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Author Topic: First Cause’s Unmoved Mover(s?): Fated to Move?  (Read 1136 times)

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patrick jane

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Maximus the Confessor’s ‘
Aeon



https://www.academia.edu/21527248/Maximus_the_Confessors_Aeon_as_a_Distinct_Mode_of_Temporality


 as a Distinct Mode of Temporality
Dr Sotiris Mitralexis University of Winchester & City University of Istanbul
Abstract: In this paper, I shall focus on the semantic content of
α
 in Maximus the Confessor

s works, particularly in the instances in which he employs it as a distinct form of temporality, i.e. not as simply meaning
‘ἷtἷὄὀity’
. I focus on
α
 as aMaximian
terminus technicus
 in spite of the diverse meanings that he himself ascribes to the word in certain cases
.
 I will also
ἷὀgagἷ with thἷ ὅtatuὅ ὁἸ timἷ aὅ humaὀity’ὅ
slavery
, aὅ humaὀity’ὅ
enemy
 
iὀ εaximuὅ’ thὁught,
for this is integrally connected with the notion of the Aeon and especially with the need to transcend both time as

 and temporality in the form of the Aeon in striving for ever well-being. The greater context of this investigation is the understanding
ὁἸ εaximuὅ’
conception of temporality as a
threefold
one, consisting of (a) time as

, the temporality of the sensible realm and the numbering of motion, (b)
α
 i.e.
thἷ χἷὁὀ, a ‘timἷ withὁut mὁvἷmἷὀt’ aὀἶ thἷ tἷmpὁὄality ὁἸ thἷ iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ ἵὄἷa
tion, and(c) the transformed temporality of the ever-moving repose (

 
ἀ
).
Maximus the Confessor is widely credited with accomplishing a philosophical and theological synthesis of rare depth and fecundity. Among the numerous fields (as we would divide them to today) in which his contributions bear relevance are ontology, cosmology, and philosophical/theological anthropology, to name a few. However, not adequate attention has been given to his complex and nuanced understanding of temporality, despite a number of contributions shedding light to aspects of this subject and to which I shall refer below. It is my
ἵὁὀviἵtiὁὀ that a thὄἷἷἸὁlἶ thἷὁὄy ὁἸ tἷmpὁὄality ἵaὀ ἴἷ tὄaἵἷἶ iὀ εaximuὅ’ wὁὄkὅ
, a theory that, in its threefold structure, has a noticeable degree of originality in spite of the Confessor building on diverse elements from the thought of his predecessors and contemporaries in order to arrive at this synthesis.
1
 This conception of temporality consists of (a) time as

,the temporality of the sensible realm and the numbering of motion, (b)
α
 i.e. the Aeon, a
‘timἷ withὁut mὁvἷmἷὀt’ aὀἶ thἷ tἷmpὁὄality ὁἸ thἷ iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ ἵὄἷatiὁὀ, aὀἶ (ἵ) thἷ
transformed temporality of the ever-moving repose (

 
ἀ
2
) that is both absolute timelessness and the temporality of deification, the consummation of the very nature of time
 —
having thus implications for a number of theological and philosophical subjects beyond temporality itself.
IἸ wἷ uὀἶἷὄὅtaὀἶ εaximuὅ’ ἵὁὀἵἷptiὁὀ ὁἸ tἷmpὁὄalit
y this way, then the ambiguous
α
 cannot be accurately rendered as
‘ἷtἷὄὀity’ iὀ ἷaἵh aὀἶ ἷvἷὄy ἵaὅἷ, aὅ thἷὄἷ wὁulἶ ἴἷ
two
 
kiὀἶὅ ὁἸ ‘ἷtἷὄὀity’ with ἶiἸἸἷὄἷὀt ἵhaὄaἵtἷὄiὅtiἵὅέ Iὀ thiὅ papἷὄ, I ὅhall Ἰὁἵuὅ ὁὀ thἷ ὅἷmaὀtiἵ
content of
α
 
iὀ εaximuὅ’ wὁὄkὅ
 
in the instances in which he employs it as a distinct form of temporality
; I shall focus on
α
 as a Maximian
terminus technicus
 in spite of the diverse meanings that he himself ascribes to the word in certain cases
.
 This polysemy in the
1
 Analyzed extensively in Sotiris Mitralexis,
 Ever-Moving Repose: The notion of time in Maximus the
Confessor’s philosophy through the perspective of a relational ontology
 
(ἐἷὄliὀμ όὄἷiἷ Uὀivἷὄὅität ἐἷὄliὀ, ἢhϊ
diss., 2014). Chapter III.5. is devoted to the
ὅtuἶy ὁἸ εaximuὅ’ α
 and formed the basis for the present paper.
2
 E.g. Maximus Confessor,
Quaestiones ad Thalassium II. Quaestiones LVI-LXV
, eds. Carl Laga & Carlos Steel Corpus Christianorum Series Graeca 22 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1990), 65.544-6 for this ambiguous notion


ἑὁὀἸἷὅὅὁὄ’ὅ uὅἷ ὁἸ wὁὄἶὅ wὁulἶ ὀὁt ἴἷ aὀ ἷxἵἷptiὁὀ, ἴut ὄathἷὄ a vἷὄy ἵhaὄaἵtἷὄiὅtiἵ
topos.
 I
will alὅὁ ἴὄiἷἸly mἷὀtiὁὀ thἷ ὅtatuὅ ὁἸ timἷ aὅ humaὀity’ὅ
slavery
, aὅ humaὀity’ὅ
enemy
 in
εaximuὅ’ thὁught, Ἰὁὄ thiὅ iὅ iὀtἷgὄally ἵὁὀὀἷἵtἷ
d with the notion of the Aeon and especially with the need to transcend both time as

 and temporality in the form of the Aeon in striving for ever well-being (
ἀ
 
ὖ
 
α)έ Thuὅ iὅ εaximuὅ’ thὄἷἷἸὁlἶ tἷmpὁὄality ἶiὅἵlὁὅἷἶ
not merely as an idea of exclusively ontological and cosmological relevance, but as crucial for
thἷ ἑὁὀἸἷὅὅὁὄ’ὅ aὀthὄὁpὁlὁgy aὅ wἷll
, to which I will hint towards the end of this paper.
Whilἷ εaximuὅ’ ὀὁtiὁὀ ὁἸ thἷ χἷὁὀ (α
)
3
 as a distinct, second form of temporality is expounded in specific passages of his work, the reader is faced with the problem of
εaximuὅ’ ἶiἸἸἷὄἷὀt uὅagἷ ὁἸ thἷ tἷὄm α
 in different contexts throughout the Maximian corpus.
4
 Apart from the meaning illustrated in the dual definition of

 and
α
 in
 Ambigua
 (PG 91 1164 BC), which will be shown as the primary definition of the Aeon, Maximus also uses the term in different contexts in order to signify eternity as unlimited duration,
5
 or a great amount of time/a century,
6
 
ὁὄ hiὅtὁὄy, ὁὄ ύὁἶ’ὅ tἷmpὁὄality
 in contrast to our own
7
 etc. This becomes quite pronounced in instances where Maximus uses the word
3
 
χὅ wἷ pὁiὀtἷἶ ὁut iὀ thἷ ἴἷgiὀὀiὀg, a pὄὁἴlἷm with maὀy ὅἵhὁlaὄly aἵἵὁuὀtὅ ὁἸ εaximuὅ’ uὀἶἷὄὅtaὀἶiὀg ὁἸ thἷχἷὁὀ iὅ thἷ laἵk ὁἸ ἶiἸἸἷὄἷὀtiatiὁὀ ἴἷtwἷἷὀ thἷ ‘ἷtἷὄὀity’ ὁἸ thἷ χἷὁὀ aὀἶ thἷ ‘ἷtἷὄὀity’ ὁἸ thἷ ἷvἷὄ
-moving repose, r
ἷὅultiὀg iὀ aὀ ἷὄὄὁὀἷὁuὅ aὀἶ iὀἵὁmplἷtἷ ὄἷaἶiὀg ὁἸ thἷ ἑὁὀἸἷὅὅὁὄέ ώὁwἷvἷὄ, ἢaul ἢlaὅὅ’ aὄtiἵlἷ‘Tὄaὀὅἵἷὀἶἷὀt Timἷ iὀ εaximuὅ thἷ ἑὁὀἸἷὅὅὁὄ’,
The Thomist
 44:2 (1980), pp. 259-77, is a valuable
ἵὁὀtὄiἴutiὁὀέ ἠὁtἷ ἢlaὅὅ’ mἷὀtiὁὀ ὁἸ thἷ εaximiaὀ aὀἶ ἑappaἶὁἵia
n notion of
α
 (distance, interval, extension) and its relation to temporality in p. 260, as this plays a major role in our treatment of the subject.
ἢlaὅὅ’ aὄtiἵlἷ ‘Tὄaὀὅἵἷὀἶἷὀt Timἷ aὀἶ Etἷὄὀity iὀ ύὄἷgὁὄy ὁἸ ἠyὅὅa’,
Vigiliae Christianae
 34 (1980), pp. 180-92,
iὅ a gὁὁἶ iὀtὄὁἶuἵtiὁὀ tὁ thἷὅἷ ἵὁὀἵἷptὅ pὄiὁὄ tὁ εaximuὅ’ ὄἷὀἷwal ὁἸ thἷmμ iὀ ἴὁth aὄtiἵlἷὅ, ἢlaὅὅ’
contradistinction of the Neoplatonic understanding of eternity and return to the biblical and patristic one is particularly noteworthy. David
ἐὄaἶὅhaw’ὅ ‘Timἷ aὀἶ Etἷὄὀity iὀ thἷ ύὄἷἷk όathἷὄὅ’,
The Thomist
 70 (2006), pp.311-366, contains a very interesting subchapter on Maximus, but heavily depends on the
Scholia
to the Dionysian Corpus, which are now attributed to Maximus only to a very limited extent and cannot be relied on for
iὀvἷὅtigatiὀg εaximuὅ’ viἷwὅέ
 
4
 Which, to different degrees, is also the case with almost any important term Maximus employs, making it
ἷxἵἷἷἶiὀgly ἶiἸἸiἵult Ἰὁὄ thἷ ὄἷaἶἷὄ tὁ ὅquaὄἷly ὅyὅtἷmatiὐἷ thἷ ἑὁὀἸἷὅὅὁὄ’ὅ uὀἶἷὄ
standing of core notions such as

,
π
 (mode) etc. Throughout the secondary literature concerning Maximus, an abundance of attempts at systematizing Maximian terminology can be found (instead, for example, of accepting the fact that only
approaches
 
tὁ εaximuὅ’ thὁught ἵaὀ ἴἷ attἷmptἷἶ, withὁut ἵlaimὅ ὁἸ ἶἷἸiὀitivἷ aὀὅwἷὄὅ), ὁἸtἷὀ yiἷlἶiὀguὀὅatiὅἸaἵtὁὄy ὄἷὅultὅ aὀἶ lἷaἶiὀg tὁ miὅuὀἶἷὄὅtaὀἶiὀgὅ ὁἸ thἷ ἑὁὀἸἷὅὅὁὄ’ὅ tἷaἵhiὀgὅ—
 a tendency that is gradually being corrected.
5
 E.g. Maximus the Confessor,
 Quaestiones ad Thalassium I. Quaestiones I-LV,
eds. Carl Laga & Carlos Steel,Corpus Christianorum Series Graeca 7 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1980), 38.52:

6
 E.g.
Quaestiones ad Thalassium II
, 56.140-2:
 


7
 Maximus the Confessor,
On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The Ambigua
, ed. and trans. Nicholas Constas,Vol. I, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 28 (Cambridge, MA and London, 2014), p. 309, which is also PG91,
11κκἐμ ‘It muὅt ἴἷ aἵἵἷptἷἶ that thἷ ἷtἷὄὀally ἷxiὅtiὀg ύὁἶ [
 
ἀ
 
] …’έ Siὀἵἷ ἑὁὀὅtaὅ’ ἵὄitiἵal ἷἶitiὁὀ(vὁlέ I aὀἶ II aὄἷ ϊumἴaὄtὁὀ ἡakὅ εἷἶiἷval δiἴὄaὄy βκ aὀἶ βλ ὄἷὅpἷἵtivἷly) ὀamἷὅ εigὀἷ’ὅ
Patrologia Graeca
 column of ea
ἵh ὄἷὅpἷἵtivἷ paὅὅagἷ, whilἷ maὀy ὅἵhὁlaὄὅ ὅtill ἶἷpἷὀἶ ὁὀ ἢύ’ὅ
 Ambigua
, wἷ will uὅἷ ἑὁὀὅtaὅ’
critically edited text while simply citing
 Ambigua
 
with ἢύλ1 ἵὁlumὀὅ Ἰὁὄ thἷ ὄἷaἶἷὄὅ’ ἵὁὀvἷὀiἷὀἵἷ, aὅ ἢύἵὁlumὀὅ ἵaὀ ἴἷ ἷaὅily tὄaἵἷἶ ἴaἵk tὁ ἑὁὀὅtaὅ’ pagἷὅ, whil
e the opposite is naturally not the case. When directly
uὅiὀg ἑὁὀὅtaὅ’ tὄaὀὅlatiὁὀ, wἷ will ἵitἷ ἑὁὀὅtaὅ’ pagἷ ὀumἴἷὄὅέ Sἷἷ alὅὁ
Scholia in De Divinis Nominibus
,CD4.1 and PG4 229 A-C:

Aeon
 meaning eternity in the sense of unlimited time by employing the word in its plural form
α
, i.e. the ages.
8
 Maximus differentiates between the singular,
α
, and the plural,
α
, in a way suggestive of this by employing both forms in the same sentence with different meanings
9
 —
but again, this is not characteristic of the whole of his work and cannot be systematized in such a way. When speaking o
Ἰ thἷ ‘tἷmpὁὄality’ ὁἸ ύὁἶ iὀ ἵὁὀtὄaὅt tὁ ὁuὄ
own, Maximus sometimes refers to it as Aeon or aeonic and sometimes as
ἀΐ, ἀΐ,ἀ,
10
 
iὀ ὁὄἶἷὄ tὁ ἵὁὀtὄaὅt ύὁἶ’ὅ ‘tἷmpὁὄality’ tὁ thἷ χἷὁὀ aὅ wἷll
11
 —
however, the Confessor does not adopt a systematized distinction of

 /
α
 /
ἀ
, whereas he often clarifies that no kind of temporality whatsoever can be applicable to God. And (to make things worse) there are passages in which Maximus refers to
ἀ
 simply as eternity without change and alteration,
12
 practically equating it with the Aeon (as the state of
tἷmpὁὄality ὁἸ iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ ὄἷalitiἷὅ aὀἶ ‘timἷ withὁut mὁtiὁὀ’) aὀἶ ἷὄaἶiἵatiὀg aὀy hὁpἷ ὁἸ a
solid

 /
α
 /
ἀ
 distinction. However, and apart from this variety in the use of terms, Maximus
does
 propose a second form of temporality beyond normal time (

) and its extensions in duration
(ἷxtἷὀὅiὁὀὅ that ὄἷaἵh up tὁ thἷ ‘agἷὅ ὁἸ thἷ agἷὅ’)έ χ Ἰὁὄm ὁἸ tἷmpὁὄality that iὅ
inverted time
, as it is time without motion
 —
whereas the main characteristic of time is that it is the numbering of motion. I
. Quite logically, due to the numerous different commentators that authored the
 Scholia,
 the differences in the use of the terms
α
 and
α
 throughout the
Scholia
 can be profound, often offering contradictory illustrations thereof.
8
 E.g.
 Ambigua,
1βηβ έ
 
9
 
 Ambigua,
 
1γκλ ϊμ α 
 
α
 
, α
 
αα α
 
αα
.
10
 E.g. Maximus the Confessor,
Capita de caritate
, in Aldo Ceresa-Gastaldo (ed.),
 Massimo Confessore -
Capitoli sulla caritá. Ed. criticamente con introd., versione e note
, Verba Seniorum, collana di testi e studipatristici, n.s. 3 (Rome: Ed. Studium, 1963), 2.27.3, as well as 4.3.1:

 
ἀυ
 
υ
 
 π
 

 
Θ
. As mentioned earlier, Maximus attributes
ἀ
 to the uncreated

 (
Capita de caritate
, 1.100, 2.27), thus differentiating
ἀ
 from the Aeon, the beings in whom had had a beginning and a generation, while the

 had not.
11
 
Iὀ εaximuὅ’
Capita theologica et oeconomica
 (located in PG90, 1084-1173), PG90 1086 B
 ,
1.6, we find a clear example of the
ἀΐ
 attributed to God and the Aeon attributed to the creatures that are not under time:
 ‘χἴὅὁlutἷly ὀὁthiὀg that iὅ ἶiἸἸἷὄἷὀt Ἰὄὁ
m [God] by substance is seen together with him from all eternity [

 
ἀυ
]: neither the Aeon, nor time, nor anything dwelling in them
’, tὄaὀὅlέ ύἷὁὄgἷ ἑέ
Berthold,
 Maximus the Confessor: Selected Writings
 (New York: Paulist Press, 1985), p. 130. And:
 Ambigua,
11κκ ἐμ ‘[ύὁἶ] iὅ thἷ ἵὄἷatὁὄ aὀἶ Ἰaὅhiὁὀἷὄ ὁἸ ἷvἷὄy agἷ [α
] and time along with everything that exists in them. Yet [one] will not conclude from this that any of these things has in any way existed together with God from eternity [

 
ἀυ
], for [one] knows that it is impossible for either of two eternally coexisting [
 ἀυ] pὄiὀἵiplἷὅ tὁ ἴἷ thἷ ἵauὅἷ ὁἸ thἷ ὁthἷὄ’ (tὄaὀὅlέ ἑὁὀὅtaὅ, vὁlέ I, pέ γίλ)έ
12
 E.g.
 Ambigua,
11ἄλ ϊμ ‘it iὅ ὀὁt pὁὅὅiἴlἷ, ὀὁὄ ὄatiὁὀally ἵὁhἷὄἷὀt, tὁ ἵὁὀὅiἶἷὄ aὅ ἷt
ernal that which is not always the same [

 

 
ὡα
 
ἔ
 
ἀ
], nor immune from change and alteration, but instead is scattered and
ἵhaὀgἷἶ iὀ a myὄiaἶ ὁἸ wayὅ’ (tὄaὀὅlέ ἑὁὀὅtaὅ, vὁlέ I, pέ βἅἅ)έ



 
 Draft
 —
 please do not cite. Final version in The Heythrop Journal: DOI: 10.1111/heyj.12319
transformation of the temporality in which that person is operating. Contemplating the

 while being in the temporality of

 would not make sense in a Maximian framework: a(seeming)
cessation of motion
 would be necessary, a
time devoid of motion
; the participation in the Aeon, i.e. the temporality of the intelligible realm. Our conclusion is that, from the perspective of theological anthropology, the Aeon as
εaximuὅ’ ὅἷἵὁὀἶ mὁἶἷ ὁἸ tἷmpὁὄality wὁulἶ ἴἷ iὀἶiὅpἷὀὅaἴlἷ Ἰὁὄ hiὅ ὁvἷὄall ἵὁὀἵἷpt
ion to
havἷ philὁὅὁphiἵal ἵὁhἷὄἷὀἵἷέ ώumaὀity’ὅ aὅἵἷὀt Ἰὄὁm thἷ ὅlavἷὄy ὁἸ timἷ tὁ thἷ ὄaἶiἵal
ontological freedom of deification and the ever-moving repose cannot be effected in a single
‘jump iὀ tἷmpὁὄalityήmὁtiὁὀ’έ χἷὁὀiἵ tἷmpὁὄality wὁulἶ ἴἷ a lὁgiἵal
and necessary stage between these extreme realities of the human person. From the sensible realm to the intelligible creation and then beyond createdness, to the uncreated God. From practical philosophy to natural contemplation and then to theological mystagogy. From time as

 
tὁ thἷ χἷὁὀ’ὅ ἵἷὅὅatiὁὀ ὁἸ mὁtiὁὀ aὀἶ ἴἷyὁὀἶ, tὁ thἷ ἷxaltἷἶ 
 
ἀ
. The Aeon is
thuὅ ἶiὅἵlὁὅἷἶ aὅ thἷ ἴaὅiὅ Ἰὁὄ thἷ ὄἷaliὅm aὀἶ ἵὁhἷὄἷὀἵἷ ὁἸ εaximuὅ’ thἷὁlὁgiἵal viὅiὁὀ ὁἸ aὀ
anthropology of deification, that is, the
ἑὁὀἸἷὅὅὁὄ’ὅ aὀthὄὁpὁlὁgy
 par excellence
.VCONCLUSIONS AND REMARKSAs noted at the beginning of this paper, Maximus uses the word
α
 with different meanings in different contexts
 —
most notably, he often employs its plural
α
 meaning
‘thἷ agἷὅ’, a vἷὄy lὁὀg ἶuὄatiὁὀ iὀ timἷ, hiὅtὁὄyέ ώὁwἷvἷὄ, thἷ χἷὁὀ aὅ a ὅἷἵὁὀἶ mὁἶἷ ὁἸ
temporality beyond time (
) iὅ ἵlἷaὄly tὁ ἴἷ ἶiὅἵἷὄὀἷἶ iὀ εaximuὅ’ wὁὄk aὀἶ ἵἷὄtaiὀἵhaὄaἵtἷὄiὅtiἵὅ thἷὄἷὁἸ ἷmἷὄgἷ iὀ thἷ ἑὁὀἸἷὅὅὁὄ’ὅ paὅὅagἷὅέ
 (i)
 
The Aeon
iὅ ‘timἷ ἶἷpὄivἷἶ ὁἸ mὁtiὁὀ’, iὀ a ἶual aὀἶ iὀtἷὄtwiὀἷἶ ἶἷἸiὀitiὁὀ ὁἸtἷmpὁὄality iὀ whiἵh timἷ iὅ ‘thἷ χἷὁὀ, whἷὀ mἷaὅuὄἷἶ iὀ itὅ mὁtiὁὀ’έ
83
 This definition does not merely provide us with an understanding of the Aeon through our more familiar notion of time; rather than that, the interrelation of the Aeon and time establishes both of them as dependent on one another, as two irreplaceable sides of the same reality.(ii)
 
The Aeon is also defined as constituting the temporality of the intelligible realm, the temporality of intelligible beings. All beings are divided into sensible and intelligible beings, and while time constitutes the temporality of the sensible, the Aeon corresponds to the intelligible. Here, again, both of these (sensible and intelligible, time and the Aeon) are vitally
iὀtἷὄὄἷlatἷἶ aὀἶ iὀtἷὄἵὁὀὀἷἵtἷἶμ ‘Thἷ ἷὀtitiἷὅ ὁὀ ἷaἵh ὅiἶἷ ὁἸ thiὅ ἶiviὅiὁὀ aὄἷ ὀatuὄally ὄἷlatἷἶtὁ ἷaἵh ὁthἷὄ thὄὁugh aὀ iὀἶiὅὅὁluἴlἷ pὁwἷὄ that ἴiὀἶὅ thἷm tὁgἷthἷὄ’έ
84
 (iii)
 
To be created is to have a beginning and to be in temporality. Both the sensible and the
iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ aὄἷ gἷὀἷὄatἷἶ, ἴut thἷ ὅἷὀὅiἴlἷ havἷ ἴἷἷὀ gἷὀἷὄatἷἶ aὀἶ havἷ thἷiὄ ἴἷgiὀὀiὀg ‘iὀtimἷ’, whilἷ thἷ iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ ‘iὀ thἷ χἷὁὀ’έ Thὁὅἷ that aὄἷ ἵὁὀtἷmplatἷἶ ‘iὀ thἷ χἷὁὀ’, iέἷέ
83
 
 Ambigua,
1164 BC.
84
 
 Ambigua,
 1153

.

 
 Draft
 —
 please do not cite. Final version in The Heythrop Journal: DOI: 10.1111/heyj.12319
intelligible beings, possess beginning, middle, and end as well. To be created is to possess temporality: this elevates temporality to one of the primary criteria and characteristics of createdness,
85
 a status that does not fully apply to spatiality as such, which is only a characteristic of the sensible world.(iv)
 
The Aeon cannot be described as the temporality of the uncreated, for it has had a beginning, as well as everything in it.
86
 
ώὁwἷvἷὄ, Ἰὄὁm humaὀity’ὅ aὀἶ thἷ ὅἷὀὅiἴlἷ ἵὄἷatiὁὀ’ὅ
point of view, the Aeon
iconizes
the absolute timelessness of the uncreated and
refers
to it.The apparent changelessness of the intelligible
 —
from the perspective of the sensible
 —
reflects the absolute motionlessness of the uncreated. And the temporality of the apparently changeless intelligible world, the Aeon, reflects the absolute timelessness of the uncreated.
Thἷ humaὀ pἷὄὅὁὀ’ὅ ἷvἷὄ Ἰullἷὄ paὄtiἵipatiὁὀ iὀ thἷ χἷὁὀ aὀἶ iὀ thἷ iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ ὄἷalm iὅ thἷ
first step towards the cessation of motion and deification, due to their function as imperfect icons of the uncreated.(v)
 
Thἷ χἷὁὀ iὅ ‘timἷ ἶἷpὄivἷἶ ὁἸ mὁtiὁὀ’ aὀἶ ἵὁὀὅtitutἷὅ thἷ tἷmpὁὄality ὁἸ thἷ
intelligible, which, however, are in some sorts of motion. While intelligible beings are in
mὁtiὁὀ (‘ἷxpaὀὅiὁὀ’, ‘ἵὁὀtὄaἵtiὁὀ’ ἷtἵέ), thἷ χἷὁὀ it
self
 —
their mode of temporality
 —
is not susceptible to change. Intelligible beings are beings in motion that is generated and situated within a stable form of temporality, the Aeon. The Aeon is stable in that it cannot be
‘ἵiὄἵumὅἵὄiἴἷἶ ἴy a ὀumἴἷὄ’έ
87
 This i
ὅ a tὄait ὁἸ thἷ χἷὁὀ that iὅ iὀ ἵὁὀtὄaὅt tὁ timἷ’ὅ Ἰlὁatiὀg
and unstable nature.
88
 (vi)
 
The interrelation of time and space, time and spatiality is quite prominent in Maximus
 —
see, for example, sections 36-39 from the tenth
 Ambiguum ad Johannem
(PG91,1176D-1184A).This is a major difference of time and the sensible to the Aeon and the intelligible, for there is no spatiality, no dimension of space (e.g. in the emergence of
‘qualitiἷὅ’, iὀ thἷ ἶiὅtiὀἵtiὁὀ ὁἸ ‘ὅuἴὅtaὀἵἷὅ’ ἷtἵέ) iὀ what εaximuὅ ἶiὅtiὀguiὅhἷὅ aὅ ‘thἷ
 
iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ’
89
 —
which accordingly modifies what motion can mean when applied to intelligible beings. While the sensible move and change in space and time, the absence of the dimension of space accounts for the intelligible moving and changing against the background of the changeless Aeon.
85
 
Capita theologica et oeconomica,
1085 A
 ,
1.5.
86
 Ibid.
87
 Ibid.
88
 
 Ambigua,
11βί χ μ  υα 
 
υ φέ
 
89
 We must here repeat that the sensible/intelligible distinction is a philosophical distinction that does not
aἴὅἵὁὀἶ itὅ ἶἷlimitἷἶ ὄἷalitiἷὅ ἴut ‘ἴiὀἶὅ thἷm tὁgἷthἷὄ thὄὁugh aὀ iὀἶiὅὅὁluἴlἷ pὁwἷὄ’έ Thἷ iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ iὅ vἷὄyἸaὄ Ἰὄὁm ἴἷiὀg ‘aὀὁthἷὄ wὁὄlἶ’ aὅ
 
uὀἶἷὄὅtὁὁἶ iὀ myὅtiἵal ὁὄ ἷὅὁtἷὄiἵ ἵὁὀtἷxtὅέ With thἷ wὁὄἶ ‘iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ’,
Maximus denotes all beings and all of reality that are not perceived through sense-
 pἷὄἵἷptiὁὀ, whilἷ ‘thἷ ἷὀtitiἷὅ
on each side of this division are naturally related to each other
’έ όὁὄ ἷxamplἷ, iὀ thἷ ἶiὅtiὀἵtiὁὀ ὁἸ ὅuἴὅtaὀἵἷ aὀἶ
hypostasis, i.e. of homogeneity and the particular, it is only the particular that is sensible, that is accessible through the sense
 —
 not the homogeneity of the particulars itself, which is merely deducted from the hypostases(or, for those that attain to a fuller access to reality, contemplated as its

 
α)έ ώἷὄἷ, thἷ ‘ὅuἴὅtaὀἵἷ’ iὅ,ὁἸ ἵὁuὄὅἷ, ‘iὀtἷlligiἴlἷ’—
 without this making it less real, merely hypothetical or simply imaginary. The homogeneity of the particulars is neither unreal nor hypothetical nor imaginary: it is as real as the particulars of
whiἵh it iὅ thἷ ὅuἴὅtaὀἵἷέ ώὁwἷvἷὄ, ὀἷithἷὄ ‘hὁmὁgἷὀἷitiἷὅ’ ὀὁὄ ‘qualitiἷὅ’ (ἷέgέ tὁ ἴἷ ἵὁlἶ, tὁ ἴἷ ὀἷw, tὁ ἴἷ
colored, to be moist) occupy spaces. The intelligible is deprived of spatiality.

 
 Draft
 —
 please do not cite. Final version in The Heythrop Journal: DOI: 10.1111/heyj.12319
(vii)
 
Temporality, while being a
α
 
φ
 characteristic of createdness, is also an
ὁἴὅtaἵlἷ tὁ ἴἷ ὁvἷὄἵὁmἷ, alὁὀg with all ὁthἷὄ ἶiviὅiὁὀὅ aὀἶ ‘ἶiὅtaὀἵἷὅ’έ Thiὅ appliἷὅ tὁ ἴὁth
time and the Aeon. Even the Aeon must be
tὄaὀὅἵἷὀἶἷἶ ἴy humaὀity iὀ humaὀity’ὅ taὅk aὅ a
mediator.(viii)
 
Thuὅ, thἷ χἷὁὀ ἴἷἵὁmἷὅ a ἵὄuἵial paὄt ὁἸ εaximuὅ’ aὀthὄὁpὁlὁgy ὁἸ ἶἷiἸiἵatiὁὀ, aὅ it
is in this mode of temporality that the contemplation of the

 can be achieved, opening the way to the uncreated God. The participation in the a temporality of the uncreated is beyond time and the Aeon, beyond any conception of temporality, which is in itself a delimitation of createdness. However and as we have noted in the beginning, in speaking about deification Maximus introduces the notion of the
ever-moving repose
 (

 
ἀ
) which, being the end and perfection of motion beyond motionlessness itself, constitutes the
third
 mode of temporality, i.e. the transcendence and annihilation of
any
 temporality. Thus, a threefold conception of temporality can be traced in Maximus the Confessor, consisting of time, the Aeon, and the ever-moving repose.

 


 
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai (lived in 1st and 2nd century) wrote a fascinating passage recorded in the Zohar that is as clear a discussion of the mystery of the Trinity as you could find in any Christian theology text. Rabbi Simeon comments on the text found in Deuteronomy 32:39: "See now that I, I am he, and Elohim is not with me."

He said: "Friends, here are some profound mysteries which I desire to reveal to you now that permission has been given to utter them. Who is it that says, 'See now that I, I am He?' This is the Cause which is above all those on high, that which is called the Cause of causes. It is above those other causes, since none of those causes does anything till it obtains permission from that which is above it, as we pointed out above in respect to the expression, 'Let us make man.' 'Us' certainly refers to two, of which one said to the other above it, 'Let us make,' nor did it do anything save with the permission and direction of the one above it, while the one above did nothing without consulting its colleague.

But that which is called 'the Cause above all causes,' which has no superior or even equal, as it is written, 'To whom shall ye liken me, that I should be equal?' (referring to Isaiah 40:25), said, 'See now that I, I am he, and Elohim is not with me,' from whom he should take counsel, like that of which it is written, 'and God said, Let us make man.'"



How can they (the three) be One? Are they verily One, because we call them One ?
How Three can be One, can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

- Zohar, vol. ii. p. 43, versa., 22.




Come and see the mystery of the word hwhy, Jehova: there are three steps, each existing by itself; nevertheless they are One, and so united that one cannot be separated from the other.

- Zohar, vol. iii. Amsterdam edition. 65




The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three Heads, which are united in One, and that Head is thrice exalted. The Ancient Holy one is described as being Three; it is because the other Lights emanating from Him are included in the Three. Yet the Ancient One is described as being two. The Ancient One includes these two. He is the Crown of all that is exalted; the Chief of the chief, so exalted, that He cannot be known to perfection. Thus the other lights are two complete ones, yet is the Ancient Holy One described complete as one, and He is one, positively one; thus are the other lights united and glorified in because they are one.

- Zohar, vol. iii. Amsterdam edition. 288





A book written by Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai, known as The Propositions of the Zohar, records the mystery of the Shechinah glory of God in these words.

. . . the exalted Shechinah comprehends the Three highest Sephiroth; of Him (God) it is said, (Ps. lxii. 12), "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this." Once and twice means the Three exalted Sephiroth, of whom it is said: Once, once, and once; that is, Three united in One. This is the mystery.

- Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai, The Propositions of the Zohar, cap. 38, Amsterdam edition. 113



Another famous Jewish scholar, Rabbi Eliezer Hakkalir, who lived at the time of Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai, also taught the scriptural doctrine that there were three distinct Beings revealed in the one unified Godhead. In his commentary on Genesis 1:1, Rabbi Hakkalir wrote the following:
When God created the world, He created it through the Three Sephiroth, namely, through Sepher, Sapher and Vesaphur, by which the Three twywh (Beings) are meant . . . The Rabbi, my Lord Teacher of blessed memory, explained Sepher, Sapher, and Sippur, to be synonymous to Ja, Jehovah, and Elohim meaning to say, that the world was created by these three names.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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