Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
Metropolitan Amfilhije (Radović) of Montenegro and the Littoral
Through sin, we did not only set aside God’s commandment but also engendered within ourselves a false idea and notion about God. In reality, the false idea and notion about God are actually the very essence of satanic deceit. This is why our fall, became His ‘fall’: in the human conscience, God is no longer Who He really is. The human conscience, wallowing in the tyranny of our desires, can think only in a post-fall manner about any form of authority and control regarding everything within it and around it.
Just as we tried to become God by violence, so now our centres of power, even religious ones, demand absolute authority and domination, and there’s no way round this. God can no longer be a natural Father for us, only a sadistic father. We can only be servants, or patricides, or rebels. So the relationship between us and God has been transformed into a desperate trial of strength. The ‘other’ has to become a servant or, if that’s not acceptable, to be eliminated entirely. The patricidal spirit has indelibly marked all human relationships and the whole of historical reality to this day. The Oedipus complex is just one of the manifestations of this, and is one of the poisoned flowers which spring from the dark subsoil of the patricide which occurred in Paradise. (It’s no coincidence that Freud elevated this Biblically fore-ordained Greek myth to the position of a universal principle). This is why this false idea about God- society/centre of power/ master/ rich/ teacher, father and so on- all become forces which spring up in this unnatural atmosphere, putting pressure on us and inviting our rebellion against them.
3. Now if we’re talking about rebellion against such a God and against such authorities in general, then it’s, in fact, perfectly justified, because this would be rebellion against a false God. In other words, not rebellion against the Father, but against the ‘sadistic father’. The impenetrable darkness of sin and the ‘body of sin’ have impeded our access to the true God and have put in His place idols, in whose very nature there’s violence. In our rebellion against this nature, the true God, remains unknown and it may well be that, behind this rebellion, there lies a subconscious thirst for Him. This is why the religious abuse of the idea of a divinity, and the creation of centres of authority associated with this distorted image- not to mention the sacrileges committed in its name – have, at times, given a boost to atheism, both as a protest against this false faith, but also as a positive thirst for an encounter with the real God. Patricide of this kind is, in fact, a search on our part for a fatherhood which we have lost and grieve over.
We still retain faint traces of our primordial health and good sense, and so we are aware that the void left by the absence of our true God cannot be filled by some sort of idol or demi-god elevated to His throne.
4. This eternally unknown God, and His paternity,which was clouded by our fall, is the whole essence of the New Testament and of the revelation of Christ. As God and human person, He manifested His Father and our Father, and in this way He’s shown us our forgotten relationship with God and with other people. So it’s no coincidence that the Church is the Church of the ‘Our Father’ and of the holy Fathers. Because it’s the Church of the Only-Begotten Son. Only those Who recognize Him will recognize the Father (cf. Jn. 8, 19) and ‘Those who honour the Son, honour the Father Who sent Him’ (Jn. 6, 46). And only those who see Him, see His Father, because the Father is in Him and He is in the Father (Jn. 10, 38).
(to be continued)
For the previous part look here
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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia, a Contemporary post-modern man does understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.
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