COPING WITH THE GRIEF OF IGNORANCE.
EVAGRIUS PONTICUS'S HERMENEUTICS OF THE DISTANCE
BETWEEN GOD AND HUMANITY

Vlad NICULESCU

RESUME

L'article cerne le thème de la distance entre Dieu et l'humanité dans la pensée d'Évagre le Pontique. Selon Évagre, ce thème est intimement lié à la conscience du disciple de « l'affliction de l'âme rationnelle condamnée à l'ignorance » (Gnosticus 36). Comprendre cette a ffliction implique une double analyse, à savoir celle de l'évidence Scripturaire concernant la chute de l'intellect de la béatitude initiale et celle de la réception gnostique de cette évidence. J'ai essayé de montrer que, pour Évagre, la réception gnostique de l'évidence concernant la chute originel le conduit vers une internalisation accomplie de l'affliction et vers un diagnostic correct de sa propre condition spirituelle.

For this illness of yours is not without God.
Palladius, The Lausiac History 38,9.

INTRODUCTORY NOTE

The reader of this essay will no doubt wonder how does the following analysis of Evagrius fit with the theme of the present book and this would be,  as far as I can tell, a legitimate concern . There are no references to miracles in my essay, and there ar e very few such references in Evagrius's work as a whole. Moreover, I would say that, to the best of  my knowledge, the meditation on miracles is rather marginal in most of the authors who constitute  the tradition of Evagrius, namely in Alexandrian Origenism. Thus, at least one point is so far clear: by  omitting an explicit reference to miracles I am in agreement with the texts that I am analyzing. Ho wever, this thought (perhaps only a wish) is more reassuring if we realize that the relative disint erest for miracles of the Alexandrian Origenists represents, in fact, a form of dissent. I consider  it a tacit resistance to the popular understanding of miracles as a sudden, unambiguous irruption of a divine presence or message. Let me be more specific: according to this view, the miracle disrupts our habi tuation with a fallen existence, and institutes for a brief while the immediacy of a diff erent order in anticipation of a future, steady beatitude. Moreover, the contact with this eschatological order functions as  some sort of proof, the foretaste of a state of mystical fusion or absolute conformity with God. By  my analysis of Evagrius I shall try to maintain a somehow different position. I shall show how Evagri us maintains the testimonial aspect present in the popular understanding of miracles, but connects it with  distance and with the sp iritual individuation as effected during communicating at a distance. It is the gradual reduction of this distance without its total suppression that is most interesting for Evagrius, rather than the contact and the mystical fusion with an unambiguous divine truth. Miracles need a hermeneut ics and this is the best proof that they are phenomena of distance, that they attest for the d istance between God and humanity. I shall leave for the reader to decide whether a phenomenology of  the distance between God and humanity might not be in fact a better context for a discussion about mi racles. In the end I can only hope that, at least for those inclined to take this view, the presence of my essay in this volume is opportune.

1.

In Gnosticus 36 Evagrius writes the following:

Let the elevate  lógos about judgement ( perì kríseos) escape the notice of the worldly and the young, because it easily brings forth their contempt ( kataphrónesis). Truly, they have had no acquaintance (ísasin) with the grief (odúne) of the rational soul condemned to ignorance (ágnoia).1

This passage contains two important indications as to how one should approach the difficult matter of Evagrius's esoterism. The first of them (1) calls our attention to the correlation between the teaching on judgement and the spiritual condition of those who receive this teaching, while the second (2) presents the harm which the misconception of this doctrine can inflict and the reason why the nongnostic is unaware of it. Let us examine these two aspects in greater detail.

(1) The lógos to which Gn 36 refers is, in fact, more than a doctrine; 2 it is a contemplative insight (theórema) into the effects of the fall of the intellects  from their initial beatitude. The effects of this fall are, for Evagrius, the "worlds" and the "bodies,"  that is, the entire hierarchy of beings. In His providence, God accommodated the fallen intellects ( nóes) in different types of bodies and ordered them hierarchically, according to the gravity of their initial trespassing. Thus, for example, angels have a higher existential status than humans, and humans have a higher existential status than demons.3

Evagrius describes the cause of the fall in  the Origenian terms of "negligence" ( améleia) or "movement" (kínesis) which designate a misuse of the will ( boulé) leading to the fragmentation of the primordial unity of the intellects and to their alienation from God.4

During the fall the intellects ( nóes) also change their initial existential status ( katástasis) and become souls (psychaí) passing, thus, from the state of intimacy with the Trinity to a state of separation from it. 5 Evagrius calls the separation that results from this fall God's "judgement" on the intellects, while he calls the creation of the body as the beginning of a long process of stabilizing and reintegrating the souls to their previous condition God's "providence." 6 Due to God's providential creation of the bodies (qualified sometimes as a "second creation" by  contrast with the first one, that of the pure intellects7) the fall of the intellects is chec ked and their existential status ( katástasis) is more securely established.8

I shall turn now from the teaching ( lógos) on judgement to its reception. According to Evagrius, the contemplation of the lógoi of judgement and providence is possible only for those who have reached the level of  physiké theoría, that is for those who went through the ascetic stage of the  praktiké.9 As natural contemplation is not to be conceived independently of the contemplation of the Trinity (i.e. the theología), the same can be said about the contemplation of the two  lógoi which, once separated from the theological insight, become vain and distorted.10 A more familiar way of expressing this truth would be to say that, for Evagrius, oikonomía cannot be understood apart from theología.11

Once one becomes aware that the mode of manifestation of the two  lógoi is dependent on the condition (katástasis) of the person contemplating them, one is in a position to approach the difficult issue of the formation of the gnostic evidence. Generally speaking, the  lógoi do not exist in separation from the human receptivity for whom they are desig ned. They are displayed within nature and within Scripture differently for different types of insights according to a divine provision. The gnostic evidence of the lógoi, in particular, is addressed only to those who,  by ascetic purification, have already obtained the impassibility of the soul ( apátheia) and are capable of using their intellect without any distraction from the passions. According to the monk of Pontus,  Moses is a paradigmatic example of such a gnos- tic, as his account of the Creation indicates how far the  physiké theoría can go in searching God's mysteries.12

The penetration and the limits of natural contemplation constitute the theme of  KG 2, 64 in which Evagrius distinguishes between the condition of  the beings resulting from the primordial fall and the initial condition of these beings at their creati on. Evagrius contends that, while there is a Scriptural revelation of the fallen condition of beings (i.e. the  Genesis narrative), no one has made an account of the initial condition.13 By taking this passage at its face value one would have to conclude that the gnos- tic evidence is a transscriptural revelation and, cons equently, that the contemplation of the initial condition of the intellects is the privilege of a few  elect who, like Moses, have a private access to this initial revelation. But is this what Evagrius really says in the above passage?

Perhaps a better way of understanding Evagrius's statement would be to analyze the sequence creation –-- first fall –-- judgement –-- second creation at two different levels. If, as Evagrius thinks, the first three events are transchronological and spirit ual while the last one is intrachronological and sensible, then one has to admit that Moses' account of  the Creation may, in fact, cover both the spiri- tual and the sensible aspects of this sequence of events. By taking the Genesis narrative only as indicative of a single, sensible, creation, that is, reading it literally, one is compelled to accept a number of anthropomorphisations of God, not to mention the contradictions involved in the double description of the creation of the human being (Gen. 1.26-27 and  Gen. 2.7). This is the reason why most of the thinkers belonging to the Alexandrian tradition fa vor an allegorical interpretation of the account mentioned above and consider the  defectus litterae as a clue for a latent, spiritual signification. 14 Given that, for Evagrius, the same Scriptural text displays the same multifaceted (polypoikýlios) wisdom of God differently for different people,15 it seems obvious that what makes the Evagrian gnostic a gnostic is the degree of spiritual penetration into Scripture and not a private transscriptural revelation.

The difference between the transsensible and the  sensible creation, as well as that between the letter and the spirit is accessible only to the one able to discern the difference between the sensible and the intelligible realms, and this discernment  is the outcome of an ascetic practice. 16 For the worldly ones (hoi kosmikoí) and the advancing ones ( hoi praktikoí) who lack such discernment this difference is not evident and cannot become so unless a change in their existential conditions ( katastáseis) occurs. Consequently, it is possible to talk about a gnostic  evidence only from the perspective of one whose existential status permits a spiritual in sight into the Scriptural revelation. 17 Like Moses and unlike the praktikoí and the kosmikoí, the gnostic is capable of grasping the transsensible events of judgement and providence in the literal account of the Scripture. Thus, on the basis of this spiritual evidence the gnos- tic can diagnose his/her own  katástasis as well as the  katastáseis of others. Consequently, the gnostic doctrine or discourse (lógos) is more than a doctrinal statement about God; it is an existential testimony given to God, leading to a radical transformation of  one's whole condition and, eventually, to one's mystical union with the Trinity.18

Given the change of perspective introduced by the above argument, the common definition of esoterism as a secret corpus of doctrine becomes in sufficient. It has to be enlarged so that one can capture in it the subtle correlation between the sp iritual evidence and the gnostic testimony as well as the Trinitarian and the Christological patterns in which this correlation originates. It is also necessary to emphasize the fact that, for Evagrius, gnostic recept ivity is a spiritual state  prepared for by an ascetic practice and by a prayerful exercising of the mind on God's mystery under the direct guidance of a spi- ritual father or a gnostic. Thus, within this enl arged perspective, Evagrius's esoterism can be defined as a spiritually conditioned access to the experience of God's Trinitarian mystery as this mystery is displayed in the life testimony and mystagogical teaching of a spiritual father or a gnostic.

This revised definition of esoterism seems to ma ke the task of the nongnostic interpreter very difficult, if not even straightforwardly impossible. To approach the theme of spiritual secrecy through a phenomenology of the disclosure and display of the revealed evidence in an exemplary person such as the gnostic would presuppose a spiritual participat ion in this status, which the nongnostic can only approximate. This is, at least, what Evagrius's warning in Gn. 36 seems to say. But would it be correct to stop at the letter of Evagrius's warning?

(2) By stating that the nongnostics "do not know ( ísasin) the grief ( odýne) of the rational soul (psychês logikês) condemned to ignorance ( ágnoia),"19 Evagrius presents us with an unusual concept of the state of ignorance. The construction  ísasin odýnen,20 indicates a careful selection of terms on the part of the author. The use of the verb  oîda (to know) with a noun in the accusative and without an article has a precise meaning, namely that of "bei ng well versed" or "acquainted" with a state or a skill.21 The construction given above differs from other cognitive statements in that its focus is not on the external objectivity of the thing known but rat her on the internal familiarity and acquaintance with this thing that is evident in the state of knowing. In fact, Evagrius's point is not that the nonadvanced do not and cannot know the noetic grief but rather that  they did not develop the spiritual sensibility that would allow them to experience the protological experience of the grief of fallenness.22 Moreover, their nonacquaintance with grief is a symptom of the st ate of fallenness (the state of being judged) characterizing all embodied souls. In a certain sens e the nonadvanced are a living example of such a state, therefore their nonreceptivity to grief is also a nonreceptivity to their own selves, to their origin and to God's provision for their end.23

This situation becomes even more paradoxical when  one thinks about it in light of the Evagrian understanding of the first fall and the firs t creation. According to Evagrius "science ( gnosis) is more ancient than the first beings, and movement (kinesis) is more ancient than the beings in their secondary condition."24 This implies that in their p assage from noetic entities (first beings) to rational souls (secondary condition, that of the  logikaí psychaí in  Gn 36) the souls experience judgement as a consequence of their movement away from God ( kínesis).25 Nevertheless, this sequence (movement to judgement) is prechronological and, as such, shoul d not be understood in terms of the temporal sequence trespassing-retribution. At the same time, t he will which triggers the movement is not to be understood as a willed choice since passions, the mu ltiplication of beings and choice itself are consequences of the first fall and not causes of  it. The best conceptual approximation of the noetic centrifugality of the will during the first fall would therefore be that of nonreceptivity (perhaps a better translation for  améleia than "negligence"). 26 In falling, the pure intellect does not simply choose something other than God as the soul would choose an external object; the intellect chooses  himself as someone other than God (first alienation).

The realization of this fallenness and separation  is, therefore, a sudden awareness of the state of being fallen, a deep experience of creatur al alienation from God's unifying love. 27 The gnostic contemplates this fall, and pa rticipate in the primordial  gnôsis (that which is more ancient than the movement) but the gnostic is still part of the  second creation and a living embodiment of the consequences of the fall. This is one of the reasons  why, unlike the nongnostic, the gnostic knows the spiritual grief of fallenness and ig norance and approaches it from the condition of one who has fallen. The gnostic's knowledge of grief is, indeed, a spiritua l awareness of the gnostic's own grieving, and it is the correct diagnosis of the gnostic's spiritual condition (katástasis).

The language of the nongnostic can only approxim ate this katastatical experience of grief from the limited point of view of a psychological or sensor ial suffering (grief as affect or passion). Therefore, ignorance is both being unaware of what one is, one's  being fallen, and of what one once was (i.e., a pure intellect). The gnostic shares with the nongnos tic the state of being fallen but he/she lacks the ignorance that comes with this state. The nong nostic needs to be awakened from this ignorance in order to grieve. Grief is the true symptom of his/her  state and the beginning of the path of restoration to the primordial condition. Suffering noetic grief is, thus, for Evagrius, a primal awakening leading to an awareness of both judgement and providence; that is, an awareness of both the fall and the possibility of a return. The  lógoi of judgement and providence are not  a theme of meditation for the nongnostic precisely because the nongnostic is ignorant of being condemned to ignorance and is unconscious of the noetic grief which fallenness entails.

In order to complete the description of the misconstrual of the gnostic teaching by the nongnostic we now have to qualify the nongnostic's ignorance of his/her own  katástasis. When Evagrius describes the reaction of the nongnostic to an eventual disclosure of the gnostic teaching on judgement he has in mind two categories of people, namely the worldly ( hoi kosmikoí) and the nonadvanced or those at the level of  praktiké (hoi neoí). The difference between them is obvious in that the latter are already engaged on the ascetic path of fighting p assions, while the former are not. Nevertheless, for Evagrius, the similitude between the two seems to be more important than the difference, since neither of them has access to the spiritual insight into t he transhistorical, i.e. protological and eschatological, events. The difficulty of this access is double because  it originates both in the equivocation intrinsic to the protological events (that between the two creati ons and the two falls) and in the nonacquaintance of the receptor with spiritual themes. In other words, the inability of the nongnostic is due not only to his/her imperfection but also to a divine pedagogical provision which permits a different communication of the mysteries of faith to different people. The nongnostic does not perceive the divine equivocation between the two falls and two creations present in the Genesis narrative and, consequently, interprets it at a purely literal level, that is as a unique sensible creation and a unique fall caused by erroneous choice and assent to temptation. The nonevidence of the equivocation lying hidden in the creation narrative is, nevertheless, not definitive. It can be dispelled by a spiritual hermeneutics of the creation account.

In light of the above interpretation of Evagr ian esoterism the reaction of the nongnostic to an eventual disclosure of this equivocation becomes more intelligible. The disdain ( kataphrónesis) in Gn. 36 is not a disdain for what one knows but rejects in  full awareness. It is rather a disdain for what one does not know, even though one thinks that one kno ws it. Not noticing the equivocation in the creation narrative, the nongnostic despises the judgem ent indicative of the first movement either by mistakenly identifying it with the literal fall of Adam (second fall) or by treating it as an allegorical fiction or myth.28

*

In our examination of the two indications which Ev agrius gives for a better understanding of the gnostic teaching I have defined the theme of the present essay, namely the Evagrian conception of the distance between God and humanity with its two aspects, the revelatory evidence displayed in Scripture and its gnostic reception leading (a) to a hermene utical disequivocation of  the alienating distance between God and humanity and (b) to a correct diagnosis of one's condition. The course of the argumentation that follows will comprise two more stages. First I shall present the concrete process of the hermeneutic disequivocation of distance by an alyzing the correlation between the literal/sensible and the spiritual/intelligible distance in  Ad Melaniam, then I shall present the transformations which distance undergoes once it is assumed by Christ in his Incarnation.

2

Evagrius's Ad Melaniam opens with a long meditation on letters and letter writing which further develops into a theological meditation on the relationship between humans as creatures and the Trinity. As it is stated from the very beginning of this passage, letter writing is possible only because of the distance between the addressor and the addressee. It is this distance that the letter tries to reduce and eventually overcome by a bond of friendship and love, which Evagrius always describes as mutual. 29 As such, letter writing implies the existence of distan ce, a sender, an addressee and the communicational intention enclosed in the concrete object, namely,  the letter (this intention is often described by our author as a "secret"). Because of its dependence on distance and its function of reducing distance, letter writing has a paradoxical character: presence and  absence coexist in it side by side. The letter encapsulates the gestures, actions and perceptions of the writer and displays them with a kind of origi- nal immediacy to the reader. Thus, the sender 's longing for an immediate contact with his/her addressee passes into the act of writing and it  is accomplished by the encounter with the reader's receptivity to the writer's intention. The letter is  the place where the loving intention of the two separated friends overcomes distance, or, rather tran sforms distance from a disjunctive reality into a conjunctive one.30

The way in which the writer of the letter reali zes this paradoxical bridging of distance is transposition. He/she starts from the standard communicational immediacy (face to face presence) and transposes it into the new communicational situati on characterized by distance. The communication in the direct encounter is presented as a conversation in which one sees and hears the other without any need of the mediation of writing. Both sight and speech are supposed to make an intention immediately and unambiguously present and, according to Evagrius, this intention is one of love and friendship. This loving intention is the hidden but real immediacy of  the encounter and functions as a kind of spiritual touch. The transposition that letters perform consist s, then, in substituting the writing hand for the speaking tongue, the reading eye for the hearing ea r, the paper for the heart and the words for the "touch" of the intention. Consequently we have wr iting/reading/the written expression (concealing the love intention) for speaking/hearing/love intention (as revealed evidence).31

But letters are not only for those who know how  to read. They can be also designed for those who cannot read but have the letters read for th em. Unlike those involved in direct communication (hearers and perceivers) or the letter readers ( perceivers only), the illiterate ones are only hearers. They depend on the mediation of a reader.32

Thus, for Evagrius, there are two basic communicative situations, namely that of direct encounter and that of letter writing. In the first case there is no distance and the two can see, hear and even touch each other, while in the second they are performing all these acts by a literary transposition appropriate to the distance between them. There ar e also three kinds of receptivity involved: that pertaining to physical immediacy (presence), that of  the immediacy within distance (the receptivity of the reader) and the mediated receptivity of the il literate hearer. The most participative person is the one who is physically present, followed by the reader, while the hearer is the least participative of all.

Beginning with the second section of  Ad Melaniam, Evagrius transposes his meditation on letter writing into a theological construction. The letter is equated with the creation; the sender is God the Father, who is present in the letter by the love int ention which he shares with the Son and the Spirit; his writing hand is the Son and the  writing finger is the Holy Spirit. 33 The aim of the sending of the letter is that "men might come to know and draw closer to" God's "love for them," 34 hich implies that the understanding of God by the contemplation of his creation is an understanding at a distance and not "face to face." The "face to face" contemplation  does not need the mediation of the "text" of the creation.35

Gnostic contemplation is direct contemplation,  therefore it stands to natural contemplation (contemplation through the creation) as direct sight and speech stand to letter reading. 36 For a person at the level of theología, the Son, as Word and Intention of the Father, is communicated directly to the naked intellect. The Son is "spoken" to "the interior  man" intimately. Nevertheless speaking comes with breathing, and the "breath" of God is the Holy Spirit, therefore one can confidently say that in the visio facialis the inbreathed gnostic is inhabited by the entire Trinity.37

Those worthy of an immediate contemplation of t he Trinity are part of the "pure rational and intelligible creation,"38 namely, the angels and the gnostics who function at the level of  theología. They are represented by those who do not need letters bec ause they are already involved in the immediate encounter.

Those contemplating God at a distance are ca pable of transposing the creation (the letter) according to God's intention. There are the gnosti cs at the level of the first and second natural contemplation, and they are signified by those able to read the letter themselves.

Those who are at the level of  praktiké and so do not yet see the reasons ( lógoi) of the creation, and who develop under the close guidance of a gnos tic, are in the position of those to whom letters need to be read. The passage from the face-to-face contemplation of the Trinity (the  theología and physiké theoría) to a purely spiritual contemplation at a distance (the physiké theoría only) happens, most likely, during the first fall, while the passage from the  physiké theoría (rational soul with a body of light) to the praktiké occurs during the second fall.

The metamorphosis of distance during the a bove three stages attests to the inextricable correlation between theología and oikonomía in Evagrius's thought. The intra-Trinitarian unitive distance in which the gnostic at the level of theología shares is equivocally concealed (as the intra-Trinitarian love intention) within the economic distance deployed by  the double creation and recapitulated by the In- carnate Logos.39 During this economic deployment the  katastáseis resulting from the two falls and the two creations are ordered into a sui generis hierarchy of images40 which can be represented as follows:

In the iconic articulation of the  katastáseis within the history of the fall and redemption of the intellects, theología and  oikonomía are equivocally coincident. The intra-Trinitarian immediacy of love works for rather than against the personal communion  of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; that is, in support of a Trinitarian unitive distance within  which each member is personally distinct and "consubstantially" one with the other two. This dist inctive personal distance between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, being an uncreated distan ce, is revealed in the economy of the Incarnation by the Son, the uncreated image of the Father.41

Another distance appears with the first creation, namely a creatural economic one. As image and likeness of God and as body of the Trinity, the pure  intellect is pure receptivity for his prototype (the Son) and through Him, for the Father, of  whom the Son is the uncreated image. 42  This economic communication of the iconicity of the Son operated by the Holy Spirit coopts the pure intellect into God's Trinitarian life disclosing the theological (i.e. intra-Trinitarian) matrix of distance.

It is only after the first fall that the theologic al - economic distance turns from predominantly conjunctive to predominantly disjunctive. In fact, wi th the first fall the receptivity of the intellect is misdirected toward the lower katastáseis (the soul and the body) and the intellect is no longer an icon of the Trinity but becomes an icon of the world. 43 The new distance is still disjunctive but not entirely so. The iconic receptivity of the first creation ca nnot be entirely destroyed by the fall; it is only misdirected. Separated from God, humanity still has nowhere else to fall than within God's ever- greater-than-the-fall economic-theological distance . Thus, humanity is always exposed to the love intention with which God measures this distance . Since the alienation consists in human beings' initiative to close themselves to God's redeeming love, the praktiké and the gnostiké attempt to heal the obduracy of man's receptivity first by awakening t he soul to the grief of being separated from her Creator, then by making her ready for the mystical love encounter with God.

I shall now return to the hierarchy of katastáseis represented in the above table and reinterpret it in the light of the recently uncovered distance between God and humanity. The principle on which this scheme is designed is that of a homonymic correlati on between the terms in the superior half (first creation) and those in the inferior one (second creation). 44 Thus, the fatherly intellect (n1) is homonymous with the corporeal intellect (n2); the "soul" of the Trinity represented by the Son and the Spirit (s1) is homonymous with the human embodied soul (s2); the body of the Trinity, that is, the incorporeal intellect, (b1) is homonymous with the body of the second creation (b2) and with its post- Paradise transformation (the tunics of skin)(b''2 ). Writing these homonymies side by side and marking the provenance of each entity between parentheses we obtain the following picture:

(1) n1 is homonymous with n2/b1)
(2) s1 is homonymous with s2 (<n2)
(3) b1 is homonymous with b245

In the following, I shall analyze the above scheme from the perspective of the Evagrian distinction between what is natural, unnatur al and supernatural for humans. 46 Thus, as the outcome of the first creation, the pure intellect (n2) is naturally an image ( eikón) of God and could become, by a supernaturally infused grace, an image in God's likeness ( homoíosis).47 Due to the fall, the pure intellect becomes a soul ( psyché)(s2) indwelling a sensible body (b2) which is God's second creation. If the intellect become soul (s2) continues to be an image  of God, the postfall humanity is said to be in a "healthy" state which, per se, is not a natural one but one susceptible of becoming natural. 48 This is the state characterizing the praktikoí. If, instead of mirroring God, the soul (s2) mirrors the sensible body, then humanity is in an unnatural state. This state is characteristic for the kosmikoí.

The physiké theoría restores the soul to her noetic katástasis, turning her first into a rational soul (psyché logiké) (b2-s2-n2) and then into a pure intellect (n2). 49 By his Incarnation, Christ recapitulates the two creations and restores humanity to the natural state of being an image of God (n2). 50 The accomplishment of this restorative work represent s, for Evagrius, the Kingdom of Christ or the Kingdom of Heavens which can also be called a "first" éschaton.51

One can rightly ask what happens with t he body and the soul during the "first"  éschaton. Since, for Evagrius, the soul is just the fallen image  of God, a restoration of the soul to the  katástasis of intellect (n2) means a perfection and not a suppression of the soul. 52 By contrast with the soul, the body (b2) is not the direct transformation of a preexistent  katástasis but a primary product of God's second creation designed to check the fall of the in tellect. In so far as it is a creation of God, the body is in a natural state, but in so far as this creati on is due to an event which God had foreknowledge of but did not want (i.e. the fall), the  body has something unnatural about it. 53 This unnaturalness is not intrinsic to the body's essence, but to what its sensible nature can occasion with regard to the soul's unstable choice, when is put to a bad use. Thus, if  the intellect is capable of knowing his nature as well as the nature of the soul and body, and the soul  does not know her own nature but knows that of the body, then the body is the only katástasis which is totally ignorant both of its own nature and of that of
other katastáseis.54 Put differently, the sensible body (b2) is receptivity (as indwelt by the soul and inbreathed with spirit) in ignorance. Receptivity is  natural to it, while ignorance is unnatural. Christ's first éschaton suppresses the unnatural elements of humanity by restoring the soul (s2) to her noetic iconicity (n2) and dispels the ignorance of the bod y (b2) by assimilating its receptivity with the pure receptivity of the intellect. There should be no wonder , then, that Evagrius describes the pure intellect as pure receptivity (or even as a bodily receptivity)  and a correct understanding of this description would easily reveal the fact that, in the Kingdo m of Christ, the human being is not a disembodied intellect. Humanity in Paradise is pure image (intellect) with a bodily receptivity for God.55

If the Kingdom of Christ represents the full rest oration of humanity to her primordial, natural, state, how does Evagrius view, the Kingdom of God? In answering this question I shall overlook for the time being its Christological imp lications and I shall instead concentrate on its anthropological dimension. Besides his natural state of image, the in tellect (n2) has also a supernatural one, namely the state of being a likeness.56 Although the Evagrian description of the protological state of humanity is full of obscurity, one can nevertheless conjecture that  the first human being, qua pure intellect and an image of God, was only potentially God's likeness.  In fact, likeness, as a supernatural state, was something yet to be conferred upon humans, something to be achieved. 57 If this is true, Evagrius's protology might not be fully identical with his es chatology or, in other words, between n2 and b1 we should expect to find a subtle difference. The first  éschaton (the Kingdom of Christ) restores humanity to her natural state of pure intellect (n2) but it is the task of the second éschaton (the Kingdom of God) to provide him with the supernatural condition  of likeness (b1). This supernatural condition is, for Evagrius, the state of mystical love union with the Trinity. 58 The symbolic representation of this state is that of the intellect (n2) becoming a body (b1) indwelt by the Son and the Spirit as by a soul (s1) and by the Father as by an intellect (n1). 59 Thus, in the passage from a natural to a supernatural state (n2, or the natural image, to b1, or the supernatural image in likeness) a difference is revealed, a difference that can only be articulated by the gnostic in the state of theología, and thus as a spiritual connoisseur.60

A quick look at the table of homonymies a bove can show that through the first  eschaton anticipated by the mystagogical stages of  praktiké and physiké theoría61 homonymies number (2) and (3) are suppressed as indicative of an unnatural distance  (that of the fall) and only the receptivity of the body is preserved. 62 There is one homonymy left, that between n2 and n1 63 which only a supernatural grace can break by conferring upon humanity the spirit of adoptive filiation. With the second eschatology anticipated by the mystical state of theología n2 passes into b1 and b1 becomes one with n1 and s1 (the Son and the Holy Spirit mediate as a soul between the intellect as "body" of the Trinity and the intellect-like Father). In this way, the homony mic difference (n2 to b1) is supernaturally surpassed, but, as the sequence n1 to s1 to b1 shows, there st ill is a distance between God and humanity, a distance which, however, is not disjunctive but conjunctive.

The discussion above leads us to the realization that the relationship between  oikonomía and theología is, in the final analysis, the one that decides  the relationship between what Evagrius calls the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Christ. According to the  Epistula Fidei these two kingdoms are related as the spiritualized human and the divine aspects of Christ:

The kingdom of Christ is considered to be the entire material (énhylon) knowledge (gnôsin), while the kingdom of God or of the Father [is] t he immaterial contemplation and, as one might say, [the contemplation] of the divinity itself. But our  Lord also is Himself both the end and the ultimate beatitude according to the concept (epínoian) of lógos.64

Also, when commenting upon the meaning of Christ 's submission of the Kingdom to the Father, Evagrius presents the matter as a Christological –  Trinitarian argument rather than a trans- Christological (subordinationist) one:

This is, indeed, Christ's transmission of the kingdom to God or to the Father, Christ being in the condition of first fruit (aparché) and not of end (télos), according to the more vulgar, as I used to call it, teaching professed in the mode "for us" and not "for the Son Himself."65

The for us (pros hemás) perspective presents Christ as the first fruit (aparché) or the beginning of the restoration of humanity but, through the change of the katástasis of humanity from soul to intellect, one also gets access to Christ's divinity and realizes that, as Logos, Christ is also the end of the ascent. In other words, from this second perspective, the Incarnate Logos is not only the  aparché but also the éschaton or télos of salvation. Consequently one can say that in the "for Himself (God)" perspective the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Christ coincide as God's oikonomía and theología, while in the "for us" perspective (which is also that of the pregnostic) the two Kingdoms are presented as a succession of spiritual states. The difference between the tw o kingdoms according to this sequential presentation corresponds to the various degrees of spiritual receptivity of the believers at the three stages  praktiké, physiké theoría and  theología.66 As one can easily notice from the  pattern above, the whole Evagrian mystagogy is a Christological spiritual progress in which Christ is the beginning and the end.67

Let us now follow the gradation of Christ's assump tion of the distance in the "for us" perspec- tive. In Christ's kenotic love the unnatural, disjunctive  distance created by the fall of the intellects is encapsulated and turned into a conjunctive distance, namely the distance between Christ as a human being consubstantial with us and Christ as God consubstantial with the Father. The second distance can be called natural only because of God's providence and Christ's act of assuming it but it is unnatural in so far it represents the effects of the fall. T he act of Incarnation as the assumption of a distance unnatural both to us (in the "for us" perspective ) and to God (in the "in Himself "perspective 68") appears to be supranatural from the perspective  of the ecclesiastical humanity. Thus we have to distinguish between an unnatural economic distance  (that created by the fall) and a natural, economic distance (that between the naturally iconic intellect and God) which are both assumed by the Logos in his supranatural Incarnation. Christ will suppress  the unnatural distance but not the natural one. The mode in which this suppression is accomplished is by the  praktiké and the physiké theoría by which the fallen intellect is restored to his natural state (the first creation). This "first" eschatology is described by Evagrius as follows:

(...)there will be a time when the human body, s oul and mind cease to be separate, with their own names and their plurality, because the body and  the soul will be raised to the rank of mind (this can be concluded from the text "Let them be one in us, as you and I are one" [John 7.22]).69

The "first" eschatology is followed by a "second" and final one, which reveals not only the indestructibility of oikonomía (as the natural distance between the first creation and God) but also the theological constitution of distance. Even if by the first  éschaton the suppression of the unnatural dimension of the fall liberated the hidden economic na turalness of distance, the full revelation of the theological constitution of the distance is not  yet accomplished. The acquaintance with God's  theología is achieved not by the natural insight of the pure intellect but by the mystical union of the pure intellect with the Trinity. This is in fact what happens duri ng the "second" eschatology when the Son proceeds to a reduction of the economic distance to the intra-Trinitarian (theological) distance between Him and the Father.70 In the "for us" perspective this reduction ma kes the passage from a natural distance (that between the pure intellect and God) to a supernatu ral one (the distance between intellect as body of the Trinity and the Trinity, as soul and intellect of this body) thereby surpassing the difference between n2 to b1 and liberating God's own assimilatory pate rnal perspective on the humans from the humans' natural perspective on God's economy (the  physiké theoría). The gnostic at the stage of  theología becomes, thus, an iconic testimony for God in God's freely given, uncreated likeness.

*

Looking back at the sequence of the argumentation I can say that the theme of distance was first reached during the investigation of Evagrius's moti vation of gnostic esoterism. At this stage the main issues debated were, on one hand, the dependence of the Scriptural evidence on its reception, and, on the other, the harm caused by the misrecept ion of the gnostic teaching. A phenomenological presentation of the second aspect as the hermeneutic  failure of the nongnostic in disequivocating the distance focussed our attention on two other features of the correlation between the gnostic evidence and human reception, namely the paideic mystagogi cal aspects involved in the communication of the gnostic evidence to us and the gradual growth of  our spiritual receptivity to them. This mystagogical ascent was, as I pointed at that time , triggered by the human being's katastatic "knowing of grief," i.e., by a theological existential awareness of distance as  the effect of our fall. With each new spiritual advancement through the stages of the  Evagrian mystagogy, humans become more  capax Dei, which means that they undergo a katastatic transformati on while contemplating in a less and less equivocal way God's lógoi of creation, judgement and providence. The more spiritual human receptivity becomes, the less equivocal is the contemplated evidence of distance is.

Nevertheless, if katastatic hermeneutics was capable of thematizing distance as distance (therefore thematizing it nonequivocally), its ambiti on of disequivocating distance as such and of discerning between the natural, unnatural and supernatural aspects of distance proved its vanity as soon as we realized that distance can only become evident to us because of God's philanthropic manifestation ad extra of his economic work (as the love intention of the Father enacted by the econo- mic ministry of the Son and His assumption of the d istance of the fall). But because our katastatic hermeneutics of the judgement and providence is possible only within distance and distance proved to be a Christologically predetermined phenomenon, herm eneutics receives its justification and rigors from Christ's assumption of our interpretative initiative  by turning it into a filial receptivity for the Father. This filial receptivity develops its own rigors, those of love. Within this new filial perspective all interpretation of distance is an imitation of Christ  and a katastatic transformation of the interpreter as created image in the likeness of the uncreated image  of the Father which is the Son. One could, thus, confidently call the Evagrian myst agogy a gradual imitation of Christ having as its purpose the transformation of the fallen humanity into a filial testimony of God.


* I would like to thank Dr. Robin Darling young for her guid ance and comments on this essay. Also I would like to thank Lawrence Burns for his observations and corrections of the language of this article.
1 Évagre le Pontique,  Le Gnostique ou à celui qui es t devenu digne de la science , Édition critique des fragments grecs, traduction intégrale établie au moyen des versions syriaque et arménienne, commentaire et tables par Antoine Guil- laumont et Claire Guillaumont (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1989), 154-156 (hereafter  Gn). My own translation from the Greek will be indicated by "transl. V.N." placed in the footnotes. I shall nevertheless reproduce the French or the German translations of the Syriac whenever an English translation is not available.
2 The word  lógos, with its plural  lógoi, appears frequently in Evagrius in connection with the  physiké theoría or the natural contemplation. See, for example, Évagre le Pontique,  Scholies à l'Ecclésiaste, Édition princeps du texte grec, introduction, traduction, notes et index par Paul Gehin,  SCh 397 (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1993), 2, p. 60; 11, p. 76 (hereafter Sch Eccl). According to A. Guillaumont, the lógoi represent "des idées qui ont presidé aux dispositions prises par Dieu, dans sa ‘providence', pour rendre possible le  salut des êtres raisonnables déchus de leur état pre- mier, et cela, en attribuant à chacun, à la suite d'un ‘juge ment' le corps et le monde qui lui conviennent" (cf. note to Gn 48, p. 188). Guillaumont's Platonising explanation of the  lógoi as ideas is taken up by Gehin who, at p. 23 of his preface to Sch Eccl qualifies them as "des principes rationnels qui ont  présidé à leur [the created things] existence." A more accurate explanation of the meaning of the term seems to be Bunge's definition of lógos as a "goettlicher Sin- ngehalt (...) den der Gott-Logos der gesamten Schoepfung wie  Spuren seines Wirkens einpraegt hat." (cf. Gabriel Bunge, Das Geistgebet: Studien zum Traktat De Oratione des Evagrios Pontikos, [Koeln: Luthe-Verlag, 1987] 16-17).
3 For a synthetic presentation of the Evagrian doctrine of judgement and providence see Guillaumont's  Les Kephalaia 31-37; 103-113.
4 On the fall of the intellects see  Les Six Centuries des "Képhalaia Gnostica" d'Évagre le Pontique , édition critique de la version syriaque commune et édition d'une nouvelle version syriaque integrale, avec une double traduction francaise par Antoine Guillaumont (hereafter KG) 1, 49-51, pp. 40-41; 3, 22, pp. 106-107; 3, 38-40, pp. 112-113. Also Évagre le Pontique, Scholies aux Proverbes, introduction, texte critique, traduction, notes, appendices et index par Paul Gehin (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1987), 23, p. 117 (hereafter SchPr).
5 See Parmentier's "Evagrius of Pontus ‘Letter to Melania'"  Bijdragen, 46 (1985), 6, 190-195, p.12; 4, 113-120, p. 10 (hereafter Ad Melaniam), and SchPr 23, pp. 116-117.
6 KG 1, 27, pp. 28-29; 3, 40, pp. 112-113; 4, 43, pp.  234-235; 6, 59, pp. 242-243; 6, 75, pp. 248-249. For an eschatological use of the concept of judgement see:  KG 1, 82, pp. 54-55; 2, 77, pp. 90-91;  SchPr 33, p. 127; 153, p. 249; 11, p. 103; 118, p. 217.
7 KG 3, 24, pp. 106-107; 3, 26, pp. 106-107; SchPr 33, p. 127; 153, p. 249; 275, p. 370.
8 SchPr 33, p.126-127; SchEccl 52, p.151.
9 Evagrius Ponticus's mystagogy comprises three stages: the  praktiké or the ethical-ascetical purification of passions, the physiké theoría or the establishment of the intellect in the contemplation of God's  lógoi of creation, and the theología or the mystical union with the Trinity. See also KG 1, 74, pp. 52-53; 2, 4, pp. 60-63. The last two stages are also identified by the generic denomination of  gnostiké. As  SchPr 247, pp. 342-343 shows, these three stages represent a reformulation of Origen's curriculum sketched in his introduction to  The Commentary on the Song of Songs 1, 3, 1-23 where an analogy is drawn between the three Solomonic books ( The Proverbs, The Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs) and the disciplines of ethics, physics and epoptics.
Within the physiké theoría Evagrius distinguishes between the first and the second natural contemplation, the former being a contemplation of the  lógoi within creation and the latter a direct contemplation of the  lógoi in themselves. Natural contemplation culminates in a comprehensive insight into the  lógoi of judgement and providence which represent the passage toward the last mystagogical stage, that of theología (see KG 6, 75, pp. 248-249).
10 See Sch Eccl 2, p. 59: "to those who entered the noetic Church and marvel in contemplating the [created] realities, the lógos says: ‘Do not think that this is the ultimate compl etion the One kept in store for you in the promises, for all these are vanity of vanities by comparison with the knowledge (gnôsis) of God Himself'." (transl. V.N.).
11 As his  Epistula Fidei (see Sainte Basile,  Lettres, trans. Courtonne [Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1957], vol. 1, 22-37) proves, Evagrius is fully aware of the traditional use of  theología as indicative of the intra-Trinitarian life of God. In fact, the last stage of Evagrius's spiritual ascent is called theología because of the perfect integration of the intellect in the life of the Trinity. At this stage the gnostic become s an adoptive son of the Father and a coinheritor of the Kingdom of God with Christ. Keeping in mind that the natural contemplation of the  lógoi of judgement and providence appears as a comprehensive view on God's oikonomía and that these lógoi are rooted in the theología, it is easy to notice the correlation between these two aspects in  the thought of Evagrius. In spite of the Platonising presuppositions involved in the doctrine of the double creation, the plot of this theo-drama remains that of the Scriptural revelation.
12 The physiké theoría is signified in various ways in Evagrius's works. It is mentioned as the central theme of  The Ecclesiastes (see Sch Pr 247, p. 343) and it represents one of the main interests of  The Psalms. The Book of Genesis written by Moses "the gnostic" ( KG 6, 45, pp. 234-235) is only one of these possible illustrations. Our selection of this book is based on the importance the interpretation of th e creation narrative has in shaping the doctrine of the double creation in the Alexandrian tradition and in Evagrius's works.
13 See KG 2, 64, pp.86-87: "Parmi les êtres, les uns ont été produits avant le jugement et les autres après le jugement. Au sujet des premiers, personne n'a donné d'information, mais au sujet des seconds celui qui a été sur l'Horeb a fait un récit." Other statements related to the one above are: KG 2, 69, pp. 88-89; 73, pp. ? ; 6, 1, pp. 216-217.
14 For a reconstruction of Origen's exegesis to the creation narrative in his lost  Commentary on Genesis: see Sfameni- Gasparro's article "Doppia Creazione e Pecatto di Adamo nel  Peri Archon  di Origene: Fondamenti Biblici e Presupposti Platonici dell Esegesi Origeniana" in La ‘Doppia Creazione' dell'Uomo negli Alessandrini, nei Cappadoci e nella Gnosi, a cura di Ugo Bianchi (Roma: Edizioni dell'Ateneo &  Bizzari, 1978) 83-99. Although St. Basil the Great rejects the allegorical interpretation of the creation narrative, he  was aware of the Origenian exegesis and perhaps even sympathetic to it at an early stage of his life. Neverthe less, Gregory of Nyssa is more inclined to allegorise the passage mentioned above as his  De Opificio Hominis proves. Evagrius is, in this respect, an Alexandrian theologian rather than a Cappadocian. For a comprehensive presenta tion of the relationship between the Alexandrian and the Cappadocian exegeses see Manlio Simonetti Lettera e/o Allegoria: Un Contributo alla Storia dell'Esegesi Patristica (Roma: Institutum Patristicum ‘Augustinianum' 1985) 65-109;  135-156; 201-231. Unfortunately, Simonetti omits to discuss the case of Evagrius.
15 For the various ways in which the Scriptures communicate their mystery, see  Gn 18-21, pp. 117-123. The explanation for this multifaceted textual communication is Christological: it is Christ as  polypoikýlios sophía who impregnates the Scriptural text making it suitable for each person according to his/her own capacities. For the appellation of Christ by the term polypoikýlios sophía see SchPr 333, p. 423, SchEccl 18, pp. 89.
16 Gn 20, pp.119.
17 SchPr 250-251, pp. 346-347; 270, pp. 364-365; 291, pp. 382-385.
18 According to Evagrius, the difference between the outer wisdom of pagan philosophy and the inner wisdom of the Christians consists in the way Christians understand spir itual practice and contemplation as a personal testimony unto God, the model of which is given by the Son's  testimony unto the Father. Theology becomes thus a life testimony and all Christians are called to bear testimony or, in other words, to be martyrs.
19 Gn 36, p. 155 (transl. V.N.).
20 See Guillaumont's note at Gn 36, p. 155.
21 See Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexikon, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992) under oîda.
22 For the theme of the spiritual senses see: KG 1, 34, pp. 32-33; 37, pp. 34-35; 2, 35, pp. 74-75.
23 KG 1, 38, pp. 34-35,  SchPr 275, pp. 370-371; 193, pp.  288-289; 74, pp. 172-173; 70, pp. 164-165; 64, pp. 156-157; 50, pp. 142-143; 58, pp. 150-151, SchEccl 4, pp. 62-63; 17, pp. 86-87.
24 KG 1, 50, pp. 40-41 "Plus ancienne que les êtres premiers est la science, et plus ancien que les êtres seconds est le mouvement."
25 SchPr 200, pp.296-297.
26 For Evagrius's understanding of choice ( prohaíresis) see SchPr 15, pp. 108-109; 43, pp. 136-137; 90, pp. 190-191, SchEccl 52, pp. 150-151; 27, pp. 102-103; 10, pp. 74-75; 12, pp. 76-79,  KG I, 63, pp. 46-47 and also Gehin's Introduction to the SchEccl p. 18. The nonreceptivity of the wise to temptation is described in  SchPr 30, pp.124-125. For the nonreceptivity of the devil to God see SchPr 23, pp. 116-117.
27 The suddenness of this process is described in  KG 3, 54, pp. 118-119: "‘En un cl in d'oeil'[i Cor XV 52] les Chérubins ont été nommés Chérubins, Gabriel Gabriel, et l'homme homme."
28 Evagrius's warning on the possible misinterpretation of the  lógoi of judgement is mentioned in  Gn 48, pp. 186-187 as a teaching originating with Didymus (see also Didyme L'Aveugle  Sur la Genèse [Paris: Les Édition du Cerf, 1976] 91, 28; 11, 10; 44, 23). The hermeneutical dimension of  this restriction which I described in my analysis of kataphrónesis is, most likely, Origenian and further evidence for this can be drawn from  SchPr 20, pp. 96-97 and 20, pp. 112,115, pp. 212-213. "‘Then you will understand' how ‘the fe ar of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge' and how it becomes the auxiliary of God. But in order to  be possible ‘to understand the fear of the Lord' the wisdom and intelligence have to preexist. Therefore we  target by these words those who minimize ( exouthenoúsin) the wisdom and intelligence, wanting instead to take refuge in the fear of God as if in an easy accessible matter (eucherés prágma)." (transl. V.N.) The fear of God is the beginning of the praktiké and represents a reading of the Scriptures at a literal moralizing level. According to  SchPr 6, pp. 96-97 the  kosmikoí are to be ranked lower than the  praktikoí because they minimize the spiritual sense of the Scriptural revelation. The verb exoutheneín is very suggestive for the disdainful position, which represents a minimization by ignorance, an arbitrary reduction to nothingness. The opposite of this disdain by ignorance is the passion of pride which is a "gnostic" disdain accompanied by knowledge.
29 For an extensive discussion of spiritual friendship in Evagrius see Gehin's introduction to SchPr pp. 53-55. Also see SchPr 69, p. 163; 120, p. 219; 143, p. 239; 150, p. 245; 157, p. 255; 173, p. 269; 189, p. 283; 304, p. 397.
30 Ad Melaniam 1, 1-12, p. 8: "You know, good Sir, that if thos e who are far apart from each other, separated by a long distance (something which is apt to happen for many varied reasons), want to know or to make known to each other, their respective intentions and secrets (which should not be learnt by everyone, but only by those who have a mind akin to their own), they do this by means of letters.  In this way, though they are far apart, they are near each other; though being separated, they see and are seen; t hough remaining silent, they speak and hear; although they are as it were asleep, they are awake because their intent ions are realized; remaining sick, they are healed; while sitting, they run. Yes, I would even say that although they are dead, they live."
31 Ad Melaniam 1, 12-16, p. 8: "Thus the mutual affection of the  senses becomes apparent, how every one of these shows its power and takes the place of its comrade. For th e hand acts for the tongue, the eye for the ear, writing paper for the soil of the heart which, by the furrows of the lines, receives the intentions that are sown into it."
32 Ad Melaniam 1, 18-23, p. 8: "In all this he who is able to read, rejoices and so, I would say, does he/ who cannot read. The latter profits by what he sees, the former by what  he hears. Yet the profit of hearing is not as great and secure as the profit of seeing. You yourself know by experience what differences there are between the two."
33 Ad Melaniam 3, pp. 9-10.
34 Ad Melaniam 2, 39-41; p. 9.
35 Ad Melaniam 3, 61-66; p. 9.
36 Ad Melaniam 3, 100-107; p. 10.
37 Ad Melaniam 4, 126-147, p. 10.
38 Ad Melaniam 3, 89; p. 10.
39 For the relation between  oikonomía and theología in Evagrius see Epistula Fidei 3, 55-60, p. 27; 5-6, pp. 28-29. The love intention (theological in origin but deployed also in Christ's salvific work); (see Ad Melaniam 3, 101-103, p. 10) is the analogon of the love intention mentioned in the context of letter writing.
40 Ad Melaniam 3, 92-100; p. 10; KG 3, 28, pp. 108-109.
41 See Ad Melaniam 3, 92-100, p. 10; 4, 134-140, p. 11; 4, 120-125, p. 11. Some strong antisubordinationist statements can be found in 4, 134-140, p. 11 and Epistula Fidei 2-3, pp. 23-25.
42 KG 2, 22-23, pp. 68-71.
43 KG 1, 48, pp. 40-41; 3, 55, pp. 118-119.
44 Homonymy, taken most likely in an Aristotelian sense, is  used by Origen as a hermeneutical principle in  The Commentary of the Song of Songs , Prologue, 2, 6. Although not named as such, homonymy is used by Evagrius in Epistula Fidei 3, p. 25: "Indeed, the one who is God according to substance is consunbstantial with the one who is God according to substance, for man also is called ‘god,' as  in ‘I said: you are gods'. And even the devil [is called] ‘god' as in ‘The gods of the nations are demoni c powers'. But the former are named so by grace ( katà chárin), while the latter only by fallacy (katà pseûdos). God alone is God according to substance (kat' ousían)."
45 The underlined letters (b2 and n2 ) represent primary (unmodified) productions of the first and the second creation. KG 1, 2, pp. 16-17; 22, pp. 24-27; 45, pp. 38-39; 2, 68, pp. 86-87,  SchPr 127, pp. 224-225; 215, pp. 310-311; 257, pp. 352-353.
46 Ad Melaniam 8-12, pp. 15-20; KG 2, 31, pp. 72-73.
47 Ad Melaniam 12, 484-488, p. 19.
48 Ad Melaniam 9, 354-372.
49 At the stage of  psyché logiké the human being is tripartite according to the scheme b2-s2-n2 where s2 is further divided into a concupiscent faculty ( to epithumetikón) and an irrascible one ( ho thumos). In becoming a pure intellect the concupiscent and the irrascible parts of the soul are reintegrated into the intellect and the body undergoes a transformation meant to spiritualize it.
50 See KG 1, 77, pp. 52-53; 3, 26-27, pp. 106-109.
51 Epistula Fidei 7, 25-31, p. 30.
52 Ad Melaniam 10, 369-371, p. 17.
53 Ad Melaniam 8, 297-307, p. 15; KG 1, 5-9, pp. 18-21; 17, pp. 22-23; 24, pp. 26-27; 26, pp. 28-29.
54 Ad Melaniam 4, 147-149, p. 11.
55 Ad Melaniam 4, 149-157, p. 11.
56 Ad Melaniam 12, 485-486, p. 19.
57 Ad Melaniam 12, 484-490, p. 19: "that which is natural to man,  is that man was created in the image of God; what is supernatural to man is that we come to be in His li keness [I Jn 3.2 *identified by Bunge not by Parmentier], according to the word ‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it in abundance'[John 10.10] and also ‘I was established in my kingdom, and abundant glory was added to me' [Dan 4.36]." Bunge rightly points (Briefe 145-146) to the distinction which Evagrius makes between  Gen 1.26 and Gen 1.27. Indeed in Gen 1.26 we have expressed God's intention to create humanity in His imag e and likeness while in the actual creation in Gen 1.27 humanity is created only in the image. The first  éschaton (Kingdom of Christ) restores humanity to its protological state expressed in Gen 1.27 while the second (Kingdom  of God) confers upon humanity the eschatological likeness according to God's intention expressed in Gen 1.26. As the allusion to 1 Jn 3.2 clearly shows, this second éschaton is referring to the glorified Christ and the Trinity, and not only to the Father.
58 This stage corresponds to the mystagogical state of  theología and within the Solomonic via ascensionis to The Book of the Song of Songs . See Bunge's seminal article "The ‘Spiritual Prayer': On the Trinitarian Mysticism of Evagrius of Pontus" in Monastic Studies 17 (1987): 191-208.
59 Ad Melaniam 4, 155, p. 11.
60 The two opposed columns (n1-s1-b1/n2-s2-b2) match entirely Origen's interpretation of the Pauline "exterior" and "interior man" as the created image (Gen 1.26-27) and the fashioned body (Gen 2.7). See Origen's Introduction to The Commentary on the Song of Songs I, 2, 4-6, pp. 92-95: "In principio verborum Moysei, ubi de mundi conditione conscribitur, duos invenimus homines creatos referri, primum ‘ad imaginem et similitudinem Dei factum' secundum ‘e limo terrae fictum'. Hoc Paulus apostolus bene sciens et  ad liquidum in his eruditus in suis litteris apertius et evidentius binos esse per singulos quosque homines scripsit; sic enim dicit: ‘Nam si qui fortis est homo noster corrupitur, sed ille qui intus est renovatur in die in diem' et iterum: 'Condelector enim legi Dei secundum interiorem hominem' et his similia aliquanta conscribitur. (...) Ostendere enim ex his volumus quod scripturis divinis per homonymias, id est similes appellationes, immo per eadem vocabula, et exterioris hominis membra et illius in terioris partes affectusque nominantur eaque non solum vocabulis, sed et rebus ipsis invicem comparantur."
61 KG 4, 2-3, pp. 136-137, SchEccl 1, pp. 58-59; 2, pp.60-61, SchPr 1, pp. 90-91; 2, pp. 92-93.
62 SchPr 77, pp. 174-177.
63 A symbolic reflection of this situation can look as follows:
  second  first eschaton  eschaton n1  n2 (image only)
s1  s2
b1 (image and likeness)  b2
  Inner man  outer man
The homonymy in (1) is not between the pure intellect of  the human being (n2) and God the Father as "the intellect" of the Trinity. The b1-s1-n1 description is only an economic presentation "for us" of the second eschatology and does not imply a theological subordinationism. From a theological perspective the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are consubstantial. Thus, the homonymy at (1) is possible only if we keep in mind the two éschata as two phenomenological reductions: b2 to s2 to n2 ("ext erior man" reduced to the Paradisiacal state before the second fall: the Kingdom of Christ) and b1 to s1 to n2 ("interior man" reduced to a self-abandonment to the initiative and presence of the Trinity: The Kingdom of God).
64 Epistula Fidei 7, 30-35, pp. 30. (transl. V.N.)
65 Epistula Fidei 7, 46-50, pp. 31. (transl. V.N.)
66 The mystagogical sequence in the "for us" perspective is revelatory of the difference between n2 and b1.
67 Epistula Fidei 4, p. 28.
68 Ad Melaniam 11, 417-420, p. 18; 12, 452-453, p. 19, KG 3, 11, pp. 102-103.
69 Ad Melaniam 5, 158-161, p. 11-12.
70 Ad Melaniam 5, 160-165, p. 12 "(...) there will be a time when the Father, the Son and the Spirit and their rational creation which constitutes their body, will cease to be separate, with their own names and their plurality (this can be concluded from the text ‘God will be all in all' [1 Cor. 15.28])."