The seen and the unseen

There is the seen and there is the unseen, the material and the immaterial. That which is material can be scientifically examined and experienced; the immaterial can only be seen and experienced spiritually. These are two worlds that only are seemingly at odds with one another. If you attempt to examine that which is of a spiritual nature using a science that is by its very nature meant to explore the material realm, you will lose.

The things that are of God are far beyond the capacities and the capabilities of our finite mind to comprehend. The divine can only be known through the nous, that place in the heart that is our center, our true center. It, unlike the brain, is capable of knowledge that is beyond human comprehension, coming as it does from noetic knowledge.

When we try to apply words to the noetic form, we fail. We can no more explain God than we can explain quantum physics, since both are unseen. God is outside the realm of human intellectual understanding. The Eastern Church approaches things of God as holy mysteries, since God can only be known in his divine energies, not in his essence. If a scientist can believe in quantum physics, the unseen, why can he not believe in God whom he has not seen? If we can believe in the concept of infinity, something that goes on and on without end, why can we not believe in God?

The science of the soul is noetic and can be examined and experienced only through the activation of the nous. The nous in Orthodox Christian theology is the “eye of the soul,” the mind of the heart. God created us with the nous because the human intellect is not capable of knowing him without it. The intellect alone cannot know God, for human reasoning is limited to the things that are of a material nature. God is unknowable without his divine revelation, and only the nous can perceive this knowledge. God’s essence remains inaccessible without noetic knowledge. Science has its place, but only the heart can know God.

Quantum physics, while mysterious, is still part of the material, created realm, and is fairly explainable now. The real difference isn’t between seen and unseen, but, at its root, created and uncreated. It was the uncreated energies of God that Moses saw in the burning bush, or that the apostles experienced in the Transfiguration. A scientist will understand the properties of light, photons, but will have no clue about the uncreated light, which heals, deifies, and casts no shadow.