many ones

by Andrea Elizabeth

Having finished the last several pages of Ambiguum 7, I’m a little hmm. St.Maximus is concluding by going back to the unnamed Originistic false teaching that we had eternal, pre-existent souls. Oh, a little before that he described the joy of heaven, but why I’m not ecstatic about it right now is that he described union with God as being animated by Him the same way our soul animates our body. Our soul, in the proper ordered sense, has total control over our body. I’m not blaming St. Maximus. There’s probably something wrong with my sense of holding on to individuality. He did say, “come to reside in all beings in a manner appropriate to each” indicating some customness, then goes on to:

so that the many, though separated from each other in nature, might be drawn together into a unity as they converge around the one human nature. When this happens, “God will be all things in everything, encompassing all things and making them subsist in Himself, for being will no longer possess independent motion or fail to share in God’s presence, and it is with respect to this sharing that we are, and are called, Gods, children of God, the body, and members of God, and, it follows, “portions of God,” and other such things, in the progressive ascent of the divine plan to its final end.

Yes, it’s my state that gives this introverted, possibly Aspergers loner hermit pause. One of the first Orthodox biographies I read was of St. Seraphim of Sarov whom we celebrated yesterday. I remember he avoided people and would hide in the leaves outside the monastery when he had visitors. Later, after many years alone, he started calling people, “my joy”.

Another thing that comes to mind are military parades where everyone looks alike, and they’re all marching in step along very straight lines. I see how not having to make your own decisions or decide what to wear or where to go could be a nice respite, as well as be an awesome spectacle. But we hold on to our idea of free will. They say true freedom is the ability to follow Christ instead of our directionless passions. Still, I’m glad there are army bands with harmony and different instruments. I don’t really like the word “unison” when it appears in sheet music. But I’m not a total rebel who likes the gay pride freak show parade, for sure. Or jazz, not that it’s as cacophonic as I sometimes find it. And I’m sure St. Maximus doesn’t have a problem with icons of another color, or the differences in Saint stories. However most of them are pretty similar to the “Brave Sir Robin” song. Hopefully my inner turmoil is close enough to that.

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