Saint Gregory the Theologian who died about 388 AD is an erudite representative of the Church Fathers on the matter of the origins of the three Persons of the Trinity. He has no hint at all of any eternal procession of the Spirit "by the Father 'through the Son' as from one principle."
Saint Gregory's statement about the difference in manifestation refers to the difference between begetting and proceeding as he makes clear in Oration 32:8:The Fifth Theological Oration, "On the Holy Spirit":
You hear that there is generation? Do not waste your time in seeking after the how. You hear that the Spirit proceeds from the Father? Do not busy yourself about the how" [Orat XX, 2] "You ask what is the procession of the Holy Spirit? Do tell me first what is the unbegottenness of the Father, then I will explain to you the physiology of the Son's generation and the Spirit's procession and both of us shall be stricken with madness for prying into the mystery of God" [Orat XXXI, 8]
The Fifth Theological Oration.On the Holy
Spirit by St Gregory Nazianzen
Grace and Peace Father,
With much deference I proceed on the course to discuss this very challenging and difficult topic well aware of St. Gregory's cautions...
If we could perhaps look to St. Cyril, maybe we might find evidence of discussion of this mystery even among Eastern Fathers:
St. Cyril of Alexandria clearly teaches (in several places) that the Spirit proceeds from the Father "through the Son.
" As a modern Eastern Orthodox bishop and scholar Photios of Iona explains:
"Saint Cyril taught that the Spirit proceeded from the Father through the Son. In words that could be taken from Augustine, Cyril remarks, ‘inasmuch as the Son is God and from God by nature, since He has been truly generated from God the Father, the Spirit is His own, and He is in Him and from Him.’ The tendency of Cyril at times to confuse the terms ‘person’ and ‘nature’ is well known. …It is quite significant that Cyril, a product of Alexandrian theology, influenced as it was by Neo-Platonism, is unfortunately ambiguous in his choice of words …"
(Bishop Photios of Iona, a.k.a. Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, quoted in correspondence from Cyril Quattrone to Mark Bonocore).
Setting aside the attempt by modern Eastern Orthodox to brand all non-Antiochian Greek theology (along with Latin theology) as somehow "Neo-Platonic," the reality is that St. Cyril’s connection between Son and Spirit is found throughout Alexandrian, Cappadocian, and, yes, even some Antiochian theology. However, many modern Eastern Orthodox seem unwilling to admit this. The statement cited above by St. Cyril is by no means isolated, accidental, or rare, but occurs many times in his theological works. For example, he writes to Nestorius, saying …"For although the Spirit is the same essence, yet we think of Him by Himself, as He is the Spirit and not the Son; but He is not unconnected with Him [the Son]; for He is called the Spirit of Truth and Christ is the Truth, and He is sent by Him just as He is from God the Father. …Since, therefore, He is the Spirit of the Power and Wisdom of the Father, that is, of the Son, He is evidently Wisdom and Power."
(Epist., xvii, Ad Nestorium, De excommunicatione in P.G., LXXVII, 117)
Here, St. Cyril clearly denies the Photian position (i.e., the popular Eastern Orthodox view, advocated by Cyril Quattrone above) that the Son has no eternal, Personal connection to the Spirit. For, after establishing that They are of the same essence yet distinct in their Personhoods, St. Cyril then maintains that there is a specific connection between them, and that the Spirit is from the Son as He is from the Father.
St. Cyril also says …"We must not say that the one Lord Jesus Christ has been glorified by the Spirit, in such a way as to suggest that through the Spirit He made use of a power foreign to Himself, and from the Spirit received the ability to work against unclean spirits, and to perform Divine signs among men; but must rather say that the Spirit, through Whom He did indeed work His Divine signs, is His own.
[The Twelve Errors, Error 9, 430 A.D.]
Here again, St. Cyril of Alexandria clearly acknowledges the Son’s eternal, Personal possession of (i.e., participation in) the Spirit. Christ did not work from some post-incarnational pouring forth of the Spirit, but by a Spirit Who was proper to Himself (the Person of the Son) from all eternity.
And, perhaps most striking of all, St. Cyril also writes …"Just as the Son says ‘All that the Father has is mine’ [John 16:15], so shall we find that through the Son it is all also in the Spirit"
(Letters 3:4:33 [A.D. 433]).
The Son did not come to possess the Holy Spirit in time, but from all eternity. Likewise, and this is all-important, the Spirit possesses all that is of the Father through the Son! This clearly shows that St. Cyril recognized an eternal, Personal connection between the Son and the Spirit, and it firmly pits St. Cyril’s position against that of Photius, who claims that the Spirit’s procession from the Father has nothing to do with the Person of the Son.
Now, as I said above, this view of an eternal, Personal connection between Son and Spirit is not limited to St. Cyril alone. Rather, it is clearly a preoccupation in all Alexandrian Greek theology, going back at least as far as St. Athanasius and St. Didymus the Blind.
For example, St. Didymus the Blind writes …
"As we have understood discussions ….about the incorporeal natures, so too it is now to be recognized that the Holy Spirit receives from the Son that which He is of His own nature. …So too the Son is said to receive from the Father the very things by which He subsists. For neither has the Son anything else except those things given Him by the Father, nor has the Holy Spirit any other substance than that given Him by the Son"
(The Holy Spirit 37 [A.D. 380]).
The reference is to the principal of Sonship. In other words, it is from the Father ‘through the Son’ that the Spirit eternally receives His Personal identity. Please note that St. Didymus writes this contemporaneously with Constantinople I’s confession about the Spirit proceeding from the Father. Yet no contradiction was perceived, because there is no contradiction. Indeed, Didymus was drawing from a time-honored Alexandrian tradition:
For, St. Athanasius himself testifies that…."Insofar as we understand the special relationship of the Son to the Father, we also understand that the Spirit has this same relationship to the Son. And since the Son says, ‘everything that the Father has is mine (John 16:15),’ we will discover all these things also in the Spirit through the Son. And just as the Son was announced by the Father, Who said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17),’ so also is the Spirit of the Son; for, as the Apostle says, ‘He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' (Galatians 4:6)."
(Athanasius, Letters to Serapion, III, 1, 33, PG 26, 625 B).
Once again, it is the eternal relationship of Persons that is being referred to. Either the Sonship of Christ is eternal or it is not. St. Athanasius clearly promoted one, eternal Sonship, and so an eternal Spirit of Sonship Who proceeds eternally from the Father ‘through the Son.’ This is precisely why the Alexandrians (just like the Latins –e.g. St. Augustine) constantly cite John 16:15 in regard to the Son’s possession of the Spirit. The Son does not possess or participate in the Spirit of Sonship in a mere temporal sense, but from all eternity; and the Spirit (as the Spirit of Sonship) receives His Personal identity from the Father ‘through the Son.’
And, even the Cappadocians recognize this Apostolic reality.
For example, St. Basil the Great writes …"Through the Son, Who is one, He (i.e., the Holy Spirit) is joined to the Father, Who is one, and by Himself completes the Blessed Trinity."
(The Holy Spirit 18:45 [A.D. 375]).
What cannot be disputed here is that the Spirit, for Basil, is joined to the Father eternally and Personally through the Son. There is a Personal connection –an eternal, Personal participation of the Son. This is the reality that Filioque addresses. .
And St. Basil clarifies this even further when he writes …"…the goodness of [the Divine] nature, the holiness of [that] nature, and the royal dignity reach from the Father through the only-begotten [Son] to the Holy Spirit. Since we confess the Persons in this manner, there is no infringing upon the holy dogma of the Monarchy."
And the same is true of the Filioque (properly understood). Again, the reference is to the eternal relationship of the Persons, with the Son having an intrinsic, Personal connection to the Spirit. Here, St. Basil acknowledges the orthodoxy of the contemporary Alexandrian position, even though that is not the principal concern of the Cappadocians, which is of course the Father’s monarchy.
Likewise, St. Gregory Nazianzus says …"…the Spirit is a middle term (meson) between the Unbegotten and the Begotten."
This too addresses the same reality appreciated by the Alexandrians and the Latins, which sees the Spirit as an eternal, Personal ‘connection’ between Father and Son –the Spirit of Sonship.
Also, St. Gregory of Nyssa writes …"The Holy Spirit is said to be of the Father and it is [further] attested that He is of the Son. St Paul says: 'Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him' (Romans 8:9). So the Spirit Who is of God (the Father) is also the Spirit of Christ. However, the Son Who is of God (the Father) is not said to be of the Spirit: the consecutive order of the relationship cannot be reversed."
(Fragment in Orationem Dominicam, quoted by St John Damascene, PG 46. 1109 BC).
Once again, it is the eternal order that is being described here, not merely the temporal imparting of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit "of the Son" (the Spirit of Sonship) in an eternal capacity. The Spirit’s Personal identity is depended upon the Personhood of the Son.
A very thorough paper has been developed on this by a Catholic Legate in 2006. You can find it: http://www.catholic-legate.com/articles/filioque.html