Sunday, 24 October 2010
The Tropos of the Human Person
I would like to think a great deal more about this, but I wish to present a passage from Met. John of Pergamon from his 'Being and Communion':
''The essential thing about a person lies precisely in his being a revelation of truth, not as 'substance' or 'nature' but as a 'mode of existence'. This profound perception of the Cappadocian Fathers shows that true knowledge is not a knowledge of the essence or the nature of things, but of how they are connected within the communion-event. While ekstasis signifies that a person is a revelation of truth by the fact of being in communion, hypostasis signifies that in and through this communion a person affirms his own identity and his particularity; he supports his own nature in a unique way. The person is the horizon within which the truth of existence is revealed, not as simple nature subject to individualisation and recombination but as a unique image of the whole and the ''catholicity' of a being. In this way, if one sees a being as a person, one sees in him the whole of human nature. Thus to destroy a human person is to commit an act of murder against all humanity...The mystery of being a person lies in the fact that here otherness and communion are not in contradiction but coincide. Truth as communion does not lead to the dissolving of the diversity of beings into one vast ocean of being, but to the affirmation of otherness in and through love. The difference between this truth and that of 'nature in itself' lies in the following: while the latter is subject to fragmentation, individualisation, conceptualisation, comprehension etc, the person is not. So in the context of personhood, otherness is incompatible with division'.