Fr. Andreas Agathokleous


We live among people who are imperfect, with lots of passions and faults which are likely to irritate us enormously and make us upset. But we can’t change the way they behave, particularly their negative attitude towards us. Nobody changes their own disposition unless they want to.

We can see this from ourselves. We might not express our anger, our discontent, our ill-will, our rejection and any other negativity we feel towards another person, and this can be effective, even if it involves repression of these feelings. But no-one can say that we can’t have them in our heart, nobody can forbid it, and no-one can make us any different, unless we wish to be so.

The notion that other people are affected only by what’s expressed as actions and behavior seems not to be entirely true. Because there’s the mystic world of our soul which also affects people and things and has a positive or negative impact, whether we recognize this or not.

If our soul is under the sway of jealousy, envy, distrust, hatred, or sheer dislike of someone, they’ll sense it in their own soul as if they’re being washed over by ‘negative’ waves, which, naturally, upsets them and destroys their peace of mind. On the other hand, when our soul transmits love, empathy, forgiveness, accompanied by prayer, the other person is mystically on the receiving end of ‘a good force proceeding from us, going to our brother or sister, healing and reviving them’, says Saint Porfyrios. In the end, we don’t transmit to others what we say or do, but who we are: antipathetic or sympathetic.

Saint Porfyrios says: ‘There’s an invisible life, the life of the soul. It’s very powerful and can affect others, even if they’re thousands of miles away. This can be through a curse, which has the force to activate evil. But again, if we pray with love for someone, no matter how far away we are, goodness is transmitted. So, good and evil aren’t affected by separation. We can send them over boundless distances. And we can send good or evil without even speaking, no matter how far away we are from another person. What isn’t expressed often has more force than words’.

In the world of shop-windows and advertisements, the true Church of Christ (as experienced by the saints, those ‘non-existent’ people of God, humble and simple, no matter what their position in society), promotes the mystic and invisible experience which consists of burning love for God. Just as making too much of human feelings of ardor leads to sexual license, so too, making public a mystical, sacramental relationship with Christ leads to lies, hypocrisy and thence to its obliteration.

Real life is lived in the depths of our heart, as is our hell and our paradise. That is where the battle is fought between our good and wicked self. That is where we reject or accept God and our neighbor. And that’s where our journey to eternity begins.



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.


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