river of light

“For those still mainly concerned with the bodily forms of virtue, the Logos of God becomes hay and straw, sustaining the possible aspect of their souls and guiding it to the service of the virtues. For those who have advanced to the true contemplation of divine things, the Logos is bread, sustaining the intellective [sic] aspect of their souls and guiding it to a godlike perfection. That is why we find the patriarchs on their journeys providing themselves with bread and their asses with fodder. …

“In scripture the Logos of God is called and actually is dew, water, spring and river. According to the subjective capacity of the recipient. To some He is dew because He quenches the burning energy of the passions which assail the body from without. To those seared to the depths of their being by the poison of evil He is water, not only because water through sympathy destroys its opposite, but also because it bestows a vivifying power conducive to well-being. To those in whom the fountain of contemplative experience is continually active He is a spring bestowing wisdom. To those from whom flows the true teachings of salvation, He is a river copiously watering men, domestic animals, wild beasts, and plants.” ~The Philokalia

Logos as Fodder

Why would anyone see the Logos, the Divine Light of God, as hay or straw? For the same reason, an atheist sees God as imaginary, or a hotel developer sees a flower garden as wasted space. So what the Philokalia is saying is that when that divine light enters such people, the effect is no greater than what happens when you feed hay to a horse or donkey. It won’t awaken the souls of such people any more than straw will awaken the divinity in the donkey.

Today, as many are being encouraged to engage in sun gazing, some such people try it. They may get some physical benefits, just as the donkey gets nourishment from the straw. However, there will be little, if any, spiritual benefit. They are attuned to the wrong frequencies of that light. Just as your radio will only play the channel it is tuned to, your body and spirit will only absorb the frequencies you are connecting with.

Logos as Bread

Here bread is allegorical. Physical bread is not going to be any more effective at awakening our spiritual faculties than straw is. But it is being used here as an allegory for those frequencies of light that do awaken those faculties. The bread here is the Divine Light of the spiritual sun or Sun of Righteousness.

River of Light, and More

The Philokalia then shifts gears, in a sense, and starts referring to the Logos as various forms of water. This is also an allegory. It is an allegorical reference common in the scripture of various religions because it symbolizes how Logos flows. It isn’t something static. It flows into us and fills us much like water filling a jar.

Dew of Light

I’m not so sure about dew, the lightest form of water referenced, being used to quench burning passions. I think some passions may need something more like a fire hose. Still, the point is that one thing the Logos does is help control passions. It does that making us change our priorities to the spiritual above the physical. It also makes us understand the physical is temporary and superficial.

Water of Light

As the quote says, you can look at the Logos as water because it washes the poison of materialism and falsehood out of us. They truly are things that poison us so we need this cleaning. For some of us, it may take the river of light to do that.

River of Light

When we have rid ourselves of false beliefs and are completely open for truth and reality, the river of light flows into us like a flash flood. We become so full of the spiritual light that we must share it with others. If we don’t, the excess can actually make us ill. That is one reason why all awaken people try to help others by sending light to them. And the others you send light to don’t have to be human. You can send a river of light to a sick pet. You can flood a dying forest during a drought with a river of light to help it survive. Or you can just send the excess light out into the world to help any and all that need it.

River, Fountain, Waterfall, Ocean

Beyond the dew, water, and river mentioned in the quote, there are other forms of water. They also can be an allegory for the Logos or Light of God. The fountain of youth that foolish people searched for is the spiritual sun from which the river of light flows. A rushing waterfall can represent someone overwhelmed by too sudden an awakening, too great a flow of light. Such a thing can drive men mad. That is why any responsible guru or teacher is always careful about teaching each student only as fast as hey can handle it. The ocean can be an allegory for the entire race of light beings, human and otherwise. Or it could represent the worlds of light, the spiritual dimensions where everything is light and there is no death or disease.

There were times in the past where such things had to be hidden in allegory. Today is different, so some of the allegories can be revealed to the general public. But even now, the most advanced teaches are kept only for the serious students who will use them carefully and wisely.


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