1 19-20; John Klimakos, Ladder, Step 15 translated by Archimandrite Lazarus [op. cit.], pp. 157-8; Maximos, On  Love, i, §§ 83-84, in vol. ii of our translation, pp. 62-63; John of Damaskos, On the J'irtues and J 'ices, also in  vol. ii of our translation, pp. 337-8.) The basic distinction made by these Fathers is between the demonic  provocation and man's

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Glossary

assent: the first lies outside man's control, while for the second he is morally responsible. In detail, the chief  terms employed are as follows:

(i) Provocation {npoaPoXrj - prosvoli): the initial incitement to evil. Mark the Ascetic defines this as an  'image -free stimulation in the heart'; so long as the provocation is not accompanied by images, it does not  involve man in any guilt. Such provocations, originating as they do from the devil, assail man from the outside  independently of his free will, and so he is not morally responsible for them. His liability to these provocations is  not a consequence of the fall: even in paradise, Mark maintains, Adam was assailed by the devil's provocations.  Man cannot prevent provocations from assailing him; what does lie in his power, however, is to maintain  constant watchfulness (q.v.) and so to reject each provocation as soon as it emerges into his consciousness - that  is to say, at its first appearance as a thought in his mind or intellect ([xovoXoyioxoc; - monologistos emphasis). If  he does reject the provocation, the sequence is cut off and the process of temptation is terminated.  v(ii) Momentary disturbance (Tiapappimafiog - pararripismos) of the intellect, occurring 'without any  movement or working of bodily passion' (see Mark, Letter to Nicolas the Solitary: in our translation, vol. i, p.  153). This seems to be more than the 'first appearance' of a provocation described in stage (i) above; for, at a  certain point of spiritual growth in this life, it is possible to be totally released from such 'momentary  disturbance, whereas no one can expect to be altogether free from demonic provocations.

(Hi) Communion (oixiXia - homilia); coupling (avvdvaa/uog - syndyasmos). Without as yet entirely assenting  to the demonic provocation, a man may begin to 'entertain' it, to converse or parley with it, turning it over in his  mind pleasurably, yet still hesitating whether or not to act upon it. At this stage, which is indicated by the terms  'communion' or 'coupling', the provocation is no longer 'image-free' but has become a logismos or thought (q.v.);  and a person is morally responsible for having allowed this to happen.

(iv) Assent (auyKamOeaic - synkatathesis). This signifies a step beyond mere 'communion' or 'coupling'. No  longer merely 'playing' with the evil suggestion, a person now resolves to act upon it. There is now no doubt as  to his moral culpability: even if

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Glossary

circumstances prevent him from sinning outwardly, he is judged by God according to the intention in his  heart.

(v) Prepossession {npoXi-jif/iQ - prolipsis): defined by Mark- as 'the involuntary presence of former sins in the  memory'. This state of 'prepossession' or prejudice results from repeated acts of sin which predispose a man to  yield to particular temptations. In principle he retains his free choice and can reject demonic provocations; but  in practice the force of habit makes it more and more difficult for him to resist.

(vi) Passion (q.v.). If a man does not fight strenuously against a prepossession, it will develop into an evil  passion.

THEOLOGY (QeoXoyia - theologia): denotes in these texts far more than the learning about God and religious  doctrine acquired through academic study. It signifies active and conscious participation in or perception of the  realities of the divine world - in other words, the realization of spiritual knowledge (q.v.). To be a theologian in  the full sense, therefore, presupposes the attainment of the state of stillness (q.v.) and dispassion (q.v.), itself the  concomitant of pure and undistracted prayer, and so requires gifts bestowed on but extremely few persons.

THOUGHT {XoyiajxoQ - logismos; vorjfia - noima): (i) frequently signifies not thought in the ordinary sense, but  thought provoked by the demons, and therefore often qualified in translation by the adjective 'evil' or 'demonic';  it can also signs divinely -inspired thought; (ii) a 'conceptual image', intermediate between fantasy (q.v.) and an  abstract concept; this sense of noima is frequent in the texts of St Maximos, where the rendering 'conceptual  image' is normally adopted.

WATCHFULNESS {vrjif/iQ - nipsis): literally, the opposite to a state of drunken stupor; hence spiritual sobriety,  alertness, vigilance. It signifies an attitude of attentiveness {npoaoxrj - prosochi), whereby one keeps watch over  one's inward thoughts and fantasies (q.v.), maintaining guard over the heart and intellect ((pvXaKrj Kapdiag/vov -  phylaki kardias/noii; rriprjaig Kapdiag/voi) - tirisis kardias/nou). In Hesychios, On Watchfulness and Holiness, §§  1-6 (in our translation. Vol. i, pp. 162-3), watchfulness is given a very broad definition, being used to indicate  the whole range of the practice of the virtues. It is closely linked with purity of heart and stillness (q.v.). The  Greek title of The Philokalia is 'The

[VI] 368, [V2] 390, [V3] 366, [V4] 438

Glossary

Philokalia of the Niptic Fathers', i.e. of the fathers who practised and inculcated the virtue of watchfulness. This  shows how central is the role assigned by St Nikodimos to this state.  WRATH, wrathfulness: see Appetitive aspect of the soul.  




 
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