August 31st, 1983, Serial No. 00386

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Monastic Theology Series Set 2 of 3




Okay, to review a little bit, last time we did this Profeptikos, and we were going to
do it all, and we did one chapter, and I'll try not to repeat it today, but I'm not so
sure, because there's a lot in there, in those chapters, in fact, I gave you a little more
just to make it worse.
Remember that we find fun at presenting the Logos as the new song, also as the singer
and as the instrument too, and he's Orpheus, and he transforms everything else, he liberates
people, which means to transform them from stones into men, from beasts into men, and
so on.
And remember that image of the sun, it just begins to be suggested there, so you've got
the sun and you've got this new song, the music and the light.
There's a book written on Sunday, on the origin of the day of the sun, Dia Solis, in which
a lot of the best quotes come from Clement, if anybody's interested, I'll give you a reference
to it.
There was a thesis at the Catholic University of America on the history of the notion of
We never even reflect on what that means, but the idea of a day and of sun, and that
Christ identified as the sun of justice or the sun of righteousness, or simply that today,
and I kind of think that Sunday morning is one of the best sources for that notion, it's
very rich, it's remarkable.
The basic question here, we can say, is the encounter of Christianity with Greek culture.
And there are all these analogies, there are all these things that are in those two columns
like we've got, faith and reason and grace and nature and agape and eros, and all of
those things.
And it runs right down to the present moment, and I put it a little bit in the context
of St. Griffith's visit, because what he's trying to do is to really work out the same
thing in our time.
But it's like a wider circle that he's working on.
If Clement was mediating between the word of God and the Greek culture, in a way it
was easier.
But now, trying to mediate between the word of God, between Christian theology, Christian
truth, and say, the Indian culture, that's where we're at.
And in between, I've got 1,800 years, almost 2,000 years.
Excuse me if I shoot out a couple of ideas about this, but he criticizes this in terms
of the marriage of reason and intuition.
That's one level of it.
The West has followed the line of reason, scientific development, and so on.
And the East has remained, not to say with intuition, but the East has remained with
a whole bunch of them.
It's like the difference between mythos and logos.
And we find Conant talking about both of them, and he talks about the myths and the poets
in the Greek families, like Homer, and then he talks about Plato.
It's like mythos and logos.
It's like myth and reason, poetry and reason, the same two lines.
Now, Gregory Griffiths finds one in the East and one in the West, which is a simple picture.
But there's something else going on there, too.
And that is simply the marriage of the word with something...
See, this is unhorizontal, but there's something else, which is the marriage of the word of
God with creation.
The marriage of God with creation, which is not precisely a marriage of East and West,
but it's behind this other one.
And if we look at the problem of inculturating Christianity in other cultures, to a Christian
it looks something like that.
The word of God is already implanted in every human being and in all the other cultures,
but the revealed word of God is something else.
The revealed word in Christ comes to find that word that's implanted in everybody and
bring it out somehow, bring it out fully.
So, it's like the marriage of the word, the logos, which is Christ, with the soil of human
nature, human mind, human soul, human heart, and human culture, too, including the religious
cultures of the world.
So, B. Griffiths found a reflection of what he was doing in the Tao of Physics, you know,
in that kind of wedding between Eastern mysticism and Western physics, in Capra's book.
It's interesting, because he had rejected Western science, you know, they made it sort
of the bad guy up until then, and now he has accepted the kind of breakthrough that's come
from it in no time, because it rediscovers the kind of intuition he's talking about,
the kind of universe that he finds.
But, strangely, Christianity is absent from that whole thing.
It's as if, if you look in the Tao of Physics, Christianity, the Christian revelation is
not necessary to it, and there's not necessarily concern for it.
If you read Capra's later books, the turning point is very different.
But, it's a cosmic and a mystical thing.
Now, what about history?
See, the Christian revelation is a distinctly historical revelation.
If you read Irenaeus, the word, the logos, is a historical word which recapitulates not
only the cosmos, but especially history.
It recapitulates the whole of history.
And we have to ask ourselves if the Christian contribution to this whole thing, the point
of connection with Christianity, is not the historical dynamic of the whole thing.
In other words, if in the Christian word, the logos, Christ, does not lie the secret
of the whole of this development, where it's coming from, where it's going, and where
it's at right now, we have to ask ourselves something like that.
Now, not in an elementary way, so we can just lay it out there and say that this is it.
So, besides the Tao of Physics, there's a Tao, the cosmic Tao, there's a Tao of history,
and I think it's the logos, it's the word.
So, we can ask ourselves, what is the law which relates that word, relates that logos
to history?
What is the principle?
How do you make the translation?
How do you make the relation of the connection?
How do you move from the logos to history and back?
How do you understand history in the light of the logos, in the light of the word?
Do you call it an incarnation of the word?
Do you call it a kind of successive incarnations, each one being incomplete or failing or thriving
and dying?
It's a very interesting question, a very important question.
So, I'll just leave that.
Maybe you can say something about it after.
Because climate is making like a first try at that, at that reconciliation.
But now, that joining, that marriage of Christianity and the whole of the rest.
And now, if we want to do it, we have to do it in terms of history, I think.
That's enough of that, because otherwise it will be a problem.
Let's go back to climate.
And we got as far as chapter 5.
I was about to say something on chapter 5, and then I realized that you didn't have the
text, so that's what I just gave to you.
Now, chapter 5, 6, 7 and 8 are related.
In chapter 5, Clement talks about the Greek philosophers and their failure to attain true
knowledge of God.
So, he talks about the negative.
In chapter 6, he gives the positive side of the same thing.
In chapter 7, he talks about the Greek poets.
And in chapter 8, finally, he talks about the prophets, who, of course, for him, had
the truest knowledge of God.
So, let's go through that rather quickly and just try to get to main points.
Chapter 5 is like Clement's history of philosophy, especially the Greek philosophers, the early
ones, before Socrates and Plato and Aristotle, before the ones that we know best.
And he tells how they thought that God was one of the elements and so on, you know, fire
or earth or water or air.
And here, maybe, it's not quite fair to them, because usually the people who write about
this, those philosophers who have studied them, see that there's a lot of depth in those
notions and that they were more symbolic than literal sometimes, especially somebody like
If you say that Heraclitus believed that fire was God, that's not really fair to him.
You'll find that Clement quotes Heraclitus a number of times.
His fragments are scattered throughout him, they pop up time after time after time, in
spite of the fact that he never looks at them straight on, proving them.
Here we have, over on the right-hand side of page 190 there, he kind of makes a summary
and says...
Like, the Greeks supposed stocks and stones to be images of the gods.
Those would be human images, statues.
Now, Epibuses and Numens, like the Egyptians, who would make images of animals, or fire
and water, as the philosophers.
So you have three levels, as it were, of cosmic religion, of finding God in the cosmos.
And he's doing it very summarily, and he kind of dismisses it, and he's not...
He's saving his favorable attention for the next chapter, and he's going to just give
it to a couple of those philosophers.
He speaks here of the weak and beggarly elements of the world, as Paul does.
Let's skip over to chapter 6.
After the pre-Socratic philosophies, he talks about the Stoics and the Aristotelians in chapter
5, but he skips by Plato.
He doesn't investigate Plato again.
He saves him for the next chapter in order to praise him for having had a true knowledge
of God.
So he starts out with a kind of moan, a lament, about the kinds of things that they worship.
And then he makes this marvelous confession of faith, down in the bottom of the left-hand
column of 191, after Degas was in it.
It is the Lord of the spirits, the Lord of the fire, the maker of the universe, him who
lighted up the sun by the month of...
That's a comment.
And then he turns to Plato.
And here the translation is not so helpful.
So, let's take it from the source books again.
And he seems to adopt the tone of one of Plato's dialogues here.
He's kind of subtle in that comment.
He slips into dialogue form here, questions and answers.
So, he's talking, as it were, to the philosophers, and he says,
What help will you give me for this quest?
For I haven't lost all hope in me.
That is, in the philosophers, in the crowd of philosophers.
It's everybody's great crowd.
Plato, if you will, is the reply.
How then, Plato, does one discover God?
And then there's a quote from Plato.
It's a great thing to find the father and the creator of this universe,
and when one has found him, it's impossible to explain him to all,
or to explain it to all.
So, that's different from the English translation.
To declare him fully is not what it says.
And then, why so? The dialogue continues.
Because he's absolutely ineffable.
And that's a quotation, it seems, from a letter of Plato.
And the quotations from Plato are simple to remember.
The references are in the source material, kind of what he's interested in.
It's quite a labor to look closely at.
Well done, Plato, you have touched on the truth.
It says in the original, evidently, that you're skimming over the truth, or something like that.
But don't get discouraged.
So, he's in a dialogue with Plato.
Undertake with me the inquiry respecting the good.
For unto all men, whatever, especially those who are occupied...
It's a strange thing to say, but it's as if the philosophers know God.
The people who search for wisdom know God better than others.
That's a somewhat snobbish statement.
A certain divine effluence has been instilled in him.
I don't know what the original effluence is.
And so, all these people have hints of the true nature of God.
And Clement is going to let that boom out.
He's going to let it blaze out later on.
Meanwhile, he carefully chooses his quotes in order to prepare the way for himself.
And notice how many times he mentions the sun.
Here's a quotation from Euripides.
Tell me what I am to conceive God to be.
He who sees all things and is himself unseen.
Well, I'm going to slip over that, you know what I'm saying?
And then we remember that the Hindus call God the knower, who is not known.
The Greeks tend to put it out in front of you.
And then, oh sun.
They say, well, you don't worship the sun.
But yet the sun somehow is pointing towards God.
And he talks of those who call the whole expanse of the heavens, really, Zeus or God.
They weren't so far from it, he says.
For the sun could never show me the true God, but that healthful word...
Now, healthful word means a healing word.
A lot of things are mixed in here.
Remember in Malachi, the sun of righteousness arises with healing in his wings.
Now, what are the wings of the sun?
Do you ever see one of those Egyptian images, or golden images,
where it's kind of winged under a face, something like that?
You get that kind of idea.
And as if those rays have the power to heal, it's quite striking.
That healing word that is the son of the soul.
Now, there it's noose.
The son of the intellect.
By whom alone, when he arises in the depths of the intellect,
the eye of the intellect itself is irradiated.
That's a very significant statement.
And that's the first time we've run into that idea of the logos
being the sun which dwells in the human person.
Now, here's something that you don't find much in Irenaeus.
There's a contrast between Irenaeus and Clement on two lines.
One is that Irenaeus never talks about the intellect.
He's not interested in it.
He's not into that polemic thing.
And Clement does, all the time.
Secondly, Irenaeus doesn't talk about interiority very much.
Very little.
Which surprises you on a Christian who knows John the Pope.
Because he's fighting the Gnostics,
and evidently it's a little too dangerous to get into that kind of talk,
and so he avoids it.
And you may think somewhat unfortunately.
He's using it very externally.
He doesn't like the image of God in the body.
Whereas Clement loves that kind of thing.
And so he moves into interiority.
Intellect and interiority both.
So here our discussion, our Gnosis, our Christian wisdom,
is moving in a certain direction from which it never withdraws.
In other words, that remains there, right up until our own time.
For better or for worse.
And certainly it's an important dimension,
but when it takes over, at the expense of everything else,
then you have to learn.
So, we still have that Greek inheritance
in our mystical theology of philosophy.
I won't go with just the Greek inheritance.
The thing about the intellect, perhaps,
is that the interiority is very much in the system.
See, it's only the preference for it.
It's that kind of bias that sticks to the tradition.
It's the fact that the external world, the physical world,
can pretty much be left behind
because of the inner spiritual communities,
so that's an under-testament that Neoplatonism
gives a more elaborate and logical basis for it.
There's been a lot of wrestling with that in recent years,
the amount of Neoplatonism that seems to be in Christianity.
It's in relation to the real biblical content of the Revelation concept.
So that's an important little text in there,
about the son of the mind, the son of the soul,
meaning the Logos.
Those things are good to hang on to
and remind yourself of them from time to time
as archetypal images in Christianity,
which have a lot of power to them.
You'll find they don't get old.
And then he goes on about God being the measure.
There's a kind of mysterious sounding phrase,
but the notion comes from Plato,
the notion comes from Plato's Laws, Book Four.
I can read you the passage.
I'm not familiar enough with Plato to be able to put it in context.
Now here we are.
In Javadis, page 487.
This is an Athenian talking to somebody named Phineas.
Friends, we say to them,
God, as the old tradition declares,
holding in his hand the beginning, middle and end of all, that is,
travels according to his nature in a straight line
towards the accomplishment of his end.
It reminds me of anything by Isaiah 55, his word.
It might have been also in Clement's mind.
Remember, his words are also the psalm,
the word that travels in a straight line,
travels its course like a mighty warrior.
But Isaiah 55, where the word goes
and it does its purpose and it comes back,
it doesn't get connected.
It's sure.
Justice always accompanies him and he's the punisher
of those who fall short of the divine law.
To justice, he who would be happy holds fast
and follows in the company of God and nobody in order.
To he who is lifted up with pride
and elated by wealth or rank or beauty,
who is young and foolish and has his soul hot with insolence
and thinks that he has no need of any guide or ruler,
but is able himself to be the guide of others,
he, I say, is left deserted of God.
And being thus deserted, he takes to him others who are like himself
and dances about, throwing all things into confusion.
And many think that he is a great man,
but in a short time he pays a penalty,
which justice cannot but approve and is utterly destroyed
in his family and city living.
And then the measure.
And what life is agreeable to God in becoming his followers?
One only, expressed once and for all in the old saying,
that life agrees with life, with measure it measure.
The things which have no measure agree neither with themselves
nor with the things which have.
Now God ought to be to us the measure of all things
and not man, as men come to themselves.
See, that sounds very much more like the scripture than it does,
like what we think of as philosophy.
God ought to be to us the measure of all things and not man.
When we talk about the word of God, that's what we're saying.
We're saying the word of God should be the measure of all things
and not the word of man.
Okay, thanks.
Of course, we place that in the context of the historical context
that we are saying that,
because just as Ernest was opposed to the Vedas and Gnostics,
and that's what molded the theology of Plato,
and Socrates were opposed to the Sophists,
and indeed, if there was a central saying that it was from the Sophists,
it wasn't the same.
But anyway, that man is the measure of all things.
Ah, I see.
And the basis of that was that there is no transcendent truth.
The Sophists believe that every person has their own truth,
whether what's cold for one person is hot for another,
and you can't say what's absolute.
And so the only thing you can rely on is each individual having their own subjective truth.
There's a lot of that around right now.
Right, where the secular philosophers now look with much more approval on the Sophists,
who they call the Enlightenment philosophers of Greece,
this century Greece, you see.
And so when he says man is the measure,
it's both that man, not gods or transcendent truth,
but also individual man,
and that is a collective truth.
So that was the thing that Socrates pretty much put his whole existence into gravel,
because he started out as a Sophist,
and Plato pretty much builds the whole philosophy on that basis.
And so that's one of his last works, actually,
about really systematic about setting up the whole society
on the basis of that absolute divine truth,
rather than man is the measure of all things.
Plato also blamed the demise of Athens' power in the Greek city-states
on that philosophy of the Sophistic kind of relativism,
because he felt that virtue was thrown out the window.
I'm not saying virtue had a divine foundation,
then that would be immorality.
He saw it all wrong,
and said that's why we're losing,
that's why Alexander the Great was about to topple Macedon,
and Alexander was about to take over.
There's so much power in our history, at least.
So God is the measure.
Oh, there's a notion also of the business of the likeness of God,
which is both biblical and Greek.
And then the Platonic notion perhaps of participation as God is the measure.
He says somewhere that...
Let's not hear it somewhere else, we'll pick it up later.
The things that are to be measured are contained in the measure,
so the knowledge of God measures in that way is true.
But it's like, if God is your measure,
as he measures you also, you participate in him.
And to the extent that you have goodness of truth,
it's because you are participating in that goodness and truth that he is.
Whence, O Plato, is that hint of the truth which you give?
And there's still dialogue for me.
He says you got your geometry from the Egyptians,
your astronomy from the Babylonians,
Walter, anyone of our variants.
The Assyrians have taught you it,
but for the laws that are consistent with truth
and your sentiments respecting God,
you're indebted to the Hebrews.
And I don't know where that quote comes from,
it's not added since this quotient.
Let it not be this one man alone, Plato,
but there must be others.
And so then he mentions the others
who had real scraps of the knowledge of God.
Antisthenes and Xenophon and so on.
And the Stoics, Cleopates, in the bottom of it.
And the Pythagoreans.
And he gets something from the Pythagoreans,
it seems, according to something he brings up later on.
And most of these he's pointing out the transcendence of God.
And with the Pythagoreans,
there's something about the imminence of God too,
which may surprise us.
The Stoics had a doctrine on God too,
but he doesn't quote very much of it, it seems.
The idea that
he is not, as some suppose, outside of this frame of things,
but within it.
But in all the entireness of his being,
he's in the whole circle of existence,
surveying all nature and blending it harmoniously in the whole.
While within it, he supposes,
the author of all his own forces and works,
the giver of light in heaven and father of all,
the mind and vital power of the whole world,
the mover of all things.
He says these utterances were inspired by God.
And then, in chapter 7, he turns to the poets.
And, in order not to take too long,
I'm going to skip over this,
especially since I'm unfamiliar with the philosophers,
even more so with the poets.
But he chooses his quotations very clearly,
very carefully,
and so there's a meaningful sequence there.
It says later,
At the most, the Greeks have him receive certain scintillations,
certain sparks of the divine word,
and give him, of course, some utterances of truth.
In chapter 8, he gets to the prophets.
Note the relationship.
You've got philosophers.
You've got poets.
And what's the relationship between the two?
It's sort of the two sides of the mind, as it were.
The reason, and the intuition, which is connected to the field.
It's like the masculine and the feminine, of course.
And then you've got another kind of knowledge,
which he would attribute to the mystics,
to recognize their power.
And remember that we've talked about
rational theology, symbolic theology,
and apophatic theology, and mystical theology.
There's a kind of triangle there.
And I think that he would act as a prophet to the mystics,
because they've got the word straight from the Bible.
The word which is the self-knowledge of that experience.
Of course, also they have a mission, to speak the word.
And surprisingly, first, he doesn't turn to one of the prophets
that we would expect, but the Sybil.
Now, I looked up the Sybilian article,
if you know anything about it.
And that was something that existed in the Greek tradition,
and had a lot of authority.
And there were several Sybils.
Evidently, the first one was in Asia Minor.
The Sybil were the prophetess,
and he'd go to her, just as he'd go to the prophet
in the Old Testament, to get the word of the future, destiny.
The most famous were the Sybils of Delphi and Pumae,
but there was a whole class of them, evidently, throughout history.
Then, there were certain books in the Jewish tradition,
which were called the Sybilian oracles.
So, these are not evidently the Greek Sybilian oracles,
but the Judeo-Christian tradition, a couple hundred years before Christ,
the second half of the second century B.C.
And so, what we read there, of course, in this oracle,
is not quite so surprising as if it came from a single pagan source.
Isaiah's wife was supposed to be a prophetess.
I wonder if that was really not the case.
You had some prophetesses in the New Testament, too,
in the Acts of the Apostles.
Somebody had several daughters who were prophetesses.
And then there was a sect, the Martians, right?
The Martians, right?
The Martinists.
Where the prophetess was extremely important.
She was supposed to be almost the presiding vocation of the Holy Spirit.
When you put that out there,
do you have that kind of identity of the Holy Spirit?
In the sense that here we have the philosophers on the side of the Word,
on the side of truth,
and here we have the poets on the side of beauty,
and freedom,
and behemoth,
and the Holy Spirit.
As it were, the masculine and feminine of our conversation with God.
And here the apophatic, beyond any image or beyond the arms or hands of God,
is the dramatic state of the prophecies,
and some of the integral experiences.
And that's quite a funny,
because there's always another quote back here,
which is something that's been tied up on the book.
But we're talking about prophets,
and we're talking about prophets who are also in action,
who act in the world,
and influence.
There's also a vectoring on that.
Because that Word of God is something that comes into the world and does something.
And it's not only a concomitant experience.
Let me give you some of my favorite geometry there.
That Quaternary which comes up again and again and again.
It's a Trinitarian scheme plus the creation.
And Irenaeus had it explicitly in Clement, it's quite so obvious.
Okay, then he goes...
That's a marvelous quote from the Sybil.
I didn't look at the original to see where its credentials are.
So, he is all sure and unerring.
Come, follow no longer darkness and gloom.
See the sun's sweet glancing light.
That's pure Clement, that notion.
He picks it up later on. He loves that language.
What about the sweetness of the light of the sun?
Which is, for him, the love of Christ, the Word.
Know and lay up wisdom in your hearts.
There is one God, the sun's glancing light.
He reigns over heaven, he rules earth, he truly is.
It sounds like Moses.
She compares delusion to darkness and the knowledge of God to the sun and light.
And so she takes heart, Marx wrote Clement.
And then he starts on the prophets, Jeremiah, Isaiah.
And notice how often the image of the sun,
or an image that's close to that of the sun, comes out.
He loves the notion of this lightsome power of God.
To Moses, behold, behold that I am, and there is no other God beside me.
And then he quotes some of the powerful utterances of God and Isaiah.
You've mentioned that the real prophets will combine those two things sometimes.
They're not just...
Yeah, yeah.
That's right, that's right.
They go a little bit from side to side.
But rarely do they get into the purely speculative area, you know.
But that's right by that.
But it's truth and it's very often in poetic form.
And very often early towards action.
Then later on, on the bottom of the right hand column there.
Why repeat you the mysteries of wisdom, sayings from the writings of the son of the Hebrews,
the master of wisdom.
That's Solomon.
And he quotes from the wisdom books.
And he's got a marvelous passage up on the top left of the next page.
Oh, it's in your new...
Isn't it?
Then it's in your old one.
Look in your old notes.
Page 195.
The ones that you were doing before.
This is where the new ones fit into the old ones.
Upper left, okay.
It's an exhortation to wake up to the light, wake up to wisdom.
But if you show yourself no sluggard as a fountain your harvest shall come.
Mixing of images there.
The word of the father, the fountain of wisdom.
The benign light, the lord that brings light, faith through all and salvation.
For the lord who created the earth by his power has raised up the world by his wisdom.
For wisdom which is his word raises us up to the truth of a fallen prostrate before idols
and is itself the first resurrection.
Wisdom is the first resurrection.
Now some people would say it's faith.
The promise of wisdom.
Or some people would say, I don't know, the experience of God.
Some people would say the illumination of baptism.
And he will later because I think that's what he means by this.
But for him it's knowledge.
And then he gets to David.
See the song of salvation which echoes that new song in chapter one.
He comes back to that at the end.
He's a literary man so he puts symmetries and allusions into his writing.
And then down to the bottom of that chapter.
The sun shall suffer eclipse and the heaven be darkened but the almighty shall shine forever.
He presents God, or the word, as kind of a super sun.
Kind of a mega sun.
And the earth shall flee away before the face of the Lord.
You see the face of the Lord is shining in his power.
Chapter nine.
Don't pay too much attention to the title there.
The title in source book GM is a little more attractive.
God calls us to him by his love of us.
Whereas our translator is kind of hideous, forbidden.
Okay, now we've got to kind of race if we want to get anywhere near the end.
So this is the call of the logos.
And it's Clement, sweetly calling for the word.
Notice he calls children.
And Clement is very deep, actually, here theologically.
It may seem just like kind of pastoral poetry, but it's not.
When he talks about children, that's because of our rebirth in the sun, in the word.
And in the Pedagogos, I think it's in chapter six, he goes into that at great length.
And what it does is to balance his intellectualism, you see.
Because he knows that he's in danger with that Greek intellectual bias.
I'm talking about the Gnostic, you know, the perfect man, the superior character.
But he's in danger of getting out of balance there.
And so he puts great stress on this notion of being children.
He goes on and on and on about it, about the milk and so on, in the other book, in the Pedagogos.
And here he reproduces it.
And he's right on, theoretically, because it's fundamental, it's central in Christianity.
In fact, it somehow expresses it all, as we've heard.
The fact that we are children, we're begotten children, we remain children,
and we remain sort of children ever born in the newness, the perpetual newness.
And he goes on about that in the other book.
Come, come, all my young people, for if you become not again as little children and be born again,
as the scripture says, you shall not receive the truly existent Father.
Now, remember when Jesus says, you have to be children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven,
he doesn't make that connection.
He says, if you don't become a child, you won't receive the Father, does he?
He leaves that to us. But Clement makes it explicit.
And notice two things here.
The manner of being like a child is one thing, the manner of listening.
And the manner of being born in baptism is another thing.
But he's speaking from the intersection of those two things.
The firstborn church, we too are firstborn sons, friends of the firstborn,
who first of all other men attain to the knowledge of God.
And that means us, not him.
Because he is in the knowledge of God.
This is, let's say, a sermon, an exhortation on the way.
Then up on the top of 196, at the left-hand side,
this is Clement with a powerful luminous talk again.
He awakes from the sleep of darkness and raises up those who have wandered in error.
Awake, he says, you who sleep and arise from the dead and Christ will give you life.
That's an early hymn which we find in St. Paul.
I think it pre-existed, Paul's putting it in Ephesians.
Christ, the son of the resurrection, he who was born before the morning star
and with his beings bestowed life.
And then we call him the son of health or the son of healing before.
Let no one then despise the word lest he unwittingly despise himself.
That's marvelous.
The son of the resurrection.
Nobody's putting it together there.
He talked about us as children before, as being born in the word who comes.
Being born in the son of God.
It's like the son of God, the lovers, the word, Christ, is a perpetual birth.
He's an unceasing birth.
So he's always young as a birth.
He is that point of newness.
Which comes into the world, dies, and then in the resurrection
it's raised into the skies.
Raised into glory to become a perpetual newness for us.
That is a perpetual birth.
So the resurrection, the birth from the dead.
Remember Paul, he's the firstborn of the dead.
The birth from the dead, in power, in glory, becomes as it were
a perpetual birth in light and power
for those who associate themselves with the word.
For those who get into the word somehow.
Let no one then despise it.
If the word shines on you, you see, the son of the word shines on you
then that's what happens to you.
Birth falls on you.
Let no one then despise the word lest he unwittingly despise himself.
Insofar as you despise the word, it's as if you're despising your life.
Remember, the people who talk about the true self,
they're putting it in another language.
But they're saying the same thing.
There's something I've read in a book I read recently.
Yeah, exactly.
Okay, now a little further down.
Receive the word with open ears and entertain God as a guest in pure spirits.
I didn't look up spirit to see what it is,
whether it's news for its intellect or not.
But notice that interiority once again.
The idea of indwelling, which you hardly find in Irenaeus
and which is very dear to Clement.
The indwelling of God, the indwelling of the word.
For great is the grace of his promise, if today you hear his voice.
Now, here we get into that passage that Regan in his book on Sunday
takes up.
It's one of the most beautiful passages of Clement on the sun.
Christ to love us as the sun.
I'll see if I can find it to read a bit to you.
On page 54 in that book by Regan, which I think is over there on the shelf,
I just have a couple of pages here copied from it.
In the writings of Clement of Alexandria,
one is able to glimpse a continuation of the firmly established symbolism
of Christ as the true sun,
and also the beginning of the apologetic application
of doctrinal belief to the vast missionary task
which confronted the infant church.
He writes in kind of a dry white.
Drawing his inspiration from Psalm 95,
a famous psalm by today, if you hear his voice from heart to heart,
that much as he never had one,
was the beginning of our office.
And he picks that up also as somehow pointing to the new sun.
Heikl and Cyprian, he writes,
and that today, and this is what you have,
it's just a different translation.
That today is lengthened out day by day,
yet it is still called today.
Forever will the today in the instruction continue.
Notice the connection between today and instruction,
the light of the instruction,
the light that shines from the sun, which is the Logos.
And this is the true today,
the never-ending day of God which reaches over into eternity.
Let us obey always the voice of the divine Logos.
Notice we've got the sound and the light again.
You see, the Logos is the light of man.
The Logos is also the word.
The Logos is also the song.
Kant plays with the whole spectrum of that language of the senses,
that cosmic language.
It's a human cosmic language,
of the senses and the light and the sound.
Let us obey always the voice of the divine Logos,
for the today signifies eternity.
The Logos, just like it's all knowledge, all meaning, all truth,
is also all time in itself.
It's eternity shining into this world.
And this day is a symbol of light,
and the light for man is the Logos by whom he beholds God.
This is the resurrection, the sun of the resurrection,
is the emergence beyond time and death,
but appearing in time.
So it's this deathlessness in the world of death,
timelessness and beyond time,
contained in the world of time.
Christ the Logos is indeed the sun of righteousness,
and that's in another place,
and stands as the center and foundation
of Kant's personal spiritual life,
as we see from this intimate prayer which he has composed.
Then he puts in that hymn, Hail, O Light,
which we get to later in Chapter 11.
I'll leave it to our time.
The good things from meditation are that
the meaning of that today,
that's quoted also in the letter of the Hebrews,
earlier on, remember?
All about entering into the rest.
And in today it's still there, he says.
The rest is still there.
The Lord, in his love to man,
invites all men to the knowledge of the truth,
and to this end sends the paraclete.
What then is this knowledge?
Okay, I'm skipping through kind of quickly.
In the next column, right inside of 196,
he mentions Tiresias again.
Is that how you pronounce it?
The old man of Ithaca.
He was in the Odyssey.
In fact, there's a long stretch in there.
I didn't bring the log.
The references are in Scripture 10,
if anybody wants them.
Then he turns up again.
See, he was early in the book of Cronin.
He's here, and he turns up again in the last chapter,
along with Odysseus himself.
Those two figures are important for Cronin.
The blind man and the sailor,
which he was wandering.
And Christ turns out to be the staff for the blind man.
He turns out to be the master,
to which Odysseus is tied,
as he sails by the island of Cyprus.
So he's really weaving.
The cross.
Yeah, the cross.
Excuse me, I said Christ is the cross.
But godliness that makes man
as far as can be like God
designates God as our suitable teacher
who alone can worthily assimilate man to God.
The only teacher who can assimilate man to God
and to likeness to God.
Down towards the bottom,
there's a surprising line.
Taste and see that Christ is God.
That seems to have been,
must have been in some manuscripts.
But source criterion has restored it
to the more tame line.
Taste and see that God is good.
Because Christos and Christos
in Greek are close.
Or Christos.
Isn't it the Greek?
You can translate it
in various orders of the word.
It's the Lord or God is good.
It's probably a wrong translation.
It's probably taste and see
that God is good.
It's a kind of,
what do you call it, a tendentious
Come hither, O children,
listen to me and I will teach you
the voice of wisdom.
Now, there's a very pregnant text
at the top left hand
of the next page.
The end of chapter nine.
Hear you,
then you who are far off.
Hear you who are near.
You who are near.
The word has not been hidden from any.
Light is common.
It shines on all men.
You get the,
the sun, the moon, the sky,
shine on everybody.
There are no Cimmerians
in respect to the word.
The Cimmerians were people in the Odyssey
who lived in perpetual shadow,
lived in perpetual darkness.
They inhabited a place
always plunged into darkness.
Let us haste to salvation,
to regeneration.
That means baptism,
the baptismal rebirth.
Let us who are many,
haste that we may be brought together
into one love.
Remind you of John 17.
According to the union of the essential unity.
Now, that's philosophical,
and we hear that when we read it
at the Dreams of Val.
And it's said by our editor
in First Christian,
that that comes from the
Pythagorean tradition,
the notion of the monad,
especially when it's been
outplayed a lot,
and also the notion of music,
the union, seeking after the good monad.
That's the philosophical language
that surprises us once again.
The union of many in one.
It's John and it's
Pythagorean tradition at the same time.
Issuing in the production of divine harmony
out of a medley of sounds and division.
Notice, he started out
with the image of the sun,
the light that shines on all.
And here we get back to the song,
and here he's deliberately fusing those two images.
The sun, which somehow creates
not only light, but harmony.
Out of a medley of sounds and division
becomes one symphony,
following one choir leader and teacher,
the logos.
Reaching and resting in the same truth
and crying out with father.
Those of you who have read Cassian
may be reminded of something like that.
Remember that conference on prayer,
where he quotes John 17?
It's in Conference 10, Chapter 7.
Very much like this.
You may have read that.
John 17.
This, the true utterance of his children,
God accepts with gracious welcome
the first fruits he receives from them.
There's a lot in there.
Okay, Chapter 10.
Now, Chapter 10 is a little dry.
The argument is that
you claim that you can't desert
the traditions of your fathers
in order to believe in Christ.
The customs and the ways of thinking
that you have.
And he says, well,
that's not logical at all.
When you gave up being a child,
you gave up milk and so on.
It sounds a little like St. Paul
when he was a child.
He took the things of a child.
We're going to skip over quite a bit here.
It's very relevant to that.
I consider John to be custom
because he had an inaugurated farm
and worked with them and
it helps us to see the dynamism
of the first burst of Christianity
when they say,
those habits that we're stuck into,
the light is shining.
And unfortunately for us,
the Christianity, the light itself
has turned into habit.
So we have to break the crest again.
Over in 198.
Let us not then be enslaved
or become swinish,
but as true children of the light,
let us raise our eyes and look on the light
lest the Lord discover us to be spurious
as the sun does the eagles.
There's some kind of a legend
that the eagle would test its children
by having them look at the sun.
I forget what happens
when they call upon the stars
to imagine eagles,
but they don't make it.
And that's where he seems to see
God as inhabitant
and the Word as dwelling.
The image of the Word is the true man,
the mind, the noose,
which is in man,
who is therefore said to have been made
in the image and likeness of God,
assimilated to the divine Word
in the affections of,
not the soul, but the heart,
in the affections of the heart,
and therefore rational.
And then he goes on
knocking the images.
Now here you have a convergence
once again of the Greek and Hebrew.
The Hebrew notion of man
is the image of God,
the only image of God,
and the Platonic notion,
especially when you stress on the intellect,
and how that is what reflects God,
that's what knows God,
that's where God belongs.
And a little later on,
receive then the water of the Word,
not the water of the Word,
wash you polluted minds,
purify yourselves from custom
by sprinkling yourselves
with the drops of truth,
which is the symbolism of truth,
The pure must ascend to heaven.
You are a man,
look to that which is common to you,
and to others.
Seek Him, the Creator,
the universe's Son.
Excuse me for skipping so fast
through this,
but we can't go on
until we sit by this part.
Now, 200.
There's a nice little statement
up at the top.
A straight way,
but leading from heaven.
I didn't look up to see what the original
would say, it's a little confusing.
Straight in truth,
but leading back to heaven.
Straight, despised on earth,
broad, adored in heaven.
Marvelous, huh?
The word is narrow on earth,
is despicable in some way.
Also, it's a rule,
it's a rod,
it's a law in the way on earth.
When Jesus goes into hell,
it's broad and adored in heaven.
Remember the rules of men,
where the geek can't help
with the narrow, that's it.
But the broadness is your heart.
For man has been otherwise
constituted by nature,
so it's a fellowship with God.
So man is made to have fellowship with God,
and that fellowship starts
with the knowledge of God.
Placing our finger on what is man's peculiar
and distinguishing characteristic
of being as he is,
a truly heavenly plant
for the knowledge of God,
which is in the Lord.
So it's clear enough
how he sees man,
and how, for instance,
this would differ from
a purely biblical picture
or a human act.
You see both the brilliance of it
and then the possible ways
in which it could become distorted.
I'm in the bottom of 201.
A noble hymn of God
is an immortal man.
Remember Christ is in this song.
Established in righteousness,
in whom the oracles of truth
are engraved.
For where but in a soul that is wise
can you write truth,
where love, where reverence,
where meekness,
and also evidently
where would you find God as a guest?
And then right at the end of that chapter,
in 202, I'm going to write him a poem.
He was a true champion,
a fellow champion of the creature.
I don't know if he's thinking
of a particular hero or not.
Being communicated most speedily
to men, having dawned
from his father's counsel
quicker than the sun,
as it were, the hidden counsel,
the mystery hidden in God,
quicker than the sun
in the darkness.
He's got images in his mind,
it's a visual.
Once he was, and what he was,
he showed by what he taught
and exhibited, manifesting himself
as the herald of the covenant,
the reconciler, our savior,
the word, the fount of life,
the giver of peace,
diffused over the whole face of the earth.
By whom, so to speak,
the universe has already
become an ocean of blessing.
That's in the 2nd century.
The editor, in retrospect,
stops just before
the start of chapter 10
in order to
say something about
those last two chapters.
He calls them,
and he's not exactly
a sentimentalist to say that,
but he calls these
two last chapters
a magnificent conclusion
to the book.
And then he talks about
the density that's in them.
In concluding, he says,
before leaving the reader
alone with Carmen,
I'd like to underline
the density of these last chapters,
where there are
abounding views
on the most beautiful aspects
of the Christian doctrine.
Some look so fugitive
and so raptive
that only meditation
or reflective reading
is able to see
all of their implications,
and still more
to prolong beyond
them this which
their author
has had to
or wished to
enclose in just a few words.
One would deceive oneself
in taking these illusions,
these intuitions,
for just more or less
superficial illusions.
They're often a rapid
and synthetic expression
of a profound intuition
that Clement does not
seek to explain
or to analyze,
and that maybe he can't
analyze or develop
because Christian theology
is still in its beginnings.
So he's got a kind of
global intuition
which later,
almost a solid
or a chunk of intuition
which later can be
rather synthetic.
In every case,
these views are
of a soul which is
profoundly Christian,
hardened in his own fashion
and really mystic
and totally incriminated
with the Bible.
much of it perhaps
together with chapter one,
the most powerful part
of the book,
he's asked that
the imagery
of the light
and of the sun
is continually
coming through there.
And I think,
see, the reading of this
is not just a matter
of learning something,
it's a matter of engraving
a kind of imagery
into your own mind.
It's a matter of
installing in yourself
a certain treasury
of powerful symbols
which then later
will awaken and shine
when you read the scriptures,
you know?
It's a permanent
kind of enrichment
of the Christian tradition
which is meant to be
our own spiritual furniture.
To put it clearly,
In chapter ten,
he talks again about
how the Greek philosopher
had glimpses of wisdom
of tea.
The real and total thing
comes in the word,
comes in Christ,
the lover.
Compares philosophy
with the commandment
of the Lord,
the word really,
which is far-shining,
lightning in the eyes.
Receive Christ,
receive sight,
receive your light.
Sweet is the word
that gives us light,
for how can it be
together and desirable
since it is filled with light
the mind which had been
buried in darkness
and given keenness
to the light-bringing
eyes of the soul.
I don't know whether
that's noose or solar.
For just as if
had the sun not been
in existence,
night would have brooded
over the universe,
notwithstanding the other luminaries,
the stars and moon.
So had we not known
the word
and been illuminated by it,
regardless of the poets
and the philosophy,
we should have been
no wise different from
fowls that are being fed,
fattened in darkness
and nourished for death.
It's a powerful image.
Let us then admit the light
that we may admit God.
Let us admit the light
and become disciples
of the Lord.
down a little further
he's got that hymn,
Reagan has
translated himself
in his
chapter on Clement
and the Day of the Sun.
So I'll read his translation.
Where he starts,
Halo light,
let in the middle of
the lightning
Halo light,
which we call, of course,
the Vespers hymn.
There may have been
even pre-Christian hymns,
I suppose,
to the light
of the Holy Spirit.
For in us who lie
buried in the darkness
and imprisoned in the shadow
of death,
light has come forth
from heaven,
purer than that of the sun,
sweeter than life
dear to all.
That light is eternal life
for all those who share in it.
But the night
fears the light,
and hiding itself in terror,
it makes way
for the day of the Lord.
Just the idea
of the darkness
crouching over
and cringing
away from the light
and just flitting off
into non-being.
This is the light
that never sleeps,
the light that hovers
over all,
and the West has come
around to the East.
It's a little different
in the translation
than I have,
that is, the West
has yielded to the East
or something.
The West has given
credence to the East.
It's that the West
has come around
to the East.
You can think about
what that might mean.
It means that
the nations of the West
which were in darkness
have come around
to the light.
Also, perhaps,
that the West
has returned to the East.
This light is Christ,
the Son of Righteousness.
That comes from
Prophet Malachi.
It's often quoted
in the Testament.
And then our translation
goes on.
I think so.
I think that's exactly
the idea of
where the sun set
and sort of the
of that darkness
in the West,
as it were.
In some way,
it's become the place
where the sun lies.
I don't know exactly
what that means,
but I think that's
in Hebrew.
But it's that
on the left-hand column
of 203
where he says
in the translation
that he copied
to us
in Hebrew,
he says,
And the whole world
which Athens and Greece
has already become
the domain of the word.
Do you have a question?
Where is it?
Towards the middle?
It's about the middle,
certainly about the middle
of the left-hand column.
Okay, I see.
The whole world
with Athens and Greece
has already become
the domain of the word.
in the translation
Merton has,
it's a
it's a
it's related
by different
different sets
kind of
He says
oh, yeah
page 23
the one he gave
Okay, let's see
what we have in the
French translation.
It's closer to Merton
I think, okay?
This is the
French translation
which is
bound to be
Let's see.
By the creation
and salvation
and by the laws
and prophecies
and the teachings
this master, this teacher
teaches us everything
and by the logos
the whole world
has become now
an Athens and a Greece.
That's the French translation
which much
much bigger than Greece.
Yeah, I think so.
I've heard the Merton
not knowing what the original
is, but the sense
of the original
is so much more
in a way
he's saying
Athens and Greece
you know
that were
the epitome
of classical wisdom
and now
because of the
it's a universalized
if you take the
from the
it's much more
much weaker
it's much more
Athens and Greece
don't add anything
but the Merton
and the whole power
of it.
That's right.
And I think he says
the same thing
somewhere else.
It seems to be
something like it.
I think it's parallel
by another statement
David said.
It's got good
very good claim
for being the right thing.
In the Greek
a thing like
I always gave
them the logo.
Maybe it could be
an ambiguity.
I don't know.
It sounds a lot
like what Mark
was talking about.
We'll never
arrange this
I guess we better
quit for today.
Next time
it's a shame to
pass over the rest
of this which is
the kind of
the meat
of the book.
So we'll spend
a little time on this
and then go along
to the pedigree.
The next book
you'll have some
parts of that.
You'll find that
in that pedigree
there's some very
rich parts.
The part on baptism
and part of the
chapter on childhood
as well.
And then there's
some dry stretches
and some
a lot of
kind of
fooling around.
And I'll try to
get something
from this
for you.
It's such a
big thing.
I haven't
got too much.
But that's
where the teaching
on Gnosis
is mostly
It's in the
Let's see.
The notes
that you have
for the
you do,
don't you,
for the
instructor there?
Let's take a look
and see
how much
there is
to it.
The instructor
which starts
on page 209.
You want to do
So I think
that would be
enough for
next week
I see you're
trying to go
through the
whole thing
but you
know it
that way.
If we figure
that we've
one through
six for
next time
that would
be enough
for this
And the
following time
we'll try
to finish
up the
two chapters
at the
find that
some passages
will really
grab you
probably and
then there'll
be some
pretty long
where it
fails to
interest you
like in
those chapters
five and
is marvelous
and the
be to
God bless.
God bless.
message says