Symeon the New Theologian

Mystics and Non-Dual Thinkers: Week 1

Symeon the New Theologian
Monday, July 13, 2015

Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022) was a Byzantine Christian monk and mystic revered to this day by Eastern Christians. Symeon believed humans had the capacity to experience God’s presence directly. He visualized this union happening within the “force field” of the Body of Christ. This cosmic embodiment is created both by God’s grace and our response.

Symeon’s Hymn 15 in his Hymns of Divine Love beautifully names the divine union that God is forever inviting us toward. These twenty-seven mystical lines honestly say it all for me and move me to an embodied knowing, to a living force field wherein we will know mystical union on even the cellular level.

We awaken in Christ’s body,
As Christ awakens our bodies
There I look down and my poor hand is Christ,
He enters my foot and is infinitely me.
I move my hand and wonderfully
My hand becomes Christ,
Becomes all of Him.
I move my foot and at once
He appears in a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous to you?
–Then open your heart to Him.
And let yourself receive the one
Who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
We wake up inside Christ’s body
Where all our body all over,
Every most hidden part of it,
Is realized in joy as Him,
And He makes us utterly real.
And everything that is hurt, everything
That seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
Maimed, ugly, irreparably damaged
Is in Him transformed.
And in Him, recognized as whole, as lovely,
And radiant in His light,
We awaken as the beloved
In every last part of our body.

Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, pp. 219-220

 

Gateway to Silence:
“I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through.” —Hafiz

Dervishes (photo detail) performing at Ruhaniyat Purana, Qila, 2011, by Ajaiberwarl. Wikimedia Commons.

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