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Clairvoyance as a relationship of man to the cosmos


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#21 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:11 PM

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.


A cure for this for oneself might be to read sufficient about clairvoyant elders and eldresses that the word takes on an Orthodox resonance and expels any other connotation. But may be some alternative would still need to found for conversation with others.

#22 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:23 PM

I know of very few Orthodox contexts in which 'clear vision' (a.k.a. clairvoyance) is spoken of at length as a distinct concept. The most vivid example of recent memory is the recent volume on Elder Porphyrios, where it comes up a great deal. But, generally speaking, the gift of purified vision is understood as part of the ascetic definition of man in a state of genuine repentance, and in most Orthodox thought and writing doesn't generally come up as a distinct 'thing' -- i.e. a specific gift with a specific name. It is part of the restored human condition.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#23 Anthony

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:38 AM

A cure for this for oneself might be to read sufficient about clairvoyant elders and eldresses that the word takes on an Orthodox resonance and expels any other connotation. But may be some alternative would still need to found for conversation with others.


Another solution is to avoid the word altogether, especially as (as Fr Matthew points out) it is not really needed. This seems to me preferable to retreating to some kind of "Orthodox-speak".

#24 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:11 AM

I only meant that if one reads a lot about the lives of saints and other holy people, repeated reference to clairvoyance is understood in that context without the other connotation coming to mind.

#25 Anthony

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:18 AM

Yes, you are right; and I am sure that is what generally happens among Orthodox. But I still think that use of the word is not the best idea - it often either repels people (and possibly it has repelled me from reading literature I might have profited from), or attracts them for all the wrong reasons.

My comment about Orthodox-speak was made with a few Orthodox websites in mind. I think there is a real danger of this, though it is not really the topic of this thread.

#26 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:35 AM

If we are to be witnesses of our faith, then, depending on the context and the people hearing, we have to use language which accurately and positively describes our faith.

#27 Anthony

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:43 AM

Do you mean in this case that "clairvoyant" is the accurate and positive language to use? I don't think I would agree with that, except, as I have said, etymologically.

#28 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:24 PM

No, I meant that given its resonance we should avoid it.

#29 Anthony

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 01:32 PM

OK, sorry for the misunderstanding. (My fault.)

Edited by Anthony, 11 February 2008 - 04:06 PM.


#30 Olga

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 06:29 AM

No, I meant that given its resonance we should avoid it.

Andreas, well put. Though it is a great pity that perfectly good English words have been spoiled through their modern association with the unsavoury. Another word so "spoiled" is Mistress, feminine of Master. In liturgical texts, this word has all but disappeared, being rendered instead as Lady (feminine of Lord). The Greek (Despoina) and Slavonic (Vladichitsya) forms have been retained, and continue to have the gravitas and dignity which Mistress once had in English. Pity.

#31 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 08:32 AM

Pity also about the word 'gay' being used instead of 'homosexual'. The latter word is itself a poor word, like 'television'. When television came out, someone said, 'television? Word's half Greek and half Latin - no good can come of it!'

#32 Olga

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:17 AM

When television came out, someone said, 'television? Word's half Greek and half Latin - no good can come of it!'


Andreas, what do you expect? English is a mongrel of a language - in all senses of the word! :)))

#33 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 10:34 AM

English is a mongrel of a language


Richly polygenetic, Olga!

#34 Deacon Jonathan

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 11:53 AM

Conspire is another word that etymologically is very profound, but has a well established negative meaning. The root of the word means to "breath together", and in relation to the Church I think we should all hope to breath as one with the Church, but to say we should "conspire with the Church" doesn't sound quite as beautiful!

#35 Victor Mihailoff

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 06:47 AM

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


I read an Orthodox account of a monk who became proud and decided that he should live as a hermit in a cave alone even though his abbot advised against this. He stopped praying because an angel of light (demon) told him that he had more important work to do so he was sent another angel that remained in his cave kneeling and praying for him ceaslessly. He also stopped reading the New testament but continued reading the O.T.

People came to him for spiritual help. One man asked what had become of his brother who had dissappeared 8 years before. The hermit turned away and waited for an answer. After many minutes, he replied that his brother had become a highwayman and during a robbery he was captured and thrown into prison. His leg was broken and he was not given medical attention so it healed crooked. If the man's family were to visit the prison they could free him for a sum of money.

The man was under prelest (demonic deception) and demons gave him his counterfeit clairvoyance. Here's how they did it. When the hermit was asked about the man's brother, the many demons that invisibly surrounded him sped off in every direction asking demons on the way if they knew the whereabouts of the man by that name. finally they found him in the prison and demons there described his recent history to the visiting demons. Then they sped back to tell the ear of the soul of the hermit what they learned. When God gives the gift of clairvoyance, He puts the words right into the mouth of His devoted servant and that genuine clairvoyant learns the answer as he speaks it.

Later on, the demons danced in the cave with the hermit and raised him high above the stone floor. The abbot in the nearby monastery was summoned by the Lord to hurry to the cave and save his former charge. When he arrived, he saw the demons holding the hermit's hands and spinning in a circle very high up. They dropped him to what would have been his certain death but the abbot prayed and used the sign of the Cross. The hermit lived but took many years in the care of the monastery to recover. He later acquired true humility for his folly and eventually received a blessing to live as a hermit. He then acquired true clairvoyance and helped people with God's blessing.




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