A Defense of Saint Gregory Palamas

The following comment was not written by me.

The explicit distinction between Essence and Energy is found already in St Justin Philosopher, Dionysios Areopagite, and Ante-Nicene fathers. The Tome of Leo the Great endorsed by Chalcedon speaks of each nature working in the manner(energizing the way) appropriate to it in Christ. The Monothelites were also Monoenergists, and St Pope Martin& St Maximus and the 6th Oecumenical Council decreed anathema on them for denying two natural energies and two natural wills in Christ, one Divine, one human.Everyone understood natures/essences have innate energies&volitions.

The Lenten Triodion used by all the Church has the Sunday of Orthodoxy with its anathemas and eternal memories, followed by St Gregory Palamas Sunday. Later Councils and Fathers called the Councils under Photios, Gregory of Cyprus,and Palamas, Oecumenical in authority...Don't be fooled, yes its bedrock Orthodoxy. Its really simple but you probably just don't understand it if you've been confused by the jugglery of that crooked apostate Likoudis... [Note by TruthBetold7: I didn't say a word about Likoudis].

Every nature or being in the sense of class of being is not inert, but active. Energy is Greek compound noun from En='on' or 'at', and ergia=working, as in the word ergonomics, the study of the laws nomoi of working ergos....Arian Eunomius says Father is Essence, Word&Spirit are energies of His;St Gregory Theologos cites St Peter's rebuke to Sapphira in Acts, where he says, Why did you lie to provoke the Holy Spirit to be wroth....and St Gregory says, If He is only an energy of the Father, why is the Holy Spirit said to be wroth, rather than to be anger itself....

So you see essence or ousia or being is what you are, energy is what you are doing, which flows naturally from what you are. ''My Father works until now, and I also work'', says Christ....He calls His divine-human miracles works and says ''believe in Me because of them....'' God is Life in Himself and bestows eternal life on whom he will. Man can't bestow life, only God can. Therefore its a divine energy. Man can fear or suffer or touch or eat, but the Divinity -never. So those are human energies or activities. God can create out of nothing, God can cast into hellfire or admit to paradise. God can give special divine enlightenment and allow us to see His glory. Since as Christ says and science knows an essential part of power sight is receiving the light and seeing in and by the light, when God shows the Apostles some of Christ's Divine Glory, the gift of light that makes it possible is divine, not creature. Since no one can see God nor has seen God, except what God reveals, as the Scriptures say.

So does God have these powers eternally=naturally or does He acquire them later from outside source? Obviously the latter would be created and also mean God was inferior and defective, not absolutely perfect and complete in nature/essence from eternity. So the Fathers all understand from closely reading the Scriptures and from their Greek scientific education that natures have certain energies or activities whose power is innately in them and that distinguish one nature from another.

 Side note: Two wills in Christ because as God He cannot choose to suffer, but as man He can, and as man He cannot choose to raise the dead or Himself, but as God He can. As man He does not have all knowledge but being God yet the very same person&man, He does have that knowledge and never errs or doubts or sins...

Aquinas and the Papists lacked theological knowledge, reading Neoplatonic Aristotelean theological works delivered by Muslims who of course are crude Arians and don't understand either. Aquinas copies the supreme nous of pagan Aristotles Metaphysics& says God is Actus Purus, pure Act, the best act, Thought knowing itself, circular desirous intellective motion that indirectly inspires the imitation by matter which he says have souls or intellects that are moved by the desire of this supreme Good/Beauty of pure self-thought. So Aquinas tries to make Aristotle a Trinitarian. So Aquinas says there are three individual things within this one simple eternal act. There are Subject, Object, and Verb.... Knower, Known, and Knowing....Lover, Beloved, and Love uniting..Potentiality, Activity, and Will/Desire, etc... Its a grammatical sophistry about an independently self-perpetuating Act without an Actor distinct from the Act itself. But in this way Aquinas baptizes aristotelean metaphysics. This was desired because in the religiously diverse kingdoms of southern Europe newly conquered by the Franks, there were Arian Goths, Jews, and Muslims, who all believed in Aristotle's authority completely. So rather than stick to Scriptural authority and Fathers, Aquinas sought to demonstrate Aristotle's theology was Christian. Then add the usual papal Inquisition and crusader violent compulsory adoption of Papism by the conquered and you have the whole story of medieval western religion in a nut shell.

So then because Aquinas already adopted Aristotle's Actus Purus Cyclical Self-Thought, the Act being the Energy, and totally self-focused, then there is no place for other energies(almost as if other Divinities by consequence of making God a Pure Act/Energy). Therefore Aquinas says the energies directed out toward us are spin-off by-products that aren't God or His energies, but partial imitations of His (Supreme Good) Act, created as partially formed self-knowledge in the self-knowing Act, that is, the Platonic  ideas of good, justice, virtues, etc....In the course of coming to know what is perfect supreme being Act creates the ideas and combinations of ideas that form the Neoplatinic Aristotelean universe... So there are a you and me and others conceived as semi-godlike images or ideas combinations that characterize our existence... Those ideas that are virtues that by being added to us in the Divine Thought Cycle made us do virtuous acts, are identified as ''graces''....

So created graces, non-God semi-godlike ideas created as a by-priduct of the Divine eternal self knowing process is then what we have, according to Aquinas,and since Christ is God Himself and He gave all His authority to bind and loose to the Pope of Old Rome, the Pope has control over graces. For example the Pope and whoever the Pope deputes to do it, create the life-giving, purifying, sanctifying Body and Blood of Christ...... whereas we Orthodox implore God to honor His promise by sending down the grace of the Holy Spirit to change the bread into His Body, & the wine into His Bloid, etc. which being the Body and Blood of the God-Man now conmingled with us, makes us His members, and saved and purified and sanctified through incorporation into Him. For the papists the Pope or his vicar the priest, by having God's authority, create the grace, whereas for us Orthodox we know the power of giving life and sanctifying  and purifying is innate to Christ as indivisible God&Man, by His own will conmingled with us...His Body and Bllood, being God's own, to which we are united bestows eternal life, even though by the Divine dispensation we follow the pattrn and path established in Christ of first bodily separation from soul, to be rejoined afterwards in Resurrection, meanwhile abiding with the Head in Heaven...

So you see with Orthodoxy, natures/essences what a thing is innately has some unique kind or combination of energies or activities it does. The fact that you or I are intellectual beings does not mean that the act of thinking is a separate rival human being. Our feelings or actions are not what we are but what we do that flows from what we are. God's essence is Life-giving, giving life is a divine activities the power of which is a trait of His nature/Essence....what He is apart from what we know by His energies we cannot say. His omniscience is a natural trait, as is His power to impart the true knowledge of anything. His communicating it is an energy of His, ecery existing latent in Him, imparted in time, but ever with Him, not external or added to Him.

The Light in Which we are made able to see Him as He is, so far as we can bear, is thus a power innate in His essence that He makes work that blessed deifying vision in us. That gracious gift is truly divine and uncreated, really God Himself. Its God in the same way that the love flowing from you to a beloved one is you, with whatever benefit it brings, but in this case the activity is divinely enlightening and vivifying and purifying which are uniquely divine activity/energy.

So hopefully you understand essence&energy&Palamas now. If anything's fuzzy, read this over carefully and I think you'll get things cleared up. Again I apologize for the rough draft style, but I'm juggling a lot.

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