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Author Topic: Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future  (Read 5993 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nigula Qian Zishi
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« on: October 08, 2002, 10:36:43 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Recently I read Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future and loved it. Some of the things are scary, but I found it very enlightening about UFOs, the Charismatic movement, Hinduism & Buddhism. I was ready to disagree with his assertions on UFOs but in the end he convinced me. Cannot reccomend this book enough, whether you or Orthodox or not. God Bless!
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2002, 11:27:54 PM »

Whos the author nik? Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2002, 11:33:47 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Whoa, I forgot to write that it was by Fr. Seraphim Rose. Oops! God Bless!
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2002, 11:38:28 PM »

Nik was hoping you'd think HE wrote the book...  Cool
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2002, 11:53:15 PM »

thankyou Nik Smiley I am adding it to my list of books to get/read Smiley  Has anyone read the Way of A Pilgrim?  There is no author to that book.  I've read it and I love it and I want to read it again and again Smiley  I reccomend it to anyone it talks a lot about the Jesus prayer and this pilgrim's journey to different places and how he learned different things and his experiences.  also, has anyone read Dostoyvesky (i think i spelt it wrong...) Crime & Punishment? I think this is a good book too.  It is about a man who killed two people and his conscience is now bugging him and he's getting really paranoid and think everyone is accusing him of the murders so he gets really sick and detaches himself from everyone who loves him. I am still reading the book but this is what I get from it so far.  I think it teaches how our conscience will bug us after awhile when we do something we know is wrong and if we don't confess it, how it will cause us to shut out the world and be scared and helpless.  

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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2002, 11:56:18 PM »

Fr. Serafim Rose, although he has many skeptics, is in my opinion a rather prolific author.

Although one could argue that he has some extremist points of view, his synopsis of our generation in, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future is rather accurate, and is an excellent read.

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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2002, 10:05:59 AM »

Mary Cecilia:

I've read both the Way of a Pilgrim and Crime and Punishment.

If you're ready for some very deep reading, you should check out Writings from the Philokalia on the Prayer of the Heart, which contain the texts that form the background of the Way of a Pilgrim.  Whew!  Talk about turning one to mush in repentance.  I'm just a beginner at prayer.  I have such a long freakin' way to go.

Crime and Punishment is second only to Brothers Karamazov, for me, with The Idiot running a strong third.  If you read only three Dostoyevsky novels, those would be the three, in my perhaps not so humble opinon.
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2002, 11:36:53 AM »

I'm new to this website. I'd like to reply to your message though.  I too have read both the Way of the Pilgrim and Crime and Punishment.

I have been downloading translations of the Philokalia from various websites  and studying the texts.

What impresses me is the simplicity and authenticity of these writings.   Do you know whether there is a forum where these texts are studied and discussed?

Effie

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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2002, 11:37:22 AM »

Just wanted to add a note. A number of Priests advise not reading the Philokalia if you are a new convert or young in the faith (one was a middle-aged Priest who said that even he wasn't ready to read it!), and I'd have to agree with that. I mean no judgment on those who are reading it now, just passing along that some caution against early reading of it.
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2002, 12:49:23 PM »

Quote
Do you know whether there is a forum where these texts are studied and discussed?

You might try In Depth: Texts, Sources and Fathers over at www.monachos.net, or open a thread here on this board.
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2002, 01:19:07 AM »

-


 

     
 
 
Thank you Oblio.

I registered with Monarchos.net a couple of days ago as I did with this one yesterday but I haven't visited the above thread.   I'll do that now.

I find both these forums very helpful.

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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2002, 01:34:19 AM »

Thank you Slave of Christ.

I have one volume of the Philokalia in Greek but unfortunately the Greek in it is too difficult for me.  I was stopping every couple of sentences to look up a word in the dictionary!

I've been downloading the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and reading them.    Up to now I haven't seen anything that might harm me in any way.  

The texts I have read have done a lot of good, in my opinion, because they have shown me how basic the Orthodox religion really is, how simple, and how joyful. I'm not a convert by the way.  I was brought up in the Orthodox faith but it was a matter of attending church at Easter and Christmas.    Up to about 5 years ago, all the literature I was reading was either Protestant or Catholic.  That's why I am so thankful that I can now study my own religion, thanks mainly to the Internet!

Thank you for your kind advice.   I have read that the breathing exercises that are sometimes connected with various prayers should not be attempted by someone who is still learning but that's surely because deep breathing on an empty stomach (which is the usual practice) can sometimes cause hallucinations.  These hallucinations can be interpretated by weak characters as visitations from angels, etc.   Visions are something that most ascetics have experienced but most have ignored them as just a stage that has to be gone through.   This is not something that I have any intention of experimenting with!

I'd be interested in your viewpoint on this matter.    I have been doing yoga for many years - Hatha Yoga, which means physical exercises and the breathing exercises.  I have never experienced anything that  could be described as a vision or anything.  Perhaps I'm just not inclined that way.

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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2002, 02:27:36 AM »

Reply to Slave of Christ.

slave of Christ, this is something I downloaded from the Inner Light site.   I'm sorry it's so long

 "On Delusion and Other Subjects"
-- St. Gregory of Sinai

In this issue, we will look specifically at the issue of finding and working with a spiritual father, a question that concerns many of us in this modern world where we often live far from anyone we think can fulfill that function.
St. Gregory is a later saint of the 13th century who lived fully in the spirit and teachings of the early Desert Fathers. .............Gregory went to Mount Athos where he spent the next twenty-five years.

The "Philokalia" includes five works by St. Gregory of Sinai. One of these, "On Prayer," is the subject of our study today. Our text today is but a fraction of St. Gregory's entire text on prayer, but it is very useful for laypersons and monastics alike, depending on the degree to which we are able as individuals to follow his teaching. In this selection, we will look at a few excerpts from a larger chapter that deal only with spiritual fathers.


ON DELUSION AND OTHER SUBJECTS


BEGIN  -- Be careful, therefore, not to entertain and readily give assent to anything even if it be good, before questioning those with spiritual experience and investigating it thoroughly, so as not to come to any harm. Always be suspicious of it and keep your intellect free from colors, forms and images. For it has often happened that things sent by God to test our free will, to see which way it inclines and to act as a spur to our efforts, have in fact had bad consequences. For when we see something, whether with mind or senses -- even if this thing be from God -- and then readily entertain it without consulting those experienced in such matters, we are easily deceived, or will be in the future, because of our gullibility. A novice should pay close attention solely to the activity of his heart, because this is not led astray. Everything else he must reject until the passions are quietened. For God does not censure those who out of fear of being deluded pay strict attention to themselves, even though this means that they refuse to entertain what He sends them until they have questioned others and made careful enquiry. Indeed, He is more likely to praise their prudence, even though in some cases He is grieved.
-- Yet you should not question everyone. You should go only to one, to someone who has been entrusted with the guidance of others as well, who is radiant alike in his life and in his words, and who although poor makes many rich (II Corinthians 6:10). For people lacking spiritual experience have often done harm to foolish questioners, and for this they will be judged after death. Not everyone is qualified to guide others: only those can do so who have been granted divine discrimination -- what St. Paul calls the "discrimination of spirits" (I Corinthians 12:10) -- enabling them to distinguish between bad and good with the sword of God's teaching (Ephesians 6:17). Everyone possesses his own private knowledge and discrimination, whether inborn, pragmatic or scientific, but not all possess spiritual knowledge and discrimination. That is why Sirach said, "Be at peace with many, but let your counselors be one in a thousand" (Ecclesiastes 6:6). It is hard to find a guide who in all he does, says, or thinks is free from delusion. You can tell that a person is undeluded when his actions and judgment are founded on the testimony of divine Scripture, and when he is humble in whatever he has to give his mind to. No little effort is needed to attain a clear understanding of the truth and to be cleansed from whatever is contrary to grace, for the devil -- especially in the case of beginners -- is liable to present his delusions in the forms of truth, thus giving his deceit a spiritual guise.
-- If some have gone astray and lost their mental balance, this is because they have in arrogance followed their own counsels. For when you seek God in obedience and humility, and with the guidance of a spiritual master, you will never come to any harm, by the grace of Christ who desires all to be saved (I Timothy 2:4). Should temptation arise, its purpose is to test you and to spur you on; and God, who has permitted this testing, will speedily come to your help in whatever way He sees fit. As the Holy Fathers assure us, a person who lives an upright and blameless life, avoiding arrogance and spurning popularity, will come to no harm even if a whole host of demons provoke him with countless temptations. But if you are presumptuous and follow your own counsel you will readily fall victim to delusion. That is why a hesychast must always keep to the royal road. For excess in anything easily leads to conceit, and conceit induces self-delusion. Keep the intellect at rest by gently pressing your lips together when you pray, but do not impede your nasal breathing, as the ignorant do, in case you harm yourself by building up inward pressure.
-

from "The Philokalia: Volume IV," edited and translated by G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Bishop Kallistos Ware, (London: Faber and Faber, 1995), pp. 283 - 286.



This is not the full text but the part that is relevant to our discussion.

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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2002, 03:45:47 AM »

I think the problems arise when we assume that we are on the right course (and maybe everything seems to be right), but in reality we are going astray. There is also the possibility of spiritual lust. (I'm certainly not saying this applies to you, just bringing up objections to an early reading of such weighty material). Lust, of course, is the internal wanting after of something we can't/shouldn't have. There are many "hard" yet potentially spiritually profitable things written in Orthodox literature, yet not all of them are necessarily for all of us. It is helpful to have someone experienced in such practices to help us discern what is for us and what is not.
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2002, 07:52:52 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!
I have been doing yoga for many years - Hatha Yoga, which means physical exercises and the breathing exercises.  I have never experienced anything that  could be described as a vision or anything.  Perhaps I'm just not inclined that way.

Effie

Dear Effie/Egan,

If you are doing Hatha Yoga, you should really read Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future as there are spiritual dangers that don't seem evident. These are explained very well by someone who knew yogis, hindus & buddhists well and understood the menings and reasons for yoga. Ones that are purposely witheld from practitioners. God Bless!
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2002, 09:43:50 AM »

Dear Nik,

Could you tell us some of the things Father Seraphim has to say about yoga and its dangers in his book?
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2002, 09:55:15 AM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Unfortunately, it needs the proper build-up to explain. Its not one of those things that you can give a 1 sentence or 1 paragraph explanation. So instead I would just reccomend buying the book and reading it. God Bless!
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2002, 11:46:23 AM »

You can buy the book through Nik's or my Amazon links (mine is on my Fr Seraphim page) - your choice!
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2002, 12:15:15 PM »

Hi Nik.

I also have been reading some articles from the Greek Ordthodox Archdiocese of America that refer to Buddhists and Yoga.

I've been practising yoga for 30 years as a physical exercise.     As far as meditation is concerned, I usually finish my morning prayers and then breath slowly and deeply for 10 mins in an effort to still my mind.

Our religion allows this according to some articles that I have read.

I know that there is a very real threat today from the Eastern religions, especially for young people who are unhappy with their own Christian religion.  A couple of years ago I had a long talk with a Greek priest who is a professor of theology at one of the universities here.   As I had no formal education in the Greek Orthodox religion I was afraid that my ideas and beliefs were all muddled together in my head ( a sort of soup with a little Orthodox, a little Protestant, and a little Catholic thrown in for flavour).    He was very understanding though and said that I was on the right path because I hadn't actually concerned myself with formal issues but rather with a personal perspective regarding religion.    I have continued to read and study - although the more I study the more I realize how completely ignorant I am - and can only pray that I am still on the right path.



I am going to go to the site (or thread?) you recommended.

Thank you Nik.

Effie
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2002, 01:53:35 PM »

Nik,

What conclusion does the book make on the fraudulent and silly UFO phenomenon? Are UFOs not real because there is no scientific evidence (that is consistent) or is it because the author finds it incompatible with the Bible; or does the author even refute UFOs sightings at all?


God Bless
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2002, 02:02:31 PM »

Fr Seraphim thought UFOs and space aliens are really demons from the aerial realm (dimension ù usually invisible to us in this dimension), where the particular judgement (toll houses) takes place. People expect to see UFOs and aliens, so the demons appear as such.
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2002, 11:25:31 PM »

Thank you Reader Serge,

I don’t know what to make of that. It could be true; I suppose I should just find the time to read the book.

Scientists have definitely demonstrated that over the 20th Century the ‘descriptions’ of these aliens change and that the change can be correlated to whatever is the widely held perception of what the aliens are ‘supposed’ to look like. So for instance in the 1940’s the descriptions corresponded with ‘little green men’ as portrayed in Hollywood and paperback sci-fi novels. People ‘saw’ what they expected to see. In our own day the descriptions correspond to the oval shaped head man with big black eyes (again as promoted in Hollywood and pop culture).

Before people could perceive of something like a spaceship they saw witches flying on broomsticks. So in post-medieval Europe we have a similar phenomenon of witch sightings (though in the latter we are increasingly finding out that frequent use of hallucinogens also explains it).

So as you explain it “People expect to see UFOs and aliens, so the demons appear as such” that would mean they appear in whatever guise we presuppose something is supposed to look like. So if Fr. Seraphim is correct then his theory can explain both and similar phenomena and scientific findings, minus the demonic role, compliment it (though I generally shy away from mixing faith with science even when scientific findings are favorable).

I guess I just have to read this one!

God Bless
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2002, 12:32:11 AM »

Dear Friends in Christ,

I would like to add a comment to this discussion which concerns me more and more as I read the lives of Startsi in Russia and in Greece. I believe that we should not read spiritual books without regular confession. We need to discuss our impressions with a priest through the Mystery of Confession. Of course there are situations where we are literally on our own and we have to trust that God will send us some discerning guide. We can also refer to friends and this forum if we cannot undestand what we are reading.  I am not happy with the idea of discussing spiritual matters in general debate since reading such texts as the Philokalia or the Way of the Pilgrim touches on one's own spiritual disposition.  To get back to the Startsi.. people were able to open their souls and receive guidance.  Today we have the texts but not necessarily the guides or the startsi to help us.

May God guide us and bless our intentions!

Yours in Christ,
Fr Serafim
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2002, 07:46:35 PM »

Nik,

I read Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future some time ago, and occassionally still go back to it's pages and read a section again every now and then.

Even before I had read this book, I'd read enough about the whole UFO phenomenon to have suspicions that the conventional explanations for it (on one hand "it's all in people's heads"/hoax, on the other "intergalactic peace-niks have come to save us") were not correct.  I also suspected there was some demonic "foul play" involved.  It was interesting to see that someone who was much further "along the way" thought the same way.

UFO/"Close enounters" experiences are extremely vivid and real to those who have them.  In addition, while there are not mountains of evidence so as to convince the skeptical "new priesthood" of scientism (who in their own way dogmatically defend today's scientific orthodoxy), there is enough (in my opinion) physical and testimonial evidence to see that "something" is going on.  And if you look at what that "something" is, and then read accounts of acknowledge demonic activity...well, the "shoe fits."

In some cultures, demons took on the facade of gods, daemons, or muses to manipulate and influence people (even giving preternatural examples of their powers which most certainly affected the physical world.)  Well, modern man scarcely has strong convictions about God left, let alone about the "gods" peculiar to cultures which have long since faded into the mists of time.  It would seem to me, the closest thing a lot of modern, credulous people have, is "E.T." and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

These are the "new gods", and an appropriate guise for the devils to use to their own end.

Seraphim
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