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On the heart and the nous


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#1 John Choate

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 03:46 PM

I have some questions that arose last week during our parish bible study. We are studying the purification of the heart and the elimination of the passions. Last week, we discussed the following quote from Matthew the Poor's text Orthodox Prayer Life: the Interior Way, "The devil's work, with regard to the heart, is not merely confined to contaminating it with evil desires. It is not just that he makes the evil treasured up in the heart produce evil. He even adds to this the possibility of giving man another heart from which he can speak gilded words. This he does to keep the evil intent secret and make sure that it's carried out."

Is the 'devil's work' giving man another heart an Orthodox concept? Moreover, does man receive a new heart upon baptism or do the mysteries of the church assist in the regeneration of the heart and nous? Is the nous and heart synonymous used in this way?

I've gone back and reread Fr. Romanides' book Patristic Theology where in Ch. 1, he discusses the healing of the soul. I struggle to get a handle on the concepts of nous and heart.

#2 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 04:08 PM

Dear John,

Thank you for the thoughtful questions. We must remember that words like 'new' and 'another' can mean many things. To receive a 'new heart' does not necessarily mean a 'replacement' of the heart itself - as if it were some spiritual organ transfer. It is new in its life, its pulse, its contours, its work. It is new in the effects it works upon the whole of man. And to receive 'another' heart is not to say that one's heart is physically replaced, but that which the heart once served to do, is given over to some wholly other act or life. Adam received 'another' heart when he rebelled against God; not that the spiritual organ that the Lord had fashioned was done away with and replaced by something else, but instead that heart was given over to a new master, and hence a new 'power'.

INXC, Fr Irenei

#3 Jason H.

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 04:30 PM

Dear John,

May I recommend a book that talks about this? The book is called "The Hidden Man of the Heart" written by Archmandrite Zacharias. It touches deeply on this subject that you are talking about. You can check the book out here:
http://www.amazon.co...75496058&sr=8-1

-Jason

#4 Yolanda

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 06:13 PM

Nous = eye of the soul = energy of the heart(energies of the soul)

What is the Human Nous? http://www.orthodoxi...human-nous.aspx
Nous: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Nous

#5 Mikhail Kolitwenzew

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:27 PM

You may want to read this book:

http://www.pelagia.o...otherapy.03.htm


A very very revelant book for all Orthodox. It is the unveiling of the entire spiritual being of a person, and the healing of that person. A 'must read' title.



mikhail




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