The Created and the Uncreated

This season of the Nativity of Christ is the perfect time to look closely at what this pivotal moment in human history meant for this material world. That the Logos, the Word of God, joined Himself to our humanity was singularly the most important event in human history. That this was done by God in order to join His Divinity with our humanity, making it possible for us, His created beings, to have a personal relationship with our Creator God, is simply remarkable.

In God’s creation there is the seen and 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 are only 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 fail.

The things that are of God are far beyond 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 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 heart or 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 can not 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 it’s place, but only the heart can know God.

Quantum physics, while mysterious, is still part of the created material 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. Fr. George Calciu of blessed memory experienced this light in the midst of the worst Romanian prisons, and the result is another effect that science cannot explain: incorruption of body after death.

Standing before a miraculous myrrh streaming icon, such as the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God of Hawaii, is yet another unexplainable event that is happening in the material world, but can not be explained by the physical sciences. Yet, noetically, it can be explained by the science of the soul.

That God joined Himself to us in this physical realm seems doubtful to someone who has locked himself into a physical science mentality, but to the person who has allowed God to cleanse his “eye of the soul”, the nous, it is easy to accept as truth. The Nativity season is the perfect time to look beyond the spent Christmas rapping, family gatherings, and office parties, and allow ourselves to see deeply into the mystery that is the Nativity of Christ.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday January 6, 2020 / December 24, 2019
30th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Fast. Food with Oil
The Eve of the Nativity of Christ.
Nun-martyr Eugenia of Rome, and with her Martyrs Philip her father, Protus, Hyacinth (Jacinth), Basilla, and Claudia (262).
New Hieromartyr Innocentius (1928).
New Hieromartyr Sergius priest (1942).
Venerable Nicholas the Monk of Bulgaria (9th c.).
Venerable Antioch, monk of Palestine (635), and St. Vitimionus of Scete.
New Martyr Achmed (Ahmet) the Calligrapher (or Architect) of Constantinople (1682) (Greek).
Venerable Aphrodisius, monk of Palestine (6th c.).

The Scripture Readings

Hebrews 1:1-2 Royal Hours – 1st Hour
Matthew 1:18-25 Royal Hours – 1st Hour
Galatians 3:23-29 Royal Hours – 3rd Hour
Luke 2:1-20 Royal Hours – 3rd Hour
Hebrews 1:10-2:3 Royal Hours – 6th Hour
Matthew 2:1-12 Royal Hours – 6th Hour
Hebrews 2:11-18 Royal Hours – 9th Hour
Matthew 2:13-23 Royal Hours – 9th Hour
Hebrews 1:1-12 Liturgy
Luke 2:1-20 Liturgy

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon is Igumen of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.


  1. Dear Father Abbot: The photo of the monastery in the snow with the festal greeting would make a beautiful Christmas card. Would anyone at the monastery be able to create such a card? I would purchase some!

  2. God is not quantum or physics – He said, “I am” and from there we know He is certainly awesome!

    I like your photo too and would like to see it as a Christmas Card or one you are using that you mentioned. Perhaps next year it could be sold?

    Blessings for a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Epiphany (old calendar)!

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