By Robin Amis
This publication provides the esoteric unique middle of Christianity with its situation for illuminating and therapeutic the internal lifetime of the person. it's a bridge to the usually tricky doctrines of the early church fathers, explaining the religious psychology of the fathers that underlies the present renewal of spirituality within the Greek church. This renewal, like this e-book, is heavily associated with the understandings of the trendy priests and abbots on Mount Athos. a special Christianity turns out to be useful to the practitioner, in addition to to the student, offering new insights into the issues of learning and following the non secular direction open air of a monastery.
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Extra resources for A Different Christianity: Early Christian Esotericism and Modern Thought
The unwritten teachings have been even more inaccessible. The written teachings of the early Fathers exist in two main forms: in the writings of the Fathers themselves, and in those of their successors, more recent teachers or authors in the same tradition, including a very few members of the Western churches who have obviously followed in the same line of work, and including monks and nuns and occasionally other clergy of the Eastern Church right down to the present time. 2 shows the relation of a few key figures in this tradition.
What is this tradition, and what does it tell those who follow it? Many things, but here is an example of great practical merit from Saint John Cassian, who came from the African deserts to found some of the earliest monasteries in Western Europe. 8 He also wrote of many monks he knew who had lost the Way, asking: “What was it, then, that made them stray from the straight path? ”9 Throughout the centuries, this path known as the Royal Way has been a common but barely recognized thread in Christianity.
He speaks of a twofold knowledge, one, common to all men, and born of sense; the other, the genuine ‘gnosis’. 15 This latter is not born with men, but must be gained and by practice formed into a habit. ”16 And Clement himself wrote: “And the gnosis itself is that which has descended by transmission to a few, having been imparted unwritten by the apostles. ”17 But then, this book exists to help us recreate those old interpretive tools and with them again to make connection with that ancient knowledge, through just those channels used by those holy men of old, through three processes: To draw on personal observation and direct experience, related to the comments of others, so as to discover certain current concerns, personal as well as those concerning our whole civilization; to take cognizance of the experiences that give rise to them; to give an idea of why they have been forgotten or ignored for so many centuries; and finally to show how they are fundamental concerns that have lasted as long as Christendom, and are often rooted in inner and often mystical experiences that have recurred since the earliest days of the Christian era To illiminate this by study of the esoteric tradition, so as to show how the early Christian tradition of inner knowledge relates to both personal and social concerns and experiences that have become important in our contemporary life Finally, to comment as necessary on the relation of the two, in keeping with the methods of that early tradition, and analyze them with tools of contemporary but not purely intellectual understanding 16 It should be noted in this last that this kind of understanding must include a full intellectual content, and with this there is always a danger that, to the untrained mind, such a text will look as if it is pure intellectualism.