Self-absorption as a source of psychological problems

Self-absorption as a source of psychological problems


Dr. Nikolaos Koios, Content Coach of Pemptousia


Elder Sophrony, at Essex, called the internal and event he external state of egocentric people demonized spirituality which engenders all the passions and sins. The same saintly Elder, who lived in our own times, considered pride to be the root of all evil, as did the ancient Church Fathers.  This ontological truth has practical consequences in our everyday lives, if we think that we’re the centre of other people’s attention.

Saint Païsios the Athonite was asked: ‘Elder, if you have the feeling that everybody’s interested in you and your doings, how can you get rid of it?’  He answered: ‘That’s from the temptation that’s going to make you ill. You should pay no attention to it and not believe it at all. If somebody’s of a suspicious nature and he or she sees another person talking quietly to a third party, they’ll think: ‘They’re talking about me. I hadn’t expected that from them’. And all the time they were talking about something entirely different. If you’re not careful, this feeling grows and then where will you be? You think that people are following you, that they’re persecuting you. Even if you have actual proof that they’re talking about you, you should know that the enemy himself has arranged things so that you’ll be convinced. And it’s amazing how the devil fixes things!’

The common position of the Fathers of the Church is that, for people to be protected from the danger of self-absorption, they shouldn’t have complete confidence in their own thoughts. And they manage to do so when they have a genuine and responsible relationship with the spiritual guide to whom they expose all their thoughts and doubts in total honesty.  Saint Païsios, to whom we’ve just referred, emphasized that obedience to your spiritual guide is the safest way to ensure spiritual balance. When you open your heart to your spiritual guide, you’re relieved of the burden. Some people would rather go to a psychiatrist than to a spiritual guide. If the psychiatrist’s a believer, he or she will urge them to go to a spiritual guide. Otherwise they’ll simply be given a course of pharmaceutical treatment. But medication alone won’t solve the problem; it also requires spiritual assistance (Saint Païsios, The Spiritual Struggle).




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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not 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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Pemptousia Partnership

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.