The Filioque Done Right

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The Filioque Done Right

Postby Isaakos » Wed 18 March 2015 4:58 am

I would like to take a crack of the whip here:

Resolving the discrepancies in Western and eastern Fathers:

We know what Hypostases are: Instances of an ousia.

Instantiation is basically when the essence becomes an hypostasis.

So, in order to provide a clearer understanding of the Trinity based on the Cappadocian fathers:

Can we not say that:

1. As the sole fount of the Hypostases of Trinity and Fount of Divinity, the Father from all eternity instantiates his own essence in the Hypostasis of the Son, and this is the Generation of the Son, his being begotten.

2. That, being of his Essence by Nature, and of his Hypostasis through instantiation, he is consubstantial with the Father. His particular Hypostasis has not a separate nature from the Father, but the very same Nature, albeit, he is a different instance of that nature, via Generation, from the Father's own Hypostasis by causation.

3. Since the Hypostasis of the Father, and the Hypostasis of the Son are consubstantial, we say the Holy Spirit is nothing other than the instantiation of the Common Nature of the Father and the Son via Procession. BUT Since the Father alone is cause, the Father alone instantiates the Common essence of Father and Son as the Hypostasis of the Holy Spirit.

4. Therefore, St. Photius the great speaks truly, when he says the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone. That is, from his Hypostasis alone, being caused by the Father alone. For the Father alone is cause, instantiating the Spirit, by way of Procession, from the common nature of the Father and the Son, which is one.

5. Nevertheless, the Latin Fathers are not wrong when they overwhelmingly affirm the Spirit takes Substantively from the Father and the Son and has his existence from the Father through the Son. This is because it is the nature of both the Father, and the Son which is instantiated as a SINGLE Hypostasis.

6. Therefore, it is accurate to Say, "The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son" understood as, the Spirit is Instantiated by the Father from the essence of the Father and the Son.

It is also accurate to Say "The Spirit Proceeds from the Father through the Son" understood as "The Father instantiates the Spirit from his own essence which is communicated to the Hypostasis of the Son, Through whom, and in whom the same essence passes and penetrates."

And it is also accurate to say "The Spirit proceeds from the Father alone." That is "The Father alone instantiates the Spirit, which is the instantiation of the one common essence of the Father and the Son, for the Father alone is cause."

Understanding Hypostasis, Ousia, and Instantiate in this way, and understanding the Father's Causality as instantiation (Through Generation and Procession), I cannot help but see this as resolving all the different fathers, east and west who appear at times to say Diametrically opposed things. Here, Isidore of Seville and Photius the great lock arms as brothers, not through a compromise, or a middle way, but through understanding that an Hypostasis is an instance of an essence, and that one God, the Father, is the Author of these Instantiations alone.

your thoughts?

Some quotes from the Latin Fathers that seem difficult, but when read in light of what I said, make sense:

"David sings in the psalm [35:10], saying: 'For with You is the font of Life;'because jointly with the Father the Son is indeed the source of the Holy Spirit."
St. Athanasius

"Everything the Spirit has, He has from the Word (para tou Logou)."
St. Athanasius

"Concerning the Holy Spirit I ought not to be silent, and yet I have no need to speak; still, for the sake of those who are in ignorance, I cannot refrain. There is no need to speak, because we are bound to confess Him, proceeding, as He does, from Father and Son."
St. Hilary Poitiers

"Accordingly He receives from the Son, Who is both sent by Him, and proceeds from the Father. Now I ask whether to receive from the Son is the same thing as to proceed from the Father. But if one believes that there is a difference between receiving from the Son and proceeding from the Father, surely to receive from the Son and to receive from the Father will be regarded as one and the same thing."
St. Hilary of Poitiers

"For just as "No one knows the Father except the Son, nor the Son except the Father" [Mt 11:27], so I dare to say that no one knows the Spirit except the Father and the Son, that is, the one from Whom He proceeds and the one from Whom He receives, and that no one knows the Son and the Father except the Holy Spirit, He Who truly glorifies, Who teaches all things, Who is from the Father and the Son."
St. Epiphanios Salamis

"While we confess the invariable character of the nature, we do not deny the difference in respect of cause, and that which is caused, by which alone we apprehend that one Person is distinguished from another; — by our belief, that is, that one is the Cause, and another is of the Cause; and again in that which is of the Cause we recognize another distinction. For one is directly from the first Cause, and another through that which is directly from the first Cause; so that the attribute of being Only-begotten abides without doubt in the Son, and the mediation of the Son, while it guards His attribute of being Only-begotten, does not shut out the Spirit from his relation by way of nature to the Father."
St. Gregory of Nyssa

"The Spirit is assuredly in no way changeable; or even if some think Him to be so infirm as to change, the disgrace will be traced back to the divine nature itself, if in fact the Spirit is from God the Father and, for that matter, from the Son, being poured forth substantially from both, that is to say, from the Father through the Son."
St. Cyril Alexandria

"The Holy Spirit is called God because He proceeds from the Father and the Son and has Their essence."

"There is, however, this difference between generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit, that the Son is begotten of One, but the Spirit proceeds from Both."

"One thing which is consubstantial with two could not at once proceed from them and be in them, unless the two from which it proceeds were one."

St. Isidore of Seville.

All of these difficult passages, which on the surface contradict a Strict Photian understanding of the Holy SPirit's procession (From The Father Alone). are really no contradiction at all if we keep in mind this one word and memorize it "Instantiation." The Father's begetting of the Son is an act of Instantiation, because the Hypostasis of the Son is the Result, and the hypostasis is an instance of the essence. So begetting the Son must be instantiation of his Hypostasis. The Same with Procession: The Father Spirates the Spirit, breathing him forth, and this act of Spiration and Procession must be an act of instantiation, because the result is the existence of the Spirit's Hypostasis. This is through the Son, precisely because the Father and the Son have the Same Nature. So, the Father Generates the Son, Instantiating his Hypostasis, and the Son, receiving his Hypostasis from the Hypostasis of the Father, and from his essence, communicates this one and same essence to the Spirit, who is Instantiated by the Father alone, from his essence that his communicated to and through the Son.

THoughts, criticism? My goal is to use the cappadocian fathers understanding of Hypostasis and Ousia, and the Idea of Instantiation (Hypostasis coming into being from essence) while taking the latin fathers seriously, and not shying away from them, and believing them to harmonize with St. Photios the Great.
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Re: The Filioque Done Right

Postby Sdcn.Ephrem » Wed 18 March 2015 7:12 pm

Consider reading Lossky's Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. He explains very well where the Latin error originated and why it is basically sour at the root.

The Fathers preserved the phrase "proceedeth from the Father," and not the Latin error. They did not make an attempt to synthesize the truth with that error, and they admitted that the Latin Fathers were truly "in error" when they endorsed the Filioque. St. Photios, for instance, did not believe that these Fathers agreed with him in any roundabout kind of way.

However, in some of the examples, it is possible that the Fathers are speaking about the "economic" relations of the Trinity, rather than the ineffable generation and procession of the Son and the Holy Spirit. We receive the Holy Spirit through the Son, since the Son sent the Spirit into the world from the Father. Similarly the Son was incarnate by the will of the Father through the Holy Spirit, and the Father is revealed through the Son in the Holy Spirit. So each part of the Economy of Salvation is theophanic, in that it reveals each Person of the Trinity, showing that there is but one Tri-Hypostatic Will effecting our salvation. But this only describes the relations of the Trinity vis-a-vis created beings, and thus it tells us nothing of the ineffable Tri-Hypostatic Nature of the Godhead.

St. Photios says that we should not look upon these failures of the Latin Fathers, imitating the sons of Noah who declined to look on their father's nakedness. I humbly encourage you to follow his advice, and to be wary of trying to "catch" something the Holy Fathers did not point out to us.

(This is Dcn.Ephrem, by the way. I cannot figure out what my password is for the Dcn.Ephrem account. If any moderators see this, please see if there's anything that can be done.)

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Re: The Filioque Done Right

Postby Isaakos » Thu 19 March 2015 4:38 am

I disagree. I can't write off our fathers like that and just say they were wrong. St Maximos the confessor did not do that, so why should I?

Of course we have the truth, so I am not looking for a new answer to an ancient problem. Ultimately we have the answer. But the best way to describe the answer will be to take into account what all the fathers say, not just half of them.

St Maximos the Confessor and Anastasius the Librarian appear to be interpretative keys in this regard.

St. Maximos wrote in the 7th Century:

"Those of the Queen of cities have attacked the synodal letter of the present very holy Pope (Martin I), not in the case of all the chapters that he has written in it, but only in the case of two of them. One relates to theology, because it says he says that ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds (ἐκπορεύεσθαι) also from the Son.’
“The other has to do with the divine incarnation, because he has written, ‘The Lord, as man, is without original sin.’

“With regard to the first matter, they (the Romans) have produced the unanimous documentary evidence of the Latin fathers, and also of Cyril of Alexandria, from the sacred commentary he composed on the gospel of St. John. On the basis of these texts, they have shown that they have NOT MADE THE SON THE CAUSE OF THE SPIRIT— they know in fact that the Father is the ONLY CAUSE of the Son and the Spirit, the one by begetting and the other by procession; but [they use this expression] in order to manifest the Spirit’s coming-forth (προϊέναι) through him and, in this way, to MAKE CLEAR the unity and identity of the essence….

“The Romans have therefore been accused of things of which it is wrong to accuse them, whereas of the things of which the Byzantines have quite rightly been accused (viz., Monothelitism), they have, to date, made no self-defense, because neither have they gotten rid of the things introduced by them.

“But, in accordance with your request, I have asked the Romans to translate what is peculiar to them in such a way that any obscurities that may result from it will be avoided. But since the practice of writing and sending (the synodal letters) has been observed, I wonder whether they will possibly agree to doing this. One should also keep in mind that they cannot express their meaning in a language and idiom that are foreign to them as precisely as they can in their own mother-tongue, any more than we can do.”

Also, we have Anastasius the Librarian, no supporter of the East, and in fact a quite scandalous man, having formerly been an antipope. With very little Greek sympathies, yet being an excellent speaker of Greek himself, he wrote in the 9th century:

"“Moreover, we have from the letter written by the same Saint Maximus to the priest Marinus concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit, where he implies that the Greeks tried, in vain, to make a case against us, since we do not say that the Son is a cause or principle of the Holy Spirit, as they assert. But, not incognizant of the unity of substance between Father and the Son, as he proceeds from the Father, we confess that he proceeds from the Son, understanding processionem, of course, as “mission.” Interpreting piously, he instructs those skilled in both languages to peace, while he teaches both us and the Greeks that in one sense the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son and in another sense he does not proceed, showing the difficulty of expressing the idiosyncrasies of one language in another.”

–Anastasius Bibliothecarius, Anastasius Ad Ioannem Diaconum, PL 129, 560-61


So, I have to believe that the later Scholastic Latins have warped something the Patristic Latins understood as Orthodox here, but the something they warped was originally true.

And when we consider a few metaphysical facts the fathers held as true:

1. Ousia is abstract essence, or nature, considered apart from Hypostasis.

2. An Hypostasis is an Instance of an Ousia.

3. There is no such thing as uninstantiated Ousia, Ousia only ACTUALLY subsists in Hypostases.

4. The Father is an Hypostasis, an Instance of the Divine Ousia.

5. But, being God, he cannot even conceptually exist hypostatically apart from the Divine Ousia: therefore when we begin to consider God, we begin with the Hypostasis of the Father, in whose Hypostasis is exemplified the fullness of Divinity.

6. The Father is the only Cause of not only the other Hypostases of the Trinity, but of Divinity itself, being from eternity and eternally of Divinity.

7. The Son is Begotten from the Father from All Eternity, his Hypostasis generated from the Hypostasis of the Father. His Hypostasis Being an Instance of the Fathers own essence and Divinity. The act of generating the Son is the means whereby he is Instantiated as an Hypostasis of the Divine essence which is in the Father's Hypostasis.

8. This is where we have to use as clear language as possible: the Holy Spirit Proceeds from The Hypostasis of the Father Alone, and this procession of His Hypostasis from the Hypostasis of the Father is different than the generation of the Son, but how it is different, we do not know. But what we HAVE to admit as Orthodox, is that the Hypostasis of the Spirit, proceeding from the Father, is the Instantiation of the essence of the Father and the Son. This is necessary to confess in order to demonstrate two things: a. That the Father and the Son are Consubstantial (against the Arians like Eunomius who were teaching that the Spirit was a creature created by the Son who was also a higher-order creation of the Father), and that the Spirit from eternity has a direct essential relationship to the Son, not an indirect one. I believe this is important, because many times the Latins try to accuse us of not being able to say the Trinity is Consubstantial if you have the son coming from the father on the one hand and the spirit on the right hand, and no clear relation between them. I don't thing this shows they are not Consubstantial, but I do believe it is good to emphasize that the Hypostasis of the Spirit HAS to be the Instantiation of that essence common to the Father and the Son, the Divine essence.

We can then say, clearly with all the other fathers who also said so (and WAY more than I am comfortable with said so, eastern fathers included) that the Spirit has his substance from the Son. Not just energy, not just Mission, but Also NOT Hypostasis, but essence from the Son, because the Father and the Son and the Spirit are Consubstantial.

This is actually very simple. If the Divine Person of the Spirit is an instance of the Divine Nature (and St Basil and St John of Damascus are excessively clear that Hypostases are instances of an essence), and the Father and the Son have the same Nature, then the Holy Spirit is an instance of the essence of the Father and the Son.

With this Caveat: he still proceeds from the Father alone, and this Procession, from the Hypostasis of the Father alone, is the means whereby he Instantiates the divine nature of the Father and the Son.

We really have to admit this, because this grants harmony to all the fathers, not by way of compromise, but by a clear explication of the truth of our faith. There is no talk of internal relations of an essence here, not of God being primarily a divine essence. This is the Cappadocians and St John of Damascus.
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Re: The Filioque Done Right

Postby Cyprian » Fri 20 March 2015 3:17 am

St. Gregory Palamas - The Triads:

32.
When you hear speak of the deifying energy of God and the theurgic grace of the Spirit, do not busy yourself or seek to know why it is this or that and not something else; for without it you cannot be united to God, according to those Fathers who have spoken about it. Attend rather to those works which will allow you to attain to it, for thus you will know it according to your capacities; for, as St. Basil tells us, he alone knows the energies of the Spirit who has learnt of them through experience. As for the man who seeks knowledge before works, if he trusts in those who have had the experience, he obtains a certain image of the truth. But if he tries to conceive of it by himself, he finds himself deprived even of the image of truth. He then puffs himself up with pride as if he had discovered it, and breathes forth his anger against the men of experience as if they were in error. Do not be overcurious, therefore, but follow the men of experience in your works, or at least in your words, remaining content with the exterior manifestations of grace.

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Re: The Filioque Done Right

Postby Cyprian » Fri 20 March 2015 3:24 am

The Philokalia
compiled by St Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth

http://prudencetrue.com/images/Philokal ... e-Text.pdf

St Gregory Palamas
Topics of Natural and Theological Science and on the Moral and Ascetic Life:
One Hundred and Fifty Texts

36.
This pre-eternal rejoicing of the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit who, as I said, is common to both, which
explains why He is sent from both to those who are worthy. Yet the Spirit has His existence from the Father alone,
and hence He proceeds as regards His existence only from the Father.

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Re: The Filioque Done Right

Postby Isaakos » Fri 20 March 2015 6:02 am

I agree Cyprian, I am just investigating the fathers who claim the SOn's essence (Not his Hypostasis) seems to play a role in the spirit's coming forth, or at the very least, that he receives his essence (Not existence) from the Son. These are very real quotes and I believe they need to be addressed.

I love all the fathers, and the patristic CONSENSUS is what I seek, not the opinions of 3 or 4.
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Re: The Filioque Done Right

Postby Isaakos » Fri 20 March 2015 9:33 pm

Scratch what I wrote: I got in A long debate and was proved wrong.

The Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, and has his essence from him alone.

Essence is not communicated apart from Hypostasis, so to say the Spirit receives his essence from father and son is to say that he originates from the father and the son hypostatically.


There is no actually existing uninstantiated abstract essence outside of the Hypostases of the Trinity. I was wrong.

Sorry!
Blessed is the man who has volunteered to hold and keep until the end of his life our holy Orthodox faith, the faith of the one Church of Christ and our mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

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