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« on: June 24, 2011, 05:33:01 AM »

What did God give people imagination for?? I know it can be used to make up lies and to have fantasies to have dreams in life and to be creative in general but given it is so huge what specifically do you think God intended it to create?? I can only think you would answer with music, singing, icons/painting etc... but it is more vast than just that so did he intend it to be used for everything creative like acting, fiction stories/writing etc... and also the non creative side, where the imaginings just stay in your head like fantasies and dreams, how is that usefull spiritually??
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 10:34:40 AM »

Actually, the state of our minds, sort to speak, with imaginations, is our fallen state.  Yes, beautiful icons are done, but that's because of focusing on prayer towards God.  Mostly, our spiritual focus is nil and distracted by non-God stuff which gets muddled with all kinds of imaginings.

Adam and Eve didn't need imagination as they were living with direct communication with God in mind, body and soul.  They were healthy in the right way (until the Fall). But, WE are pretty messed up.  Like everything else, we sinners take God's gifts and pervert them, whether it be through the mind, body or soul.

Even if we think our imagination is righteous like wondering what it was like to see Jesus Christ walking amongst the people, it is a thought of self, even if we don't see it.  What the ascetic saint in the desert showed was the extreme form of focusing ALL towards God.  Their minds were cleansed and free.

Did you know that having dreams is the sign that we are spiritually ill?  It's a disconnect from God.  But, the saints didn't have dreams only direct visions from God, if it was while they were sleeping.
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 10:40:43 AM »

Actually, the state of our minds, sort to speak, with imaginations, is our fallen state.  Yes, beautiful icons are done, but that's because of focusing on prayer towards God.  Mostly, our spiritual focus is nil and distracted by non-God stuff which gets muddled with all kinds of imaginings.

Adam and Eve didn't need imagination as they were living with direct communication with God in mind, body and soul.  They were healthy in the right way (until the Fall). But, WE are pretty messed up.  Like everything else, we sinners take God's gifts and pervert them, whether it be through the mind, body or soul.

Yeah that's easy to see that it gets messed up. I didn't realise that it was because of the fallen nature that imagination is how it is.
Thanks Joasia
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 02:42:03 PM »

That's the beauty of Orthodoxy....just when you think there's no explanation or something is illogical, Orthodox wisdom (not mine) explains it with ease.

Here's food for thought...before I started going to an Orthodox Church, I was suffering from feels of sins and guilt (RC reminence) and how can I be right with God.  We weren't taught about confession for cleansing the soul...it was more like a - you know you're guilty and have to see the priest. 

But, then someone told me that being baptised in the Orthodox Church wipes out ALL my sins.  I could start fresh, with no guilt.  All will be new.  It's as if my question, that I thought had no possible answer, was given a miracle.  It was a miracle.  This made me more convinced that the Orthodox Church is God's Church where EVERYTHING is possible.  But, if you look at the other denominations...you see their road blocks, walls and stumbling grounds.

But, Orthodoxy is a smooottthhhh path.  The only bumps in it are when we fall in sinning, but we can always get up because the road is still under your feet. 
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 03:07:39 PM »

Quote
But, then someone told me that being baptised in the Orthodox Church wipes out ALL my sins.  I could start fresh, with no guilt.  All will be new.  It's as if my question, that I thought had no possible answer, was given a miracle.  It was a miracle.  This made me more convinced that the Orthodox Church is God's Church where EVERYTHING is possible.  But, if you look at the other denominations...you see their road blocks, walls and stumbling grounds.

But, Orthodoxy is a smooottthhhh path.  The only bumps in it are when we fall in sinning, but we can always get up because the road is still under your feet.
 

Yeah i have been explained that before on the other forum i go on. But i don't still get that if you have been wiped out of all sins then how come you still need to keep asking every day for sins to be forgiven?? I still don't understand fully why that's like it. Lots of ppl have explained that to me and it just doesn't stick with me.

If Jesus was right in front of me now and i asked him..... are ALL of them wiped out for all time and he was like......"ummm well you see it's like this...." I wouldn't bother to wait for him to finish his sentence. Either they are wiped or they're not wiped. That's why i don't like prayer and the "relationship" with God side of things because its all vague or ambiguous (don't know which word) and not straight. I want to know where i am with something this important and none of it is clear cut. God seems tricky, like someone i can't know.... EVER because hes to elusive and everything about him is a freaking mystery (dont cane me for that word because Michal Kalina used it Tongue)

Sometimes i get a glimpse of the smoothness in Orthodoxy and the peace which is different to the security type of peace that i have already. But it's only a glimpse then i lose it and my head wizzez with all the information i am thinking about again.
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 03:19:42 PM »

Actually, the state of our minds, sort to speak, with imaginations, is our fallen state.  Yes, beautiful icons are done, but that's because of focusing on prayer towards God.  Mostly, our spiritual focus is nil and distracted by non-God stuff which gets muddled with all kinds of imaginings.

Adam and Eve didn't need imagination as they were living with direct communication with God in mind, body and soul.  They were healthy in the right way (until the Fall). But, WE are pretty messed up.  Like everything else, we sinners take God's gifts and pervert them, whether it be through the mind, body or soul.

Even if we think our imagination is righteous like wondering what it was like to see Jesus Christ walking amongst the people, it is a thought of self, even if we don't see it.  What the ascetic saint in the desert showed was the extreme form of focusing ALL towards God.  Their minds were cleansed and free.

Did you know that having dreams is the sign that we are spiritually ill?  It's a disconnect from God.  But, the saints didn't have dreams only direct visions from God, if it was while they were sleeping.
Are you sure of this?
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 03:50:20 PM »


I'm not sure what you're disputing, Peter, but it is certainly true that the Desert Fathers especially warn against "imagination", and even consider it part of our fallen state. Or.... they warn against <insert Greek word here> which is sometimes translated as "imagination". That's an important point to make, and it may be that different people have different definitions of "imagination".

It's a difficult thing to accept, because "imagination" is probably thought by most people as something rather noble and certainly something that separates us from the animals. However, at its very heart, "imagination" is the making of mental images, and if separate from God then that is something to be wary of. And Joasia makes the good point that if we aren't separated from God, then what need is there to mentally create images?

It's not without reason that we call certain great writers "inspired", a word which originally meant "in-dwelt with the Spirit". When someone writes a magnificent piece of poetry, then we should (and most importantly the poet should) give the glory to God, and recongize that he/she created within themselves a perfect dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. From this, all the creativity and beauty flowed. Without God, such creations are man-made and it is these imperfect "imaginings" which are warned against by the Fathers.
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 03:57:58 PM »

Sometimes i get a glimpse of the smoothness in Orthodoxy and the peace which is different to the security type of peace that i have already. But it's only a glimpse then i lose it and my head wizzez with all the information i am thinking about again.

You an me both!
But this experience answers your OP and reinforces Joasia's point: your "imagination" (quote-marks added because of what I said in my above post) hinders the clear sight that is granted through stillness and silence.

"Be still, and know that I am God" [/i](Psalm 46:10)

All the stuff about prayer and relationship with Jesus Christ will be vague until the above is realized and, most importantly, practiced. I already know the above and yet continue to have trouble being still (in mind -- in body is easy :-p); but my shortcomings don't mean you won't put it into practice quicker than me.
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 04:08:42 PM »

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But, then someone told me that being baptised in the Orthodox Church wipes out ALL my sins.  I could start fresh, with no guilt.  All will be new.  It's as if my question, that I thought had no possible answer, was given a miracle.  It was a miracle.  This made me more convinced that the Orthodox Church is God's Church where EVERYTHING is possible.  But, if you look at the other denominations...you see their road blocks, walls and stumbling grounds.

But, Orthodoxy is a smooottthhhh path.  The only bumps in it are when we fall in sinning, but we can always get up because the road is still under your feet.
 

Yeah i have been explained that before on the other forum i go on. But i don't still get that if you have been wiped out of all sins then how come you still need to keep asking every day for sins to be forgiven?? I still don't understand fully why that's like it. Lots of ppl have explained that to me and it just doesn't stick with me.

If Jesus was right in front of me now and i asked him..... are ALL of them wiped out for all time and he was like......"ummm well you see it's like this...." I wouldn't bother to wait for him to finish his sentence. Either they are wiped or they're not wiped. That's why i don't like prayer and the "relationship" with God side of things because its all vague or ambiguous (don't know which word) and not straight. I want to know where i am with something this important and none of it is clear cut. God seems tricky, like someone i can't know.... EVER because hes to elusive and everything about him is a freaking mystery (dont cane me for that word because Michal Kalina used it Tongue)

Sometimes i get a glimpse of the smoothness in Orthodoxy and the peace which is different to the security type of peace that i have already. But it's only a glimpse then i lose it and my head wizzez with all the information i am thinking about again.

The sins committed are wiped out, but if you do it again, then it has to be forgiven again...etc. etc.  That's our problem, we keep falling and sinning.   We end up confessing the same sins.  But, we struggle to overcome them...it's a life-long process.  That's why the Protestants use their human logic to say, hey I'm saved and it's a done deal.  Not so.  They are oblivious of the spiritual process.
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2011, 04:11:54 PM »

Actually, the state of our minds, sort to speak, with imaginations, is our fallen state.  Yes, beautiful icons are done, but that's because of focusing on prayer towards God.  Mostly, our spiritual focus is nil and distracted by non-God stuff which gets muddled with all kinds of imaginings.

Adam and Eve didn't need imagination as they were living with direct communication with God in mind, body and soul.  They were healthy in the right way (until the Fall). But, WE are pretty messed up.  Like everything else, we sinners take God's gifts and pervert them, whether it be through the mind, body or soul.

Even if we think our imagination is righteous like wondering what it was like to see Jesus Christ walking amongst the people, it is a thought of self, even if we don't see it.  What the ascetic saint in the desert showed was the extreme form of focusing ALL towards God.  Their minds were cleansed and free.

Did you know that having dreams is the sign that we are spiritually ill?  It's a disconnect from God.  But, the saints didn't have dreams only direct visions from God, if it was while they were sleeping.
Are you sure of this?

Yes.
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2011, 04:18:07 PM »

Um... does this mean I can't watch animated movies anymore?  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2011, 04:25:22 PM »


You joke about it but.......  Wink

Of course I won't say that, as it's a personal thing. But, personally speaking, I really don't find "fiction" as interesting as I used to. This happened relatively quickly over a short period of time, and continues at a slower pace, but still in the same direction. I still like "stories", but only if they're true stories about real people; if they're not true then somehow they no longer hold much interest for me. Certainly not as much as they used to.

It could just be me getting old.
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2011, 05:59:37 PM »


You joke about it but.......  Wink

Of course I won't say that, as it's a personal thing. But, personally speaking, I really don't find "fiction" as interesting as I used to. This happened relatively quickly over a short period of time, and continues at a slower pace, but still in the same direction. I still like "stories", but only if they're true stories about real people; if they're not true then somehow they no longer hold much interest for me. Certainly not as much as they used to.

It could just be me getting old.

I agree.  Fiction bores me, especially the longggg descriptions.   I'd rather see the movie.  How can a description compare with live action?  I used to read alot of them and then I discovered....the writings of the holy fathers.  
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2011, 07:52:36 PM »

Actually, the state of our minds, sort to speak, with imaginations, is our fallen state.  Yes, beautiful icons are done, but that's because of focusing on prayer towards God.  Mostly, our spiritual focus is nil and distracted by non-God stuff which gets muddled with all kinds of imaginings.

Adam and Eve didn't need imagination as they were living with direct communication with God in mind, body and soul.  They were healthy in the right way (until the Fall). But, WE are pretty messed up.  Like everything else, we sinners take God's gifts and pervert them, whether it be through the mind, body or soul.

Even if we think our imagination is righteous like wondering what it was like to see Jesus Christ walking amongst the people, it is a thought of self, even if we don't see it.  What the ascetic saint in the desert showed was the extreme form of focusing ALL towards God.  Their minds were cleansed and free.

Did you know that having dreams is the sign that we are spiritually ill?  It's a disconnect from God.  But, the saints didn't have dreams only direct visions from God, if it was while they were sleeping.
Are you sure of this?

Yes.
How so? ISTM you may be getting carried away by the hyperbole we often see in hagiography. Were the saints perfect, or were they strugglers just like you and me, strugglers who through their struggles gained a much greater level of sanctity?
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2011, 07:56:40 PM »

How so? ISTM you may be getting carried away by the hyperbole we often see in hagiography. Were the saints perfect, or were they strugglers just like you and me, strugglers who through their struggles gained a much greater level of sanctity?

That's my point.  Because of the "level of sanctity" that they "gained", they were the ones to explain this.  I didn't make this up.  This is from reading their writings.



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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2011, 08:49:10 PM »

Adam and Eve didn't need imagination as they were living with direct communication with God in mind, body and soul.  They were healthy in the right way (until the Fall). But, WE are pretty messed up.  Like everything else, we sinners take God's gifts and pervert them, whether it be through the mind, body or soul.

Then why would they deviate away then?
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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2011, 09:37:29 PM »

I can't imagine that Eve would have fallen pray to Satan's claims that she would be like God if she ate of the forbidden fruit, if she wasn't capable of imagining what it might be to be like God.
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« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2011, 09:46:31 PM »

How so? ISTM you may be getting carried away by the hyperbole we often see in hagiography. Were the saints perfect, or were they strugglers just like you and me, strugglers who through their struggles gained a much greater level of sanctity?

That's my point.  Because of the "level of sanctity" that they "gained", they were the ones to explain this.  I didn't make this up.  This is from reading their writings.
Would you be willing to share those writings with us?
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2011, 09:48:48 PM »

I can't imagine that Eve would have fallen pray to Satan's claims that she would be like God if she ate of the forbidden fruit, if she wasn't capable of imagining what it might be to be like God.

How can anyone imagine being like God, except satan?  She just wanted to know the forbidden truth which she was not ready to receive in her spiritual state.  When she would be ready then God would have presented it to her and Adam.  Satan was the instigator of false thoughts which comes from imagination, of his own.  All he told her is that she would have the knowledge of God.  She didn't imagine anything, she just believe a lie.
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« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2011, 09:51:17 PM »

Adam and Eve didn't need imagination as they were living with direct communication with God in mind, body and soul.  They were healthy in the right way (until the Fall). But, WE are pretty messed up.  Like everything else, we sinners take God's gifts and pervert them, whether it be through the mind, body or soul.

Then why would they deviate away then?

The explanation is in the Holy Bible.
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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2011, 09:54:26 PM »

How so? ISTM you may be getting carried away by the hyperbole we often see in hagiography. Were the saints perfect, or were they strugglers just like you and me, strugglers who through their struggles gained a much greater level of sanctity?

That's my point.  Because of the "level of sanctity" that they "gained", they were the ones to explain this.  I didn't make this up.  This is from reading their writings.
Would you be willing to share those writings with us?

Oh.  There's so many.  All the volumes of the Philokalia discuss it.  I don't understand why you are interrogating the subject.  Haven't you read the holy fathers' writings?
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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2011, 10:04:13 PM »

How so? ISTM you may be getting carried away by the hyperbole we often see in hagiography. Were the saints perfect, or were they strugglers just like you and me, strugglers who through their struggles gained a much greater level of sanctity?

That's my point.  Because of the "level of sanctity" that they "gained", they were the ones to explain this.  I didn't make this up.  This is from reading their writings.
Would you be willing to share those writings with us?

Oh.  There's so many.  All the volumes of the Philokalia discuss it.  I don't understand why you are interrogating the subject.  Haven't you read the holy fathers' writings?
Whether I've read the Holy Fathers on this issue or not is immaterial to my inquiry. I merely asked you to provide some support for an assertion you made that struck me as rather odd. According to the standard rules of debate, I think you now have a bit of an obligation to offer this support that has been asked of you. You don't have to do this, but, then again, you will miss a good opportunity to convince others that what you say is true.
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« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2011, 10:10:07 PM »

How so? ISTM you may be getting carried away by the hyperbole we often see in hagiography. Were the saints perfect, or were they strugglers just like you and me, strugglers who through their struggles gained a much greater level of sanctity?

That's my point.  Because of the "level of sanctity" that they "gained", they were the ones to explain this.  I didn't make this up.  This is from reading their writings.
Would you be willing to share those writings with us?


Oh.  There's so many.  All the volumes of the Philokalia discuss it.  I don't understand why you are interrogating the subject.  Haven't you read the holy fathers' writings?
Whether I've read the Holy Fathers on this issue or not is immaterial to my inquiry. I merely asked you to provide some support for an assertion you made that struck me as rather odd. According to the standard rules of debate, I think you now have a bit of an obligation to offer this support that has been asked of you. You don't have to do this, but, then again, you will miss a good opportunity to convince others that what you say is true.

I gave it.  The Philokalia.  Please point out what part is so odd, in my comment that you haven't read by the holy fathers.  Or are you not familiar with the Philokalia?
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« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2011, 10:20:27 PM »

ISTM you may be getting carried away by the hyperbole we often see in hagiography

BTW.  What do you mean by me getting carried away by the hyperbole in hagiography?  Where do you think I'm coming from?
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« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2011, 11:14:51 PM »

I asked a friend who is a published Orthodox writer and a teacher at two of our seminaries for some advice in addressing the question posed in the OP as I felt he was heading in a wrong direction with this and to answer it properly was above my paygrade. I will share some of his response.

"....The OP has raised what is actually a big conundrum -- one that has caused a lot of spilled ink and furrowed brows.

There are some who agree with the OP. He may have read some of the Elders who suggest that imagination is equivalent to "fantasia," which are distorted, epiphenomenological images distorted by demons.

Now, I agree that "fantasia" exists, for who can deny that the demonic is involved in distortion of reality? That is the meaning of "lie," if you think about it.

However, "imagination" that is not caricaturized as "fantasia" can and should be understood as a good thing. "Imagination" should really be understood as equivalent to "art." Any and all art is predicated upon an artifice or image made by man as a secondary reflection (or, in Tolkien's words, "sub-creation") of God's original creation.

So to take the OP's rather sophomoric argument, if we eschewed all imagination, we really could never write, design pretty things, or even speak or think -- since all of these actions require imagination. No one can exist in a direct reflection of substantia, as this is clearly not what God designed since He thought that beauty was rather much of a good thing.

I suggest a nice reading of the essay "On Fairy Stories," by J. R. R. Tolkien, which deals with this issue.

The OP has no idea what he is suggesting, and is misapplying the monastic tradition."

I hope this helps.
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« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2011, 11:57:14 PM »

I asked a friend who is a published Orthodox writer and a teacher at two of our seminaries for some advice in addressing the question posed in the OP as I felt he was heading in a wrong direction with this and to answer it properly was above my paygrade. I will share some of his response.

"....The OP has raised what is actually a big conundrum -- one that has caused a lot of spilled ink and furrowed brows.

There are some who agree with the OP. He may have read some of the Elders who suggest that imagination is equivalent to "fantasia," which are distorted, epiphenomenological images distorted by demons.

Now, I agree that "fantasia" exists, for who can deny that the demonic is involved in distortion of reality? That is the meaning of "lie," if you think about it.

However, "imagination" that is not caricaturized as "fantasia" can and should be understood as a good thing. "Imagination" should really be understood as equivalent to "art." Any and all art is predicated upon an artifice or image made by man as a secondary reflection (or, in Tolkien's words, "sub-creation") of God's original creation.

So to take the OP's rather sophomoric argument, if we eschewed all imagination, we really could never write, design pretty things, or even speak or think -- since all of these actions require imagination. No one can exist in a direct reflection of substantia, as this is clearly not what God designed since He thought that beauty was rather much of a good thing.

I suggest a nice reading of the essay "On Fairy Stories," by J. R. R. Tolkien, which deals with this issue.

The OP has no idea what he is suggesting, and is misapplying the monastic tradition."

I hope this helps.


Actually, this is still based on the human imperfect intellectual view of our fallen state.  Imagination is not necessary when a person's soul is united with God because that state of communion with God is beyond imagination.  God's reality is beyond our fallen state.  When St. Gregory of Nyssa explained the state of glory to glory, he was describing the existence of moving beyond our fallen condition towards the state of theosis .  From what the holy fathers wrote about those who faced their personal judgement, there were descriptions of feeling God's presence in everything.  Being fully aware of God's presence eliminates any existence of imagination (which is how Adam and Eve lived).  Meaning that all trivial mental functions of our imperfect intellectual minds ceased and what we would feel is from the depths of our souls.  Imagination doesn't come from the soul, but the mind that has become disconnected from God.  And the holy fathers taught that the mind is what deceives the soul, and if the soul isn't guarded then what enters the mind can enter the soul.  St. Theophan the Recluse, in The Path to Salvation explains this alot better than me.  His explanations are based on what he read from the holy fathers.
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2011, 12:23:20 AM »

Without imagination, you cannot choose because you cannot conceptualize possibilities beyond what are immediately happening.  As such, imagination has to have existed in Adam and Eve prior to the fall, or there could have been no fall.
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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2011, 12:48:04 AM »

The science fiction of today is the reality of tomorrow.
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2011, 12:50:35 AM »

How so? ISTM you may be getting carried away by the hyperbole we often see in hagiography. Were the saints perfect, or were they strugglers just like you and me, strugglers who through their struggles gained a much greater level of sanctity?

That's my point.  Because of the "level of sanctity" that they "gained", they were the ones to explain this.  I didn't make this up.  This is from reading their writings.
Would you be willing to share those writings with us?


Oh.  There's so many.  All the volumes of the Philokalia discuss it.  I don't understand why you are interrogating the subject.  Haven't you read the holy fathers' writings?
Whether I've read the Holy Fathers on this issue or not is immaterial to my inquiry. I merely asked you to provide some support for an assertion you made that struck me as rather odd. According to the standard rules of debate, I think you now have a bit of an obligation to offer this support that has been asked of you. You don't have to do this, but, then again, you will miss a good opportunity to convince others that what you say is true.

I gave it.  The Philokalia.
No, you merely referred me to the Philokalia with the hope that I'd read it myself. If you had really wanted to give support for your position, you would have quoted those sections of the Philokalia that back up your assertion.
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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2011, 04:30:10 AM »

Yeah i would be interested in where abouts in the philokalia especially as i haven't read it and not likely to yet lolOl
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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2011, 07:12:58 AM »

I asked a friend who is a published Orthodox writer and a teacher at two of our seminaries for some advice in addressing the question posed in the OP as I felt he was heading in a wrong direction with this and to answer it properly was above my paygrade. I will share some of his response.

"....The OP has raised what is actually a big conundrum -- one that has caused a lot of spilled ink and furrowed brows.

There are some who agree with the OP. He may have read some of the Elders who suggest that imagination is equivalent to "fantasia," which are distorted, epiphenomenological images distorted by demons.

Now, I agree that "fantasia" exists, for who can deny that the demonic is involved in distortion of reality? That is the meaning of "lie," if you think about it.

However, "imagination" that is not caricaturized as "fantasia" can and should be understood as a good thing. "Imagination" should really be understood as equivalent to "art." Any and all art is predicated upon an artifice or image made by man as a secondary reflection (or, in Tolkien's words, "sub-creation") of God's original creation.

So to take the OP's rather sophomoric argument, if we eschewed all imagination, we really could never write, design pretty things, or even speak or think -- since all of these actions require imagination. No one can exist in a direct reflection of substantia, as this is clearly not what God designed since He thought that beauty was rather much of a good thing.

I suggest a nice reading of the essay "On Fairy Stories," by J. R. R. Tolkien, which deals with this issue.

The OP has no idea what he is suggesting, and is misapplying the monastic tradition."

I hope this helps.


Actually, this is still based on the human imperfect intellectual view of our fallen state.  Imagination is not necessary when a person's soul is united with God because that state of communion with God is beyond imagination.  God's reality is beyond our fallen state.  When St. Gregory of Nyssa explained the state of glory to glory, he was describing the existence of moving beyond our fallen condition towards the state of theosis .  From what the holy fathers wrote about those who faced their personal judgement, there were descriptions of feeling God's presence in everything.  Being fully aware of God's presence eliminates any existence of imagination (which is how Adam and Eve lived).  Meaning that all trivial mental functions of our imperfect intellectual minds ceased and what we would feel is from the depths of our souls.  Imagination doesn't come from the soul, but the mind that has become disconnected from God.  And the holy fathers taught that the mind is what deceives the soul, and if the soul isn't guarded then what enters the mind can enter the soul.  St. Theophan the Recluse, in The Path to Salvation explains this alot better than me.  His explanations are based on what he read from the holy fathers.

I am sorry, but you are off the deep end and in turbulent waters. Please do this, consult with your priest about this as you are misinterpreting and over thinking what you are reading.

To use the texts you reference as scholastic proof texts does violence certainly to the Philokalia, and even the Rudder -- which is a fascinating historical document. The Rudder cannot be understand apart from history. I wish that everyone would put down books by Elders and take up the Apostolic and Ante-Nicene Fathers instead.

I may be able to read a text book about brain surgery and 'understand' the words, but that won't make me a surgeon.
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2011, 07:19:48 AM »


No, you merely referred me to the Philokalia with the hope that I'd read it myself. If you had really wanted to give support for your position, you would have quoted those sections of the Philokalia that back up your assertion.
[/quote]

I'll have to look through the volumes.  I didn't make notes anywhere where I could pull it up.  My comment is based on my memory of reading these explanations, from many sources.  I offered one source, the Philokalia, because I thought it would be something most Orthodox have read.  I will look for the specific passages, but it will take some time.  I don't have a photographic memory.

But, instead of wasting space with harrassing me for a quote, why don't you provide your view on the subject?
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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2011, 07:22:43 AM »


I am sorry, but you are off the deep end and in turbulent waters. Please do this, consult with your priest about this as you are misinterpreting and over thinking what you are reading.

To use the texts you reference as scholastic proof texts does violence certainly to the Philokalia, and even the Rudder -- which is a fascinating historical document. The Rudder cannot be understand apart from history. I wish that everyone would put down books by Elders and take up the Apostolic and Ante-Nicene Fathers instead.

I may be able to read a text book about brain surgery and 'understand' the words, but that won't make me a surgeon.
[/quote]


I've read some of them too.  Do I have to look up more quotes? Undecided  This'll take all day.  Can you be more specific about what it is that you do not agree with? 
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« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2011, 08:06:18 AM »

I thought it would be quicker googling than flipping through pages...but I will keep looking through my books.  My point is that I didn't make this up.  It's not my opinion.  I read so many writings and over the years their teachings stuck in my mind.  Maybe I just expressed it in a confusing way.  It helped me understand where we (mankind) came from and where should head.

St Nicodemos wrote:
The devil uses the imagination as his organ. He deceived Adam through the imagination and raised up to his mind the fantasy of being equal with God. Before the disobedience Adam did not have the imaginative attribute, as St. Maximos noted:

"In the beginning, passion and pain were not created together with the body; nor forgetfulness and ignorance together with the soul; nor the ever changing impressions in the shape of events with the mind. All these things were brought about in man by his disobedience. He who would remove passion and suffering from the body achieves practical virtue; he who would remove forgetfulness and ignorance from the soul has properly attained the natural vision; and he who would release the mind of the many impressions, has acquired the mystery of theology. For the mind of Adam at first was not impressed by the imagination, which stands between the mind and the thoughts, setting up a wal around the mind and not allowing it to enter into the most simple and imageless reasons of created beings. The passionate physical perceptions of the visible things are scales that cover over the clairvoyance of the soul and prevent its passage over to the authentic word of truth."

 Adam, however, was able at first to be attached to the thoughts of the mind and to enter into them without the intermediary of the imagination.
 
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=200458423309968
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Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

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« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2011, 08:19:11 AM »

75. Until you have been completely purified from the passions, you should not engage in natural contemplation through the images of sensible things; for until then such images are able to mould your intellect so that it conforms to passion.  An intellect which,  fed by the senses, dwells in imagination on the visible aspects of sensible things becomes the creator of impure passions, for it is not able to advance through contemplation to those intelligible realities cognate with it. – St. Maximos the Confessor – Second Century of Various Texts.
(Philokalia, vol. 2, pg. 203 – in my edition)
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Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

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« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2011, 08:33:41 AM »

38. It is the devil's practice maliciously to confound the forms and shapes of sensible things with our conceptual images of them.  Through these forms and shapes are generated passions for the outward aspects of visible things; and our intellectual energy, being halted at the level of what pertains to sense-perception, cannot raise itself to the realm of intelligible realities.  In this way the devil despoils the soul and drags it down into the turmoil of the passions. – St. Maximos the Confessor – Second Century of Various Texts
(Philokalia, vol. 2 – page 195 – in my edition)
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« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2011, 08:41:38 AM »

I can't imagine that Eve would have fallen pray to Satan's claims that she would be like God if she ate of the forbidden fruit, if she wasn't capable of imagining what it might be to be like God.

How can anyone imagine being like God, except satan?  She just wanted to know the forbidden truth which she was not ready to receive in her spiritual state.  When she would be ready then God would have presented it to her and Adam.  Satan was the instigator of false thoughts which comes from imagination, of his own.  All he told her is that she would have the knowledge of God.  She didn't imagine anything, she just believe a lie.

I should correct myself here.  As the quotes I presented, it is explained that their disobedience brought on their imagination of being equal with God.  Imagination came with disobedience. 
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« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2011, 09:08:13 AM »

joasia is quote mining. Thank God you were not advising Justinian else Hagia Sophia would have been banished to the 'satanic' imagination of her designers. It is thinking like yours which produced the iconoclast heresy.
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« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2011, 09:10:22 AM »

joasia is quote mining. Thank God you were not advising Justinian else Hagia Sophia would have been banished to the 'satanic' imagination of her designers. It is thinking like yours which produced the iconoclast heresy.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean.  What does quote mining mean?  Are you acusing me of heresy??
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« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2011, 09:29:22 AM »

Joasia, thanks i really appreciate you posting them. I didn't think you said it confusingly  <<hug>>
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« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2011, 01:26:28 PM »

joasia is quote mining. Thank God you were not advising Justinian else Hagia Sophia would have been banished to the 'satanic' imagination of her designers. It is thinking like yours which produced the iconoclast heresy.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean.  What does quote mining mean?  Are you acusing me of heresy??

Not at all, we just have a disagreement on intent and meaning which is ok to have!

Quote mining simply stated, is the rhetorical practice of using partial or out-of-context quotations to support an argument. This practice differs from simply misquoting in that the quote is accurate but incomplete or mischaracterized.  We all do it from time to time, I just think that you are pulling out the quotes you are focusing upon and narrowing them to fit what you are trying to prove since, on the surface, they support your argument.


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« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2011, 01:31:57 PM »

Not at all, we just have a disagreement on intent and meaning which is ok to have!

Quote mining simply stated, is the rhetorical practice of using partial or out-of-context quotations to support an argument. This practice differs from simply misquoting in that the quote is accurate but incomplete or mischaracterized.  We all do it from time to time, I just think that you are pulling out the quotes you are focusing upon and narrowing them to fit what you are trying to prove since, on the surface, they support your argument.
[/quote]

That's your right to say.  But, please point out HOW I am doing that, instead of just criticizing.  I was asked, by Peter and Poppy to provide quotes on what the holy fathers said about imagination.  I posted a few.  I don't want to take up the whole thread with a plethora of quotes.  

Also, St. Maximos says alot that leads up to it, but I can't type it all out.  If people here have the Philokalia, vol. 2, then they can read the whole thing.  It's alot about the intellect of the senses.
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« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2011, 01:44:03 PM »

joasia is quote mining. Thank God you were not advising Justinian else Hagia Sophia would have been banished to the 'satanic' imagination of her designers. It is thinking like yours which produced the iconoclast heresy.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean.  What does quote mining mean?  Are you acusing me of heresy??

Not at all, we just have a disagreement on intent and meaning which is ok to have!

Quote mining simply stated, is the rhetorical practice of using partial or out-of-context quotations to support an argument. This practice differs from simply misquoting in that the quote is accurate but incomplete or mischaracterized.  We all do it from time to time, I just think that you are pulling out the quotes you are focusing upon and narrowing them to fit what you are trying to prove since, on the surface, they support your argument.


Telling someone they have got only partial comments and it could be misleading is one type of thing but saying they are doing that to fit their purpose is a bit rough you think?? That's just guessing what someone is doing it for ....you can't know that and that part of the post IS just a critisism.

Anyhows i did ask for random quotes i can read the rest if i want so its all good Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2011, 02:04:03 PM »

Not at all, we just have a disagreement on intent and meaning which is ok to have!

Quote mining simply stated, is the rhetorical practice of using partial or out-of-context quotations to support an argument. This practice differs from simply misquoting in that the quote is accurate but incomplete or mischaracterized.  We all do it from time to time, I just think that you are pulling out the quotes you are focusing upon and narrowing them to fit what you are trying to prove since, on the surface, they support your argument.

That's your right to say.  But, please point out HOW I am doing that, instead of just criticizing.  I was asked, by Peter and Poppy to provide quotes on what the holy fathers said about imagination.  I posted a few.  I don't want to take up the whole thread with a plethora of quotes.  

Also, St. Maximos says alot that leads up to it, but I can't type it all out.  If people here have the Philokalia, vol. 2, then they can read the whole thing.  It's alot about the intellect of the senses.
One tip I will give you is that you learn how to edit the quote tags in your posts. ISTM that you're deleting ALL of the opening quote tags when you should be leaving that first quote tag alone. It's making your posts hard to read.
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« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2011, 02:07:33 PM »

Peter,  I know.  It's frustrating.  But, when there's so much in the box, it doesn't allow me to scroll down.  It keeps popping back up.  Even when I copy/paste from Word, the quote boxes don't transfer.  So then I just try to use the bold.  Thanks for the corrections.
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Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

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