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Author Topic: Intellectualism, Phronema and Orthodoxy.  (Read 1815 times) Average Rating: 0
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ozgeorge
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« on: August 22, 2007, 07:49:55 PM »

"The fool has said in his heart: there is no God" (Ps 52:1)
I prefer the Greek translation in the Septuagint:
"Είπεν άφρων έν καρδία αύτου, ούκ έστι Θεός."
The word translated as "fool" is "άφρων" ("aphron"). The Prefix "a" is a negation of the root "phron" where we get the Orthodox Christian theological word "Phronema". Someone who is an "aphron" is someone who lacks "phronema". One can be as well versed as they like in the Fathers, but if they lack Phronema, they haven't even taken the first step towards theosis. Conversely, one can have the Orthodox Phronema without having read any of the Fathers or even knowing the history of the Church Councils.
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2007, 08:13:19 PM »

I have been a member here for about 4 1/2 years during which time I've read postings ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. This one sets a new high here, for me.
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2007, 09:54:52 PM »

Unfortunately, "phronema" is one of those Greek words which is well nigh impossible to translate. I remember when we were kids, if we started horsing around and being silly somewhere inappropriate, our Mother would say to us: "Kathistai phronema!" meaning "Sit (with) Phronema!".
It has a meaning akin to a sober, sensible outlook or mindset.
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2007, 11:11:49 PM »

Not to hijack the thread, but this gets me excited about the septuagint project. I can't wait!
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2007, 10:02:22 AM »

are you talking about the OT project? 
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2007, 11:53:11 AM »

I love this. Ukrainians have an expression, which, I believe, might reflect the idea of "phronema" - "maty holovu na plechakh," literally, to have a head on one's shouldres. One can well be very educated and yet not have the "holova na plechakh."  Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2007, 04:50:53 PM »

are you talking about the OT project? 
yessiree.
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 11:40:33 AM »

Ive been praying to Jesus since I was 6 and in various ways have had a "relationship with Jesus" since then and began seriously praying for discernment and wisdom since I was a teenager and after getting deeply into various "paths" from sola-sriptura-esque Protestantism to Hare Krishna (I used to in a sense be a stereotypical one) to 12-Step spirituality to Eckhart Tolle to many things in between.I now have been an unofficial convert to Orthodoxy for about a year and a half and lately what has been coming to a painful head is what seems to be- being forced to deal with spiritual pride. I know Im probably just in 100% prelest(Im lying - I dont know this) but it seems like many priests and elders(as in Orthodox Christians who are older and been in the faith longer than me) lack Phronema and most people in general suffer from "arrognorance".I had to make that word up in my neophytically proud,psuedo-intellectual state of oxymoronical hypocrasy that I suffer with in order to deal with the thoughts in feelings Ive been going through...I know Im supposed to be convinced that I am nothing but a worm(if you can detect my hint of sarcastic arrogance you can probably see that I actually really "dont know shit") but to be honest it does seem to me in self-awareness that I have a small degree of Phronema and (heres where I give away how arrognorant I am) people (priests,elders,ppl in AA with more "clean time" than me) are often talking to me from a subconciousl/illusory pedestal being assumptous.These assumptions often seem to come from people who have not assessed where I am as a spiritual neophyte but in my prelest it("their" assumptions)  always seem to be way lower than where I really am.This seems to be a cause of bad advice that would have me living impracticly due to the assumption that Im not already "practicing Orthodoxy"(praying the prayers/Jesus prayer as much as I am,celibate,laying off of worldly pleasures when it comes to music and general recreation,etc.,etc.,etc.)....I know Im just a prelestous newby but I feel like the pilgrim who aches for the spiritual father who actually knows the dimensions of my soul because most of my supposed superiors keep seeming to be corrupt and ignorant to the point to where I cannot force myself to not be "argumentative".Feedback on this is desperately desired.
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 02:44:17 PM »

sorry for saying the s-h-word.I dont see the edit button!?
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 03:04:56 PM »

I could be exhibit A for this one!
 
I can know every teaching of both Orthodox and Catholic and where they differ and even give a rational defense why I agree with one over the other, but if I still act like a jerk, then I am quite obviously an aphron.

Can one not even be Orthodox and have at leas some of the Orthodox phronema?
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 04:04:51 PM »

Hi crux_84, a few thoughts came to mind while reading your post...are you currently involved with an Orthodox parish?  Do you have a relationship, or at least in regular contact, with an Orthodox priest?   Floundering in the wilderness and trying to figure it out on your own is not good long-term, you need a real-life spiritual guide on this journey.  A visit to an Orthodox monastery might also be worth considering.  All the best for your journey, and will be praying for you.

Deborah
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 12:59:59 PM »

I found the medicine to my ailment! : "Only struggle a little more. Carry your cross without complaining. Don't think you are anything special. Don't justify your sins and weaknesses, but see yourself as you really are. And especially, love one another." - Father Seraphim Rose

Sorry - Im pretty new to practicing Orthodox Christianity and basicly Im seeing that carrying a cross of any sort really does hurt and that complaining really is ? oxymoronical? and theres really no room for it... I see that when you practice a significant (for your own personal standards) level of surrender to Christ via things like :celibacy,Bible/patristic study,prayers/Jesus Prayer,tolerance,etc.,etc. - something that at least looks like "Phrenoma" develops and yet attaining intellectual heights can be dangerous. ..
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 01:12:46 PM »

I just feel like ppl are too quick to assume your being one of the monsters Fr. Seraphim Rose may have accidently helped create when it comes to "assumptions" about "crazy converts" as if to have an intellectual mind is bad. I know well from personal experience that this is a cause of pride and it makes it that much more painful when someone who doesnt even know you throws that typical assumption at you as if (it seems) they think they are presenting some new idea to you when youve already been dealing with it for a long time...Is it bad to be an intellectual? A patristic mind is salvific is it not? Should Fr. Seraphim Rose just not have refuted all his old erroneous sycretistic (is that a word?) with all the books he wrote etc,.etc. since he was missing the mark alittle with super-correctness or whatver? ... This is what I think.If Orthodox "theology" was born only from the necessity of combating heresys than a patristic-intellectual mind is necessary in combating all the lies we absorb growing up in this ecumenical pig-pen of a society we live in!
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 01:13:29 PM »

Im not even catechised and Ive been struggling with anger at my priest for not recognizing how special I think I am.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 01:19:56 PM by crux_84 » Logged

"The Christian punx are the society of St. John the Forerunner."
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