Illumination and deification – Beholding the Divine Light

According to Gregory Palamas, “Man is illuminated by inapproachable radiance “in sublime, unknowable union,” and through this union he sees God . . . Beholding the uncreated Light he knows God, acquires knowledge of God, because then “he recognizes truly that God is surpassingly radiant and beyond comprehension”” (Met. Hierotheos. [2010]. The science of spiritual medicine, pp. 47-48). Unceasing noetic prayer –prayer of the heart subsequent to illumination of the nous; ecstasy – is higher than abstract theology, but still not union with God, “unless the Paraclete illuminates from on high the man sitting praying n the ‘upper room,’ the highest point human nature can reach, and awaiting the promise of the Father, and catches him up to theoria of the light” (Palamas, in ibid.). The knowledge of God resulting from theoria is given by God “to the pure in heart” (Met. Hierotheos, ibid.). Those who experience theoria “see God within themselves as in a mirror” (Palamas, in ibid.).

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