Author Topic: Licking the vomit of despair  (Read 436 times)

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Offline Madelin

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Licking the vomit of despair
« on: August 05, 2017, 11:59:10 PM »
The more I read about acetisism and immerse myself in a monastic school of thought, the more disinfranchised I feel towards living a life in this world. I find the vanities of this life maddening, and no one around me seems to relate to this. My own pride and ego are so alarming to me that I actually find my pursuit of humility to be somehow self-gratifying and self-centered in an ironically vainglorious sense. I don't know how to relax, how to take a second and allow my mind to veer "off God" for a moment. Why are people even telling me to do this, I thought it was good to cling to God? Why should I become lackadaisical with practicing nepsis? People tell me to enjoy life—to stop being like a dog that keeps licking its own vomit. But HOW? How is everyone able to move on from their crippling sin? I feel torn asunder. My willfulness is a disease. Even the seemingly "smallest" infractions (for lack of a better phrase) crush me. I am afraid of my own despair, and how much I hate myself. I am perplexed by God's goodness and His countless blessings He has given me that I do not deserve. I want the old man to die, but sometimes I allow this jerk to trick me into believing that my sin is who I actually am. Nothing belongs to me and everything belongs to God, especially every good thing "I" have ever done. I have NEVER done anything good, only He has, and any attempt I make to do good is a reflection of Him and He deserves all of the glory. I feel like an empty walnut husk.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 12:00:40 AM »
To clarify -- they are telling you asceticism is the vomit?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline hecma925

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 12:01:40 AM »
Welcome to the human race.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Madelin

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 12:20:17 AM »
To clarify -- they are telling you asceticism is the vomit?

No, but that wallowing in sinfulness is the vomit. My heart breaks each time I slip. It's pride, pure and simple. I want to live as a friend of God, and instead I live as His enemy.
I do feel strongly attracted to asceticism.

Offline Madelin

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 12:22:24 AM »
Rather, my expectations of myself are prideful

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2017, 12:38:25 AM »
To clarify -- they are telling you asceticism is the vomit?

No, but that wallowing in sinfulness is the vomit. My heart breaks each time I slip. It's pride, pure and simple. I want to live as a friend of God, and instead I live as His enemy.
I do feel strongly attracted to asceticism.

Thank you for clarifying.

Yes, I think it is possible to lead a wholesome life. This becomes harder depending on our companions and habits -- which I think you are saying -- so I agree with that too. A simple but consistent rule of prayer, someone to confide in who has the same goal of leading a wholesome life (perhaps this wording isn't clear; what I'm trying to hit on here is accountability and community), and good work to do can all contribute to increasing success.

Thank you for being so brave as to share, and I will pray for you.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Indocern

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 03:20:01 AM »
The more I read about acetisism and immerse myself in a monastic school of thought, the more disinfranchised I feel towards living a life in this world. I find the vanities of this life maddening, and no one around me seems to relate to this. My own pride and ego are so alarming to me that I actually find my pursuit of humility to be somehow self-gratifying and self-centered in an ironically vainglorious sense. I don't know how to relax, how to take a second and allow my mind to veer "off God" for a moment. Why are people even telling me to do this, I thought it was good to cling to God? Why should I become lackadaisical with practicing nepsis? People tell me to enjoy life—to stop being like a dog that keeps licking its own vomit. But HOW? How is everyone able to move on from their crippling sin? I feel torn asunder. My willfulness is a disease. Even the seemingly "smallest" infractions (for lack of a better phrase) crush me. I am afraid of my own despair, and how much I hate myself. I am perplexed by God's goodness and His countless blessings He has given me that I do not deserve. I want the old man to die, but sometimes I allow this jerk to trick me into believing that my sin is who I actually am. Nothing belongs to me and everything belongs to God, especially every good thing "I" have ever done. I have NEVER done anything good, only He has, and any attempt I make to do good is a reflection of Him and He deserves all of the glory. I feel like an empty walnut husk.

Asceticism is far better than wordly life. No one can hurt you or you be in influence of other human being. Only God present in your life.

Of course it will be good choice too if you stay in condition of wordly live. But it is matter what your heart want...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 03:30:08 AM by Indocern »

Offline IXOYE

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 07:52:19 AM »
As the Holy Fathers say:

"Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times because of the withdrawal of God's grace, rise up again each time, and keep on doing this until the day of your death. For it is written, 'If a righteous man falls down seven times' - that is, repeatedly throughout his life - 'seven times shall he rise again' [Prov. 24:16]."

-St. John of Karpathos

"Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience."

-St. John of the Ladder

Online Vanhyo

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 12:13:49 PM »
You seem far more advanced then i am so i don't think i should be giving you advices, but if you find this tip helpful in anyway, i am always glad to help:

Have you tried physical labour to help ease the heat ?

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 04:34:37 PM »
Lord, have mercy on your servant.

Offline Velsigne

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 05:25:32 PM »
Well if you are new to this, it's part of the process
It's true,  a lot of what people do is sheer vanity
Hope you have a good guide.so you don't fall to one side or the other

Or have someone telling you that you haven't fallen to one side and you have

God is not of despair, destruction

As in Galatians

Not sure that a public forum is the best place for you to get spiritual counseling

« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 05:27:28 PM by Velsigne »
The finest hour I have seen
Is the one that comes between
The edge of night and the break of day
It's when the darkness rolls away

It's gone away in yesterday
Now I find myself on the mountainside
Where the rivers change direction across the Great Divide -- Kate Wolf

Online RobS

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2017, 07:43:53 PM »
Quote
I want the old man to die, but sometimes I allow this jerk to trick me into believing that my sin is who I actually am.
Just to be clear, you are talking about God and not your father or someone else?

Quote
I don't know how to relax... I feel torn asunder... My willfulness is a disease.... Even the seemingly "smallest" infractions (for lack of a better phrase) crush me. how much I hate myself... I do not deserve. ...I feel like an empty walnut husk.

Madelin, I am so sorry to hear about this, but these things you have said are greatly concerning. I just worry you're not dealing with a more serious issue. I only say this because I've experienced clinical depression and had those thoughts in association. I have no idea who you are and you don't know me, so take what I say with a grain a salt, but just some of the language used here just struck out to me and has me concerned.

But if that is not the case...

I find the vanities of this life maddening, and no one around me seems to relate to this.
First take this with the largest boulder of salt. I am newly illumined so I may be totally wrong about all this. Well I agree with you on the vanities of this life to be maddening. For example, I find the pursuit of a career to be entirely empty and vain. Of course we live in a society, atleast here in America, where everything revolves around a career. And if you ain't got one, well you're a failure. One of the beauties of the faith, and I suppose I can generalize Christianity here, is that we are bound and defined by God alone. All of our aspirations, dreams, hopes all are in union with God. Whatever worldly ambitions we have those were nailed to the cross. While for some that's a burden, but for me it is emancipatory, it is where I can have true freedom. That's what life in God is like. All I long and seek for is God, no worldy thing can ever fill the void in God's absence. I've tried and it is a hellish existence. Life apart from God is hell. I've experienced it and strangely that experience has given me the understanding of those in serious crises of despondency and despair. I get why people who are in such despair, kill themselves.

But in any case, yes humans have their vanities. I think all of us have some to certain degrees, but as practicing and faithful Christians we are able to see more clearly our own vanities and deal with them. It's not something we should be necessarily tearing ourselves over. We should seek pastoral counseling from a priest on how to deal with them appropriately. I don't know what your parish priest is like, but with mine I can be as open and honest with him about anything, then he will give me some practical and helpful counsel. Talk to your priest about your struggles with asceticism and monastic writings. In my opinion, again this is merely my opinion, I think without proper guidance from a parish priest, monastic writings can be very dangerous. The problem with spirituality in the Orthodox faith is there isn't enough out there to deal with the practical realities of everyday life. You have to somehow contort the writings of monks to fit which can be difficult. Again that's where a parish priest is probably more helpful since they know the struggles of people who live in the world.

Quote
My own pride and ego are so alarming to me that I actually find my pursuit of humility to be somehow self-gratifying and self-centered in an ironically vainglorious sense.
Very interesting way to put it. Maybe see humility as an abandoning of self? I totally get what you are saying, but let me share you with you something French RC archbishop Fenelon once said "When we are no longer embarrassed by the restless reflections of self, we begin to enjoy true freedom. False wisdom, on the other hand - always on the watch, ever occupied with self, constantly jealous of its own perfection - suffers severely whenever it is permitted to perceive the smallest speck of imperfection. Those who are single-minded and detached from self labor toward the attainment of perfection, and are more successful in proportion to how much they forget themselves and never dream of virtue in any other light than as something that accomplishes the will of God. The source of all our defects is the love of self. Everything points to that instead of to the love of God. Whoever, then, works strenuously to get rid of self, to deny him-self according to the instructions of Christ, strikes at once at the root of every evil, and finds, in this simple abandonment of self, the seed of every good."

It is not true humility if you believe yourself unworthy of God's infinite goodness and to not put your trust in Him. Real humility does lie in seeing our unworthiness but to give ourselves up to God and never doubting he can work out the greatest miracles for and in us.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 07:44:01 PM by RobS »
“The soul that loves God has its rest in God and in God alone. In all the paths that men walk in in the world, they do not attain peace until they draw nigh to hope in God.”

— St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 56, 89

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 08:27:23 PM »
Quote
I want the old man to die, but sometimes I allow this jerk to trick me into believing that my sin is who I actually am.
Just to be clear, you are talking about God and not your father or someone else?

You don't know what the "old man" is?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Online RobS

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2017, 08:30:13 PM »
Quote
I want the old man to die, but sometimes I allow this jerk to trick me into believing that my sin is who I actually am.
Just to be clear, you are talking about God and not your father or someone else?

You don't know what the "old man" is?
I just wasn't sure if it was a freudian slip.
“The soul that loves God has its rest in God and in God alone. In all the paths that men walk in in the world, they do not attain peace until they draw nigh to hope in God.”

— St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 56, 89

Offline OrthoDisco

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 10:07:16 AM »
I can relate to a lot of what you said. I go through periods of it, and look at everything as meaningless, i have great guilt if Im doing things that can be seen like a waste of time (and everything becomes a waste of time), i become very emotional realizing how God has blessed me when Ive been so terrible a person, and on and on.  I do not mean to compete with your experience, just to say I thinking I understand a little bit what you are talking about.  Perhaps monasticism is for you. I have surely felt this way at times, thinking I have no way to fit and carry on with everyday life in the world (everything is evil). I have one question that I will ask, please take no offence: Do you have obsessive tendencies, or lean toward black & white extreme thinking?  I can be very perseverative about things and some of the issues are truly rooted in ocd intrusive thoughts or just a brain that won't stop thinking about things. Not to say they're not important things to think about or realize, but I know this is a weakness that , if Im not careful, can destroy me.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 10:14:35 AM by OrthoDisco »

Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2017, 12:46:26 PM »
"Our repentant conscience doesn't continually pronounce a critical judgment on our past actions because of the sentiment that nothing truly good can be accomplished. Instead it judges with the deep conviction that it can also do better, based on the experience of a mystical power much greater than its own nature, which can always be made stronger by the divine. It judges with the feeling that in what we have done and in the way in which we have behaved we have realized only in an insufficient measure and in a colorless way what we can could have done. Repentance expresses the thought: "It can be better." Discouragement on the other hand says: "This is all I can do. I can't do better." Strictly speaking discouragement is opposed to repentance, because where something better can't be expected, regret has no place. This is a fatalistic sentiment, a skeptical resignation. Repentance is borne by a faith in something better."

Dumitru Staniloae, Orthodox Spirituality, pages 138-139.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Licking the vomit of despair
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2017, 12:48:11 PM »
OP: how long have you been Orthodox, and how long have you felt this way?
God bless!