None. There is not such thing as "Orthodox society" or "Orthodox nation".
Yea, I figured as much, but I was more or less wondering where the most Orthodox society in the world might be. Obviously there is no Orthodox nation, but perhaps there is somewhere where Orthodoxy has a relatively greater collective influence on society than, say, the extremely secular countries of the West. From what little I know, I would have guessed that Romania may be the "most Orthodox" in this regard.
God created us to have an intimate relationship with Him. Our goal is the restoration of that relationship. The "ultimate" part of that goal seems, at least to me, to be something that awaits us in the life beyond this present one. Here in this life, our goal is to be firmly on the path that leads to that salvation which is a process. It is through Jesus Christ that our renewal is accomplished.
So there is no equivalent to "enlightenment" or a concept of full perfection in this life in Orthodoxy? Is gnosis (as in a supra-rational, direct knowledge of God/Truth and ontological transformation, not anything related to the heretical Gnostic sects) or mystical union with God something serious Orthodox aspire to? What is the ultimate end of the hesychast's effort in this life, if any? I know Orthodoxy and Christianity have concepts of saints and prophets (though I believe I read that John the Baptist was supposed to be the last prophet), but is there the concept of the sage or perfected man?
Generally speaking, we let God do the judging on this one. Overall, I have found that Orthodoxy is much more generous in this regard than the Protestantism I know from my former association. It is in Orthodoxy that I have been able to accept that God has forgiven me - before I did anything to merit that forgiveness, indeed there is nothing I can do that would deserve His forgiveness.
Yeah, I was asking because I've heard everything from perennialist view points (Phillip Sherrard, James Cutsinger, the recently deceased John Taverner), moderate positions (we know where the Church is, but not where it is not), and hardline positions (no salvation outside of Orthodoxy, and certainly not for non-Christians.)
One reads occasionally of such people. But the genuine ones are few and far between. Obedience to our hierarchs - and by that I mean our being connected with each other under proper authority - is generally considered a virtue.
I figured as much. I ask because, while it may seem like putting the cart before the horse, I've long since decided that I'd like to fully devote myself to the spiritual quest and the search for God in whatever tradition I wind up in. I've always admired and been drawn to the lives of ascetics, monks, yogis, dervishes, and the like, and would like to follow such a path myself. I have little interest in secular affairs, the accumulation of wealth, or most of the goals modern civilization holds in high regard. While I would like to follow such a path of complete devotion, I know that it becomes increasingly difficult to do so in the modern world and I am also not sure a cloistered monastic vocation would be the exact means I'd wish to follow in such a case. Having a spiritual father to be obedient to isn't something I'd be against, but I am attracted to the idea of an individualized, intensive practice with a "wander where thou wilt" life without possessions. Sounds like idealism, but that's what I am after. Whether Orthodoxy or any of the current nations where Orthodoxy is practiced would even allow for such a life is unknown to me.