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Nature. Knowledge. Intuition
In the works of Fr. Sergei Bulgakov

Discursive and intuitive paths

Cognition and intuition are two paths of revelation, carrying man into a domain that is unknown, to be sure, but that reveals itself to knowledge.

This revelation exists in the image of the self-revelation that occurs in divine life, in the depths of the Holy Trinity.

The true mystical revelation of God occurs not in the night of extinguished consciousness, but in the midday light of consciousness. The path here is not discursive, however, but intuitive, not the path of the Logos, but that of the Holy Spirit.*) Cognition and intuition are two paths of revelation, two wings carrying man into a domain that is unknown, to be sure, but that reveals itself to knowledge. And this revelation exists in the image of the self-revelation that occurs in divine life, in the depths of the Holy Trinity, which, in itself, is eternal self-revelation, not immobile, lifeless knowledge, but hypostatic and living self-positing. Here, a distinction is thus made between that which is revealed and that which reveals, between the Subject of the Revelation and the Revelation itself, with all this, of course, taking place in hypostatic being. The hypostasis that is revealed, the Principle, from which the Son is born and the Holy Spirit proceeds, is the Father, whereas the hypostases that reveal the Father in divine life and wisdom, in the Divine Sophia, are the Son and the Holy Spirit.


*) In this respect we are guided by the account of a mystical experience where the ineffability of the revelation is accompanied by personal consciousness: "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen yars ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2 Cor. 12:2-4).

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