October 6, 2015

The Place of Thought in the Acceptance of the God-Man

Archimandrite Kyrillos Kostopoulos

Man is a thinking being. By thinking he on the one hand confirms his existence, and on the other hand he captures the essence of things.

The Cartesian dictum is well known: "Cogito ergo sum" or "I think, therefore I am."

Thought is interposed between the internal activation of ourselves and external stimuli. So we have expressive, fantastic, logical, subjective, emotional and objective thinking.

Whatever I think, exists, because by thinking I realize my existence, the existence of which is directly related to the object, which exists.

However, the Triune God is not an object, which simply enters into a relationship with my thought. He is God, Who has manifested Himself in the flesh: "God has appeared in the flesh" (1 Tim. 3:16).

He is Self-existence, Who came into a personal relationship with man, through the Incarnate Word of God the Father.

Here we thus have a God of relationships and not an irrelevant God. Whatever is beyond the ability of this relationship, the irrelevant, is in reality non-existent, even if it is certified by logical thinking.

The God who was manifested in the flesh does not exist for finite human thought.

And this is because the mystery of the Divine Economy is an event which exceeds the predefined and the many shapes of finite human thought, and it can only be accepted through its direct experience and its complete relationship with it.

And one wonders: is existence predetermined in everything that exists, and must this be imposed because of rational human thinking?

Or is existence an event that surpasses thought, which can only be accepted with a direct relationship and experience?

Gregory the Theologian says: "Like a fog something enters my thoughts from what belongs to me and is visible. If I surpass this, I will be with God."

This means that God is accepted because this acceptance is implanted in our personal encounter with Him, from our direct relationship with Him through the spiritual/ecclesiastical life. This trust in the Incarnate Word of God the Father through communion with Him does not work merely with thought, but with your personal experience.

The Orthodox Church declares that communion with the Incarnate Word is not an object of mental processes and thinking, but the result of an experiential relationship and life.

Our way of life and not our way of thought leads us to God our Creator. Thinking never gives birth to divine love, to divine eros.

Only direct experience and certainty is the source of love towards the Incarnate Word of God the Father.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.