...This person asked a simple question, and instead of a simple answer, you have given them a convoluted, personal opinion which is not shared by the Orthodox Church. ....
Here is the teaching of the Orthodox Church that I know of, which I have presented in my previous post (I take this excerpt from a post of Icxn in another thread - it even includes the original greek words - I marked emphasis):
St. Maximus, "On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ"
"...The scriptural Word knows of two kinds of knowledge of divine things. On the one hand, there is relative knowledge, rooted only in reason and ideas, and lacking in the kind of experiential perception of what one knows through active engagement; such relative knowledge is what we use to order our affairs in our present life
. On the other hand, there is that truly authentic knowledge, gained only by actual experience, apart from reason and ideas, which provides a total perception of the known object through a participation (+++Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡+++Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦+++Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© ) by grace.
By this latter knowledge, we attain, in the future state, the supernatural deification (+++Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â«-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© ) that remains unceasingly in effect. They say that the relative knowledge based on reason and ideas can motivate our desire for the participative knowledge acquired by active engagement. They say, moreover, that this active, experiential knowledge, which by participation, furnishes the direct perception of the object known, can supplant the relative knowledge based on reason and ideas.
For the sages say that it is impossible for rational knowledge (++-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â®+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦++-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© ) of God to coexist with the direct experience (-ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â»-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦) of God, or for conceptual knowledge (++-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â®++-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© ) of God to coexist with immediate perception (+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â»-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢++++-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© ) of God. By "rational knowledge of God" I mean the use of the analogy of created beings in the intellectual contemplation of God; by "perception" I mean the experience, through participation, of the supernatural goods; by "conceptual knowledge" I mean the simple and unitary knowledge of God drawn from created beings. This kind of distinction may be recognized with every other kind of knowledge as well, since the direct "experience" of a thing suspends rational knowledge of it and direct "perception" of a thing renders the "conceptual knowledge" of it useless.
By "experience" (-ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â»-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ ) I mean that knowledge, based on active engagement, which surpasses all reason. By "perception" (+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â»-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢++++-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦-ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â© ) I mean that participation in the known object which manifests itself beyond all conceptualization. This may very well be what the great Apostle is secretly teaching when he says, As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will disappear
(1 Cor. 13:8 ). Clearly he is referring here to that knowledge which is found in reason and ideas."
Also St Maximos in his essay on Knowledge
presents the teaching of the Orthodox Church that:
"37. In the active person the Word grows fat by the practice of virtue and becomes flesh. In the contemplative it grows lean by spiritual understanding and becomes as it was in the beginning, God the Word.
38. The one who is involved in the moral teaching of the Word through rather earthly examples and words out of consideration for his hearers is making the Word flesh. On the other hand, the one who expounds mystical theology using the sublimest contemplative experiences is making the Word spirit.
39. The one who speaks of God in positive affirmations is making the Word flesh
. Making use only of what can be seen and felt he knows God as their cause. But the one who speaks of God negatively through negations is making the Word spirit, as in the beginning He was God and with God. Using absolutely nothing which can be known, he knows in a better way the utterly Unknowable
You see brother ozgeorge,
Orthodox Church dare to make clauses such as "Using absolutely nothing which can be known,..." that sounds non-logical, but there is no other way to express, using a created language and logic, the Uncreated God's realities that She experiences . And the reality of "Christ being Son of God" is such an Uncreated reality.
You asked: "How can anyone "live a reality" when they don't know what it is? ". It is a question that fails to realize that I was referring to the Uncreated reality of Sonhood of Christ. I hope that now that I clarify my earlier post we may find a common ground in our points of view.