miercuri, 17 iunie 2020

The scope of place

Preliminary remark:

Many years ago, I became interested in the theological value of presence. Over time, I noticed the intimate relation between place, dwelling and presence. Whether we get lost or found ourselves, we can only do it in a certain place. As many others have pointed out, both risk and chance are included in the history of the word “dwelling”, which came to mean from the initial meaning of “leading astray” to “living resolutely in the same (old) place”.

I translated into English the text below (originally published in Romanian at http://cumpana-o-viziune-ortodoxa.blogspot.com/2020/06/masura-locului.html), hoping that it might be useful to others who had similar insights.




The scope of place is not determined by its size. The place is determined neither by its surface, nor by its volume. The place doesn’t exist in space only. The place is not in the world, and it is not the world, although every place is a world.

The place doesn't have a size. There are no big places and no small places. Every place is a place of eternal dwelling. Within time, dwelling is endless.  

The place has no size, only comprehensiveness.

The place is more comprehensive than the world: it embraces those from above and those from below, those that have been and those that will be. The world includes only the things from here and now. The world includes only what can be included.

Every place is worth more than the world. But people do not find their place because they value the world more than the place.

The world cannot value the place because it perceives itself as superior to the place, greater than the place and place of the place. People imagine that place depends on the world just because it is in the world. But the place is not part of the world just as the world is not part of the place. The world is the place of the fallen man. Through the Fall, man fell from the place into the world.

Man only has a place, and until he finds his place man is not man except in so far as the fallen man is a man. The man who finds his place is called a person. Along with the person, the creature finds the place it was waiting for “in pain” (Romans 8: 21-23).

The Jewish tradition speaks of the will of the Place as the will of the One Who is Omnipresent. The place is entrusted by the Maker of the place. Only the person can establish a place, because only the person can dwell. The place opens in the presence of the person. Grandparents' house becomes unnaturally small not when it is full, but when it remains deserted.

Every place is open to a new heaven and a new earth. Every place is a new place.

The place cannot be bought. Only land can be bought. The place can only be inherited. But today no one inherits anything in the proper sense: the descendants receive land, buildings or things from those owners who first met the place in the grave.

The fall is a fall from one's place.

God's word is God's testament. Every word of God expresses His last will and every word of God is final. The New Testament is not a new Word in the sense of another Word; it is new only in the sense in which the Word of God became man.

The fall is a fall from the word. It is a fall from the Person.

Why did God become man? To fulfill the will of the Place. How did the Son fulfill the will of the place? By making place and making place for us. By becoming place, a place inside the world but not of this world. Within the finite world, the place is boundless. 

Every dweller is heir of the Kingdom. The scope of place stands in the dweller’s personal nature, as he obeys the Will of the place.