What do you all think of these quotes from the book:
"This is what the holy elders have taught throughout the ages, that God speaks to human beings only through the heart, the optical organ through which one can experience the vision of God. Therefore, those who yearn to see God cannot possibly do so through other means such as by reading Plato and Aristotle or by doing science. Great as their philosophy might be, it is not the way to God. It is only the cleanliness and purity of the heart that can lead to the contemplation and vision of God. This is the meaning, Father Maximos argued, of Christ's Beatitude, 'Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.' " (Page 43-44)
"Do you understand what that means? Those who wish to investigate whether God exists must employ the appropriate methodology which is none other than the purification of the heart from egotistical passions and impurities."
Personally, I find these quotes very inspiring. Having been disillusioned by the logical "holes" of most (if not all) of the philosophical arguments for God's existence, I'm compelled to think that maybe mysticism may be the only true way to find God. Orthodox brethren, please correct me if I'm wrong.
You are still wondering if God exists? Forgive me, I thought you believe in God but are looking for the best church to draw closer to God?
I think there is something to what he is saying. Spiritual experiences are the only way I believe in God. Not with intellectual proofs based on false premises that hardly anyone dares acknowledge. It's called the madness of unbridled rationality.
I might be a minority on that though. And I'm not pure of heart, but I do love God.
St. Symeon the New Theologian had mystical experiences while he lived a worldly life and he didn't much care for philosophy.
Most of the time the Saints make more sense to me than anyone else, and this after having reading and searching many thousands of books on divers topics over a lifetime.
We don't have to be perfect for God to answer our heartfelt prayers with tangible presence, because God is merciful and wants us to become what He created us to be. But maybe not everyone is able to deal with tangible presence and He never forces Himself on anyone. He absolutely knows each of our limits.
I honestly don't know how people have faith that exists only as an intellectual process because faith transcends apparent material reality.
Maybe someone else can explain how different people experience God or just simply make a mental affirmation of God, or you could talk with a priest, or keep reading the Saints and Elders and what the good people here have suggested.
But most of all, pray to God with all your heart and don't quit, even when it seems all dry and empty and stagnant, because it takes a lot to get to the area he is pointing toward. Read the Gospels and the Epistles. And keep praying. There isn't anything of value apart from God-sine qua non. God gives us all the good things we take for granted.