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Author Topic: Orthodox tradition makes me feel superstitious  (Read 982 times) Average Rating: 0
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Bob L.
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« on: November 01, 2010, 07:46:06 PM »

The way I define superstitious is when a person gives up any hope of understanding the reason things work and so he simply repeats the same steps that worked before.

I assume other people must feel that way about Orthodoxy besides me.  Does a mature Christian begin to see a grand design to things or does he just accept that he can't?

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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 07:54:12 PM »

 Huh

Our faith is in God.
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 08:20:57 PM »

The way I define superstitious is when a person gives up any hope of understanding the reason things work and so he simply repeats the same steps that worked before.

I assume other people must feel that way about Orthodoxy besides me.  Does a mature Christian begin to see a grand design to things or does he just accept that he can't?



I feel that way about driving a car: I put the key in and turn it, the engine starts and I drive off, simply because every time I repeat the same steps it works.  When it doesn't, I have to take it to the mechanic as I have no hope of understanding the reason it works or doesn't work (I'm the humanist in a family of engineers, and have recognized my strengths and limitations long ago).
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2010, 09:42:44 AM »

The way I define superstitious is when a person gives up any hope of understanding the reason things work and so he simply repeats the same steps that worked before.

I assume other people must feel that way about Orthodoxy besides me.  Does a mature Christian begin to see a grand design to things or does he just accept that he can't?



Sometimes I think one of the hardest lessons to learn is that we will never completely understand - anything.

Personally, I'm not all that interested in why things work anyhow. Never have been. I only care that they do work - such as my car and my computer. I have absolutely no understanding of why either one works, but I follow certain steps and they mostly do. If I follow the steps, and it doesn't work, I call a)my husband, or b)AAA or c)the kid down the street. One or the other can generally make it work again and that's good enough for me.

Also, sometimes things have happened in my life that I could not understand or process or deal with, except to keep doing the same steps over and over.

I don't define superstition that way, btw. I define superstition as magical thinking.
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2010, 12:27:58 PM »

Personally I feel a balance between and the majesty of the creator God and living life in the science of His creation. Unfortunately, the creation took a fall and we have mortality, hatred, & suffering but faith in the blessed Trinity and the salvation of Jesus Christ and hoping for our salvation outweighs all else.
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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 12:37:55 PM »

The way I define superstitious is when a person gives up any hope of understanding the reason things work and so he simply repeats the same steps that worked before.

I assume other people must feel that way about Orthodoxy besides me.  Does a mature Christian begin to see a grand design to things or does he just accept that he can't?



Father Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory would certainly agree with you to a large degree. But, he would not agree that it is the fault of Orthodoxy; it is indeed a problem with some Orthodox that they are incurious.
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 12:42:32 PM »

Come on, being superstitious ain't that bad.
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2010, 05:31:31 PM »

"But if man were to begin to investigate the mind of God and say: “I have discovered something and truly understand it,” the human mind would be found transcending the mind of God. Truly you wander far into error in such thinking. For the more you wish through knowledge to search and penetrate God, the more deeply you descend away from him and you comprehend nothing.
Those visits of God to you that happen each day, they are so mysterious and incomprehensible. You can receive them only with gratitude and belief. Have you been able to know your own soul from the moment of your birth until now? Tell me, then, from morning to night what are the thoughts that spring up in you? Tell me your thoughts over three consecutive days. If, then, you cannot understand the thoughts of your own soul, how can you scrutinize the thoughts of God and his very mind?"
St. Macarius the Great in Fifty Spiritual Homilies

Just read this...
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2010, 05:40:50 PM »

I define superstition as magical thinking.

And how do you define magic?
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Bob L.
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2010, 07:15:27 PM »

"But if man were to begin to investigate the mind of God and say: “I have discovered something and truly understand it,” the human mind would be found transcending the mind of God. Truly you wander far into error in such thinking. For the more you wish through knowledge to search and penetrate God, the more deeply you descend away from him and you comprehend nothing.
Those visits of God to you that happen each day, they are so mysterious and incomprehensible. You can receive them only with gratitude and belief. Have you been able to know your own soul from the moment of your birth until now? Tell me, then, from morning to night what are the thoughts that spring up in you? Tell me your thoughts over three consecutive days. If, then, you cannot understand the thoughts of your own soul, how can you scrutinize the thoughts of God and his very mind?"
St. Macarius the Great in Fifty Spiritual Homilies

Just read this...

Here is a quote from St. Nektarios ( http://www.serfes.org/writtings/stnectarios.htm ):

The man of pure heart believes in the Church, admires her spiritual system, discovers God in the Mysteria, in the heights of the theology, in the light of the Divine revelations, in the truths of the teachings, in the commandments of the Law, in the achievements of the Saints, in the very good deed, in every perfect gift, and in general in the whole of the creation. Justly then did the Lord say in His Beatitudes of those possessing purity of the heart: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

I guess my impure heart makes it difficult for me to see God in the Orthodox church.  But it appears that a mature Christian should be able to understand these things a little bit.
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2010, 07:25:22 PM »

Fwiw, I'm not sure if we have exactly the same struggles, but I can say that I have struggled with a lot of things related to Orthodoxy over the years. As time has gone on many of my issues have been resolved, or have faded into the realm of just not being that important.
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2010, 07:25:26 PM »

Come on, being superstitious ain't that bad.

 I'd expect these sentiments from a Romanian!  Just teasin' you, prieten!  Smiley

 “I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool.” ~Jonathan Harker in Dracula

  
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2010, 09:40:00 AM »

Fwiw, I'm not sure if we have exactly the same struggles, but I can say that I have struggled with a lot of things related to Orthodoxy over the years. As time has gone on many of my issues have been resolved, or have faded into the realm of just not being that important.

Same here.
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 01:48:14 PM »

As time has gone on many of my issues have been resolved, or have faded into the realm of just not being that important.

That's because your brain atrophies as you age, and starts getting set in its ways. Wink
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