Author Topic: Flogging yourself  (Read 12892 times)

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Offline wainscottbl

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Flogging yourself
« on: April 03, 2015, 04:52:49 AM »
Orthodox tradition or not? Any tradition of it in the Desert Fathers?
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 05:01:29 AM »
A lot of the early Syrian monks did similar things. It never saw wide acceptance as it did in Medieval Western Europe. though. St. Benedict is probably the biggest exception.

I've heard that Elder Ephraim's monasteries in the US advise light flogging that leaves no marks. I don't know how accurate that is, though.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 05:02:18 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 05:47:38 PM »
no. no. no.
just no.
 :police:

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2015, 06:12:11 PM »
Which definition of flogging are we using here?
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Offline Antonis

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 06:19:51 PM »
Yes, it exists in the Orthodox tradition, but its practitioners weren't romantics about it and probably didn't write poetry about it either.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 06:20:06 PM by Antonis »
You sound like a professional who knows what he's talking about.  That's because you are.

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 06:24:04 PM »
Which definition of flogging are we using here?

What do the elders of Christian Domestic Discipline say?
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 06:34:36 PM »
A lot of the early Syrian monks did similar things. It never saw wide acceptance as it did in Medieval Western Europe. though. St. Benedict is probably the biggest exception.

I've heard that Elder Ephraim's monasteries in the US advise light flogging that leaves no marks. I don't know how accurate that is, though.

That's sounds like it would be akin to me slapping myself in the face lightly to stay awake the last 20 miles at night to get home without falling asleep.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2015, 06:36:22 PM »
A lot of the early Syrian monks did similar things. It never saw wide acceptance as it did in Medieval Western Europe. though. St. Benedict is probably the biggest exception.

I've heard that Elder Ephraim's monasteries in the US advise light flogging that leaves no marks. I don't know how accurate that is, though.

That's sounds like it would be akin to me slapping myself in the face lightly to stay awake the last 20 miles at night to get home without falling asleep.

From what I read, that's the sort of thing they compare it to. But this is second hand info.
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Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2015, 07:01:56 PM »
Yes, to temper the passions. The Latin tradition may look more at penance as punishment, too, but it is also, even there, about tempering your passions. But I would say in the East is not really at all about punishing yourself, but healing yourself. You sinfulness, or sinful inclinations. Like fasting.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 07:04:30 PM by wainscottbl »
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Offline Antonis

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2015, 07:03:59 PM »
A lot of the early Syrian monks did similar things. It never saw wide acceptance as it did in Medieval Western Europe. though. St. Benedict is probably the biggest exception.

I've heard that Elder Ephraim's monasteries in the US advise light flogging that leaves no marks. I don't know how accurate that is, though.

That's sounds like it would be akin to me slapping myself in the face lightly to stay awake the last 20 miles at night to get home without falling asleep.

From what I read, that's the sort of thing they compare it to. But this is second hand info.
In the Athonite tradition, sometimes a wooden dowel is used when fleshly temptations are too great. As a regular attendee of Ephraim monasteries, I can tell you this is not something I have ever heard the monks advocating, let alone mentioning, though it is possible that some of them utilize such methods under the guidance of the superior.
You sound like a professional who knows what he's talking about.  That's because you are.

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Letter to Diognetus 11.4

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2015, 07:10:27 PM »
Personally I don't find that it really works for me. But if it helps somebody, I can't judge.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2015, 07:50:45 PM »
I believe that this is a sinful practice. The reason is that one's body when dedicated to Christ is to be a Temple for God. Paul compares it to a vessel filled with Christ's spirit. The world inflicts enough suffering, fear, and beatings, sometimes real ones.





If you are physically beating yourself, then it is like beating on your church building. This is not acceptable.

I do think that Western Christianity focuses more on Christ's Passion as far as relative emphasis goes. So I understand why it would catch on more there.

It doesn't exist as part of Biblical tradition as far as I can tell. Eunichism seemed to exist among some Christians in the first few centuries. I don't think there was really a sufficient justification given for that, as far as I know.

I think that the practice comes from mental illness, masochism or some other unhealthy desire. It's probably an occasional practice in society that people don't discuss openly. If you watch the beginning of the movie Secretary, the lady protagonist cuts her skin in order to relieve tension or feelings of inadequacy or humiliation. However, the practitioners happen to be religious in the case of religious self-flogging.

It's a very bad practice and Yes, it's sinful because it means harming your body that is supposed to be God's Temple.  It's one thing to practice asceticism, fasting, prayer, just like one might want to have an ascetic church that is not gawdy. But it's quite a different, negative act to perform self harm and pain - sometimes drawing blood or bruing, like it would be to bang on the walls of your church, knock its paint off, or dent it.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2015, 09:07:18 PM »
Nothing is more damaging to the body than allowing it to be killed for your faith in Christ.

But nobody is talking about intentionally permanent damage here. A few Saints are said to have ruined their health, but these are clearly exceptions and not rules.

To belabor the building analogy, it's like replacing shingles or scraping off dead paint, not harming for harm's sake.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 09:09:18 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2015, 11:16:44 PM »
Nothing is more damaging to the body than allowing it to be killed for your faith in Christ.

But nobody is talking about intentionally permanent damage here. A few Saints are said to have ruined their health, but these are clearly exceptions and not rules.

To belabor the building analogy, it's like replacing shingles or scraping off dead paint, not harming for harm's sake.
Hi Volnutt.

It's true that being martyred by people for Christ is damaging to one's health and to the Temple of one's body, just as flogging is. However, directly killing oneself with the claim that it is for Christ, by itself is not just damaging to the body, but it would be a perversion of Christian thinking, and likewise so would self-flogging be.

So long as we follow the Biblical logic of martyrdom or persecution, the person does not directly play the leading role of arranging for themselves to be killed or flogged. Rather, the person is subjected by the persecutors to be killed or flogged. It makes sense when Paul showed his flog marks for Christ as a sign of his piety when they were inflicted by others against his will, but would be nonsensical and self-destructive if he showed them self-inflicted flog marks and wounds as part of a religion that is about healing wounds.

Secondly, it doesn't matter if the damage is permanent, it's still damage and harm to the Temple of a Christian body. Anyway, I tend to think that whipping oneself with a leather lash does sometimes cause permanent scars, especially when it draws blood.

Third
, it is not like replacing shingles or scraping dead paint. In those cases of normal scraping it is only a physical "healing" or "reparation" of the church building. The analogy of building repairs on the body would be getting a hair cut or shower, which means cutting off dead hair cells or washing dead skin ones off.

However, to take a church building with new paint and then beat it or scrape its paint off, respectively, would at best be a waste. Also, walls that have been excessively scraped and repainted due tend to look different than fresh walls with new paint.

Really, to give an exact analogy, you would say that due to the damage from weather like wind and rain, shingles and paint gets hurt and needs to be repaired or repainted. However, it would be wrong to intentionally put water on a fine church to damage it as if it were from the weather, even if later you decided to repair it. Likewise, it's true that in life sometimes people hurt each other physically and then the body needs to heal itself and get rid of redness or bruises. But it would be wrong to intentionally bruise or hurt yourself with serious pain when your body is healthy and does not need such pain, especially when the body is to be God's Temple.
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Offline recent convert

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2015, 11:23:17 PM »
I think flogging oneself is alien to Orthodox tradition. The primary physical exertion in repentance within Orthodoxy seems to be tears going back to the Desert monks.

For ex. St. Isaiah the solitary (4th c.)

"If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin & freed itself from them. Keep hell's torments in mind; but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears:" Be merciful and deliver me, O Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies." Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil."  Philokalia vol. I, On Guarding the Intellect (#6).

Tears is a frequently indexed term in the Philokalia. Russian ascetics like St. Nil Sorski (15th c.) & St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (19th c.) carried on technique of tears in the tradition of repentance.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 11:26:26 PM by recent convert »
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2015, 12:19:21 AM »
I have never understood the idea of flogging... Can a westerner explain this to me?  I know this doesn't replace true confession so what the heck is this practice supposed to accomplish anyway?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 12:22:06 AM by JoeS2 »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2015, 12:24:27 AM »
I have never understood the idea of flogging... Can a westerner explain this to me?  I know this doesn't replace true confession so what the heck is this practice supposed to accomplish anyway?

Mortification of the flesh, same as fasting. Some like Ven. Matt Talbot did it as a show of devotion as well, to identify with the sufferings of Christ or the Theotokos.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 12:24:53 AM by Volnutt »
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Offline wgw

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2015, 12:30:10 AM »
I believe that flogging oneself is unorthodox and although some Orthodox saints did do it, they are outnumbered by those who did not, and their actions can be regarded as errors and not part of Holy Tradition.  One must remember individual saints are not infallible; they can make mistakes and do unwise or even evil things.  I think the fact that St. Anthony, who no one can accuse of indulging himself, did not do this, but was rather flogged by demons according to St. Athanasius, shows that when we flog ourselves, we are doing the demons work for them.

Also, if it's ok to flog oneself, why stop there?  Why not allow castration?  Oh, right, Canon I of Nicea.  Which takes us to this point: if castration makes one a self-murderer according to Nicea, then surely flogging oneself makes one a self-abuser?
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2015, 12:50:56 AM »
I believe that flogging oneself is unorthodox and although some Orthodox saints did do it, they are outnumbered by those who did not, and their actions can be regarded as errors and not part of Holy Tradition.  One must remember individual saints are not infallible; they can make mistakes and do unwise or even evil things.  I think the fact that St. Anthony, who no one can accuse of indulging himself, did not do this, but was rather flogged by demons according to St. Athanasius, shows that when we flog ourselves, we are doing the demons work for them.

Also, if it's ok to flog oneself, why stop there?  Why not allow castration?  Oh, right, Canon I of Nicea.  Which takes us to this point: if castration makes one a self-murderer according to Nicea, then surely flogging oneself makes one a self-abuser?

Perhaps.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2015, 01:06:57 AM »
I have never understood the idea of flogging... Can a westerner explain this to me?  I know this doesn't replace true confession so what the heck is this practice supposed to accomplish anyway?

Mortification of the flesh, same as fasting.
It's certainly not the same as fasting. With fasting the person avoids meats and other foods, but they do not fast from all foods enough for it to be harmful. The longest total fast is one right before Paskha Sunday, which lasts at least 24 hours. But this should not be enough to actually hurt the person's body.

With self-lashing or beaing with other serious objects then the victim incurs bruises or redness (capillaries broken) or external bleeding, which all reflect bodily harm.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2015, 01:16:44 AM »
I believe that flogging oneself is unorthodox and although some Orthodox saints did do it, they are outnumbered by those who did not, and their actions can be regarded as errors and not part of Holy Tradition.  One must remember individual saints are not infallible; they can make mistakes and do unwise or even evil things.  I think the fact that St. Anthony, who no one can accuse of indulging himself, did not do this, but was rather flogged by demons according to St. Athanasius, shows that when we flog ourselves, we are doing the demons work for them.
Yes, WGW.

Outside of the religious context, people do this to themselves out of humiliation, regret over mistakes, depression, feelings of worthlessness like in the S/M movie Secretary where the protagonist replaced her self-harm with her lover's beatings.

The psychology of self inflicted floggings even in the religious context is similar, where the person feels alienation, is angry at themselves for their sinfulness, etc. And rather turning their feelings to strong prayers for God's salvation from any harm or punishments, they inflict harm on themselves as punishment. It's actually a sinful practice that the person has confused with religion.

It would be like being mad at a close relative and beating them for a mistake they made when instead you have to learn forgiveness. Except in this case, the self flogging is a total perversion and the victim is oneself.

By the way, there really was a heretical self-flogging sect
in Russia called the Khlysty (whippers) at least in the 19th century. Rasputin I hink came from this sect. I also think that there is a physical enjoyment from the practice, like the pain of weight lifting. This just reflects more that it is a bad practice as the person receives pleasure from something unhealthy.
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2015, 01:21:43 AM »
The Fathers of the 3rd Council of Cyrene (413) decided that "thuddy" pain was completely forbidden, but that "stingy" pain was ok as long as the body was fully healed within 24 hours. This is a local council though, and has not been universally accepted.

BZZT.

Now for really. I don't know about all that. There are stories about taking on unnecessary hardship and difficulties. Certainly some of this was for general subduing of the body, though it could also be done with a more specific goal in mind and for only a short time. Of course there is the infamous example of St. John Chrysostom, who caused serious damage by being hard on his body, and then spent years going to hot baths and the like just trying to get some relief.

Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2015, 03:11:35 AM »
How about the itchy jacket thing whose proper name I cannot think of? It does not cause damage to the body, only discomfort. I am not asking this because I want to do it, but more out of curiosity by the way.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2015, 03:25:29 AM »
How about the itchy jacket thing whose proper name I cannot think of? It does not cause damage to the body, only discomfort. I am not asking this because I want to do it, but more out of curiosity by the way.

You're probably thinking of a hairshirt.
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Offline wainscottbl

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2015, 03:53:34 AM »
How about the itchy jacket thing whose proper name I cannot think of? It does not cause damage to the body, only discomfort. I am not asking this because I want to do it, but more out of curiosity by the way.

You're probably thinking of a hairshirt.

Yep. Thanks!
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2015, 07:34:14 AM »
Oh yes. Flogging and convert issues. Welcome to internets.
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2015, 10:15:50 AM »
Have we already forgotten the lesson of Dostoevsky's flogged horse...?  8)

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2015, 11:32:39 AM »
Quote
The theology is obviously a ritualized pseudo-Christian theology, far enough from any sort of mainstream Christianity that it would be hard to imagine a mainstream Christian believing to be true. Moreover, most of the DDers belong to mainstream churches... What I think is really happening is:

a) They believe in orthodox Christian doctrine
b) They have sexual fantasies about redemption through personal suffering
c) They verbalize those fantasies using quasi Christian language
d) They are well aware their verbalizations are not orthodoxy nor do they represent their real beliefs.

You can tell this by the fact that all keep their kids out of the DD relationships.
http://church-discipline.blogspot.com/2008/01/open-discussion-on-domestic.html

This is all really really really unhealthy.
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Offline sheep100

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2015, 12:32:44 PM »
I think flogging is fully within the Orthodox tradition of mortification of the flesh. The stories
of the desert fathers and other ancient ascetics are full of extreme examples of disciplining the
body that sometimes make flogging yourself look easy by comparison. I think a lot of people
are squeamish about flogging because they are afraid that by endorsing it they will look fanatical
or deranged to the world. That said more extreme forms of mortification should probably be
overseen by a spiritual father to make sure things don't get out of hand, or to avoid it becoming
a way to boost the ego of the person.

"Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.  26 So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air;  27 but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified" 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 12:36:01 PM by sheep100 »

Offline wgw

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2015, 08:55:28 PM »
Really?  In the Sayings of the Desert Fathers I never read of any flogging themselves.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2015, 09:06:26 PM »
I think flogging is fully within the Orthodox tradition of mortification of the flesh. The stories
of the desert fathers and other ancient ascetics are full of extreme examples of disciplining the
body that sometimes make flogging yourself look easy by comparison.
OK, but still it is not actual flogging. The stigmata is not part of our Tradition either.

It is not a matter of what is "easy". John the Baptist eating locusts didn't have it "easy." But he did not actually directly inflict painful beatings on himself. He was an ascetic who kept away from worldly needs as he could, and he was not a self-beater.

Flogging is not within the Orthodox tradition of the mortification of the flesh if it is not within our Orthodox practice. Our bodies are God's temples and that is why we do not abuse them.


Quote
I think a lot of people are squeamish about flogging because they are afraid that by endorsing it they will look fanatical or deranged to the world.
It is deranged.

Quote
"Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.  26 So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air;  27 but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified" 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
Nowhere does it say to inflict actual beatings. If you are beating yourself, you aren't in self control, or else you wouldn't feel the strange desire to beat yourself. Instead of doing physical training like an athlete, Paul says that he does spiritual training, which again, we have no evidence that it included actual self-beatings.
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2015, 09:16:51 PM »
Quote
The theology is obviously a ritualized pseudo-Christian theology, far enough from any sort of mainstream Christianity that it would be hard to imagine a mainstream Christian believing to be true. Moreover, most of the DDers belong to mainstream churches... What I think is really happening is:

a) They believe in orthodox Christian doctrine
b) They have sexual fantasies about redemption through personal suffering
c) They verbalize those fantasies using quasi Christian language
d) They are well aware their verbalizations are not orthodoxy nor do they represent their real beliefs.

You can tell this by the fact that all keep their kids out of the DD relationships.
http://church-discipline.blogspot.com/2008/01/open-discussion-on-domestic.html

This is all really really really unhealthy.

If a couple engages in spankings for recreational purposes I can't object to it, except if they also spank their kids, which would add a perverse dimension; IMO the marriage bed is as a rule normally undefiled, although there are some fathers like St. Augustine who would disagree with me on this point.  But from my perspective if such spanking assists the couple in procreation, and the family doesn't use spanking on their children, then it's not a huge problem.  Although more extreme forms of BDSM are certainly problematic and indicative of sex addiction.

Which takes us to the fact that some monks may be masochists, or some nuns, and thus, might do this for the wrong reasons.  Or become addicted to it.  My friend Colin who works in advertising, and is non Orthodox but nominally Christian and profoundly wise and loving, with a large family, believes all forms of spanking are addictive and psychologically unhealthy.  He's managed to raise 6 children without hitting them, despite being married to a Ghanaian (he himself is British of Guyanan extraction) who views such spanking as normal and would have done it otherwise.

The hair shirt is one of two aspects of Carthusian life I find problematic.  I love the model of hermits supported by cenobitic brethren so that they may focus on intellectual work for the church, historically the copying of manuscripts, and more importantly, on a life of pure prayer.   However I dislike the reluctance of most charter houses to accept guests,,which violates what I regard as the fundamental principle of monastic hospitality; even if a monastery can't accept overnight guests or guests of the opposite sex, it should still be able to receive them for church services.  And the wearing of hair shirts is IMO an unacceptable mortification.

Now, I love praying on my knees, in a full metanie, for 15-45 minutes; this can be mildly uncomfortable but I take every step to minimize the discomfort, and regard it as a mortification of the flesh to the extent there is any.  But the benefit of prayer in such a posture comes not from the discomfort but from the profound sense of blissful submission to God it produces.  And what is more the discomfort is very minimal, and goes way immediately with no soreness after the prayer, and if I could pray in that position with no discomfort I would.  But my house has wooden and tile floors which are hard.  If I had soft, heavily padded carpets I think it would solve that problem.   I also rest my forehead on my hands to reduce neck strain, increase comfort and make breathing that much easier.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 09:17:08 PM by wgw »
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2015, 10:19:17 PM »
I think flogging is fully within the Orthodox tradition of mortification of the flesh. The stories
of the desert fathers and other ancient ascetics are full of extreme examples of disciplining the
body that sometimes make flogging yourself look easy by comparison. I think a lot of people
are squeamish about flogging because they are afraid that by endorsing it they will look fanatical
or deranged to the world. That said more extreme forms of mortification should probably be
overseen by a spiritual father to make sure things don't get out of hand, or to avoid it becoming
a way to boost the ego of the person.

"Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.  26 So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air;  27 but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified" 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Punishing my body could also mean extreme fasting..   I still don't get flogging.  Unless it is to remind the individual who is flogging himself that he has to remember not to sin BUT that only comes from consoling God through prayer.  God doesn't require FLOGGING he requires us to change and become one with HIM.....  Flogging is only an external way of letting others know you are penitent and that's a no-no .   This is to be kept secret without others knowing just what you are going through. 

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2015, 10:24:29 PM »
There is of course the cilice, a spiked instrument worn under the clothing by members of opus Dei.  Which I find equally abhorrent.

But at least you can't accuse Opus Dei of flaunting their mortification, so I would resort to analogically extension of canon 1 of Nicea.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 10:26:05 PM by wgw »
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2015, 10:45:54 PM »
There is of course the cilice, a spiked instrument worn under the clothing by members of opus Dei.  Which I find equally abhorrent.

But at least you can't accuse Opus Dei of flaunting their mortification, so I would resort to analogically extension of canon 1 of Nicea.

Flogging is not the way to redemption. Change of life is.... No amount of self immulation will gain one ounce of forgiveness from God.   This is what separates the RCC from the Orthodox...
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 10:46:59 PM by JoeS2 »

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2015, 10:56:22 PM »
I agree entirely.
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2015, 11:35:27 PM »
Ironically, recent medical studies have shown that castration actually slows aging and extends lifespan by ~ 17 years, that eunuchs are generally healthier in their old age and that testosterone is mildly poisonous.

I guess all that goes to show is that "what is good for the body" from a modern medical perspective, and from the perspective of the Fathers/Nicea, are not necessarily the same thing. How should we respond to that information?

I suspect, though, that celibates who are not eunuchs would show a similar extension in lifespan. I do know that monks have similarly long and healthy lives despite not castrating. Perhaps abstaining from sexual activity of all kinds will gradually cause the sex drive and hormone levels to disappear on their own anyway, without the need for physical castration.

Hmm, I think I just answered my own question.
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2015, 11:40:55 PM »
Flogging : has it ever gotten anyone in to Heaven ?

Factoid: You can not get your self into heaven by self immulating. You need God's Mercy.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 11:42:50 PM by JoeS2 »

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2015, 12:05:36 AM »
Regarding the hairshirt/cilice, if I'm not mistaken, Ivan the Terrible wore one. It also wasn't unheard of during the patristic era although it was nowhere close to being ubiquitous.

Sackcloth is a very similar material that is similarly itchy. However, the purpose of wearing sackcloth during Biblical times was not self-harm (there does not appear to be any tradition of self-mortification in Old Testament times, and Judaism still forbids it), but rather just as an outward sign of penance and humility.
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2015, 12:13:53 AM »
I have no idea what 'immulating' is...

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2015, 12:17:50 AM »
Flogging might be a step too far, but I'm not sure how hairshirts or putting rocks in your shows (the cilice might be a bit too far as well) are different from extreme fasting or standing at vigil all night or the old Irish practice of praying with your hands stretched out in the form of a cross. It's about experiencing some discomfort for the sake of your soul.
Is that what they teach you at the temple volnutt-stein?

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2015, 12:18:30 AM »
WGW,

My friend Colin who works in advertising, and is non Orthodox but nominally Christian and profoundly wise and loving, with a large family, believes all forms of spanking are addictive and psychologically unhealthy.  He's managed to raise 6 children without hitting them, despite being married to a Ghanaian (he himself is British of Guyanan extraction) who views such spanking as normal and would have done it otherwise.
Your friend has got the right idea.

I know what you mean about disliking the idea of hairshirts. I don't know that hairshirts actually damage the body like physical blows do, and so it seems a bit less troubling. But I think the idea of self-inflicting pain for some kind of spiritual glorification, which would include the use of hairshirts, is mentally ill. I mean, imagine jumping in super hot water while saying prayers or forcing down over ripe Chinese food or insufficiently cooked chitterlings in a ritual context. It's psychologically ill.

As for your discussion on kneeling, I can understand it as simply a deepened, more extended continuation of normal prayer. ie. Your praying involves getting on the knees, which is normal, and since your are not caring so much about bodily comfort, you pray on the knees for a long time. This is much different than intentionally trying to inflict pain as a goal.

Apparently there are people who were penally forced to kneel on peas in Roman Catholic settings. This is more abuse that should not be used as some kind of ritual mortification of flesh. We are talking practices used in S/M. See the link for the photo below if you need convincing. They are talking about this pea kneeling photo on this Polish site, so I think it is a Roman Catholic thing:
http://www.wiocha.pl/793325,Karac-dziecko-w-ten-sposob
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 12:41:33 AM by rakovsky »
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2015, 12:21:14 AM »
Yay, tylophobia pics!
Is that what they teach you at the temple volnutt-stein?

Actually, it's Volnutt-berg.

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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2015, 12:23:29 AM »
I have no idea what 'immulating' is...

Sounds like immolating. Self-immolation has been practiced by some radical Buddhist ascetics (for example, to protest Ngo Dinh Diem's regime). Also, entire villages of Old Believers and other Russian sects were known to "baptize themselves by fire", too, a form of mass suicide that they viewed as martyrdom.

There were a few 17th-century French Catholics who set themselves on fire in order to emulate Christ's suffering; they put out the fire before they died, but suffered third degree burns. I find all of these things deeply disturbing.
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Re: Flogging yourself
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2015, 12:29:58 AM »
WGW,

My friend Colin who works in advertising, and is non Orthodox but nominally Christian and profoundly wise and loving, with a large family, believes all forms of spanking are addictive and psychologically unhealthy.  He's managed to raise 6 children without hitting them, despite being married to a Ghanaian (he himself is British of Guyanan extraction) who views such spanking as normal and would have done it otherwise.
Your friend has got the right idea.

I know what you mean about disliking the idea of hairshirts. I don't know that hairshirts actually damage the body like physical blows do, and so it seems a bit less troubling. But I think the idea of self-inflicting pain for some kind of spiritual glorification, which would include the use of hairshirts, is mentally ill. I mean, imagine jumping in super hot water while saying prayers or forcing down over ripe Chinese food or insufficiently cooked chitterlings in a ritual context. It's psychologically ill.

As for your discussion on kneeling, I can understand it as simply a deepened, more extended continuation of normal prayer. ie. Your praying involves getting on the knees, which is normal, and since your are not caring so much about bodily comfort, you pray on the knees for a long time. This is much different than intentionally trying to inflict pain as a goal.

Apparently there are people who were penally forced to kneel on peas in Roman Catholic settings. This is more abuse that should not be used as some kind of ritual mortification of flesh:
We are talking practices used in S/M.

They are talking about that photo too on this Polish site, so I think it may be a Roman Catholic

You have a point but you should have linked that image which is seriously seriously disgusting.  I a, really nauseated right now.  Call me squeamish but I really wish you had not posted that image, I am quite ready to lose my dinner.  Please see if you can remove it.  But yes kneeling on pews or gravel, these are debased practices.  But we don't need graphics any more than need graphics of self-flagellation in progress surely.   Really rakovsky I firmly agree with you entirely but I can't participate in this thread any more as that image is one of the worst above seen on the Internet.  I was once shown an image on 4chan at a Limix User Group,that was worse.   Images  like that are actively spiritually damaging.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 12:31:59 AM by wgw »
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