Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

The logoi of creation in St. Maximus the Confessor - created or uncreated


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Stephen Griffith

Stephen Griffith

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 15 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

I just want to ask a simple question for anyone who knows the thought of St. Maximus to a good degree, and one I'm quite desperate to know the answer to:

Are the logoi (the divine ideas or principles behind created things through which the Logos of God created*) created or uncreated?


*Please feel free to correct my rough definition of a logos

#2 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:12 PM

I am no expert on this field, but I understand that "logoi" are uncreated just like God's energies are uncreated.


Actually, logoi are very close related to uncreated energies. Logoi are certainly not stand-alone entities, their existence is tied to the corresponding creations. When the soul reaches impassibility (free from the passions) the human mind is able to contemplate the logoi that lie behind the natural order (some Fathers use the word heart instead of mind - they all mean the same thing by different terminology).

#3 Jacob Van Sickle

Jacob Van Sickle

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 5 posts

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:45 AM

In Ambiguum 7 Maximus writes:
But in the future age when graced with divinization, he will affectionately love and cleave to the logoi already mentioned that pre-existed in God, or rather, he will love God himself, in whom the logoi of beautiful things are securely grounded. In this way, he becomes a "portion of God," insofar as he exists through the logos of his being which is in God... (Blowers and Wilken, trans.)
This seems pretty clear to me. I don't know if Maximus ever uses the term "uncreated."

#4 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

Hmmm...this is very interesting. I always thought of the logoi as the created operative principles of each created thing.

This bears more investigation for sure.

In Christ
Fr Raphael

#5 Rick H.

Rick H.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:04 PM

Hmmm...this is very interesting. I always thought of the logoi as the created operative principles of each created thing.



That is what I learned in the thread from which the following quote is taken:


Part of our work as priests consists in the contemplation of divine essences ... bringing material creation to noetic reality ... and returning the noetic reality to the material creation....

. . . So I hope Through the Holy Spirit you may get the whole picture ... The divine connection ... The oneness ... The divine reality within ... and find the hidden Kingdom! And participate with all creation in the Cosmic Liturgy!



#6 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:33 PM

I reached for my various books on this subject and so far in the different passages which I have managed to find it is always stated that the logoi are the uncreated intentions of God for each thing which are brought to their realization in concrete creation.

#7 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

The question gets subtle because although the logoi are of divine origin they also seem to imply a created aspect. Thus St Maximus writes in his First Century on Theology 9:

Created beings can be known rationally by means of the inner principles which are by nature intrinsic to such beings and by which they are naturally defined. But from our apprehension of these principles inherent in created beings we can do no more than believe that God exists. To the devout believer God gives something more sure than any proof: the recognition and the faith that He substantively is. Faith is true knowledge, the principles of which are beyond rational demonstration; for faith makes real for us things beyond intellect and reason.


I always took this as referring to a tension between natural knowledge of created things: ie a natural, rational knowledge of the created principles of created things; and faith as true knowledge which informs us of the uncreated principles of God Who is uncreated.

But perhaps I am wrong and even here St Maximus means that the principles of created things are always uncreated even though they have a created aspect.

#8 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:19 PM

I think the following excerpt (from DIFFICULTY 41) is of some help. (from Fr Andrews Louth's book "Maximus the confessor") ( Ι put some underlines)

In order to bring about the union of everything with God as its cause, the human person begins first of all with its own division, and then, ascending through the intermediate steps by order and rank, it reaches the end of its high ascent, which passes through all things in search of unity, to God, in whom there is no division. It accomplishes this by shaking off every natural property of sexual differentiation into male and female by the most dispassionate relationship to divine virtue. This sexual differentiation clearly depends in no way on the primordial reason behind the divine purpose concerning human generation. Thus it is shown to be and becomes simply a human person in accordance with the divine purpose, no longer divided by being called male or female. It is no longer separated as it now is into parts, and it achieves this through the perfect knowledge, as I said, of its own logos, in accordance with which it is.

Then, by a way of life proper and fitting to Saints, the human person unites paradise and the inhabited world to make one earth, no longer is it experienced as divided according to the difference of its parts, but rather as gathered together, since no introduction at all of partition is allowed.

Then, through a life identical in every way through virtue with that of the angels, so far as is possible to human beings, the human person unites heaven and earth, making the whole of creation perceived through the senses one with itself and undivided, not dividing it spatially by intervals in any way, since the human person has become as subtle as spirit and is no longer tied to earth by any bodily weight. Nor is it obstructed in its ascent to the heavens thanks to the perfect invisibility to these things of the mind that is genuinely hastening towards God, and wisely stretches out towards him step by step, as on an ordinary path, naturally overcoming any obstacles that stand in its way.

And then the human person unites what is perceived by the mind and what is perceived by the senses with each other by achieving equality with the angels in its manner of knowing, and thus makes the whole creation one single creation, no longer divided by what it can know and what it cannot know, through its equality to the angels lacking nothing in their knowledge and understanding of the logoi in the things that exist, according to which the infinite pouring out of the gift of true wisdom inviolably and without intermediary furnishes, so far as is permitted, to those who are worthy a concept of God beyond understanding or explanation.

And finally, beyond all these, the human person unites the created nature with the uncreated through love (O the wonder of God’s love for us human beings!), showing them to be one and the same through the possession of grace, the whole [creation] wholly interpenetrated by God, and become completely whatever God is, save at the level of being, and receiving to itself the whole of God himself, and acquiring as a kind of prize for its ascent to God the most unique God himself, as the end of the movement of everything that moves towards it, and the firm and unmoved rest of everything that is carried towards it, being the undetermined and infinite limit and definition of every definition and law and ordinance, of reason and mind and nature.


The knowledge and understanding of the logoi is not a natural knowledge. It is a knowledge that transcends natural capacity and belongs to the realm of saintliness.

Edited by Lakis Papas, 15 November 2012 - 06:24 PM.
formating


#9 Fr Raphael Vereshack

Fr Raphael Vereshack

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,420 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member
  • Verified Monastic Cleric

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

I found addressed the question that I was groping towards of the relationship between the logoi and created nature in St Maximus' Ambiguum 7:

The logoi of all things known by God before their creation are securely fixed in God. They are in Him Who is the truth of all things. Yet all these things, things present and things to come, have not been brought into being contemporaneously with their being known by God; rather each was created in an appropriate way according to its logos at the proper time according to the wisdom of the Maker, and each acquired concrete actual existence in itself. For the Maker is always existent Being, but they exist in potentiality before they exist in actuality.


In other words each created nature is in the image of its uncreated logos which relates to its specific divine purpose. In this sense then the given logos of a thing and its created nature both reflect each other for,

all created things are defined, in their essence and in their way of developing, by their own logoi.


and this development and its purpose are found only in Christ since,

the one Logos is many logoi and the many logoi are One. Because the One goes forth out of goodness into individual being, creating and preserving them, the one is many. Moreover the many are directed toward the One and are providentially guided in that direction.


In Christ
-Fr Raphael

#10 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

St Maximus The Four Hundred Chapters on Love - Fourth Century - verse 4:

Knowledge of beings, eternally preexisted in God, was brought into substance by the Creator and raised outward, when He wanted.

(τήν έξ άϊδίου έν 'Εαυτω ο Δημιουργός τών όντων προϋπάρχουσαν γνώσιν, ότε έβουλήθη, ούσίωσε και προεβάλετο)

Edited by Lakis Papas, 07 December 2012 - 12:53 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users