Author Topic: Questions about Hesychia  (Read 1200 times)

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Offline Leao

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Questions about Hesychia
« on: January 20, 2005, 01:49:45 PM »
I understand that Hesychia refers to the ascetic practice of ceaselessly praying the Jesus Prayer along with obeying certain rules regarding posture, breathing etc. in order to remove worldly distractions and open one's eyes up to the Uncreated Light. I understand that participation in the Divine Light can sometimes mystically transfigure one's face as happened with St Seraphim in front of Motovilov in 1883. A couple of questions:

Are visible manifestations of the divine light a regular occurrence among practitioners of Hesychia?
Does 'seeing' the divine light generally refer more to an interior, invisible vision rather than a more objective outward manifestation of Light?

Cheers
Leo
« Last Edit: January 24, 2005, 08:28:37 AM by Leao »

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Questions about Hesychia
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 02:30:49 AM »
Interesting questions, hopefully someone can answer (now)...
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Offline prodromas

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Re: Questions about Hesychia
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 02:41:15 AM »
I understand that Hesychia refers to the ascetic practice of ceaselessly praying the Jesus Prayer along with obeying certain rules regarding posture, breathing etc. in order to remove worldly distractions and open one's eyes up to the Uncreated Light. I understand that participation in the Divine Light can sometimes mystically transfigure one's face as happened with St Seraphim in front of Motovilov in 1883. A couple of questions:

Are visible manifestations of the divine light a regular occurrence among practitioners of Hesychia?
Does 'seeing' the divine light generally refer more to an interior, invisible vision rather than a more objective outward manifestation of Light?

Cheers
Leo

Well the same thing happened with Moses and it was defiantly an objective manifestation of light that people were blinded by. Also there is a modern Coptic monk I believe whose hands have become illumined due to prayer and now he covers them up with socks.
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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Questions about Hesychia
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 09:13:29 AM »
While illumination of the body has been manifested on some people, I believe that what Hesychasm really seeks is internal illumination, being one with Jesus Christ, the Light of the world..  :)
In my not so very educated opinion, the things that happened to Saint Seraphim for example, are just a manifestation of hos much their souls have been illumined that God has made it appear also in their flesh..

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Offline Papist

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Re: Questions about Hesychia
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 12:01:22 PM »
It is my understanding that, according to this spiritaulity, when one sees the divine light, he is literally seeing God (in his energies but not his essence). Palamas argued in favor of the idea against Barlaam, because Palamas wanted to protect the truth that we really do participate in the divinity as we expereience theosis. One scriptural example that heyschasts argue is an example of Sts. Seeing the "Divine Light" is the transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor. here the Apostles saw Christ in dazzling white light. Hesychasts believe that that light is the Energies of God and, thus, that the Apostles saw God.
While I certainly agree with the Essence/Energies distinction and the idea that we really do participate in the Divinity, I do not agree with Hesychast spirituality or the idea that one physically sees God because I am a Catholic. However, this is not the place to debate that matter so I will not do that here.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 12:02:34 PM by Papist »
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