segunda-feira, 22 de maio de 2017

Western and Eastern Mysticism - M V Lodyzhenskii

And it was precisely amid these favorable conditions that the mysticism of the East was placed. As the result of the correct laying down of the foundations of the Eastern Church, the mysticism of the East grew freely in its striving to-ward the great spiritual sun—Logos, and it developed more freely than the mysticism of the West, fettered by the prejudices of the earthly desires of the Catholic Church, fettered by the ways of papism and the spiritual prerogatives of the clergy.

From the books of the Philokalia, and also from the life of the Orthodox St Seraphim of Sarov that we have just studied—we see that Eastern mysticism has one main goal: it strives toward the acquisition of the Holy Spirit and proceeding firmly toward this acquisition, and it senses in advance the future fullness of the kingdom of God's Spirit in eternal life. Meanwhile, the leaders of the Western Church, and after them the whole Catholic Church, in their conceit have already appointed themselves the realization of God's city on earth, and besides, a city governed by earthly power. Because of particular historical conditions, Catholicism tolerated within itself the following abnormalities: It placed between Christian mysticism—a light-loving plant—and the Logos, the sun of this plant, an opaque partition. It placed between God and people an earthly sovereign—the pope—and by this obscured the attainment by Catholics of direct spirituality in the realm of the Logos. According to Catholics' historically established prejudice, inculcated in them by their religion, the pope is Christ's vice regent on earth, a person infallible, divine. In the very era of the flourishing of the earthly power of Catholicism in the thirteenth century (in the era of Francis's spiritual endeavor), the pope was even in effect a ruler of earthly kingdoms and peoples. Such an organization of religion, its being reduced to earthly sovereignty, the atmosphere in which Catholics were raised, was the main cause hindering the correct development of Catholic mysticism; here mysticism developed under abnormal conditions. It was allured not so much by the elements of the life of the spirit as by the elements of the life of forms it was attracted away from the true Light by mental and sensual elements. And this leavening of the Catholic world estranged it from the Eastern world. 

Thus, the main reasons for the religious separation of the East and West consists not in the dogma of the Filioque, not in ritualistic and formalistic arguments, but chiefly in papism and in those mystical directions that manifested themselves so differently in the spiritual endeavors of both churches. Powerful mystical leaders of the Western Church, such as, for example, Ignatius Loyola, set as their purpose service to the pope, the earthly Christ. Their ideal of spirituality was obscured by striving to realize the earthly power of Christ, whereas the spiritual athletes of the Eastern Church always remained faithful to the pure service of the heavenly Logos, and received the spiritual Christ within themselves. As a result, it turned out that western mysticism, bound by the burden of papism and along with it the striving toward human power, could never rise to the heights of Eastern mysticism, although among the saints of the Catholic world there were great spiritual strivers, in their lofty impulses and innate mystical ability.

from M V Lodyzhenskii - Light Invisible - Satisfying the Thirst for Happiness

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