LOGOS & ANTILOGOI
HEAVENLY MIRACLES – HIDDEN TRUTHS
TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS – The Ninth Book
TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS – The Ninth Book
It is to be expected that any work, depending upon its content, may attract comments and reactions. The reactions obviously will differ in content, style, and ethos in accordance with the source from which they come.
There are plenty of reasons why the present work, which is now made available in two volumes, TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS – Eight Books of Truth and Heavenly Miracles – Hidden Truths (TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS – The Ninth Book), should, more than the average book, call forth varied reactions. Some of those reasons are occasions and others causes – external causes and causes which are more inward, conscious, and unconscious which are nevertheless perceived as conscious.
Undoubtedly, the very fact of any two-way communication with the unseen world, the unusual way in which all the texts in the book have been written (telepathic dictation), the stated source of the material dictated (‘Companions’), and the decision taken by S.S. not to publish her name could well constitute well-grounded and groundless occasions and causes for thoughtful reactions – positive and negative – from anybody, whether or not they belong to certain scholarly or religious circles. Moreover, the secrets themselves of the invisible world – unknown to all or secrets for most of us – the nature of certain issues which have over time given rise to friction, such as multiple incarnations, and daring to indulge in even the slightest questioning of positions established for many centuries are further sources of reaction of every description.
Personally, I regard it as more beneficial for the soul for us to focus our attention on what is written in the work than on how and by whom it was written – which are matters for scholarly research.
By means of the course which I myself have followed, my own attempt to understand what is written – in order, finally, to establish the closest possible approach to the truth and the greatest distance from its opposites – I will share below with the reader my approach to this work and my own understanding of its content.
I must, however, stress that I believe that both this book and the whole of TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS need study, rather than a just a simple reading.
2. TELEPATHIC DICTATION – INTUITIVE SPIRITUALITY
It is a fact that science has for decades now concerned itself, and continues to concern itself, all over the world, by means of innumerable experiments, which many people (uninformed and otherwise) describe (inappropriately, in my opinion) as ‘parapsychological’. Particularly striking are the experiments over many decades described in the book by Henry Gris and William Dick,7 among other books and publications without number. When our intellect is motivated towards the study of these phenomena, it realises, on the one hand, that ‘reason’ is not always the truth, and, on the other, that those things which are contrary to ‘reason’ are not always tantamount to a flight from the truth.
Among many others who have been led to similar conclusions is the distinguished professor of psychiatry and prolific author Brian Weiss, in the United States, who – like myself in earlier times – had no training in such subjects during his studies at the universities from which he graduated, nor did he have any substantive knowledge of such issues. Dr Weiss arrived at his conclusions through therapeutic hypnosis sessions,8 a method which has been widely known in the field of medicine for years.
I would stress, nonetheless, that the case of S.S. is clearly different from those of hypnosis, and, from the point of view of neuro-psychiatric science, with which I am involved, even more interesting. Since it is important in every issue for it to be assessed individually and for vague statements to be avoided, particularly as concerns sensitive subjects, I shall deal in a future work at greater length with scientific knowledge of the possibilities of the mind and brain, and, more specifically, with the telepathic recordings of S.S.
However, regardless of whatever scientific experiments, theories, or practices, we are told by Panos Ligomenidis, a distinguished scientist with an academic career in Greece and abroad, that:
“Escape […] from the limitations of knowledge […] can be achieved by deep meditation, or by reflection on transcendental communication with ‘truth’, or by inspiration, or even by intuition, processes which usually precede a scientific discovery, as has been shown by the history of scientific research.”9
“[…] researchers themselves can sometimes resort to such (mystical insight) or similar transcendental states for enlightenment and inspiration. It is a known fact that great scientists in Physics, Einstein, Pauli, Schrödinger, Heisenberg, and others, have adopted mysticism.”10
“[…] we must draw attention to the convergence of intuitive spirituality and aesthetics, religious orientation, letters and arts with the rationality of science.”11
It is entirely understandable that any reader of this work should wonder about the luminous non-material entities who term themselves ‘Companions’ and who are cited as the source of the dictated texts which make up the content of this book and of the greater part of the whole work entitled ‘TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS’. In wondering about these things, myself, the following thoughts have occurred to me. To begin with, do we not accept as Christians – whether we are scientists or not – the existence of saints and angels? And, apart from knowledge of their existence, do we not accept the active role which saints and angels have in our everyday lives, when we invoke their aid and more generally their ‘preservation’ of us – as well as that their active role is totally subject to the Will of God?
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.12
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.13
Moreover, is not included within the framework of active involvement in the life of human beings that which their very characterisation, that is, as bearers of news, of a joyful message, primarily suggests? It is, of course, clear from history that this role – though so basic that it is from this that the characterisation of their identity stems14 – is not frequent and through time has called forth awe, but also questionings, doubts, or even fear.15 Nevertheless, for the Christian, their historical presence and participation in the unfolding of life is fully accepted, both in the period of the Old and of the New Testament:
[…] you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.16
For since the message spoken through angels was binding…17
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John…18
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.19
4. MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT
Both in religious circles and in those of the ‘rationalists’ who do not believe, a view prevails which, though basically groundless, has taken on the colouring of a doctrine with the passage of the centuries: that it is reasonable to believe that trustworthy theological truths and religious realities are given by God only within the ranks of the clergy and monastics, and not of the laity.
Thus, if a lay person – who is obviously, like everyone else on earth, even the Saints, not sinless – acquires this gift, as the result of the ‘holy life’ which all Christians are urged to strive after (moreover, the Gospels and the Epistles of the Apostles are addressed to everyone without exception), this is immediately attributed to an unclean spirit.
The ease with which this attribution to an unclean demon is made, instead of to the Triune God – Holy Spirit, is, however, no new contrivance on the part of the clergy or the laity. The priesthood and the mob launched the same argument against the Triune God – Our Christ Himself – when, as God, he determined to fulfil or clearly to amend the Law-Logos of the Triune God – Father – which had been entrusted to them to keep.
“You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered.20
The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus.21
The Jews, in an attempt, well-intentioned or otherwise – like their present-day counterparts – to defend, on the one hand, their truly centuries-old Sacred Tradition, and, on the other, their simplistic reasoning:
At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed!”22
Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”23
But they directed the same accusation against the angelic figure of St John the Baptist:
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon.”24
And even before the era in which Christ was incarnated on earth, their predecessors had the same ‘well-intentioned’ custom of ‘preserving the Sacred Tradition’.
You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute?25
In vain was the assurance of the Lord that:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.26
I am perplexed by the content and manner of the position taken by fanatically religious representatives of the Body of our Church who clearly overlook the fact that our Christian religion, as a fulfilment and emendation of the Law of God, was not given by Christ himself to the pre-existing profoundly learned doctors of the Law of the Old Testament, those who with pharisaical insistence and hypocrisy arrived at the point then also – after the passage of centuries since the Mosaic Law was delivered to them by the Triune God – Father – of preventing the common people from coming to know the true ‘kingdom of Heaven’. Can it be that history is repeating itself?
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.27
It is Christ Himself, on His criteria, who has chosen to whom he will give supplementary data concerning the Triune God and the process of being. Our Christian religion was initially given to and then spread by simple fishermen, pure in heart – laymen! Furthermore, we see that thereafter “the world hates you” has lost nothing of its force:
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear…28
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.29
I wonder how difficult it is – particularly for one who considers himself a faithful Christian – to understand this simple fact: that the Triune God decides about everything – without, nevertheless, violating our free will! That, as it was Christ who chose His Disciples, even so the Holy Spirit is the One who decides, on His own criteria, when he will ‘blow’, to whom he will ‘go’, what divine gifts he will bestow and to what degree – and that this is true of the whole Body of the Church, laity and clergy, but also of the whole of humanity, the whole Earth and the whole Universe, ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.30
God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.31
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.32
I do not believe that an understanding of the above would be so difficult were it not that our perpetual basic problem-disorder insinuates itself: egoism. That egoism which, while in theory it may attribute every action to the Wisdom and the Judgment of God, nonetheless in practice this is hindered by the childish plaints: ‘Why him? Why to him? And who is he to… ?’.
Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.33
Clearly, some people think that the prayers of the Apostles for the “communion of the Holy Spirit” are either ‘unattainable’ aspirations – in which case they are devoid of substantive content – or are addressed only to clergy and monastics, that is, they are ‘not indicated’ for ‘all of us’. One of many examples:
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.34
I must confess that I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul delivered the following precept:
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.35
For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.36
Are we perhaps being drawn into assuming that it had escaped the Apostle Paul that, apparently, close by all spiritual gifts also lurk unclean demons, those which most religious figures so much overemphasise, forgetting that it is true of every force – human or other entity – that:37
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”38
5. MODES OF REVELATION
I shall give only two – of the innumerable – examples to establish the truth that the Holy Spirit acts as he sees fit and that this is manifested in a great variety of ways, even as regards the dissemination of the Truth.
The icon of the Virgin after the finding of which, in 1823, the Church of Our Lady of Tinos was built, was the outcome of the visions of St Pelagia, who was a nun. The way in which the Saints of Thermi,39 on Lesvos, were revealed to us in 1959 was different. Was it not by means of simple and uneducated people who were chosen by the Divine Will and who were enlightened and guided ‘supernaturally’? Or should we perhaps look for ‘scientific verification and interpretation’ of the event? If nowhere else, at least it is well-known in religious circles that many instances of divine revelations to lay people have been recorded.
Even more unusual is the story of Our Lady of Skripos, at Orchomenos (Viotia – Boeotia). To whom was Our Lady supernaturally revealed when Orchomenos was saved? Was it to the Orthodox clergy and people, or to the non-Orthodox ‘heretical’ German soldiers – that is, to people who had already killed so many and were coming close to killing others? Will the scientists perhaps be able to explain the mechanism of the sudden mass immobilisation of the tanks and of the sudden ‘delirium’, thanks to which there was suddenly a fraternisation of the Nazis and the local people of the time, and they thereafter exchanged greetings every year until their old age?
6. DELUDED FALSE PROPHETS OF VARIOUS TIMES
It would, nevertheless, be extremely shallow, particularly in the times in which we live, to overlook the warnings about the appearance of false prophets (with forms of knowledge and capabilities which are indeed of supernatural origin), whose presence requires discernment for them to be recognised.
For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.40
It is an undoubted fact that today innumerable books and web pages on the Internet are in circulation, in many languages, which claim that their texts are derived from ‘genuine sources of illumination in the unseen world, or of light, or of God himself’. The theologian Fathers warn that for the recognition of these false prophets, humility, knowledge, and discernment are required. Also, in order to aid us, we are informed in the New Testament that:
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.41
Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.42
For in him we live and move and have our being.43
“‘In Him’ we acquire the perception of the Divine Essence, ‘in Him’ we gain the awareness of the Supreme Essence […]”.44 The well-intentioned or otherwise representative of any religion who teaches, in the innumerable books in circulation, love, solidarity, light, and hidden things as an initiate into the secrets of God and the Universe I regard as in fact deluded, since – as an initiate! – he has not learnt that our God has come on earth with a specific Name: Jesus Christ. I believe the chapter of this book entitled ‘Initiations’ is as revealing as it is explanatory about the matter.
However, from that point on, the seminal word of God has been given for centuries now to all the people on earth – even to those who in the present age belong to different religions and ideologies – and it is a matter of their evolution in space-time to choose or not to choose to come closer to the Truth.
“It is not that the teachings of Christ are contrary to what was taught by Plato, but that they are not entirely the same, just as those spoken by the Stoics, and the poets and authors are not. Because each one, seeing the affinity which exists, from the point of view of the seminal Word [the uncreated, eternal, unchanging, and consubstantial Logos of God], spoke correctly.”45
As Emmanuel Papadogiannis has pointed out in the forewords to some of the eight books, S.S. is completely awake during the course of the telepathic reception of the texts, is not under hypnosis, or under the influence of any substance. As she herself wrote in the foreword to the initial book of the Circle of the Graces in 2002:
“I should make it clear to you that I have never received these dictated telepathic messages when I was in a state of hypnosis or in a state of possession by the presence of some spiritual entity. On the contrary, the distinctive feature in the operation of these messages which predominated in the process of these spiritual recordings was absolute sobriety in the demands of alertness for the concentration of the mind, total isolation of the mind from various external stimuli which would have prevented its liberation and its absolute co-ordination with the universal factor, in the absolute essence of my awareness.”
Apart from the possibility in itself of any two-way communication with the invisible world, an undoubted influence on our perceptions regarding the phenomenon – either as experts or as society – is exerted by the ‘personality’ or ‘identity’ of the individual communicating, that is to say, what descriptive title frames our social apperception of this phenomenon and of this individual.
Having now got to know S.S., I can certify that she does not desire recognition or enrichment of any kind (financial benefit, recognition by a church, social status). Nor does she even seek after the information which is given to her! She is a graduate of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and does not use the gift which she was given in her adult life as a means of earning her living. She has been engaged in, and continues to be engaged in, countless real-life struggles at many levels, and prays with a profound faith in Christ, Our Lady, and the Saints. She takes part as an Orthodox Christian in the acts of worship and other events of her community. She does not belong to any ‘religious cult’ or ‘occult’ organisation. Although she has studied and is an educated woman, her personal oral and written discourse does not correspond to the accuracy of expression of the concepts in the texts – texts of hundreds of pages with striking semantic cohesion (not necessarily cohesion of style and vocabulary, since her sources from above, the ‘Companions’, do not have the same single ‘identity’). After each dictation, the reading of the texts which she herself records calls forth in her the same spontaneous awe and astonished interest in the content as are experienced by every interested reader of them. About S.S., as I have gradually come to know her, I will write more in the future. For the time being, I respect her desire to remain anonymous.
Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?46
Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!47
The course followed by the soul after death is a subject of religious dispute. My opinion is that it is worth anyone’s while to find out about and study all the views which have been expressed – if for no other reason than the fact that they concern the future fate of all of us. And what individual is not concerned by his future – as to which everyone agrees that it has some relation to our present, along the lines of ‘as you make your bed, so you must lie on it’, whether this applies to this life or the other.
A first fact which I have gleaned from this research is that it these are matters which preoccupied the Church intensely for about six centuries, not simply at the level of views held by the people, but within the framework of fierce dispute among prominent figures within it. Origen, one of the most important Fathers of the Church, with a vast recognised oeuvre, is the best known, but not the only one, of these to express on many issues views which differed from those which finally prevailed at that period. These views were accepted by thousands of Christians for some hundreds of years. I do not think it fitting, therefore, that the view of such enlightened individuals should be looked down upon or stifled, even if some of their formulations are in part erroneous or not in agreement with the prevailing doctrine of the Church.
A second feature which I have observed is the disparity between the expressions of all the theories which have been put forward. This disparity is due to some degree to the fact that the concepts of ‘metempsychosis’, ‘reincarnation’, and ‘metensomatosis’ are not synonymous, in spite of the fact that they have been used at various times and places as alternatives. The matter is further complicated by the fact that although the terms ‘soul’, ‘flesh’, and ‘body’ clearly differ, they nevertheless have many approximating meanings which sometimes interpenetrate one another. I have found that this disparity applies to theories and arguments on all sides and that it includes expressions of opinion by contemporary intellectuals and theologians, Fathers of the Church, ancient Greek philosophers, and the representatives – proponents – supporters of innumerable religions, doctrines, and theories all over the world and down the centuries.
A third conclusion which I have reached is that in spite of the fact that some sources have been preserved in which a view is put forward, whether this is a case of passages from the Old and New Testaments, or of the writings of Origen, of Plato, of St Basil, of St Gregory of Nyssa, or others, nevertheless the authentic sources are few, brief and lacking in clarity and do not permit lengthy analysis or exegesis of each theory. As a result, we see, in the end, that on the issue of reincarnation – as with so many others – both the champions and the deniers of this theory are even forced to use the same sources to support any view they may hold. Origen was the author of thousands of writings, of which very few have survived, and it is interesting that in these there are even suspicions on his part of the distortion of some of his views.
In this work, the information relating to the matter of incarnations which is revealed brings to light clear and substantive differences from most of the theories which have been put forward through the ages, in spite of any common basis which they may have. The prefix ‘re-‘ is not even used before the term ‘incarnation’, clearly because of the obscuring and misunderstanding of the reality which it brings about. To begin with, the reason and the manner of the cycles of our incarnations on earth for the building up of our individual experiences is explained. Also explained is why a knowledge of the reason and purpose of our incarnations is gradually necessary when we are now maturing spiritually in the ages of time. Light is now cast on the fear expressed by some that if people know that they will have the opportunities of multiple incarnations for their spiritual improvement, they will not strive for it in the present by the knowledge that, on the one hand, it is neither a known fact nor a given that there will be another cycle, or ‘where’ in the infinite Universe it will be, and, on the other, that every one of our actions follows us in space-time, so that ‘you will be paid in kind for what you have done’ without there being any question of the ‘writing off’ of our actions. Forgiveness from above – essential for all of us – differs with clarity and in its meaning from a ‘convenient’ writing-off. And, finally, it is confirmed that the cycles of incarnation will end at the Second Coming and Judgment – foretold and accepted in all Christian circles, though, as we all know, when these will take place is known to no one. The potential opportunities offered by multiple incarnations are to be explained in the context of a more general understanding of the limits of Divine Providence and Compassion, as well as of the freedom of choice. Each human entity is now capable of knowing that in the here and now of each of its incarnations, “it pays for or enjoys what is to be expected from its eternally free choice”, but also that “absolute freedom must validate and fulfil the reason for multiple incarnations, and not put difficulties in its way by undiscerning choices”.48
Potentially multiple incarnations are a reality. With the abundant light now provided on this subject, I think that both the well-intentioned ‘conservative circles’ can be reassured, and limits set to the ‘progressives’.
9. DEMONS AND ‘DOCTRINAL DEMONS’
Having touched lightly on the reasons for reactions on the part of some scientific and religious circles, I would like now to deal with the more inward causes of these reactions. One reason is that this work states truths – indeed, many truths. For any truth to be stated and to prevail does not appear historically to have been achieved without hard work and opposition. A truth – not to mention the Truth – has to contend with many strata, which most often – not to say always – are interconnected: with ignorance, oblivion, vested interests, ideologies, egoism, fraud, indifference. When these involve people who lower themselves to the behaviour of a mob or to mass behaviour, the problem is intensified. It is, of course, correct that we should take into account that these disordered passions and afflictions are being abetted:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.49
But to what extent are we entitled to excuse ourselves in this way when this passage continues:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.50
A second cause of reactions, indissolubly related to the first, is that it sheds light on concepts and issues which historically have been jealously protected by religious, scholarly, and social forces as doctrines. In the case of doctrines, on the one hand, the strata of which I spoke above – that is the walls of the conceptual fortresses – are thicker. On the other, they are actively patrolled by forces designated for this purpose – forces on earth which fight for ‘earthly things’.
As has been very pithily pointed out to me by an acquaintance of mine: “doctrines have two aspects: 1. the structure of the basis on which an idea is grounded; 2. the adoption of a self-interest in rules which some have created [and maintain] in order to serve power-seeking interests”.
10. PRECONDITIONS FOR SPIRITUAL PROGRESS
Let us take a look at how an individual must be equipped in order to succeed in accepting a truth – and by extension a new teaching – which differs from or at least supplements what he has believed or known up till a certain moment in his life. In my opinion, these are the same preconditions for him to succeed in rejecting an erroneous belief which he has held.
The first thing which is required is good intentions. Doubting should not be confused with being ill-intentioned. An individual who is ill-disposed does not want to be convinced. A well-intentioned person, on the other hand, who has his doubts is in a state of mental alertness and himself puts forward reasonable and well-founded arguments for and against a position, both to himself and in discussions with others. And with rudimentary faith, he also puts them to God, seeking that somehow, at some time, light may be shed upon his path.
The second is willingness to (re-)search, in the sense of Search the scriptures (John 5:39). The person who is indifferent to such matters, or is lazy or ‘content’ with the research and writings of others (even when the ‘others’ are our entirely saintly Holy Fathers) is not able to advance in the study of a teaching. He who is contented with the Sacred Tradition of the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church does not feel the need to make himself available for research. He is comfortable with the undoubted sanctity of the Fathers, satisfied with the acceptance from the depth of the ages of Sacred Tradition and concerns himself with the recycling or updating of his everyday routine. Most people do not devote themselves with sincerity and self-denial to such searching, and so gradually become incapable of learning. And in this case, doctrines become their fortress. Doctrine is absolutely necessary for a spirituality in its infancy; without doctrines, communities would collapse.
The third quality which is required is courage. I shall not deal here at any length with fear and with courage since this is a basic theme developed in this book at many points, not only in the chapter on ‘Levels of Fear and Courage’.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”51
The counterfeit image of a punishing and vengeful God who will punish you for daring even to wonder or think or speak about the forbidden issues of doctrine would be, theoretically, a clear justification for such fear – if it were valid… It is, unfortunately, a reality of human life, experienced and well established over time that some representatives, not of God but of the Church, can usurp the authority which has been given to them and behave in a punitive way towards the ‘questioning’ faithful of their flock, in accordance with the personal impression which they entertain – perhaps in good faith but erroneously – of God. Millions of followers of every religion have, sadly, a similar impression.
In the end, the Christian is called upon by Christ to dare to renounce his very self – the ideas which he has formed and which have formed him in the world – and to follow Him, so that some day, in the end, he will find the freedom which will liberate him from the bonds which he knows and those which he is not aware of:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”52
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.53
At the same time, on the ostensibly reasonable pretext and under the cloak of his protection from demons, from heresy, from separation from the Body of the Church, and, finally, from eternal Punishment itself, the believer is arraigned by certain representatives of the Church if he dares to ask himself, spontaneously and substantively, about (a) the content of the Scriptures; (b) the interpretations of the Holy Fathers of the Church (who truly were enlightened by God); (c) the interpretations of the Scriptures and of the texts of the Holy Fathers by those considered to be theologians in every age; (d) the terms, that is, the decisions, which resulted from the General Councils, as well as the conditions which led to and guided these (power-based policies and military needs, cultural differences and differentiations in approach and mentality at centres of distinctive theological thought in the light of emotional bonds and teachers’ idiosyncrasies);54 (e) the potential for error which lies behind the chronological duration of the Sacred Tradition ‘of many centuries’, given that on this earth the weak and imperfect element in human nature which erodes our knowledge of events co-exists with it.
In the last analysis, due reverence towards God, the Holy Fathers, the Body of the Church, and the Church’s Sacred Tradition is infected, in the case of the clergy and the laity, by groundless fear and by the pretence of humility – more specifically, of humiliating lack of courage in the intellect, the understanding, and behaviour. Even in the strata of the people considered to be religious, it is further infected by ignorance of the essentials, since most of the laity have not even read the New Testament or the patristic texts, and ‘content themselves’ with faith and trust in the interpretations of the strata of the illuminated representatives of God.
It is a fact, however, that he who would deny himself 55 must, to begin with, fight with boldness against the dogmas of his own self before concerning himself with the doctrines of the Church.
11. SELF-KNOWLEDGE AND QUESTIONS
Man in every age is called upon to know himself, to get to know his being – to gain self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is a term in broad use in the times in which we live, but is understood in different ways by human beings. In this endeavour, whoever undertakes it – always by his own free will and with love for and acceptance of the difficulties encountered on the way – will rely both on his individual knowledge and experiences and on those of others, in accordance with his personal inclination and in the context of his life’s environment (family, social, political, religious, cultural). Contrary to what is said and written, it is certain that by self-knowledge is not meant a practical method for making an intellectual / emotional transition to a level where one simply feels well-being and a relaxation from the issues of everyday life. There can be no self-knowledge without the assumption and acceptance of the existence of a soul.
And thus certain interconnected questions arise – not only theoretical questions, but sometimes of a practical nature. What is the soul, what is the higher self, what is the mind, what is the spirit, what is the intellect, what is the brain, what is character, what is personality, what is feeling, what is the ego, what is consciousness, what is the subconscious, the unconscious – individual and collective? Is the mind located in the brain and feeling in the heart? What is the origin, what is the meaning of its existence, what course does the soul follow in space-time? And where is the soul, the higher or deeper self? Is it deep inside us, is it around us, is it beside us, or somewhere far off, in the heavens? How are we connected with it? Can we in a practical way penetrate or ‘rise up’ to it, or ‘bring it down’ to ourselves? How are the different energy bodies of man, spoken of in Eastern sources, related? How in the end, are all the above concepts-entities expressed in the human body and in the wholeness of our existence? How do they correlate with medical science and modern scientific imaging studies which show areas of the brain being activated and illuminated by virtue of thoughts, memories, and emotions? How are they to be interpreted in the light of our scientific and experiential knowledge of the effect of natural or chemical substances and of electromagnetic fields on the mind and feelings? How are they to be interpreted in the light of the recorded life experiences of thousands of individuals on the cusp of life and death or in therapeutic sessions of the hypnosis of patients by doctors? How do they relate to the other sciences? What is inherited in the DNA? What is gradually changing in our understanding of DNA, of the environment, and of their interaction? What is changing in an understanding of reality in the light of quantum physics?
The questions as to our self and the world which surrounds us – the visible world and that which is invisible to us – are literally innumerable. It could be said that what thinking people of our times are beginning to seek after increasingly and more intensively is an updated understanding of the whole of reality, of themselves, and of the world which surrounds them and to which they belong – an updating of the discourse, the role, the position, and the limits both of science in all of its branches and of religion, as factors which in the last analysis shape social systems and affect us as individuals.
Panos Ligomenidis, that enlightened scientist who rose to the highest office and distinction of serving as President of the Academy of Athens – that is, of the ‘priesthood’ of the scientific community – writes in his five-volume work Το Γίγνεσθαι [the process of becoming] about the sciences:
“It is a need of the times, and perhaps an unprecedented opportunity, for theology and thinking about religion, together with philosophy, insight, literature, and the arts, to be urged to assist in the intellectual remodelling of scientific theories as to reality, the natural world, and the role of man within it […]”.56
Together with the above call for the remodelling of science, he has this to say about the remodelling of an understanding of theological and philosophical issues:
“[…] for the first time in the history of the human intellect, the new physics of our age and information science provide a scientific basis for the investigation of traditional fundamental philosophical – and even religious – problems. The investigative approach is made this time not with reference to philosophical axioms or religious dogmas and absolute values, but with reference to research into the truth, and to an understanding of the realities of our world which stems from observation and theorisation.”57
Finally, he reaches the conclusion that:
“In order for us to grasp the concept of reality, of the evolution of the natural world, and of the dimension of time which underlines ‘existence’, we must yoke research in the sciences, particularly physics, informatics, and biology with studies in the humanities, philosophy, and theology.”58
Daniel J. Sahas, Professor Emeritus of the History of Religions with a long career at Waterloo University, Canada, and a scholar of international standing, is the author of the superb Seed of Abraham, which I regard as necessary reading for everyone in the new multicultural reality in which we live.
“The Christian Theology is still evolving so long as Christians and their various confessions are subject to challenges by the Christian teaching itself, or they feel the need to explore the Christian doctrine further and the desire to offer it back to the world in a modern language, under the light of the ever rising new questions and circumstances.”59
I do not believe that the “further exploration” of which he speaks means a break with the past or a lack of respect for the Holy Tradition of the Christian Church. On the contrary, I consider it a sacred obligation upon us to be aware of it and to understand it both within the human realities of the past and in its eternal dimension, so that it draws us spontaneously to immerse ourselves in its wealth and with naturally-occurring reverence to incorporate it into our everyday lives.
12. THE BOOK OF REVELATION
It is in part understandable that our Christian Church, as a body, has difficulty with accepting, and in the end is unable to accept, any supplementation or emendation of its doctrines. Nevertheless, although I can justify this position as regards any views put forward by just anybody, I have difficulty in understanding its ambivalent position in connection with the Book of Revelation of John. This is a work which is both prophetic and instructive, and which we are taught was written not by any ‘layman’, any theologian, some Father, or ‘some’ Apostle, but by the disciple whom Jesus loved.60 In spite of this, it was only in the sixth century AD that it began to be partially accepted as a genuine work, and even today it is not treated by the Body of the Church like the rest of the canonical texts of the New Testament.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.61
13. SACRED TRADITION
The question arises as to whether the study of Sacred Tradition is on its own capable of answering with sufficient clarity the multi-faceted interconnected questions about self-knowledge posed above – together with so many others. That is to say, by such study, can either the ‘unbelieving’ enquirer who is seeking to find his way or the believer in another religion – or even the baptised but maturing Christian – find in Holy Scripture and in the Sacred Tradition of the Christian Church rudimentarily adequate answers to the above questions? I consider the answer to be that he can – but only in a rudimentary way. In any event, the Apostle Paul writes:
Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly – mere infants in Christ.62
Even if some, hastily and superficially, distance themselves from the stage of infant spirituality to which the Apostle of the Gentiles refers, do they have for certain even in an elementary form a spirituality sufficient to take up with true humility the ‘burdens’ of which Christ Himself spoke:
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.63
Because even His Apostles, to whom the Lord was speaking, did not themselves, in the beginning, have the spiritual stature to bear the knowledge which he would have imparted to them, he promised that after His Crucifixion, he would send to them the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit of Truth:
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.64
Given that, in the last analysis, Christians accept that we shall see Christ again at the Second Coming, it is now the work of the Holy Spirit somehow and at some time to “lead us into all truth”, to continue to fill in the blanks in our knowledge. We are speaking consistently of the Holy Spirit as the Undivided Hypostasis of One Substance with our Triune God. We are speaking consistently of the Holy Spirit who all Christians seek should count us worthy to support and enlighten. We are speaking consistently of the Holy Spirit who goes wherever He wishes whenever He wishes; the Holy Spirit who enlightened the Apostles and the Fathers of our Church, those who, after the Lord, contributed to the building up of the new enriched and emended Sacred Tradition, the continuation of the equally Sacred Tradition which, as God – Father, he had given to the Jews; the Holy Spirit who enlightened them not only as to which Heavenly Miracles they should reveal, but which they should conceal from us during their life on earth, something which applies not only to the Apostle Paul, but to so many others from among our Holy Fathers who, in one way or another which was chosen for them, arrived at visionary knowledge.
I know a man in Christ who […] was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.65
14. THE HOLY FATHERS
In our own times, the Metropolitan of Diokleia, Kallistos Ware, is a prolific theologian with a wealth of writings to his credit whom I admire because these include a translation of the Philokalia into English. His book Εχθροί ή φίλοι; [Enemies or friends]66 I found exceptionally helpful since it reviews in concentrated form many subtle issues in the light of the positions taken by the Holy Fathers of our Church, so that the reader who has not delved into the texts of the Philokalia has a clear enough picture of their theses and anti-theses on doctrinal and other matters such as the indicative questions which I posed above in the context of the quest for self-knowledge. One – perhaps unexpected but clear – finding to which the reader is led is that on delicate esoteric issues, there is no clarity in our Sacred Tradition nor is there any unanimity among the, entirely revered, Holy Fathers of our Church.
“Since, then, our human nature lies beyond our absolute understanding, it should be no surprise to us that in the Greek Christian writers there is no single definition of the soul upon which all are agreed.”67
“In spite of the fact that ‘in the image’ is considered a given, in no authentic source – either in Scripture or in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (381), or even in the doctrinal judgments of the seven General Councils (325 – 787) – is there any clear statement clarifying the exact nature of the indwelling ‘image’.”68
“Most of the Greek Christian writers, in fact, link the divine image with the soul and preclude the participation of the body in it. But, although this is the majority opinion, it is not the conviction of all of them. There is a significant minority who link the divine image with the whole human being, the body together with the soul and together with the spirit.”69
“The Fifth General Council […] formally denies that the soul pre-exists. Body and soul take on existence simultaneously.”70
“Beyond this basic position on the fundamental unity of body and soul the official doctrine of Eastern Christianity does not go.”71
Anyone may discover, with clarity, what is today the position of the official established Orthodox Christian Church, and how it is justified, as that has resulted from the Ecumenical Councils:
“The separation of the soul from the body, at bodily death, is neither final nor irrevocable, as the two will be united again at the Second Coming of the Lord, on the Last Day, and thereafter will co-exist eternally in the age to come.”72
“Since the Resurrection of Christ constitutes the grounds and the paradigm for our own future resurrection, it follows that we too, at our own resurrection on the Last Day, shall have a body, which to a significant degree will be the same as our present one. There will be a genuine continuity […]. We shall be raised with the same body which we have now.”73
The position of the Church stands out with perfect clarity, but:
“Nevertheless, and while most of the Greek Fathers confirm this continuity, they prudently abstain from any attempt to explain with many details what will be the exact connection between our present body and that which we will take on at our resurrection.”74
“Various Fathers and preceptors of the Church down the ages have preached the revelation of our likeness to God, though not always with the same emphasis. This is partly because not all of them possessed equal knowledge of God and humankind.”75
I believe, therefore, that the logical and exact conclusion which results is that the acceptance of the view of one individual does not entail acceptance of every detail of it, nor necessarily the acceptance together with it of all the rest of the views of the same individual. We do not accept infallibility in any man – that is something which as Orthodox Christians we especially proclaim! It would be a mistake for our respect for the Holy Fathers of our Church as theologians (and more specifically, for the form of whichever of their writings have been handed down to us) to be a constant criterion for the ‘dogmatic’ rejection of every crumb of different or supplementary thinking – especially when this view has been expressed at various times and in various places, in different forms; all of them imperfect, but all, by definition, capable of being made whole by the dynamic of knowledge, the product of time and possibly of the Divine Will, with whatever guidance of the Holy Spirit, until the Second Coming of Christ is fulfilled.
I have wondered how it is possible for the sanctity of the Holy Fathers to be confused by so many people with infallibility. Perhaps it would be useful for us to remember that the primary, common, essential and necessary quality by virtue of which certain of our fellow human beings have been raised to the status of sacred figures by our Church (Saints, Blessed Ones, Martyrs) is their profound faith in God, not necessarily their knowledge of theology. And there is no doubt – very obviously – that the Holy Fathers as theologians had the illumination of the Holy Spirit – clearly, each to a differing degree – but yet this illumination does not, in the end, present itself as a simple, very lucid, unified and full understanding and interpretation of many of the truths.
Moreover, is it not a fact that the leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul, both undoubtedly anointed and enlightened by the same God, held different views which they expressed strongly, until they ended up by embracing one another as brothers and children of the same Father?
I wonder: is it out of the question for any of our fellow human beings who has led a holy life and whom we honour as an enlightened Saint to have changed his mind on some theological issue in the course of his life? Did the man who has been canonised as a Saint have the same firmly established views on every issue from his birth to his maturity and to his death? Is it out of the question for him to have expressed his opinion in a close circle and for it not to have been spoken of? Is it out of the question that he changed his opinion and chose not to give expression to it so as not to cause disruption in the unity76 of the Body of the Church?
Consequently, a so-called ‘Systematic Theology’ […] is not necessarily the commonly agreeable mode of approaching the Christian experience, by all Christians. Eastern Orthodox theologians have pointed out the shortcomings of a ‘Systematic Theology’ and speak rather of a ‘Mystical Theology’; thus pointing to the non-provable, supra-logical and mystical nature of Theology as such.77
In reviewing in the two books of this work the hundreds of citations from the writings of the Holy Fathers which are contained in the Philokalia, I believe that, on the one hand, that respect for their knowledge which they have bequeathed to us, and, on the other – coming particularly to the great Kallistos – the truth of the knowledge which many of them possessed and have not delivered to us find expression.
If the Creator did not create only what was needed, but created according to His power, wisdom, and His greatness, then, instead of one, we would see innumerable worlds. And, moreover, not worlds such as that which we now see, but strange worlds, supernatural and beyond all understanding, whose beauty and wise variety, and their radiance the soul would not easily be able to bear, but would abandon the body because of the surprises.78
15. THE ECUMENICAL COUNCILS
Even when the non-infallibility of a Holy Father of our Church is recognised, insistence on the infallibility of the Sacred Tradition of Orthodoxy is attributed to the collective infallibility which results from the collectivity of our Holy Fathers, the decisions of the General Councils, and the length of the ages of the tradition.
Nevertheless, a comprehensive study of the General Councils gives rise to well-founded doubts as to the way in which the decisions were taken. It emerges that the supposed infallibility arising from the ecumenical nature of the Councils is a matter of an assumption which is often put forward, but is not confirmed by a searching historical study of the many surviving historical archives, minutes, and writings, given that such a study reveals clear – and possibly socially necessary – political interventions and expediencies.79
A study reveals that during the few centuries when General Councils were held, there were issues as to which the pronouncements of one Council were diametrically and provocatively opposed to those of the previous one. In the light of this objective fact alone, I feel awkward about regarding the Holy Spirit as the exclusive guide and guarantor of the infallibility of the Councils.
In the interests of historical accuracy, I think it fitting that it should be stated that the Church never condemned Origen as a proponent of reincarnation, but as a supporter of other, related or unrelated, ‘false doctrines’. This occurred at the Endemousa Synod of Constantinople (543 AD), where his formulations dealing with the pre-existence of souls, the restoration (apokatastasis) of all things, and Christological dogma were also condemned. This condemnation was confirmed later, at or immediately after the Fifth General Council (553 AD), which was convened with a view to the resolution of another, unrelated, theological question.
16. THE RESURRECTION
“‘Christ is Risen from the dead’ not with some new body, but with the same body which he had previously; thus His Disciples recognise Him precisely because they see the wounds caused by the Crucifixion and His hands and side.”80
I believe that this description by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware adequately explains the reason why the Lord chose to appear after His Resurrection in a material body – now incorruptible, but material.
When each of us has been conversing with the large number of people who doubt over the course of time either the physical presence of Christ on earth or the miracles of which so many are described as having been witnesses, can there be any room for justifiable doubt that had Christ appeared after His Resurrection in a non-material body, this would have been ascribed by scientists and doubters of every age to group hysteria with visual illusions on the part of fanatical disciples? This argument, very widely put forward at the present time, would be further fuelled by the great space of time which has intervened and the absence of an ‘objective’ record of the kind to which we have become accustomed, thanks to the progress of audio-visual and information technology with the Internet.
But was even the material Body which the Apostle Thomas – representing the expected and enduring doubt of reason of all mankind – felt in every way the same as that which He had on the completion of His Crucifixion?
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me.”81
17. ACTION – REACTION
As I pointed out before, at the beginning of this part of the foreword, the motives and reasons for reaction to this work are varied. In the light of the law of action-reaction, this, in any event, would be natural, given that it is a work which urges every one of us to activation and action, internal and external.
Personally, I have attempted to react in a way which I consider positive – that is, by laborious research to link together three realities: that I was born a human being, that I was baptised a Christian, and that I have studied the science of medicine, moreover with a particular interest in the nervous system and processes of the psyche. The decision to pursue this course of study was personal, and considered as being a conscious one. I thought it necessary to respond to the inner call to an adult and conscious updating of the first two realities, those as to which – according to our conventional way of thinking – I had no conscious choice: my birth and my incorporation into a religious body, with its doctrines. Given that they have a bearing on future stages of my career, when I will no longer be practising medicine, I have decided to honour them with the respect due to them.
As a man in the midst of life, I have had life experiences of joys and sorrows, the challenges and the struggles and the anxieties which we face as individuals and as societies. Furthermore, my contact as a doctor, for 24 years now, with thousands of people has enriched my experience as to a more rounded understanding of the process of life as human beings experience it at stages at which the sources of our material, social-familial, physical and psychic security are put to the test.
To be realistic about the itinerary of my concern with all of this work, which contains nine books in total, there can be no doubt that what I describe as a positive reaction and a positive outcome for myself, others among my fellow-men see as negative, as a deviation from the Path of Truth. In an effort to be honest – not least with myself – it is difficult for me to find any point in their reaction at which I myself did not take at an earlier date the same or a similar position as they do. As a result, from where I stand, I cannot regard as in itself negative any positioning which is contrary to what is written here.
There are two matters which I would describe as negative. One is the glib, superficial and fanatical way of giving expression to an opposing opinion, a phenomenon which, unfortunately, with the passage of time, shows no sign of declining. It is a phenomenon which mainly and primarily involves those who set out to oppose.
There is also a second and rather different manifestation of negativity, very marked in every aspect of the life of many today: ‘lukewarmness’ or nonchalance. I am not speaking of an ‘easy going’ attitude as to matters over which people find themselves at odds with one another because of their differing approaches and perceptions with regard to some individual or social or scientific issue, but of a stated approach to the Divine, of the kind of which we are told in the Book of Revelation of John:
So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.82
By ‘lukewarm’ is meant one who is indifferent, who skirts round matters which concern himself and his place in the Whole, the one who maintains formal distances, ‘safety’ distances, and/or ‘convenient ignorance’, both from the Truth and from the many things opposed to it. At a social and inter-personal level, this lukewarmness / nonchalance is preferable to a stance of combativeness, as being more ‘civilised’. But it is truly interesting that perhaps this incomprehensible God of the Christians prefers those who are actively – from a fanatically adopted positioning – ‘unbelievers’, those who still lack an adequate and correct apprehension and/or knowledge, to those who actively and unceasingly strive to ensure their mental and emotional lukewarmness and their bodily ease. The example of the conversion of the Apostle Paul from a fearsome persecutor of the Christians into an Apostle to the Gentiles is extreme, but indicative.
The time of our life upon earth rolls on and no one knows how long it will last. In parallel, with our justifiable concern with providing for our necessary material needs, visible and obvious, I am gradually coming to understand at an ever deeper level the substantive need to provide for our inner self, that which most people agree has prospects of eternity.
I believe that our Sacred Tradition serves as a beginning of the right road, but not as a source which can be read to give a substantive answer to the elementary perplexities which concern us. Societies evolve, sciences advance, we cannot wait for a fresh Ecumenical Council to attempt to supply answers to the innumerable questions which are raised. Moreover, none of us can know what exactly is given by Heaven to each enlightened Holy Father of our Church – what has been given and what has not been given, what will be given and when.
Personally, it is my view that if our Holy Fathers had been exposed to the wisdom of the exegesis of the texts which have been given to us and which are presented in the nine books in the series TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS, many of their spiritual quests would have been satisfied. The revered Fathers did not oppose the comprehensive knowledge which is presented in these nine books. They justifiably opposed other theories about multiple incarnations, which truly lack adequate reasoning. Today, moreover, I believe that even the well-intentioned attempt at absolute identification with the writings of the Holy Fathers, in their every detail – by definition impossible, since, as we have pointed out above, many of their views differ from one another – is reminiscent of the efforts of the Jewish priesthood to safeguard the Sacred Tradition, in every other respect revered and divinely ordained, of the Prophets of the Old Testament.
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.83
It is a given that the knowledge which has been given to us is not in completed form. Does anyone know when God will judge and in what way he will judge that any supplementary spiritual revelation should be made of all or some of the things which He told us at that time we were not ready, as human beings, to hear?
As Christ will not be incarnated again, how shall we ‘allow’ God to give us other knowledge?
I ask myself: does the Holy Spirit, as the guide of Christians after the Presence in the flesh of Christ among us, have, or does He not have, the ‘right’ to wish to supplement or amend any knowledge which He has already given us, as and when He decides to?
Must we again ‘crucify’, albeit metaphorically, its bearers whom, on His own criteria, He will choose at some point? As Spirit, is there some other way apart from some form of insight, is there some ‘rational’ or conventional scientific way for Him to do it?
Is it right for us to bury our head in the sand in the face of the Truth – the truth with its multiplicity of aspects and of a multi-levelled reality which we experience, and which is revealed to us in a variety of ways, by science and by experience, at a personal and community level – and to assume that those things which are regarded as doctrines are never again to be added to? So when are they to be? Only at the expected Second Coming, which entire nations have for centuries adapted to their own imagining, just as others, in accordance with their imagining, still wait for the ‘First Coming’, the coming of the Messiah?
For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.84
For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.85
7 See Gris, Henry and Dick, William, Νέες Παραψυχολογικές Ανακαλύψεις στη Σοβιετική Ένωση [New parapsychological discoveries in the Soviet Union], trans. A. Nanou-Tsakali, Athens: Sympan Publications, 1982.
8 See Weiss, Brian, Ίδια Ψυχή, Πολλά Σώματα [Same soul, many bodies], trans. D. Koutsoukis, Athens: Kastaniotis Publications, 2007.
9 Ligomenidis, Panos, Το Γίγνεσθαι [The process of becoming], Athens: Diavlos Publications, 2012, Chap. D4.8, ‘Περιορισμοί στην ορθολογική περιγραφή και την κατανόηση του φυσικού κόσμου [Limitations on the rational description and understanding of the natural world]’, p.93.
10 Ligomenidis, Panos, Το Γίγνεσθαι, op. cit., Chap. D4.1, ‘Η εννοιολογική βάση της γνώσης για τον φυσικό κόσμο [The conceptual basis for a knowledge of the natural world]’, p.80.
11 Ligomenidis, Panos, Το Γίγνεσθαι, op. cit., Chap. D8.9.1, ‘Αλλαγή νοοτροπίας [A change of mentality]’, p. 164.
12 Psalms 91:11-12, Book of Matthew 4:6, Book of Luke 4:10-11.
13 Book of Matthew 18:10.
14 Angel: in Greek Άγγελος (lit.) messenger, bearer of good / bad news.
15 See Book of Matthew 28:2-5 – Book of Luke 1:11-13, 1:30, 2:10 – Book of Acts 10:3-4.
16 Book of Acts 7:53.
17 Book of Hebrews 2:2.
18 Book of Revelation 1:1.
19 Book of Revelation 22:16.
20 Book of John 7:20.
21 Book of John 8:48-49.
22 Book of John 8:52.
23 Book of John 10:20.
24 Book of Matthew 11:18.
25 Book of Acts 7:51-52.
26 Book of Matthew 5:17.
27 Book of Matthew 23:13.
28 Book of John 15:16.
29 Book of John 15:19.
30 Book of John 3:8.
31 Book of Hebrews 2:4.
32 Book of 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.
33 Book of 1 Corinthians 14:20.
34 Book of 2 Corinthians 13:14.
35 Book of 1 Corinthians 14:1.
36 Book of 1 Corinthians 14:31.
37 See Papadogiannis, Emmanuel, ΑΦΘΑΡΤΑ & ΑΔΙΑΒΛΗΤΑ – Οκτώ Βιβλία Αλήθειας [TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS – Eight Books of Truth], Athens: publ. Bookdream, 2018, ‘Οντολογία του Κακού [Ontology of Evil]’, p. 260.
38 Book of John 19:11.
39 The better known are St Raphael, St Nikolaos, and St Eirini. Less well-known are those who bore witness with them or at an earlier date in the same place, and whom our Church still honours: Vasileios, Maria, Raphael, Theodoros, Stavros, Evfrosyni, St Olympia, and others. See Demetrios, Metropolitan of Goumenissa, Axioupolis and Polykastron, Η Ζωή εκ Τάφων [Life from the tombs], Goumenissa: Holy Monastery of Sts Raphael, Nikolaos and Eirini of Goumenissa, 2006.
40 Book of 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
41 Book of 1 John 4:1-3.
42 Book of 1 Corinthians 12:3.
43 Book of Acts 17:28.
44 See Papadogiannis, Emmanuel, TRUTH LEGACY BOOKS – Eight Books of Truth, op. cit., ‘Συμπαντική Ενότητα [Universal Unity]’, p. 305.
45 Justin, Απολογία Δευτέρα Υπέρ Χριστιανών [Second Apologia for Christians], in Ελληνική Πατρολογία [Greek Patrology], ed. J.-P. Migne, Vol. 6, Athens: Centre for Patristic Publications, 2001, pp. 465:13.
46 Book of James 2:5.
47 Psalms 3:1.
48 See Mikropoulos, Efthimios, Ουράνια Θαύματα – Κρυμμένες Αλήθειες [Heavenly Miracles – Hidden Truths], Athens: publ. Bookdream, 2018, ‘Απόλυτη Βουλητική Διάθεση. Ελευθερία στη Διακίνηση του Νου [Absolute Disposition of Will. Freedom in the Mobilisation of the Mind]’, p. 238.
49 Book of Ephesians 6:12.
50 Book of Ephesians 6:13-16.
51 Book of Romans 8:15.
52 Book of Matthew 16:24.
53 Book of John 8:32.
54 Cf. Sahas, Daniel J., Σπέρμα Αβραάμ [Seed of Abraham. Judaism, Christianity, Islam in Essence and Manifestation], Athens: Iolkos Publications, 2011, ‘Αιρέσεις [Heresies]’, p. 308.
55 Cf. also Mark 8:34. ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’
56 Ligomenidis, Panos, Το Γίγνεσθαι, Chap. Δ8.8, ‘Ο ρόλος του ανθρώπου: Η επικοινωνιακή συνείδηση ολόκληρης της ανθρωπότητας [The role of man: the communications consciousness of the whole of humanity]’, p. 162.
57 Ligomenidis, Panos, Το Γίγνεσθαι, op. cit., Concluding Note to Vol. V, p. 121.
58 Ligomenidis, Panos, Το Γίγνεσθαι, op. cit., Chap. Δ7.6, ‘Η κοινωνία μας στην εποχή της αμφιβολίας και της κοινωνικής σύγχυσης [Our society in an age of doubt and social confusion]’, p. 138.
59 Sahas, Daniel J., Σπέρμα Αβραάμ, op. cit., ‘Θεολογικές Σπουδές [Theological Studies]’, p. 216.
60 John 21:20.
61 Book of Revelation 1:3.
62 Book of 1 Corinthians 3:1.
63 Book of John 16:12.
64 Book of John 16:13.
65 Book of 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.
66 Ware, Kallistos, Metropolitan of Diokleia, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; [Enemies or friends?], Athens: En Plo Publications, ²2015.
67 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 38.
68 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 40.
69 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 41.
70 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 43.
71 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 48.
72 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 43.
73 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 45.
74 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 45.
75 Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov), We shall see Him as He is, trans. from the Russian Rosemary Edmonds, Platina, Calif.: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood Publications, 22012, ‘The Hypostatic Principle in the Godhead and in the Human Being’, p. 192.
76 When we speak in a simplistic way of the unity of the Christian Church, it is useful to remember that up to the present, thousands of denominations have been recorded. Is it not the case that divisions in the Body of the Church – those to which the Apostle Paul refers in addressing the Corinthians (I Cor. 1:10) – had begun to take shape already in the early days of Christianity? I venture here to voice an observation of my own: that just as the appearance of billions of people differs in detail, so the contemplation and understanding of Christian Reality by the whole of humanity shows great to infinitesimal differences. The Orthodox Christian Church has not been able for almost a hundred years now, in unity, to resolve and manage within itself with Christian love the matter of the acceptance of one calendar rather than another – is it realistic to expect it to be able to supply answers to composite theological issues ages old?
77 Sahas, Daniel J., Σπέρμα Αβραάμ, op. cit., ‘Θεολογικές Σπουδές [Theological Studies]’, p. 216.
78 Patriarch Kallistos [Angelikoudis], in the Philokalia, Vol. V , ‘Περί θεωρίας [Concerning contemplation]’.
79 See Athanasiadi, Polymnia, Η άνοδος της μονοδοξίας στην ύστερη αρχαιότητα [The rise of monodoxy in late antiquity], trans. Eirini Mitousi, Athens: Estia Publications, 2017, pp. 96 – 106, and passim.
80 Ware, Kallistos, Εχθροί ή φίλοι; op. cit., ‘Η ψυχή κατά τους Έλληνες Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας [The soul in the Greek Fathers of the Church]’, p. 45.
81 Book of John 20:17.
82 Book of Revelation 3:16.
83 Book of John 16:12.
84 Book of Hebrews 2:2-3.
85 Book of Matthew 13:17.