Spiritual world


[1 of 1] St. Simeon (New Theologian) (949-1022, Turkey): primary subject "World, spiritual" (search under Beings/Other Beings)"
From the first God created two worlds, the visible and the invisible, and has made a king to reign over the visible who bears within himself the characteristic features of both worlds—one in his visible half and the other in his invisible half—in his soul and his body. Two suns shine in these worlds, one visible and another intellectual. In the visible world of the senses there is the sun, and in the invisible world of the intellect there is God, Who is and is called the sun of truth. The physical world and everything in it is illumined by the physical and visible sun; but the world of the intellect and those who are in it are illumined and enlightened by the sun of truth in the intellect. Moreover, physical things are illumined by the physical sun, and things of the intellect by the sun of the intellect separately from one another, for they are not mixed with or merged into one another—neither the physical with the intellectual nor the intellectual with the physical.
 Of all visible and invisible creation man alone is created dual. He has a body composed of four elements, the senses and breath; and he has a soul, invisible, unsubstantial, incorporeal joined to the body in an ineffable and unknown manner; they interpenetrate and yet are not compounded, combine and yet do not coalesce. This is what man is: an animal both mortal and immortal, both visible and invisible, both sensory and intellectual, capable of seeing the visible and knowing the invisible creation. As each of the two suns influences his own world separately, so they affect separately each side of a man: one illumines the body and the other the soul, each giving of its own light to its own side, whether richly or sparingly according to what it can receive.
 The physical sun is seen but does not see; the sun of the intellect is seen by the worthy and itself sees everyone, especially those who look upon it. The physical sun does not speak and endows no one with the gift and power of speech; but the sun of the intellect both speaks to its friends and endows everyone with the gift and power of speech. The physical sun, illumining the physical garden, merely dries the moisture of the soil by the warmth of its rays, but does not fertilize the soil or feed the seeds and plants. The sun of the intellect, when it shines in the soul, does both these things: it dries the moisture of passions, at the same time cleansing the soul from the filth and stench they have produced, and fertilizes the inner soil of the soul making it rich with Divine grace, and feeds the plants of the virtues so that they gradually grow and prosper.
 On rising, the physical sun lights up the physical world and everything in it—people, animals and the rest—pouring its light equally over all; it reigns at midday and then hides again, leaving in darkness the places over which it shone. But the sun of the intellect, once it begins to shine, shines always, totally and immaterially contained in everything and at the same time remaining apart from its creatures, inseparably separated from them, since it is wholly in everything and at the same time is in none of the creatures exclusively (for at the same time it is elsewhere also). The whole of it is in the visible and the whole of it is in the invisible; it is totally present everywhere and yet exclusively present nowhere.