| FORUM | ARCHIVE |                    | TOTAL QUIZ RESULT |


  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Hesychasm, Orthodox tradition
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login


Welcome stranger, click here to read about some of the great benefits of registering for a free account with us and joining us in our global online community.


Hesychasm, Orthodox tradition

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hesychasm, Orthodox tradition
    Posted: 15 Jun 2019 at 08:55
I am taking an online course on Hesychasm right now, Hesychia means stillness or silence.  The major work for (Orthodox Christian) Hesychasm is the Philokalia "love of beauty" in 5 volumes, written between the 3rd c AD and the 14 c. AD.
There was also a pagan Hesychia which is mentioned as something Ameinias taught Parmenides, Parmenides is the 5th c. BC, Ameinias and Hesychia is only known from a mention in "Lives of Eminent Philosophers" by Diogenes Laertius.  Diogenes Laertius is 1st or 2nd c. BC, and is our only 'dictionary of philosophers' surviving from antiquity.
To me, it validates that Hesychia was not just an Orthodox Christian phenomenon, but a wider human phenomenon.
Pagan religion in the 5th century BC, referred to daimons, which were spirits mainly of heroes, and could be positive and negative.  Those change to demons in the Orthodox religion, and of course, angels.  I am not sure how you get from one to the other.

The Hesychasts were mainly in the Palestine desert.


Edited by franciscosan - 30 Jun 2019 at 10:53
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2019 at 14:31
Stillness and silence will be effective and intensify the humble prayers. Chanting and the rhythmic breathing is gonna take you up out 'yo head, in a very kool way. The postures that I just read about seem a bit punishing. You are expected to deny some comfort and ignoring the cramping is possible and ads to the intensity and rewards.
Do they instruct you on releasing all the electricity that's created along your spine when you breath and chant/pray? IMHO-It's like a steam valve, the energy is beautiful it just has to be directed. 

Do you think Jesus prayed this way? 

Did ascesis go underground during the Byzantine Empire?
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2019 at 15:07
So far, it is just reading, but the teacher intends to get into practice, we're in the 2nd out of 7 weeks.  The Philokalia (love of beauty), is the primary source for Hesychasm.  It is a collection of writers going from the 4th c. to the 14th c. (?).  We're talking about monks and hermits in the Palestinian desert, maybe Mt. Athos later on.

I don't know if Jesus prayed that way, but Hesychasm in some form was around since at least Parmenides and probably to Pythagoras.  Parmenides' teacher Ameinias was a Pythagorean, and taught Parmenides Hesychia, when Ameinias died, Parmenides built a hero shrine to him.  That is 5th c. BC in South Italian Greek city-states.  The Philokalia is Greek Orthodox, and other Orthodox have some practice of it too, out of the Greek tradition.  I don't know if there is anything similar anywhere in the Holy Bible.

Parmenides was a priest and healer of Apollo Oileus (sp?), an iatromantis who helped people in the practice of incubation.  There is an inscription found, about Parmenides.  Short but revealing the iatromantis tradition.
Back to Top
Basileos View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 2
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basileos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jun 2019 at 15:07
So, a general comment, as an Orthodox Priest:

franciscoan: I think we can assume that Christ prayer that way, based on what we see when he goes apart from the people. It is certainly likely that he stood in silence with the Father, enjoying the communion that is naturally inherent in the Trinity. The purpose of hesychasm is to fill the self with that same communion, rather than to empty the self as in Eastern meditation. And the practice certainly predates Christianity in many forms. I would say that it finds its perfection in Christianity, as we now have the revealed knowledge of the object with which we are trying to fill ourselves, as well as the vehicle by which to do so (the God-Man, Jesuc Christ). That said, that is a dogmatic rather than a philosophical pronouncement.

Vanuatu: Many gerontes/ staretz (unsure of the Slavic plural), and almost every parish priest would say not to concern oneself with the postures and such, if one lives in the world. The reason is simple: When we read or hear hagiographic tales about those trying to behold the Uncreated Light, we are reading about men and women who have devoted their entire lives to prayerful discipline. We who live in the world, as a general rule, have not done so. In parish life, I often run into people who want to engage in the same prayer practices they read about in the lives of the saints, and when we discuss their current prayer lives, I often find that they are unfamiliar with the concept of a basic prayer rule. Monasticism is a sacred vocation, but it is meant to be practiced in the monastery. Outside of the monastery, attempts to ape the monastic life generally engender pride. Few are those who will gain more benefit than condemnation from trying to practice hesychasm outside of an environment of strict, monastic obedience and the context of a stringent basic rule of prayer and hourly liturgical life.

Just my two cents. This is actually a rather large pastoral issue for us, especially amongst converts to Orthodoxy.

-Akolouthos
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2019 at 08:52
But, I don't want to assume, this is a new way of looking at Jesus for me and so it is important to not just assume it is there, especially since I don't know what 'it' is.  As an Orthodox Priest, you probably have a strong Biblical, the Church Father and the Orthodox tradition to draw upon.  I don't.  For example, the only two verses of the Bible I remember are John 1.1 (btw my name is John), and "And he wept." the shortest verse in the Bible.  So if I say 'we don't know' Jesus prayed that way, I am not referring to Orthodox dogma, I am really saying I have not tasted that before, but my palate may be changing.
But, subtlely, I am not going searching for signs as if they are easter eggs, or prizes for the taking.

One book posted for the class was Saint Seraphim of Sarov, I forget the author.  I did not read the whole thing, (too much reading for a course), but what I got out of it was that he was a hermit in the woods and the 'abbot' ordered him to be at the monastery.  He did not want to do that, but he was bound by obedience to do what the 'abbot' said, so he decided to be a solitary _at_ the monastery, outwardly conforming, but inwardly as hermit.  I took that as a way that perhaps my friend looked at his own interest in Hesychasm.  An inward calm(ing), while the world goes on outside with hustle and bustle.  (btw that is my reading not necessarily his). 

You are right, and as a Protestant and a 'reluctant' Pythagorean, I should not be messing with this stuff, but you might say it is too late and started long ago, in a different 'incarnation' with Pythagorean mysticism.
He is my friend and I follow where he leads.  Not all the time, but yes in this and now.  It is not a new development but rather a conclusion or transition of 25 years of dwelling with stuff (but also dwelling with a wife and kids).  Not an ideal situation as he is well aware and will admit.  But, it is fascinating, and wondrous and very relevant to Pythagoras, in deep ways that academics are probably not aware of.  But, I don't necessarily have any attention to illuminate them.  Unless of course, they stumble onto this thread.  even then they probably do not have eyes to see.


Edited by franciscosan - 28 Jun 2019 at 06:27
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2019 at 13:02
Originally posted by Basileos Basileos wrote:

So, a general comment, as an Orthodox Priest:

Vanuatu: Many gerontes/ staretz (unsure of the Slavic plural), and almost every parish priest would say not to concern oneself with the postures and such, if one lives in the world. The reason is simple: When we read or hear hagiographic tales about those trying to behold the Uncreated Light, we are reading about men and women who have devoted their entire lives to prayerful discipline. We who live in the world, as a general rule, have not done so. In parish life, I often run into people who want to engage in the same prayer practices they read about in the lives of the saints, and when we discuss their current prayer lives, I often find that they are unfamiliar with the concept of a basic prayer rule. Monasticism is a sacred vocation, but it is meant to be practiced in the monastery. Outside of the monastery, attempts to ape the monastic life generally engender pride. Few are those who will gain more benefit than condemnation from trying to practice hesychasm outside of an environment of strict, monastic obedience and the context of a stringent basic rule of prayer and hourly liturgical life.

Just my two cents. This is actually a rather large pastoral issue for us, especially amongst converts to Orthodoxy.

-Akolouthos
Hello Akolouthos, respectfully I am not surprised that you say this at all. I grew up in a religious home and we were all very conscious of devotion to the Christian faith. As I grew older I simply tried new things to further my progress, understanding that intense prayer sessions, such as the Stations of the Cross produced an altered state. So I read about these alternate states and what causes them neurologically, biologically and then meditated on All That Is. I have no regrets, it has enriched my life.
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2019 at 12:53
Akolouthos

 Not to address Hesychia directly, but give some background, as far as I understand.  The Philokalia was compiled from manuscripts basically after or in response (reaction) to the Enlightenment.  in compiling it from manuscripts for publication, not all the desired manuscripts could be found at Mt. Athos.  I assume that they had to go elsewhere for them.  As far as I understand, this was a push to make the Philokalia available (and reverse the creeping disappearance of ms.), including to ordinary Orthodox parishioners.  This was as far as I know, one purpose of the compilers, not just to make it survive, but also (as part of the survival make it interested to the greater Orthodox community.

But one question that _perhaps_ seemed to present itself to the compilers, Enlightenment _or_ Orthodox tradition?  Another possible question, can the Hesychastic tradition survive in only manuscript form, or does it have to (also) make the transition to print?  Another question sort of related to the second, can the Hesychastic tradition survive only amongst an elite, or does that circle need to be expanded?  Not for the purpose making people feel good, but for the purpose of survival of the tradition.  It is best that hesychia is studied in the monastic environs, but don't events begrudgingly make the Orthodox elite admit that the circle needed to be expanded, or whither away.  At least at that time after the onslaught of the enlightenment, it seems to me that there was a perceived danger (perceived) that it might become nothing altogether.  Perhaps that is an exaggeration, and perhaps the tides had already turned on the enlightenment.  Converts (let alone non_orthodox like me) should as a rule probably not mess with Hesychasm, but an interesting question is could there be exceptions?  Now, note I am not asking you to admit that possibility.  In fact, I wouldn't want you to admit it, just please mull over it for a second.

It is interesting to me that the hesychastic tradition is wider than just Orthodoxy.  Not just the ancient Greek, or the ancient Hebrew, or Jesus but also John Cassian who went to the West.  There is actually a pagan text in the compilation (Philokalia), like there is in the Nag Hammadi Codices, 'the Allegory of the Cave.'  I don't know what is in the pagan text or whether it really has anything to do with Hesychasm.
From reading the introduction, it sounds like it is eclectic, mentioning both stoic and epicurean.  Perhaps it is like Dionysus the Aereopagate, maybe.

St Nikodemos and St. Makarios collated the Greek version of the Philokalia.  Nikodemos was part of the Kollyvades movement, advocating a return to traditional Orthodox and Patristic spirituality.  Nikodemos died in 1809(?) and Makarios in 1805(?) which gives one an idea of when they were active.  Again, I think one could consider it spurred by a reaction to the Enlightenment.  However, at the same time it is not merely an embrace of old Greek culture.  In some ways, (in my opinion), Orthodox has some continuity with the ancient Greeks, at the same time it is quite different.  There is a difference between the Orthodox tradition and the celebration of the "re"-discovery of Hellenic tradition which arose with the rise of the Greek nation state.

  


Edited by franciscosan - 29 Jun 2019 at 11:19
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2019 at 03:27
St Nicolas Cabasilas, lived the monastic life although he was a layman of the 14th century. 

"And everyone should keep his art or profession.
The General should continue to command; the farmer to till the land, the artisan to produce his craft. 
And I will tell you why. It is not necessary to retire into the desert, to take unpalatable food, to alter one's dress, to compromise one's health or to do anything unwise because it is quite possible to remain in one's own home without giving up all one's possessions and yet to practice continued meditation."

Do you think there is a contrast in opening to boundless oneness vs going to the never ending interior?


Edited by Vanuatu - 06 Jul 2019 at 04:22
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2019 at 11:01
Most Orthodox monks, from my understanding, are layman.

St Nicolas Cabasilas supported the Hesychasts, like St. Gregory Palamas, at Mt. Athos.  He also supported a Roman Emperor, John ?Paleologos? who eventually retired to a monastery with him.  It is an interesting quote, but I would like to hear from the Hesychasts what their response would be.  But, we should understand that he is talking to Emperors, aristocrats and ordinary people, not (just) to the monks.

I believe that this is a time (14th century) that Greek Orthodoxy is being squeezed by the Muslims (Turks and Arabs) in the East and the Catholic Church in the West.  Catholic Church adopted the filioque "and Son", (implying more than one in the trinity, which is unpalatable to the Orthodox), causing a schism.  Catholics would have loved to get back together with the Orthodox, on Catholic terms that is.  Some people want to reunite so badly that they want to give away everything for security, (Baalram?).  But, I think that the quote below has this setting in its background.  He is saying perhaps, that this rather esoteric tradition is part of the ordinary Orthodox's tradition too.

"And everyone should keep his art or profession.
The General should continue to command; the farmer to till the land, the artisan to produce his craft. 
And I will tell you why. It is not necessary to retire into the desert, to take unpalatable food, to alter one's dress, to compromise one's health or to do anything unwise because it is quite possible to remain in one's own home without giving up all one's possessions and yet to practice continued meditation."
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2019 at 04:25
Any comment on interior/exterior boundlessness?
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2019 at 05:56
It seems like it would be a variation on the old micro reflects macro (and macro reflects micro) theme.  But the Pythagoreans and ancient Greeks in general believed that the universe was limited and bounded, there were some Greeks (Atomists) that believed in multiple worlds, but I don't think it was an infinite number.

Limitation tended to hold things in place.  The unlimited for the ancient Greeks tended to be chaos.  That probably was still true with the church fathers, man and the material world were creatures and thus limited, God on the other hand was uncreated.  Every thing had its "place." 

But, I cannot comment from a personal perspective.
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2019 at 12:59
The Philokalia is probably the most important Greek language text to come out of the Turcocratia (the Time of Turkish rule).  It was compiled from texts dating back to the 3rd or 4th century AD to the 17th(?) century, by St. Nikodemos and St. Makarios of Corinth during the later part of the 18th century, from texts from Mt. Athos.  In some ways, it is in response to the Enlightenment, but in being in response to the Enlightenment, such a printed publication, and compilation is perhaps very appropriate for the enlightenment as well.  Both Makarios and Nikodemos had some familiarity with happenings in the West.  The work was published in Venice, which owned territories such as Ionia in the Greek (Turkish) region.  When Napoleon conquered Venice, the dependencies came under the power of France, and c. 1800 Ionia became the first independent region of Greece, starting off Greek Independence in general.

Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 07:40
Hello, are you still involved with the study of Hesychasm?

Recently did some reading about the Byzantine doctrine ;
  "The Palamite Council of 1351 accepted the doctrine of hesychasm as an official dogma."


There is some distinction made over 'essence vs energies.'  Light forms the basis for imageless prayer in a three fold path to ascent;

"A threefold path of spiritual ascent, involving purification from passions (praxis), contemplation of nature as the work of God (physike theoria), and the vision of God (theologia) as light formed the basis of Evagrius’s doctrine of imageless prayer.20 The later Byzantine fathers transformed his doctrine of the imageless prayer in the context of the Christocentric spirituality; it became closely connected to the practice of the ‘Jesus Prayer’.21"

Some 5th century writers emphasize prayers of the heart over prayers of mind. Imagery during prayer becomes a bit of a sticking point during the Byzantine. Gregory of Sinai - didn't take a side.

"He did, however, limit the visionary experience of light to those more advanced in spiritual matters, and stressed the need for beginners to exercise obedience to a spiritual father.4"

Here I can understand Akthoulos suggesting that non monastics are not cut out for the heavy meditative experience bc of everyday life entanglements that monastics don't have to face.
However, there are stories about the struggle to be present during prayer by hermits in caves! St John of the Cross, Saints Peter & Paul, St Jerome, Jesus himself could on and on...

Is the Imagery during prayer and the potential difficulty of focus exclusive to lay people?
The Jesus prayer(5th century)- "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me I am a sinner" serves no different purpose than a Buddhist chant.  
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 14:28
The distinction between essence and energies is thus, you cannot know God in his essence, but you can know God in his energies.  That keeps the believer from the position that they know God (and therefore, are God, which is the position of the (generic) mystic.

Jesus prayer is not like a Buddhist chant (Amida butsu, Amida butsu...?) as far as I understand it. nor is it like allahu akbar.

My friend who is a philosopher, and an Orthodox convert, is planning to rework and do his course on Hesychieasm again.  I may revisit the stuff with him.  If you are interested, let me know.

It looks like there are references to hesycheiasm in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, extant mainly in a Coptic translation.
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 15:33
Quote Jesus prayer is not like a Buddhist chant (Amida butsu, Amida butsu...?)
 as far as I understand it
. nor is it like allahu akbar.

"Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me I am a sinner" serves no different purpose than a Buddhist chant. 
The repetitive prayer was used to keep all impure thoughts away, see Cappadocian monks. 
The words are different but the intent the same. Lightness of being and purity of thought while denying 
themselves comfort.
 
Numerous Gnostic titles offer an early Christian view of what it meant to love God as opposed to Rome's 
idea of what it meant to Be In the Glorious Good Graces of God
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 12:34
really?  so I guess that "sinner" part is optional.

Yes, Gnostic is different than Orthodoxy.  Although 
"Gnosticism" is a 20th century label imposed on
material from roughly the first through fourth century,
not just early "Christian" material.

But, let's try to stay on Hesycheia here.
The distinction between essence and energies is meant to keep things from spiraling off into mysticism and an identification of the self with God.  "Gnosticism" does not quite do that. 
btw, there is a thrash metal band or something, called Hesychia, so if you google it, you might consider the alternate spelling of Hesycheia.
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2020 at 22:55
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

really?  so I guess that "sinner" part is optional.
Not sure what you mean. Isn't the idea that we are all sinners basic Christian dogma? I think you know very well that Buddhist have the concept of Right Action/Wrong Action.

Do tell, what was the point of the monastic "Jesus Prayer" if not to keep the mind clear?

Quote Yes, Gnostic is different than Orthodoxy.  Although 
"Gnosticism" is a 20th century label imposed on
material from roughly the first through fourth century,
not just early "Christian" material.

But, let's try to stay on Hesycheia here.
Gnosticism is not beyond the scope of this discussion. If it were you would not have been compelled to attack the statement. Gnosticism is so far removed from H? Sure about that? 

Quote The distinction between essence and energies is meant to keep things from spiraling off into mysticism and an identification of the self with God.  "Gnosticism" does not quite do that. 
btw, there is a thrash metal band or something, called Hesychia, so if you google it, you might consider the alternate spelling of Hesycheia.
Yea I know what the difference is, thanks, but if you are this annoyed don't bother. So_r_ry!


Edited by Vanuatu - 28 Jan 2020 at 23:51
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 2020 at 03:01
So, you know what the distinction between essence and energies is?  I don't really.  Maybe you can explain it to me, better. ;)  All I know is that really the explanation is key for Hesycheia being an Orthodox belief system instead of a more pantheistic system.  I don't think it was really fully accepted until Gregory of Palamas (who I haven't read either).

Hesycheia predates Christian Orthodoxy, and is found referred to in pagan sources, and Judaic sources, but as far a full-fledged practice is concerned, what we primarily have is the Orthodox teachings of Hesycheia.  I think that we can say that it is referred to in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, which is "Gnostic" (although Karen King rejects that term as simplistic of what was going on in early Christianity). 
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2020 at 15:05
The Jesus Prayer is used the way Buddhists use the Sutras, Om mani pademe hum, phrases designed for use when mental or heart prayer is difficult to achieve. Separation from ego is also part of Vedic/Buddhist tradition.
At the third stage hopefully one is ending with a god consciousness, an ecstatic night in the desert. It would include visions, god light or blissful oblivion when you forget that your self is even there. That sounds like an Imageless prayer to me, the term used by Hesychasts maybe that is essence. If you are chanting or visualizing then you feel something.

The Gnostics and Hesychasm are linked with 4th century Egypt, Dead Sea Scrolls and numerous other caches of old texts, the word 'hesychast' around 4th century means hermit, spiritual seeker something like that but ultimately it's 2,000 years old. Gregory of Palamas revived it in 1351 the Palamite council recognizes Hesycham officially. 

The Byzantine Empire had something described as pre enlightenment or Humanism which led to a resurgence in aesthetic interests and some h texts finding their way to western Europe through Venice.
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 2020 at 13:00
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

I don't really see "separation from ego" in that statement.

Hesycheia makes a distinction between the energies of God, and the existence of God, this is to keep individuals from saying that "they know God (or rather, the essence of God),"  Mystics 'know' God, or 'become' God.  Hesycheia does not do that.  The individual is humble, I don't see hesychasts seeking "god consciousness."  Too presumptuous.

Now, I think that the Greek mystic philosophers such as Pythagoras, Parmenides and Empedocles practiced some form of hesychasm.  Parmenides was taught hesycheia by a Pythagorean Ameinias, Empedocles called himself a god, c 6th and 5th c. BC.  The Pythagoreans were said to practice 4? years of silence?? and this may refer to a hesycheia.  There are times of still silence in the Bible, and so we can suspect they referred to some practice of hesychasm, but we don't have a discussion of the practice.  I don't think we have it in Gnosticism, although we may have references to it (like perhaps in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene), but not so much descriptions of the practice.  Of course, hesychasm is a part of a bigger prayer and monastic tradition within Orthodoxy, it might be possible to retrieve hesychastic practices from other or earlier traditions, but I think that is a valid goal, not for seekers, but more so from scholars who have a deep familiarity with the basic material to be looked at.

We should understand that "Gnosticism" is a name that we give to mystic traditions in the first few centuries of the Christian era, not necessarily just heretical Christian traditions.  But, it is our term, not theirs.

I have not looked at Gregory of Palamas yet, but the Philokalia starts with writings in the 4th century on, there are also other collections in Russian and Romanian. Philokalia started to be translated into English in the 1950s, apparently T.S. Eliot intervened to get an abridged version published, saying that it should be published even if it did not make money.  It was very successful.  4 volumes have been translated, a fifth of post-palamite council has not, watched Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), one of the translators on a youtube, 'Introduction to the Philokalia," he was the last of that set of translators alive, and the interview was probably a few years ago.

hesycheia and other variants mean silence, or a tranquil silence.  Generally that means being a hermit.  
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2020 at 05:03
"Passions according to Evagrius" is a pretty good, basic introduction to the Passions according to the late 4th century AD writer and hermit.  On youtube by Holy Spirit mims.

Evagrius is not a saint for some of his works were proclaimed heretical.  (Some) works survive in the Philokalia, and elsewhere, and some under the name of other figures.

It should be noted that what is here called heretical are works that were first written, and then at later conferences their teachings were declared to be some form of heresy.  It was probably not that specific earlier works like Evagrius or Clement of Alexandria, were considered heretical, but that they taught some heresy.  Clement of Alexandra is a "Church Father," but he wasn't sainted because, again, some of his works became heretical.


Edited by franciscosan - 16 Feb 2020 at 05:35
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1343
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2020 at 22:21
The problem with generic Christianity is the concept of Original Sin. It is basically an official excuse for failing to observe the Commandments, one of then rationalisation methods evolved during the middle ages for carrying on as normal but apologising afterward. So "I am a sinner" is merely a statement of humility rather than any actual admission of guilt - since the guilt applies to specific actions, not the character of the sinner.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2020 at 11:56
You could say, Jesus have mercy on me a sinner, you could say Ham On Rye- no difference.
Binaural Sound, that is the way your ears work it is the mechanism that creates Theta Waves, one step above Delta Waves or unconsciousness. The tones have been used throughout history all over the world by religious and non religious types. It's very simple with practice to make your "self" disappear. You forget that your self is present, and it's the way all life progresses. Animals meditate too.

Theta waves (3 to 8 Hz)
Theta is our gateway to learning, memory, and intuition. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. It is that twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we wake or drift off to sleep.-wiki


Edited by Vanuatu - 18 Feb 2020 at 11:59
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2020 at 12:04
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

I don't really see "separation from ego" in that statement.
Of course the statement separates the believer from ego, saying "I'm a sinner" means acknowledging an utter surrender to God. What does it mean to you?


Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2020 at 15:04
The problem with generic Christianity, is that Christianity is never generic, no matter how much the Catholic Church wants you to believe that it is "universal."  God pronounced the world "good," and yet it is messed up, due to original sin.  I don't see original sin as being an excuse to violate the commandments, I think we have seen in the past that people do not need an excuse to do that, but there needs to be some way after someone has fallen, to bring them up, and integrate them back into the community.  That way is confession, which originally was in front of the entire congregation, not just semi-anonymous to a priest.  There is an equality in that we are all just sinners here, (well, not you caldrail, if you don't want to be....), in action or in thought.  Acknowledging it in thought can nip it in the bud before it becomes an action.

Some people believe that people are good, but then they are at a failure to explain why people do evil things.  Coming across evil, or even just indifference, these "good" people want to clamp down in control of things.  They cannot imagine that someone might have good reasons to disagree with them.
Some people believe that people in general are bad, or at least selfish and near sighted in their selfishness.  They are actually pleasantly surprised when someone does something good.  They don't particularly want to clamp down in control of others, because that means giving more power to government, which is also made of flawed people.  Some of these people go so far as to recognize themselves as potentially being bad, and guard against that tendency.

But, I am not sure what that has to do with hesychasm.  I am not sure what ham and rye does either.
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2020 at 23:28
Everyone is doing the best they can with they have got to work with. The assumption should be that people are good but bad things happen in the world, one must accept this as a condition of life and gradually you gain better emotional control when things go wrong.

If you are chanting for the purpose of meditation then the words/ phrases do not matter.
repeating tones automatically changes your head space. 


Edited by Vanuatu - 13 hours 42 minutes ago at 23:48
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
Vanuatu View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar

Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Location: New England
Status: Offline
Points: 2266
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2020 at 23:34
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

The problem with generic Christianity, is that Christianity is never generic, no matter how much the Catholic Church wants you to believe that it is "universal."
The Catholic church that I grew up in was not about Universal Anything.
They wanted to be distinct and apart from Protestants. The Buddhist have the idea of All In The One never, ever was a feature of the Catholic religion. 
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Back to Top
caldrail View Drop Down
Moderator
Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Rushey Platt
Status: Offline
Points: 1343
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 hours 58 minutes ago at 21:32
Quote Some people believe that people are good, but then they are at a failure to explain why people do evil things.
It's called Original Sin. An idea conjured up in late Roman times and adopted by the medieval world as an official excuse for not observing the commandments. Or Temptation. That Satan gets everywhere.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
Back to Top
franciscosan View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master


Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
Status: Online
Points: 10525
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 minutes ago at 13:15
"Catholic" means "universal"

I am afraid, caldrail, that you are painting with too broad of a brush for me to understand what you mean.  I believe that the original sin was eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  or maybe it was just sex (and the awareness of nakedness) after the fall.  I also believe it was Augustine that came up with it, which was Orthodox at the time but from the Western Latin world.  Hesycheia is eastern Orthodox so I don't know what they say about original sin.  I doubt if I looked up in the index of a catechism that they would list "official excuses."  
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.109 seconds.