Montag, 23. Dezember 2013

The cure of the neurobiological sickness of religion - Fr. John S. Romanides

The Five Keys to the Bible

 What is missing in the work of such Biblical scholars and especially of those who work within and under the weight of the Franco-Latin Augustinian tradition, are the following five keys:
 1) That the very core of the Biblical tradition is that religion is a specific sickness with a specific cure. This is what the claim "there is no God except Yahweh" means. Not knowing this fundamental first key one cannot know the second key:
 2) That there is a clear distinction between Biblical terms which denote that which is "uncreated" and that which is "created." Not knowing this context one cannot know the third key to Biblical terms:
 3) That "it is impossible to express God and even more impossible to conceive Him." In other words there is no similarity whatsoever "between the created and the uncreated." Anyone who thinks that Biblical expressions convey concepts about God is sadly mistaken. When used correctly Biblical words and concepts lead one to purification and illumination of the heart which lead to glorification but are not themselves glorification. An integral and essential part of knowing these foregoing three keys is the fourth key:
 4) That the cure of the sickness of religion involves at all stages "the transformation of selfish happiness-seeking love" into "the selfless love of one's own crucifixion which is glorification." This glorification, therefore, is not only that of the Lord of Glory Incarnate, "but also that of all prophets and apostles (sent ones) before and after the Incarnation of the Lord of Glory." These four keys become the fifth contextual key of cure.
 5) That "the expressions about God in the Bible are not intended to convey concepts about God. They act only as means to guide one to the purification and illumination of the heart and finally to glorification by the Pre-Incarnate and Incarnate Lord (Yahweh) of Glory which is to see Him by means of His uncreated glory or rule" and "not by means of ephemeral created symbols and concepts about Him" as is the case in the Augustinian tradition.

In John 17, Christ prays for the cure of the glorification of His disciples and their disciples, not for divided Churches — indeed not for traditions which have not the slightest idea what the cure of glorification is.

The cure of the sickness of religion and the Neo-Platonism of Augustine.

The Roman Emperors from Constantine the Great (306-337) to the last Roman Emperor Constantine XII (1449-1453) accepted Christianity as the official cure of the sickness of religion and not as one more form of religion. It was because the prophets of the Old and the New Testament knew by means of their glorification in and by Yahweh the cure of this specific disease in the heart that Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire. This cure had nothing to do with either religious or philosophical speculation. The pinpointing of this sickness and its cure in the heart is also the only key to the union of Christians among themselves and the reason why members of the society practicing this cure accept the Nine Ecumenical Councils of the Roman Empire. These Nine Ecumenical Councils are part of Roman Law. What unites them into one whole is the cure of the sickness of religion by means of the purification and illumination of the heart and glorification of the whole person. Each of the Nine Ecumenical Councils condemned specific heresies of their time exactly because they deviated from this cure by attempting to transform the medical practice of the Church into systems of philosophical and mystical speculations and practices.

However, Peter the Great lead the Russians into believing that there are only seven officially approved Ecumenical Councils. These Roman Councils happen to be the ones that the Franco-Latin Papacy continued to accept in common with the four East Roman Orthodox Patriarchates after the Franks captured the Patriarchate of Rome. This reduction of the Ecumenical Councils from Nine to Seven had become a first step in the attempted union between the Franco-Latin Papacy and the Roman Emperors of New Rome during the latter part of the 13th to the middle of 15th centuries. Submission to the Franco-Latin Papacy was the price that the Roman Emperor of New Rome was required to pay for Franco-Latin help against the Turks. This union was supposed to have been consummated at the union Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-1442. This Council was condemned by the three Roman Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem at their Council of Jerusalem (1443). These three Roman Patriarchates were within Moslem held territories. Then in 1453 New Rome fell to the Ottoman Turks putting all four Roman Patriarchates within the Moslem world, putting an end to the need for asking for help from the Franco-Latin royalties and nobilities of Western Europe and their Pope. The reality of the matter was that the three Roman Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem had opted to continue their tradition of the cure of the sickness of religion of the Old and New Testaments and of the Nine Ecumenical Councils and were re-joined in this work by the Patriarchate of New Rome in 1453 after the Ottoman takeover of the capital of the Roman Empire.
Perhaps the most serious among these deviations from the cure in question was that of Augustine. Indeed the Ninth Ecumenical Council condemned the philosophical and mystical speculations of Barlaam the Calabrian not knowing that he was simply repeating the philosophical and mystical speculations of Augustine. Since the rule of Charlemagne (768-814) Augustine had become the heart and core of Frankish theology and spirituality. As the Franks were becoming acquainted with Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils they simply understood them within the context of Augustine's writings. From the time of Charlemagne's rule until the beginning of Peter Lombard's doctrinal career (d. 1160) these Franks knew not one Father of an Ecumenical Council. Peter Lombard introduced St. John of Damascus' (c. 675-749) summary of the doctrines of the Seven Ecumenical Councils which he and his fellow Franks have been reading through Augustinian lenses since.
Augustine's doctrine of original sin, and by extension his nonsense about predestination, was condemned at the Council of Orange (529). This means that the Merovingian Franks belonged to the Orthodox Patristic tradition. Augustine's teaching about revelation by means of creatures which God brings into existence to be seen and heard and then pass back into non-existence when their mission is accomplished was condemned by the Ninth Ecumenical Council of New Rome in 1341. The Fathers of the Council did not know at the time that the source of this nonsense was Augustine.

The Sickness of Religion

The patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testaments, the apostles and prophets of the New Testaments and their successors know well this sickness of religion and the Doctor Who cures it, that is the Lord of Glory. He is the Doctor of our souls and bodies. He cured this sickness in His friends and faithful before His incarnation and continues to cure it as the God-man.
The sickness in question consists of a short-circuit between the spirit of man in the heart (the patristic noetic faculty) and the brain. In its natural state this noetic faculty spins in a circle within the heart praying. In its sick state it does not spin in a circle, but still anchored in the heart it unfolds itself and it sticks itself to the brain causing a short-circuit between the brain and the heart. In this way the thoughts in the brain, which are all from the environment, become thoughts of the noetic faculty anchored always in the heart. It is in this way that the patient becomes a slave to his environment. One of the results of this is that he confuses certain thoughts from his environment with his god or gods.
By the term religion we mean each identification of the uncreated with the created and indeed each identification of representations of the uncreated with thoughts and words of human thought, which is the basis of idol worship. These thoughts and words may simply be thoughts and words or else also representations with statues and icons taken from a supposedly inspired text. In other words the identification of even Biblical thoughts and words about God with the uncreated also belongs to the world of idolatry and is the basis of all heresies to date. Biblical thoughts and words when properly used lead to glorification but are not themselves glorification.
In the curative tradition of the Old and New Testament proper thoughts and words are used as means during the period of purification and illumination of the heart and which are abolished during the time of one's glorification when the indescribable, incomprehensible and uncreated glory of God which saturates all things is revealed to have as its natural source the body of Christ. Upon the termination of glorification the thoughts and words of noetic prayer in the heart return. He who has thus suffered glorification has now seen for himself that there is no similarity whatsoever between the uncreated and the created and that "It is impossible to express God and even more impossible to conceive Him."
The foundation stone of the fallacies of the Vaticanists and the Protestants is the fact that they followed Augustine who construed the glory of God revealed in both the Old and New Testament to be indeed a creature, being indeed brought into existence and passed out of existence with each revelation. Not only this, and what is worse, he construed the Angel of Great Counsel and His glory, Who appeared to the prophets and to Moses in the burning bush, as creatures, which God brings into existence from non-being to be seen and heard and returned back into non-existence after their mission is accomplished. He expounds these imbecilities is his De Trinitate.
But in order to have correct guidance in the cure of one's noetic faculty one must have as guide the experience of those who know by their own glorification (OT patriarchs and prophets and NT apostles and prophets and fathers) three basic axioms: 1) Between the uncreated God and his uncreated glory and His creation there is no similarity whatsoever. 2) "It is impossible to express God and even more impossible to conceive God" (St. Gregory the Theologian). 3) Everything in the Holy Trinity is either common to the Three Persons (the common essence and energies) or else belongs to only One Person alone, called the "incommunicable" characteristics. It is only by using these three axioms that one may avoid the plight of acquiring the devil as a guide by means of so-called theologians who speculate about God and things divine.
In its natural state the noetic faculty spins in the heart praying regulated by its communion with the glory of God so that the passions (hunger, thirst, sleep, bearing children, the instinct to self-preservation (fear of death) are blameless. These same passions, detached from a spinning noetic faculty in the heart and attached to the brain, cause the brain to create imaginary magical religions for controlling nature and destiny or to achieve the salvation of the soul from matter in a state of happiness or else of the happiness of the soul and the body.
We are obliged to have a clear picture of the context within which the Church and the State viewed the contribution of the glorified to the cure of the sickness of religion which warps the human personality by means of its search for happiness both in this life and after the death of the body. It is within this context that the Roman Empire legally incorporated the Orthodox Church into its administrative structure. Neither the State nor the Church saw the mission of the Church as the simple forgiveness of sins of the faithful for their entrance into heaven in the next life. This would be equivalent to a doctor's forgiveness of his patients for being sick for their cure in the next life. Both the Church and the State knew well that the forgiveness of sins was only the beginning of the cure of the happiness seeking sickness of humanity. This cure begins by the purification of the heart, it arrives at the restoration of the heart to its natural state of illumination and the whole person begins to be perfected beyond one's natural capacities by the glorification of body and soul by God's uncreated glory (shekina). The result of this cure and perfection was not only the proper preparation for life after the death of one's body, but also the transformation of society here and now from a collection of selfish and self-centered individuals to a society of persons with selfless love "which does not seek its own."

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