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Multidimensionality of time, space, paradise, eternity and heaven


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#41 Anthony

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:18 AM

Sunday is the first day of the week and also the 'eighth day' but the European Union had decreed that Monday is the first day of the week - an obviously anti-Christian decision.


Not disagreeing with this, I think it is interesting that the problem goes back much further. Schmemann, if I remember rightly, attributes it to a misunderstanding in parts of Christendom, from the Constantinian era when Sunday was established in place of the Sabbath. I have always found it curious that this is reflected in Slavic languages, whereas Greek (and Georgian) retain the earlier and more correct numbering for days of the week.

#42 Kusanagi

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:22 AM

I have a document on time and space by Fr Dumitru Stanilaoe in English if I can find it and post it here

#43 Owen Jones

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:29 AM

Surely Sunday became the Christian sabbath in the Apostolic period. Or am I missing something?????

#44 Anthony

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:57 AM

I think "yes and no". Fr Schmemann's point was that it represents something distinct from the sabbath - the eighth day, not the seventh, in the week's numbering. At another level, I guess it replaced the sabbath for Christians. But I leave that to people who know more.

(PS - by "established" in my earlier post, I meant enshrined in law.)

Edited by Anthony, 27 January 2009 - 12:05 PM.
adding ps


#45 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:25 PM

Surely Sunday became the Christian sabbath in the Apostolic period. Or am I missing something?????


I don't know whether 'Christian sabbath' is the right term, but Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 16:2, Didache 14 and comments from St Justin and Tertullian certainly indicate Sunday worship. Presumably St Constantine made Sunday the first day of the week and a day of rest to unify existing practice; his decree was made in 321. I don't know why English continued to use the name 'Sunday' (or indeed pagan names for all the days of the week) instead of some name such as the Greeks or Russians use for Sunday.

#46 Peter S.

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:35 PM

This prompts me to think that modern time measurement is counter to a spiritual way of arranging the days, weeks and years. It's true, I suppose, that longitude was discovered and not invented, and time cannot unify us exactly - Pascha is bound to be celebrated in Adelaide before it is in Anchorage. The structure of the cycle of services is supposed to fit a different way of thinking about time than secular time. As we all know, the liturgical day begins in the evening near the end of the secular day. The diurnal round of services does not depend on dates. Sunday is the first day of the week and also the 'eighth day' but the European Union had decreed that Monday is the first day of the week - an obviously anti-Christian decision. The daily services refer to daily time but - significally - the Divine Liturgy does not. The Church year begins in September. (In England, this ancient custom is still reflected in some institutions: thus, both the legal and educational years begin in September.)


Talking about experiencing time: Today I celebrated liturgy and slava for St. Sava in church and this tuesday felt like a sunday, a "little Pascha"... It is often like that and I know it is the same for many people in church.

Peter

#47 Anna Stickles

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:07 AM

Actually, authentic Zen Buddhism also rejects a reduction to the "eternal now"... of course, it's hard to find any authentic Zen in the West.


When someone like Mother Gavrilia talks of the 'eternal now', I think she is in no way referring to a reduction of the type mentioned by Peter S.

I have heard that here on earth "there is only now", actually, and that time does not exist, if I understood this correctly. What have been and what comes after do not exist. There is only now.

The definition from the Philokalia states

"Because of this the 'age to come' and it's realities must be thought of, not as non-existent or coming into existence in the future, but as actualities that by grace we can experience here and now."

and again what is this reality that by grace can be experienced here and now?

" understood, not as endless time, but as the simultaneous presence of all time."

Christ is every-where and every-when present and maybe the saints who live in Christ live in an expanded participation in time. It is this expansion, not a reduction that I think reflects a more Orthodox understanding of the eternal now. . I think this goes back to what Owen said, that

"Man exists in a realm in between world and heaven, time and eternity, mortality and immortality, imperfection and perfection, etc.



It seems to me that the Liturgical hymns and prayers of the Church teach us that all of eternity is wholly present in every moment of time. We say that Christ "is and was and is to come". He is ever-begotten, ever-slain. We say that Mary is ever-virgin and to me at least this has far less to do with whether she had relations with Joseph after marriage and is far more a theological statement that the Incarnation is an eternal event. Christ is ever being united with humanity.

Also in Orthodoxy we do not accept the doctrine of 'salvation at a point' that is typical within PC circles. We say that we are saved, we are being saved and the fulfillment of our salvation is yet to come. And that all these are true for us now simultaneously. St Paul says "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world" Eph 1:4. Very often in Orthodox writings the past, present and future are not separated but seen as coexisting.

In the Church time is not circular as the Greeks imagined it, and yet neither is it simply an impersonal progression of events that are passing away one after the other in a relation of cause and effect which is the modern perception.

Rather time begins in God and ends in God. An analogy that comes to mind is the fact that a fertilized egg contains the whole potential of the body that is to be formed and each cell of that body contains the whole of this genetic information also. And yet it is only as this person lives and grows that what is contained in the genetic material is made manifest. In the same way it seems to me that when we say that God's plan for humanity is eternal we are saying that the whole of it is in God, and yet it must be actualized, it must come to fulfillment in time.

On the seventh day God rested, and yet He is not resting now but rather recreating. I am wondering if there is a kind of simultaneity going on in the Fall and the Incarnation, in our death and recreation. Looking at modern man, externally it may seem we have made progress and yet it seems to me that we are far more fragmented, we are living a life which is far more destructive of our nature, far more lawless, then ever before in history and I am wondering if there is some sense in which although we say Adam fell, that the human race is in fact still falling, and that when we have fully fallen, only then will we be fully raised. What is lawlessness after all except the self-willed rejection of our nature.

Please excuse me if this post is a bit meandering.

#48 Peter S.

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:50 PM

When someone like Mother Gavrilia talks of the 'eternal now', I think she is in no way referring to a reduction of the type mentioned by Peter S.

I have heard that here on earth "there is only now", actually, and that time does not exist, if I understood this correctly. What have been and what comes after do not exist. There is only now.

Then I didnt understand what I heard about that there is only now correctly. The sentence: "What have been and what comes after do not exist." by me, is wrong.

The definition from the Philokalia states

"

"Because of this the 'age to come' and it's realities must be thought of, not as non-existent or coming into existence in the future, but as actualities that by grace we can experience here and now.



and again what is this reality that by grace can be experienced here and now?

" understood, not as endless time, but as the simultaneous presence of all time."


Then this simultaneous presence must be the "now".

In Christ
Peter




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