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.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa
All the other capacities which we glimpse around the divine nature surpass the measure of human understanding, but lowliness is implanted within us and co-exists with those who come from below, are composed of earthly material and who return to the ground. You acquire the characteristics of bliss when you imitate God insofar as this is naturally possible. Let no-one think that humility is achieved easily and without effort. Quite the opposite. It’s the most exhausting of all the virtues we seek. And why is this? Because when people who’ve received the seeds of good aren’t vigilant, they’re susceptible to the opposite seeds from the enemy of our life and these give rise to the weed of pride within us. It was in the same way that the enemy cast himself down to earth, dragging down with him the wretched race of humankind in a common fall.