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Bulgakov. God. Creator Category: Theosis Bulgakov. Last Judgment

Sophia
Creaturely Sophia
In the works of Fr. Sergei Bulgakov

God (the Father) creates by His Word and Spirit

The created world is established in being by God at the "Beginning," that is, in the Divine Sophia, as her creaturely image, or the creaturely Sophia .

God (the Father) creates by His Word and Spirit.

God (the Father) is the hypostatic Creator of the world, that Divine I that addresses the world with the creative word: let then be all things.

The created world is established in being by God at the "Beginning," that is, in the Divine Sophia, as her creaturely image, or the creaturely Sophia (see The Lamb of God). In creation there is nothing that does not belong to Sophia, except nothing itself, which is the sole beginning of creation (see The Unfading Light). It is by the creative act that nothing appears; it is established by God as a being in its own right, as an extradivine being: οὐκ ὃν becomes μὴ ὂν, and receives the power of being. The world arose and exists by the will of God: "thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Rev. 4:11). The Book of Genesis attests to this with archaic and lapidary grandeur: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (1:1). … The creation of the angelic choir, which is meant here, is the initial act of God's creation, and the sole act of His creation which is complete and self-sufficient. These are the hypostatized ideas of creation, the heavenly "project" of the latter, which can be understood only with reference to the world, or the "earth." The latter has its own history of creation, something the angelic world lacks.

The creation of the world is invariably interpreted in Christian dogmatics as the action of the trihypostatic God Who is in the Holy Trinity, an action in which it is necessary to distinguish the actions of each of the hypostases — of the Father, the initial cause, of the Son, the demiurge, and of the Holy Spirit, the accomplishing cause (according to St. Basil the Great's formulation). These and other patristic formulas express in a characteristic manner the participation of all three persons of the Holy Trinity in creation. … It is the Father Who properly is the Creator; it is He Who possesses the will to creation; it is He Who is the Proto-will in creation. He is the beginning (ἀρχή) not only in the Holy Trinity; He is also the beginning in creation, where He is revealed by the Word in the Spirit. It is the Father Who properly is the Creator; it is He Who possesses the will to creation; it is He Who is the Proto-will in creation. He is the beginning (ἀρχή) not only in the Holy Trinity; He is also the beginning in creation, where He is revealed by the Word in the Spirit. He is the Will of Love, and in this sense He is the Father in creation as well ("Our Father" in the Lord's Prayer; "thou, 0 Lord, art our father" (Isa. 63:16)). Strictly speaking, it is He Who is the hypostatic Creator of the world, that Divine I that addresses the world with the creative word: let then be all things.

Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
The Comforter
Chapter 4: Tbe Dyad of the Word and the Spirit
II. In the Creaturely Sophia

The Father is the hypostasis of creation, the Principle or Subject of the latter, Who creates the world in the Holy Trinity, that is, inseparably from the Second and Third hypostases, by a trinitarian act in the Divine Sophia.

In the creation of the world, we have the following interrelationship: the hypostasis of creation, the Principle or Subject of the latter, is the Father, Who creates the world in the Holy Trinity, that is, inseparably from the Second and Third hypostases, by a trinitarian act in the Divine Sophia. This does not mean that Sophia, the objective principle of creation, separated herself from the hypostases and became extrahypostatic. But the hypostases do not appear here in their personal differentiatedness; rather, they kenotically conceal themselves, as it were, in the hypostasis of the Father. The Divine Subject, the I who creates the world, is, as a Person, precisely the hypostasis of the Father, with which the two other divine I's are indistinguishably united here. This I of the Father acts and commands in the creation of the world, whereas the other I's are included in Him, without being abolished but also without being manifested. They participate in the creation of the world not by Themselves but by Their Own, i.e., in the Divine Sophia. Three hypostatic flames are lit in a row, one behind the other; and therefore they are seen as a single flame; and this single flame is the I of the Father. It overshadows, as it were, the divine l's of the Second and Third hypostases, which are kenotically concealed in Him and which are not actualized hypostatically in creation.

Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
The Comforter
Chapter 4: Tbe Dyad of the Word and the Spirit
II. In the Creaturely Sophia

The Word and the Holy Spirit both participate in the creation sophianically, through their self-revelation in Sophia, who is also the self-revelation of the Father in the Holy Trinity, the divine world. In herself, the Divine Sophia is the objective principle of divine being, by and in which God the Father not only reveals Himself in divine being but also creates the world.

God the Father, as the Creator, in creation Himself speaks these words spoken from all eternity in the Son, transmitting them to creation as commands. The world is directly created according to the will of the Father by the Word in Sophia.

In the creation the hypostatic Word remains His own hypostasis outside or above the world, as it were, although by His content He determines the world's being and its all-multiplicity as all-unity. He is the logos and logic of the world, while remaining hypostatically transcendent to the latter.

If we know the participation of the Logos in creation only as the action of the Logos, as His revelation in Sophia, the participation of the Holy Spirit is analogous: He participates in the creation of the world not hypostatically but by His action, not as the Holy Spirit but as the spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters.

But how can we understand the participation of the Second and Third hypostases if we consider that they do not participate hypostatically in the creation of the world, which is the work of the Father, Who is inseparably and consubstantially united with Them? They both participate in the creation sophianically, through their self-revelation in Sophia, who is also the self-revelation of the Father in the Holy Trinity, the divine world. Sophia is not a hypostasis, although, belonging to the hypostases, she is hypostatized from all eternity. In herself, however, she is the objective principle of divine being, by and in which God the Father not only reveals Himself in divine being but also creates the world. Sophia is the revelation of the two hypostases through which the self-revelation of the Father is realized. Both the Second hypostasis and the Third hypostasis therefore participate in the creation of the world through this revelation, not by hypostatic directedness toward the world, but by their revelation in Sophia. They are the divine foundation of the world, which has its hypostatic Creator or Principle in the Father.

The creation of the world by the Father in and through Sophia is expressed with perfect clarity in Chapter 1 of Genesis. Here, all the acts of creation are accomplished by God the Father, Who commands as if from a transcendent "outside," from the height of His Divinity, by His sophianic Word: "let there be" this or that form of creation. "Let there be (fiat)" is repeated eight times, with reference to each of the works of creation (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26); six times it is accompanied by "and it was so" (Gen. 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, 30). And to each of these acts of "let there be" and "it was so" corresponds a word referring precisely to this act of creation.

These are the words of the Word which are contained in the Divine Sophia and are called here to creation in the creaturely Sophia, in the world. These are those words of the Word about "all things" by which "all things were made"; but they are spoken here not by the hypostatic Word, Who seems to be mute here, in the creation of the world, although He speaks in the eternal Sophia. They are spoken by the creative hypostasis of the Father, Who repeats, as it were, the words of the Word already spoken eternally in Sophia. God the Father, Who engenders the Son from all eternity, is mute from all eternity, for He speaks Himself only in the Son. But God the Father, as the Creator, in creation Himself speaks these words spoken from all eternity in the Son, transmitting them to creation as commands. It is in this sense that the Word acts in the world not as the world-creating hypostasis but as the Word about the world and pronounced in the world by the Father. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). It is not said that the Word Himself is the creator, but only that He is the foundation and content of the creation called into being by the Father. In the creation the hypostatic Word remains His own hypostasis outside or above the world, as it were, although by His content He determines the world's being and its all-multiplicity as all-unity. He is the logos and logic of the world, while remaining hypostatically transcendent to the latter. He is united with the world only in Sophia, that is, not as the hypostatic Logos but as the spoken pan-logos. In short, the world is directly created according to the will of the Father by the Word in Sophia.

This idea is developed in the first chapter of Genesis in a series of creative pronouncements by God, corresponding to the six days of creation: "Let there be light. … Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. … Let the waters be gathered … and let the dry land appear. … Let the earth bring forth grass. … Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven. … Let the waters bring forth … the moving creature. … Let the earth bring forth the living creature." All this represents a shorthand monogram for the fullness of the entire creaturely world prior to man. And only with the creation of man do we have not only an act of sophianic creation, which defines his place in the cosmos, but also an act of hypostatically divine creation, which is expressed in God's counsel (of course, in the Holy Trinity): "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (1:26). Man's hypostasis, eternal and creaturely, uncreated and created, is formed with the participation of the integral trihypostatic person of the Holy Trinity. But man's substance, creaturely humanity, is sophianically created by the Father according to the general order of creation: "So God created man" (1:27).

But if we know the participation of the Logos in creation only as the action of the Logos, as His revelation in Sophia, the participation of the Holy Spirit is analogous: He participates in the creation of the world not hypostatically but by His action, not as the Holy Spirit but as the spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters. His action in creation corresponds to His revelation in Sophia. In her, His action is, above all, reality, life, beauty, or glory.

Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
The Comforter
Chapter 4: Tbe Dyad of the Word and the Spirit
II. In the Creaturely Sophia

The Holy Spirit participates in the creation of the world not hypostatically but by His action, not as the Holy Spirit but as the spirit of God.

His action in creation corresponds to His revelation in Sophia. In her, His action is, above all, reality, life, beauty, or glory.

The most important and characteristic passage referring to the action of the Holy Spirit in the creation is certainly Genesis 1:2: "the earth was without form, and void [tohu vabohu] … and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." What is characteristic here is, first of all, the place that is assigned to the action of the Holy Spirit (likened to the sitting of a bird in its nest) — prior to the individual acts of creation. These acts make the individual forms of creation appear out of chaos, formless confusion, the "earth." In other words, what we have here is the reverse relation of the Second and Third hypostases: first the action of the Spirit and only then the action of the Word. The proto-reality of being, proto-matter, the earth, are produced by the action of the Spirit, which causes all the sophianic seeds of being implanted in this proto-reality to sprout.

During the creation of the world the hypostasis of the Spirit manifests its maternal character in the revelation of Sophia as the maternal womb in which the forms of this world are conceived.

But if we know the participation of the Logos in creation only as the action of the Logos, as His revelation in Sophia, the participation of the Holy Spirit is analogous: He participates in the creation of the world not hypostatically but by His action, not as the Holy Spirit but as the spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters. His action in creation corresponds to His revelation in Sophia. In her, His action is, above all, reality, life, beauty, or glory. And the first action of the Holy Spirit in creation is that in the void of nothing reality arises (in ouk on there appears me on) as a certain preliminary actuality: i.e., precisely the earth as the ontological place of future creation, and then different species of being. This action of the Holy Spirit, the hypostasis of reality, is expressed in the words "let there be" and "it was so," repeated a number of times in the Genesis account of the creation. We can also see the express action of the Spirit in the actualization of the generative power of the earth and water as the maternal womb, the proto-reality which has been seeded with the words of the Word, the ideas of creation actualized by the life-giving force. This is described in the following passages: "Let the earth bring forth grass … and the earth brought forth grass" (Gen 1:11-12); "let the waters bring forth. the waters brought forth" (1:20-21); "let the earth bring forth the living creature" (1:24). In addition, the revelation of the Holy Spirit in beauty is spoken of in the refrain concluding each day of creation: "And God saw the light, that it was good" (1:4); "and God saw that it was good" (1:10); etc. This is repeated for all the days except the second (1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31) [The final time this is in a generalized form: "And God saw every thing that he had maid, and behold, it was very good."].

The express action of the Holy Spirit which clothes creation in beauty and glory must also be considered to include the first, preliminary manifestation on earth of the glory of the creation, the transfigured earth: this first manifestation is the planting of paradise. Genesis speaks of this briefly, using an anthropomorphic, mythological image: "God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed" (2:8). Eden with its tree of life directly corresponds to the future city of God on the transfigured earth, also with "the tree of life" (Rev. 22:2). This is the initial transfiguration of the world, which was given by God but which was to be extended to all creatures through man, who was put "into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it" (Gen. 2:15). But afterward, just as man himself in his fall was deprived of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), so the rays of heavenly light that had shined over the creation in Eden have faded on earth and will not shine again until the coming of the times and seasons of its transfiguration.

The most important and characteristic passage referring to the action of the Holy Spirit in the creation is certainly Genesis 1:2: "the earth was without form, and void [tohu vabohu] … and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." What is characteristic here is, first of all, the place that is assigned to the action of the Holy Spirit (likened to the sitting of a bird in its nest) — prior to the individual acts of creation. These acts make the individual forms of creation appear out of chaos, formless confusion, the "earth." In other words, what we have here is the reverse relation of the Second and Third hypostases: first the action of the Spirit and only then the action of the Word. The proto-reality of being, proto-matter, the earth, are produced by the action of the Spirit, which causes all the sophianic seeds of being implanted in this proto-reality to sprout. Here, at the very threshold of the creation of the world, there is manifested the express relation of the Holy Spirit to what is usually considered to be diametrically opposite to Him — His relation to matter. Here, one finds already adumbrated the special theme of the life of matter as a reality that is to become permeated with the Holy Spirit and spiritual in this sense, that is, a reality that is to achieve its transfiguration as the "new earth" (together with the "new heaven"), where the tohu vabohu, the chaotic formlessness and void, will be overcome. Reposing "maternally" upon the Word, the hypostasis of the Spirit manifests its maternal character in the revelation of Sophia during the creation of the world: it manifests itself as the maternal womb in which the forms of this world are conceived. Here we already have that mysterious cryptogram of the Divine-Maternity in which is born the God-Man, the supreme purpose and goal of the entire creaturely world. In this spirit-bearing chaos, the tohu vabohu, we have the image of the creaturely Sophia, considered not in her verbal or ideal content, but in her reality, life, and being.

Fr. Sergei Bulgakov
The Comforter
Chapter 4: Tbe Dyad of the Word and the Spirit
II. In the Creaturely Sophia

In the creation of the world, there actively participates the supramundane hypostasis of the Father, which introduces, so to speak, the Son and the Spirit into the world at its creation, although not in Their hypostatic revelation, but only by Their action, which is given eternally in the Divine Sophia.

But how should one more precisely understand this movement of the Spirit upon the void and the darkness? Is this the Holy Spirit or the spirit of God, the Third hypostasis or only its action in sophianic revelation? The general idea of the moving Spirit is expressed with archaic naturalism in anthropomorphic-mythological language, and it does not easily lend itself to the interpretation that it was actually the Third hypostasis that, in its hypostatic descent, organized the tohu vabohu, forming cosmos out of chaos in a kind of supramundane Pentecost. On the contrary, the seeds of this organization had already been implanted in the chaos itself, as its life-giving force, in conformity with the sophianic proto-image of the world. That is why it is not necessary to think that the chaos could truly be the "place" of the hypostatic presence of the Holy Spirit Himself, and not only of His force acting in creation. And in this sense we have yet once more with regard to the Holy Spirit the confirmation of the general idea that, in the creation of the world, there actively participates the supramundane hypostasis of the Father, which introduces, so to speak, the Son and the Spirit into the world at its creation, although not in Their hypostatic revelation, but only by Their action, which is given eternally in the Divine Sophia. But Sophia is not a hypostasis but a "hypostatizedness." Therefore, we again arrive at the conclusion that the world is created by the hypostasis of the Father in and through the Divine Sophia by the action of the two hypostases that reveal her.

Sergius Bulgakov
The Comforter
Chapter 4: Tbe Dyad of the Word and the Spirit
II. In the Creaturely Sophia

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