A knowledge of the beginning and end of all things is essential for us to understand the purpose of our existence here on this earth, and what lies beyond it. For a true interpretation of the first and last things, we must turn to those ancient teachers who beheld the beginning and end in a state of Divine Vision. Among these great seers was St. Symeon the New Theologian (+1022): he speaks of the mysteries of the beginning and end precisely because he has seen them. His profound writings on the first-created man and the future age are of special value to us because they give the foundation of spiritual life and struggle. The original state of man tells us of our deepest nature, of which our present fallen nature is a corruption that is to be overcome; and the future state of blessedness is the goal to which our spiritual struggle is aimed, and to which we can attain, by God's grace, even despite our fallen state.
These homilies of St. Symeon have been selected, translated, and introduced by a renowned spiritual writer of contemporary America, Fr. Seraphim Rose (+1982), with the aim of reconnecting modern man with the ancient understanding of the true purpose of life.