The Virtual and the Actual

My boss in the Church, Mar Thomas, did a lecture this past summer at the Church’s annual Conclave. His topic was Gnosticism: Ancient and Modern. You can watch part one of his lecture, which was just posted today, on the Church’s YouTube channel. He talks about the definition of Gnosticism, a subject that could be debated for the rest of time.

One point I’d like to tease out a bit is the difference between the “spirit vs. matter dualism” and the “actual vs. virtual” that His Grace describes in the video. I really like this distinction. It implies, or, at least I inferred, that there can be an actual/virtual split in all aspects of the Divine emanation, from the undifferentiated Fullness down to ourselves. Subject and object.

There is, however, a distinction you can point to. At some point the actual and virtual are different. Like ice and water, you won’t confuse the two. Each has its characteristics. I’ve only just started thinking about this, so I will probably have a lot more to say on the subject.