Meeting the Divine Light – 21

Deification is God’s perfect and full penetration of man (Dumitru Staniloae)

Meeting the Divine Light results in our obtaining “a knowledge beyond everything which we experience within the limits of our natural power of knowing . . . [Resulting in] knowledge beyond knowledge . . . The vision of the Divine Light is a vision and a knowledge [cause by a] divine energy, and received by man by means of a divine energy. It is a vision and a knowledge according to the divine way” (D. Staniloae, 2002, pp. 341-342).

According to Gregory Palamas, “the one who reaches this light sees and doesn’t see . . . he sees beyond sight, so that literally on the one hand he knows and sees, and on the other he doesn’t see by superiority . . . He does not see with any mental function and sense . . . he sees and functions in a way higher than we do, because he becomes higher than man and is already god by grace and is united with God and through God sees God” (ibid., pp. 342-343). The light of this knowledge – the knowledge resulting from meeting the Divine Light – may be compared “to the morning star which shines in full daylight, that is to say, to the sun . . . [as opposed to the light of regular knowledge which Palamas compares to “a lamp that shines in an obscure place” (ibid.).

Meeting the Divine Light is “lived as a temple with a number of parts . . . [beginning] with the one furthest out and ends with the ‘Holy of Holies,’ or with the intimacy of the divine essence, which is hidden eternally, enclosed in the shadows of the mystery; from it waves of light and of love, one after another, come in a procession without end, as from an altar, which appears to the faithful in the temple drowned in obscurity” (ibid., p. 350).