“The nous Seeing Its Own Light” in the Spiritual Doctrine of Evagrius Ponticus Cover Image

„Umysł widzący swoje światło” w nauce duchowej Ewagriusza z Pontu
“The nous Seeing Its Own Light” in the Spiritual Doctrine of Evagrius Ponticus

Author(s): Leszek Misiarczyk
Subject(s): Theology and Religion, Systematic Theology, Pastoral Theology
Published by: Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II - Wydział Teologii
Keywords: Evagrius Ponticus; spiritual doctrine; mind; light

Summary/Abstract: The monk Evagrius of Pontus (345-399 AD) presents in his spiritual doctrine the concept of "pure prayer", that is, prayer not only devoid of any contact with material things but also divorced from any concrete image in the nous (i.e., the mind or intellect). This type of deep prayer becomes a source for the knowledge of God. Upon reaching this state of deep purification, the nous experiences during prayer the light of God and also perceives himself as radiant. Evagrius specifies that the nous sees itself in the color of the sapphire or in sky-blue, or even as a star. Scientists for a long time asked themselves whether, for Evagrius, this light originated within the mind itself, or came from God. It seems that monk of Pontus joins these two lights together, although considering them always as separate. The light of nous itself is but a reflection of the divine light, in the same way that the moon reflects the light of the sun. Even if the nous is not the source of its own light, nevertheless its light is real. In a time of deep spiritual union with God, His light illuminates the human nous and turns it into radiance.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 29
  • Page Range: 273-295
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Polish