Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Ascent Is The Apostolic Sending Out

Agapé is the genuine and natural expression of apatheia: a translucent conscious place of authenticity that requires transit from inauthentic to authentic modes of being. Agapé is the metaphysical existence of absolute reality and perception that places one in a position to be fully present and accept the other in their midst without thoughts of categorization, specificity and prejudice. This place of authenticity requires transit from a self-focused and narcissistic apprehension of reality to a state of conscious being in non-reflective consciousness. But due to imperfection, the self is still object for others to the metaphysical conscious presence of absolute reality that places one in a position to fully perceive and accept the essence of the other in their midst without self-regard or objectification. One can just "be" without imposing their will, feelings, and sensations on others in order to allow the essence of their being to be drawn in by others. Then the pratikos can transcend the need to pull back into the carnal and base way of living bounded to sensational living that objectifies others. In sensational living, the other is not subject to you but becomes for you utility, object, and not the subject of your gift of self. This existence of transcendence is no longer a grasping, possessive, image filled consciousness, but rather a still passivity that is formidable in its presence. This “way of life” is a gift from the desert, a synthesis of disparate sources that seeks to ameliorate suffering man, the unliberated and bound man constrained by compulsions, obsessions and addictions. This is a way that the embodied God can liberate man.

Engaging with the texts of Evagrius is to engage with scripture itself. His work is imbued with scriptural references that he reads in an allegorical sense, typical of the early Patristics that can be classified as typology, and he applies this spiritual reading to his own ascetic praxis and theoria. Evagrius drew deeply from the Origenist theologies as a student of Marcarius the Great and Marcarius of Alexandria. He learned from the Origenist Catechetical Schools the following nuptial theme of Origen justifying the ascetic teaching necessary for the soul - The soul is to give birth to the Word (logos), [with] Mary as its model, ‘And every soul, virgin and uncorrupted, which conceives by the Holy Spirit, so as to give birth to the Will of the Father, is the Mother to Jesus.’ The Will of the Father then is the Son, Jesus Christ, the Power of the Father, begotten as the Will that proceeds from the intelligence. In this procreation of Divine energies into the creation, every soul is therefore feminine and its role is to be receptive in order to procreate the Divine Will. “This birth of Christ in the Soul is essentially bound up with reception of the Word and in a certain way Jesus is thus being continually born in souls.” Here is another answer to the question posed at the beginning of this paper: “How does the embodied God act in a liberating way?” God in our souls wants to give birth to the Will of the Father. And what is the Divine Will? The type of Divine love termed agapé. The incarnation of the Divine Will in the soul is an act of procreation that allows the soul, bearing the Christ within, to ascend to ever higher states of purification (the process of theosis) to manifest the agapé necessary to draw the soul closer to the Divine. However, the Will of the Father as agapé, also transfigures the soul into an incommutable relationship with others as subject and not objects, to procreate divine energies into creation; narcissistic self-focus becomes gift. The ascent is also the apostolic sending out.

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