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"Like a Gleaming Flash": Matthew 6:22-23,
Luke 11:34-36 and the Divine Sense of Origen

Robert J. Hauck

While the modern maxim says that the eye is the window of the soul, Jesus said that the eye is the lamp of the body. This essay relates one of the more opaque Gospel sayings to one of the distinctive themes of Origen’s spiritual theology. In his interpretation of Jesus’ saying that “The eye is the lamp of the body,” Origen finds a reference to the mind, which serves as eye of the soul. In the context of Hellenistic theories of vision, which represent the eye as a light-emitting organ, Origen argues that the mind reaches out its ray to coalesce with the light of the Logos to produce vision for the soul. His interpretation provides insight into his understanding of how the divine sense works and its role as a faculty of spiritual perception.

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