Resurrection, Seventh Day, Eighth Day, and Creation

“He who for our sake shared in God’s rest of the seventh day also for our sake participates in God’s deifying energy on the eighth day, that is, in the mystical resurrection, and leaves lying in the sepulcher his linen clothes and the napkin that was about his head. Those who perceive this, like Peter and John, are convinced that the Lord has risen.

“The Lord’s tomb stands equally either for this world or the heart of each faithful Christian. The linen clothes are the inner essences of sensible things together with their qualities of goodness. The napkin is the simple and homogeneous of intelligible realities, together with the vision of God, in so far as it is granted. Through these things the Logos is initially recognized. …

“Those who bury the Lord with honor will also see Him risen with glory.” ~The Philokalia

Day of Rest

There is much misunderstanding about what it means to rest of the seventh day. It doesn’t mean that on that day we should sit around and do nothing. That doesn’t mean that that is a day for frivolity and entertainment. It is the day when we are to put aside worldly jobs and tasks and do only the work of God. You could also say it is a day to concentrate on your spiritual side rather than either the physical or mental. This may not always be possible, but we should try. Some may also have to do worldly work on Sunday. They can devote another day to spiritual growth. We should also devote a few minutes every morning to our spiritual awakening techniques.

Seventh Day

The Seventh day is generally the day of “rest” discussed above. Most consider that day to be Sunday. Yet we also say that Sunday is the first day of the week, not the seventh. I think matters got confused because the Jews consider Saturday the Sabbath rather than Sunday. I think the Christian were correct in changing it to Sunday. The day of the Sun should be the day devoted to God. As such, it should also be the day of doing God’s work, even if it is the first day of the week.

Eighth Day

The above quote is the first time I have read anything about the eighth day. While the description refers to Jesus and resurrection, it does relate to the creation. That is because the creation of the material realm—a mistake made by the fallen angels—is redeemable. It can be reversed. The resurrection of Jesus shows us that the fallen beings trapped in matter can become spiritual beings again. The trick is that they have to work at it, just as Jesus did. You don’t climb out of a hole just by wishing for it. You have to work to make it happen. The same is true for returning to our spiritual origins.

Resurrection Symbols

The Philokalia says that the Lord’s Tomb is a symbol of this world or a symbol of the Christian heart. In our more scientific age, we would say more accurately that it stands for the dark realm of matter, the entire physical universe. This is he same as the famous Cave of Plato.

It is not clear what the writer means when he says that the linens represent the “ inner essences of sensible things,” but I would interpret that to mean the spirit and soul. When ancient teachers told us to go inward to find our true self, they didn’t mean the deep recesses of the mind. They meant the spirit and soul which they thought of as being inside of us. Actually, of course, the spirit is inside, outside, and everywhere. It is spirit and not limited by space or time.

The napkin wrapped around the head represents the uniting of the spiritual mind—the soul—with the physical brain-mind. When that happens, we gain true knowledge, Gnosis. Even if we are still alive, we will have achieved resurrection because we have brought the spirit and soul back from virtual death.

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