Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

definition "noetic"


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Georgije Z.

Georgije Z.

    Junior Poster

  • Validating
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:59 PM

Can someone provide me exact meaning of the word "noetic" found in Philokalia.



#2 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:29 PM

Adjective of 'nous'.



#3 Georgije Z.

Georgije Z.

    Junior Poster

  • Validating
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 06 November 2013 - 06:16 PM

Yes. I know. I mean more what it was meant in Philokalia. Noetic prayer, imagine noetically... etc.



#4 Richard A. Downing

Richard A. Downing

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 240 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 November 2013 - 07:19 AM

The Jesus Prayer is often called the Prayer of the Heart or a Noetic Prayer.  I see this as in contrast to Liturgical Prayer which is a principally a recitation of faith, as much directed at ourselves as to God.  Noetic here means to me that my whole essence is carried in the prayer as a total offering of self, warts and all, in love to Christ, expecting nothing in return.  There is nothing to say that Liturgical Prayer cannot also be noetic in this sense, but often isn't - perhaps because most of us just can't sustain noetic prayer for that long (yet! he says with hope).



#5 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:01 AM

There is a useful definition of 'nous' in the glossary of the 'Philokalia'.  It is our highest faculty, that part of our being which apprehends or perceives God and His presence through His grace.  By our noetic faculty we are aware of God.  The nous is the functioning of the soul or the intelligence of the heart.



#6 Georgije Z.

Georgije Z.

    Junior Poster

  • Validating
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

Thank you a lot. It is close what I was looking for. In the Phiokalia there are numerous expressions like "noetic reality", which is a bit contradictory. Something is real or is noetic. That is why I have the question about this.

#7 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 07 November 2013 - 07:37 PM

Depends what you consider to be 'real'.  The realities of this world are false: the reality of communing with God is true reality.



#8 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 617 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 01:38 AM

In Greek "noetic" originates from the greek word "nous" = intellect. Therefore noetic = what is perceived by the mind.
 
But, in theological Orthodox context the term "nous/intellect" is identical to the term "heart". For the Orthodox "language" of the Fathers, "noetic" is not "what is perceived by the mind" but "what is perceived by the heart". And again, here "heart" is not the biological organ - "heart" is the internal psychosomatic space where the kingdom of God is found. This "space" is part of man's ontology. And "nous/mind" is not the organ brain.
 
While "heart/nous" is used as a term with spatial characteristics (God's Grace enters there and the kingdom of heaven is found there), it is also used as a spiritual sensor, which is called the "eye of the soul". This special function of the "heart/mind" is a logical function similar to the function of viewing: when the Holy Spirit enters in the human heart, He is realized by the "heart" and at the same time this visit is perceived by the mind and recognized to be a visit of God. Just like, in the case of viewing, what "enters" in the human eye as a vision is realized by it and at the same time it is perceived and recognized by the human mind.  
  
Here Fathers make a clarification: While human mind understands the vision from the human eye, the noetic function of the mind does not have the capability to understand and to describe the consciousness of the visit of God in the heart. Nevertheless, the mind recognises who the Visitor is. This is a complex spiritual proccess. 
 
Fathers say that "the mind must enter in the heart and the heart must be clear, in order to view God in it". The action of the mind into the heart is called "noetic function" of the heart. This is not a biological process.
 
As reported by Fathers, as mind tries to enter in the heart feels a discomfort because it inherently has an outwardly orientation - which is additionally being strengthened by sins and passions. Fathers make clear that only ascetic life prepares the mind for this situation (of entrance in the heart) and also purifies the heart from the passions . The vigilance of the mind (nepsis) combined with the purity of the heart create the combination of mind/heart that performs the "noetic" spiritual function.


#9 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 617 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 01:52 AM

Thank you a lot. It is close what I was looking for. In the Phiokalia there are numerous expressions like "noetic reality", which is a bit contradictory. Something is real or is noetic. That is why I have the question about this.

 

This is another meaning of the word "noetic" = non-material,  mental



#10 David James

David James

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 91 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 02:55 AM

Thank you a lot. It is close what I was looking for. In the Phiokalia there are numerous expressions like "noetic reality", which is a bit contradictory. Something is real or is noetic. That is why I have the question about this.

 

"Noetic" is better translated as "spiritual". Try substituting "spiritual" whenever you encounter the word "noetic", and I think you'll find the text more intelligible in almost every instance.



#11 Rick H.

Rick H.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 01:17 PM

Lakis wrote:

 

 

"And again, here "heart" is not the biological organ - "heart" is the internal psychosomatic space where the kingdom of God is found. This "space" is part of man's ontology."
 
 
Lakis, knowing the "heart" is not a biological organ or something that can be pointed to in an x-ray . . . I wonder if you have ever come across any writing that would point to a location, or region, in the human body where this psychosomatic space exists?


#12 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 01:52 PM

I cannot cite authority just now but I think some hesychastic Fathers do make a connection between the spiritual heart and the physical heart.



#13 Phoebe K.

Phoebe K.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 279 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 02:48 PM

the Fathers do make the connection Metroplolitan Hierothos refers to this connection several times in his book Orthodox Psychotherapy, quoting from the writings of many of the fathers.

 

Phoebe



#14 Rdr Andreas

Rdr Andreas

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,032 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 02:57 PM

Thank you, Phoebe.



#15 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 617 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 05:43 PM

Metroplolitan Hierothos, in a paper published at a Greek website (http://www.oodegr.co...ika/kardia2.htm) writes:
 

The heart (as a term used by the Fathers) is the place that is disclosed by the blessed by Grace ascetic practice and the place where God is revealed. There, man feels the Light of God and there man is flooded with the love of God and love for God. ... This spiritual heart is, according to the teachings of the Fathers, in the carnal heart, like being inside a body. ... When the mind returns from its diffusion, first finds the natural heart and then enters in the spiritual heart, that is the "deep heart". This is a common experience of those involved in the Jesus Prayer and exercise the sacred task of returning the mind to the heart.

 
Then, Metroplolitan Hierothos quotes from the book "Saint Silouan the Athonite" published by Orthodox Beehive, pages 47-48:
 
"Through pure noetic prayer the ascetic is taught the great mysteries of the Spirit. By entering through mind into the heart, first enters into the carnal heart, and starts to penetrate into those depths where heart is no longer flesh. There he finds the "deep" heart, the spiritual one, the metaphysical one, and within he understands that the whole existence of humanity is not something strange and alien for him, but it is inseparably connected with  his personal existence."
 
Then, Metroplolitan Hierothos continues:
 
Therefore, the athlete of this hesychastic method (namely monk practising the prayer of Jesus) can clearly distinguish the spiritual from the carnal heart. He feels the presence and power of these two hearts. At the beginning the mind finds the carnal heart and then it discovers the spiritual one and can feel simultaneously the movements of both hearts. Therefore there is no confusion (of the two hearts) in this case.
 
So, indeed there is a connection between the spiritual heart and the physical heart, but they are not the same.

Edited by Lakis Papas, 08 November 2013 - 05:45 PM.


#16 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 617 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 05:47 PM

Lakis, knowing the "heart" is not a biological organ or something that can be pointed to in an x-ray . . . I wonder if you have ever come across any writing that would point to a location, or region, in the human body where this psychosomatic space exists?

 

I think the previous post with the quotation from Saint Silouan the Athonite provides a patristic answer to this question. The physical heart is described as a topological body in which the spiritual heart can be found by an undistracted mind - although the spiritual heart does not have physical dimensions.


Edited by Lakis Papas, 08 November 2013 - 05:52 PM.


#17 Rick H.

Rick H.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 08 November 2013 - 06:52 PM

Very good, thank you.



#18 Georgije Z.

Georgije Z.

    Junior Poster

  • Validating
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 10 November 2013 - 10:19 PM

Thank you, very good answers that I needed.



#19 IoanC

IoanC

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:54 PM

I have added to my blog the following article about the human soul in general which has scriptural references. I quote the part about the nous:

 

Another New Testament expression, used especially by Holy Apostle
Paul is nous, thinking, rationality, the mind, intelligence. Nous
represents that dimension of man which helps him reach the knowledge of
the will of God and follow it (Romans 1, 20 and 7,25).

 

Source: http://romanianortho...ristianity.html

 

You may also find useful another article on my blog with regards to the senses of the soul (perhaps can be taken as a further analysis of the nous):

http://romanianortho...es-of-soul.html


Edited by IoanC, 11 November 2013 - 12:55 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users