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Clairvoyance as a relationship of man to the cosmos


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#1 Olympiada

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 11:31 PM

Dear Monachos Community

The gift of clairvoyance has to do with the person's relationship to the universe. I wondered what texts are available on this subject on this web site and what texts people would recommend and who has been shown to have this gift. I know of many but I would like to enter into active discussion of this topic.

In Christ
Olympiada

#2 Kusanagi

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 07:26 PM

no one who is clairvoyant will discuss this as mentioned by Elder Cleopa as the minute they do the minute they lose this gift.

#3 Mary

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:21 PM

Dear Monachos Community

The gift of clairvoyance has to do with the person's relationship to the universe.

In Christ
Olympiada


"...relationship to the universe" ...? Can you please explain what you mean by that?

I'm under the impression that ALL gifts, clairvoyance included, come from God, not the universe... but I may have misunderstood what you're saying...

Thanks.

Mary.

#4 Michael Stickles

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:09 PM

Also, I'd like to be sure I'm understanding correctly what we are meaning by the word. The standard definitions for clairvoyance are:

clair·voy·ance
n.
1. The supposed power to see objects or events that cannot be perceived by the senses.
2. Acute intuitive insight or perceptiveness.


I assume we are referring to definition 2? Or is it something completely different?

In Christ,
Mike

#5 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 05:51 AM

Olympiada, clairvoyance as defined in Mike's message is something that a lot of our saints have had.

It is also something that those who do have it do not like to discuss. It is a gift from God.

It is mentioned in many books about saintly people, two of which are Mother Gabriela and Elder Paisios.

#6 Kusanagi

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:25 AM

Also Holy People want to maintain their link to God through silence imagine how many people secular and religious people bothering them when they say they are clairvoyant.

#7 John King

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 08:52 AM

When genuinely holy men and women have an extraordinary power it is of course Divine, but in all others it may well be demonic (see Acts 16:16-19).

I have a posting about so-called 'fortune-tellers' and 'psychics' on the forum about this. These people are dangerous - human 'traps' set by the devil to ensnare the weak and the vulnerable.

Anyone consulting a 'medium', 'fortune-teller' or 'astrologer', even for what they may think is a bit of fun, is putting their soul in the way of danger. In my view, even 'horoscopes' in our magazines and daily papers are to be avoided for the same reason, as they are often written by the same people and are dangerous at a much more subtle and subliminal level.

#8 Father David Moser

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 12:46 PM

Clairvoyance when it is used to describe an attribute of one of the saints is also described in the hagiography as one who "sees the heart of others". The clairvoyant elder is one who tells you your sins before you tell him or who answers your unasked question precisely and to the point. This kind of thing is seen not infrequently in those saints who during their lives clarified their own souls through ascetic labor such that the normally clouded and darkened spiritual senses are sharp and alert. St Seraphim of Sarov was once asked about his clairvoyance and he answered that he was not able to perceive anything about the other person, but that he simply spoke whatever the Holy Spirit put into his heart. I think that what we call clairvoyance is simply the clear perception of the spiritual senses along with the clear and constant ability to deny oneself and to do the will of God. What we call clairvoyance is simply the "side effect" of profound humility and complete surrender to God's will. I sincerely doubt that such a saint could have ever told you what "God's will" was for the next moment, rather they were simply living it moment by moment.

Fr David Moser

#9 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 02:25 PM

Fr David wrote:


St Seraphim of Sarov was once asked about his clairvoyance and he answered that he was not able to perceive anything about the other person, but that he simply spoke whatever the Holy Spirit put into his heart. I think that what we call clairvoyance is simply the clear perception of the spiritual senses along with the clear and constant ability to deny oneself and to do the will of God. What we call clairvoyance is simply the "side effect" of profound humility and complete surrender to God's will. I sincerely doubt that such a saint could have ever told you what "God's will" was for the next moment, rather they were simply living it moment by moment.


This is strongly affirmed in one of the books about the Elder Joseph the Hesychast. At one point he is asked how he could 'see' that one of his disciples was arriving from some distant location even before the disciple arrived.

The Elder explained that in Christ a person's vision 'broadened out' from within a broken and contrite heart. One has the impression from the Elder's words (which are a challenge to understand) that clairvoyance is in reality a natural state of the deified.

Rather than some sort of special ability given as a reward to the highly advanced in the spiritual life, clairvoyance seems to be one of the natural results of the deeply humbled heart in restored communion with all things.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#10 Amy

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 05:43 PM

What an enlightening topic ~ Thanks for all the insight given; God has blessed me today through you!

#11 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 06:30 AM

Fr. David wrote : "What we call clairvoyance is simply the "side effect" of profound humility and complete surrender to God's will. "


That would explain why those who live very simple lives and completely surrender themselves to God's have this blessing.

Both Mother Gabriela and Elder Paisios were like this. When reading about their lives and the lives of others like them I feel such awe.

I remember reading that Elder Paisios when living on Mount Sion in a cave had only a little tin can in which to prepare his nearly non-existent food. He used to gather water drop by drop. Another example is that one time when he was younger and living in the monastery he built in Konitsa - about a hundred miles from where I live - he had nothing to eat but was confident that God would provide. Leaving the half made monastery to go down into the river to collect stones and carry them on his back to the monastery to finish building it, he saw a large mushroom and he marked the spot in his mind for his return trip. Thank You God, he said, for providing for me. Such faith, such simplicity. I should explain that Konitsa is in the middle of forested mountains and the mushrooms in the forests of north - west Greece are very large and delicious. But, I am sure that Elder Paisios would have been satisfied with even a tiny mushroom. He often went hungry when he was living in Konitsa. Once he was given a wool undershirt - the women used to knit woollen underwear then for the men because of the severe winters. He immediately gave it to someone else because he calculated his old vest could last another winter. The above is a tiny example of this man of God.

Mother Gabriela's evening meal, which she shared with any guest she might have, was a tablespoon of Marmite dissolved in hot water, with 2 tiny paximadia - these are roasted pieces of bread that we buy here ready made (supposed to be very good for those dieting or those who have stomach trouble). She was entirely in God's hands and if someone asked her to go somewhere or do something she always said yes. She believed that if it was not part of God's plan for her, something would happen that would prevent her from going. Such faith.

Both were loving and gentle people, but both were adamant about the time alone they needed with God and even though people from all over the world visited them in their old age, this time alone for prayer or just to be silent and listen, was sacred to them.

Their situations were so dangerous - and they needed this time alone with God.

"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

#12 Darren

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 10:17 PM

What of the Witch who raised Samuel from the dead?

#13 Father David Moser

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:07 PM

What of the Witch who raised Samuel from the dead?


1. The witch did not raise Samuel from the dead but rather he appeared as in a vision in seeming response to her incantation (although he was sent by God and the witch had nothing to do with it).

2. The witch seemed to be taken completely by surprise at this event - she did not expect this to occur (what she did expect we do not know)

3. Only God can foretell the future - He reveals it, at times to the angels and to saints, but they only relay what God has revealed to them. Demons also purport to "tell the future" but they are only guessing and making reasoned predictions based on what they see happening in distant places - but they cannot see the future.

Fr David Moser

Edited by Father David Moser, 08 February 2008 - 11:10 PM.
changed poor wording


#14 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:15 PM

What of the Witch who raised Samuel from the dead?


I don't believe she raised him from the dead, but rather was communicating as a medium with the spirit of Samuel.

#15 Anthony

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 10:40 AM

Am I the only one who feels uneasy about the word "clairvoyance" in an Orthodox context? I find it difficult to detach it from the worlds of parapsychology, the occult, and the mixture of these with Orthodoxy that one sometimes finds in 19th century Russia (e.g. Anna Karenina).

I'm sure there must be a better word in English. What are the words or expressions used in Greek and Slavonic for the supernatural knowledge given to the saints?

#16 Max Percy

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 01:06 PM

Rather than some sort of special ability given as a reward to the highly advanced in the spiritual life, clairvoyance seems to be one of the natural results of the deeply humbled heart in restored communion with all things.

In Christ- Fr Raphael[/QUOTE]

CLairvoyance has seemed to me to be related to St. Maximus' teaching re: logoi, and as stated by others the more deified one is the more one is able to see things as they inf act are, as God sees them. However, this is pure speculation by me, and I do not know if any one else has ever made this connection

#17 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:41 PM

Am I the only one who feels uneasy about the word "clairvoyance" in an Orthodox context? I find it difficult to detach it from the worlds of parapsychology, the occult, and the mixture of these with Orthodoxy that one sometimes finds in 19th century Russia (e.g. Anna Karenina).


The problem is that the word has been abused by association. It literally means simply, 'clear vision', and is thus an excellent word for what the fathers describe: true vision, made clear through ascetic purification so that it sees rightly, properly, as it ought.

But I share your dislike of the 'sound' of the word in English, in which it has been subsumed into the whole 'new age' culture and lingo -- and for this reason I rarely use it (except to point out, as I've just done, that it's actually a wonderful term that it's a shame we really can't use!). There is not really a good single alternative. 'Clear sight' works well enough.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#18 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 01:22 AM

I can only think of 'prescience' and 'foreknowledge' as alternatives.

#19 Nina

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 03:21 AM

The problem is that the word has been abused by association. It literally means simply, 'clear vision', and is thus an excellent word for what the fathers describe: true vision, made clear through ascetic purification so that it sees rightly, properly, as it ought.

But I share your dislike of the 'sound' of the word in English, in which it has been subsumed into the whole 'new age' culture and lingo -- and for this reason I rarely use it (except to point out, as I've just done, that it's actually a wonderful term that it's a shame we really can't use!). There is not really a good single alternative. 'Clear sight' works well enough.

INXC, Dcn Matthew


Wow I never thought about this and thank you for the explanation. But it makes sense and because it is Latin will be a favorite for the 'new age'.

I like clairvoyant too, and I never saw it associated with other things than spiritual gift of Orthodox fathers. It makes sense: to see clearly. Or as they say his spiritual eyes were opened and he saw.

#20 Anthony

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:19 AM

Thank you, Fr Matthew, Andreas and Nina, for sharing your views.

I agree that etymologically it ought to be a fine word, but it has been imported into "normal" English purely for contexts which are completely alien to the Orthodox notion of "true vision", and I don't believe it can be extricated from that.




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