for videos to work, the address has to start with http:// not https://

Monday, December 17, 2012

Why The Orthodox Are So Bent On Fasting, Abstinence, And Ascesis


Our Great War is a spiritual war.
Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club

Friday, December 14, 2012

Santa Claus Siding With Muslims In The Arab-Israeli Conflict


Why do so many Americans, especially from Christian-conservative and right-wing (Republican) political circles, feel the need to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy in droves, and flood into the Eastern Church by the hundreds, when even the greatest Orthodox Saints themselves so shamelessly and unapologetically espouse such clearly anti-American politics on the hotly-debated topics of Gaza and Palestine ? Oh, well... I guess we'll never really know -- will we ?...

5. A Muslim man came to Beit Jala to shoot at the Israeli settlement of Gilo. An old man appeared to him, telling him to leave immediately. The man did so. Moments later a shell exploded on the exact spot where he had been standing. The man later identified the person who spoke to him as St Nicholas.


6. Another elderly Muslim man was deeply worried about his son who had been in an Israeli prison for some years. During the night before the man's birthday, an old man appeared at his bedside, telling him his son would return on the next day. When the man asked the visitor who he was and where he was from, he answered: "I am Nicholas, from Beit Jala. If you need to find me, just ask for me, everyone knows me there." The following day, the son returned. The old man set off for Beit Jala to share the good news with the stranger, and to thank him. Confused by the story, no one in Beit Jala could tell him who had visited him. Then the sacristan took the man into the Church of St. Nicholas, where he immediately recognized the icon of St Nicholas as the person who had visited him.


Perhaps it is in moments such as these that the leaders of the Free World should take a brief pause to reflect, and -in all honesty and sincerity- genuinely ask themselves: What Would Saint Nick Do ?...

Monday, December 10, 2012

On My Wit And Intelligence




It Feels So Nice To Finally Be Appreciated...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why I Can't Just Give Up On Fasting And Abstinence Only Half-Way Through Advent




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Matthew 10:22 But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

As you can clearly see, I'm deeply involved in the Advent Fast, and I'm taking ascesis very seriously...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kind Words Of Comfort And Encouragement For Those Who Already Feel Worn Out By All That Fasting And Abstinence, At Only Half-Way Through Advent


Where you are now, you can't even imagine what the bottom will be like...
Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Don't Need To Be "Saved"...




I'm Doing Just Fine, Thank You...

Monday, November 26, 2012

On Long Periods Of Fasting And Abstinence





Orthodox Ascesis 101

( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Original Sin




More information of this topic can be found here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Holy Prophet Daniel Encouraging Those Who Are Afraid That Fasting Might Prove Dangerous To Their Health


Daniel 1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 8 ¶But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel: I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

Of course, it is not the meats and wine (and women) that God created which are defiled, but our own inordinate craving and compulsion towards them. (Genesis 1:25; Acts 10:9-16; Romans 14:20-21; Philippians 3:19; Titus 1:15).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The "F" Word

Fasting.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Protestants As The Real Ascetics !


It seems we were gravely mistaken and severely misguided in our distorted interpretation of their refusal to fast:
May God forgive us all ! Their sincere intentions were apparently holy and pure all along:

127. “It is not pleasure they love, for they stuff themselves with it. What they love is the punishment they inflict on their bodies through excessive pleasure”.


In reality, it is we Orthodox and Catholics that should be simply ashamed of ourselves, taking the easy way out, by shamelessly indulging the sinful lusts and appetites of our stomach with all those light, delightful, and easily-digestible foods, instead of suffering together with Christ on our own spiritual Golgotha for all our heinous sins and hideous offences, by stoically enduring with sheer grace and utter dignity such a martyric self-flagellation as that to which our Evangelical brethren willingly and joyfully subject themselves... As it is written in Scripture, though they came after us, we are unworthy even of unloosing their shoe-latchets (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:7; Luke 3:16; John 1:27). May God have mercy on us all, for only His grace can save us now: but Protestants shall be saved by their own works of righteousness, for they truly and rightfully were deemed worthy to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven by their own merits and glorious efforts ! (Matthew 11:12).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No Milk-Products For The Next Six Weeks




Though Temptation May Be Strong, We Must Overcome

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two Whole Months Of Complete Sexual Abstinence Starting Tomorrow




Happy Advent, Everyone !

And if you think that this is hard, just wait till you see what Christ has in store for us for all eternity...

Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying: What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God ? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time ?

Monday, October 29, 2012

The True Reason Behind My Scant Blogging Over The Past Four Months




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).


Exhaustion... Sheer And Utter Exhaustion...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On My Plummeting Blog-Statistics





This Blog Definitely Needs More Followers...


On the blessings of having such a small and declining readership:

1. It keeps the mind humble, in accordance with the blessed image of our divine Saviour, Who Himself was also meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29).

2. It helps create an intimate and more familial atmosphere for my few readers, and even fewer commenters.

3. It makes for excellent damage control to my public image (or what's left of it, anyway) once all my hidden secrets will be revealed, and I'll finally be exposed for the rotten fraud that I really am...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summer's Definitely Over...



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On My Astrological Sign




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Why I sometimes feel like my very existence is the living, breathing refutation of the Zodiac.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What Is The First Major Feast Of The Orthodox Church Year ?




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Happy New Year 7521 !




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Space: The Final Frontier




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Though scientists have long known that space is expanding faster than the speed of light, the studying of the complex sociological and emotional implications of this statement has only recently just begun...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Fathers on Fasting and Abstinence




Two Whole Weeks of Sexual and Culinary Starvation

Starting Today

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Just Hanging Out On The Beach And Meeting Some Very Nice People...




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Enjoying The Summer...




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

More information on this topic can be found here.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jesus Christ Is The Greatest Hero, According To The Talmud


The greatest hero is he who turns his worst enemy into a friend.

Babylonian Talmud, Tract Aboth, Fourth Chapter,
Tosephtha: Aboth of Rabbi Nathan

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Three Years Ago Today



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Practical Fasting Advice




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

What to do when a well-meaning non-Orthodox invites you to share a meal together ?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sea Foods That Are Forbidden During Fasting

Snails & Oysters.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Forbidden Fruit(s)


Pious Orthodox Christians are to abstain from tasting the sweetness of the following fruits during fasting periods :

Peaches, Bananas & Water-Melons.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Three Weeks Of Fasting Starting Tomorrow




Eighteen Days of Sexual & Culinary Starvation Abstinence

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Apostle Before The Apostles: How The Buddha Has Been Preparing The World For Christ


The mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief. They are all mind-wrought.

Even if all sacred Buddhist texts were to perish, and all monasteries turn to ashes, and all the Buddha's teachings be forgotten, and all Buddhists wiped out in an apocalyptic cataclysm from the face of the Earth, and the very memory of the Buddha himself lost in the mist of time, and all that were to remain would be only these two verses, the first two of the Dhammapada, it would suffice for the entire faith to be rebuild from scratch, as a gigantic Sequoia tree rising from just one small seed.

We often think, albeit mistakenly, that it is irresistible outside forces that are actually responsible for us feeling, behaving, or reacting one way or the other, when -in fact- the sheer falsity and shaky logical foundation of this fundamentally-flawed view are sometimes so easily dispelled merely by taking a simple look at reality itself: how many times haven't we seen one heart offering someone forgiveness for a certain fault, while another heart was turning with bitterness towards someone else for making the very same mistake? Some people bite even the hand that feeds them, repaying kindness with ingratitude, while others are thankful even to their worst enemies for turning them into the persons that they have now become, by overcoming all the hurdles and obstacles that have been set in their path over the course of time by the hatred and enmity of their foes. Some men being enslaved by the beauty of a woman, while others remain indifferent to her charms. Some leaders honorably resigning at the slightest sight of error, others still desperately holding on to their chairs even after committing dozens of catastrophic and unpardonable mistakes. Some seeing in failure a reason to get up and keep fighting (or at least viewing it as an indispensable and invaluable part of the learning process), while others are completely crushed at the first sign of defeat, crying out in surrender, and giving up all hope once and for all.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Spirit Of Unity: An Ecumenical Pentecost Article


I think that those who sow discord among Christians are wrong, and that John Paul the Second was right when he called Orthodoxy and Catholicism the two lungs of Europe... For instance, some people think -wrongly, I might add- that the fact that Catholics and Orthodox attach opposite colors to the Feast of Pentecost ( red in the West, and green in the Christian East ) would also imply a polarity of opposition between the two faiths: when nothing, in fact, could be further away from the truth ! Far from being polar opposites, the two faiths harmoniously complete and complement each other in perfect unity: the green grass and willow-branches that fill the floor of Orthodox churches on the day of Pentecost are the much-needed fuel that is necessary for the Catholic Inquisition to kindle the red flames of fire underneath the scaffold meant for Protestants and other heretics...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Greatest Story Ever Told




Something nice for my ungrateful readers,

who are most probably not even going to watch this anyway...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How Calvinist Dogma Shapes Protestant Behavior


John 9:34 They answered and said unto him: Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us ? And they cast him out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Weather Forecast




Those Cold, Rainy Summer Days...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Silently And Reverently Contemplating The Awe, Beauty, Splendor, And Majesty Of Creation




And what better season than this to do just that ?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Random Stuff That Prevents My Mind From Entering Dispassion




Oh, you know...

the thing that I've been praisin' so hypocritically high and mighty for the past two months now...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where I Found The Inner Strength To Blog Daily For All Eight Weeks Of Great And Holy Lent


When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting.

Saint Jerome, Letter to Paulinus

Monday, April 23, 2012

Some People Slay Their Passions, Others Are Slain By Their Passions





So, which one are you ?


It cannot be a mere coincidence that Easter, the Feast of Christ's victory over death, falls so close to that of the Great and Holy Martyr George, the Victory-Bearer...

Though one may defeat a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest conqueror, who overcomes himself.

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, The Dhammapada,
Eighth Chapter, Fourth Stanza

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Doubting Thomas




More information on this topic can be found here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I Want For Easter




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

You can't always get what you want...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

King Solomon on Christ's Resurrection


The Apocrypha couldn't possibly be inspired... right ?

Wisdom 5:1 Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. 2 When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. 3 And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves: This was he, whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach: 4 We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour: 5 How he is numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints! 6 Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not upon us.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Apocrypha Couldn't Possibly Be Inspired... Could It ?


Wisdom 2:1 The ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright: 12 Let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education. 13 He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord. 14 He was made to reprove our thoughts. 15 He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men's, his ways are of another fashion. 16 We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father. 17 Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him. 18 For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies. 19 Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience. 20 Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

If You Thought That Giving Up Meat For Forty Days Was Hard Enough...




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

...just think for a moment about what kind of sacrifices other people have to make, not just for Lent, but for their entire life-time...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Man Who Experienced Transfigured Eros And Saw The Uncreated Light


Elder Paisios once told me the following story:

A Greek-American doctor had once visited me. He was Orthodox, but didn’t have too much to do with religion. He didn’t even keep the fast on Fridays, nor did he go to Church very often. He recently had an experience, and wanted to discuss it with someone.

One evening, while he was praying in his apartment, the “heavens opened up”. He was flooded by light, and the ceiling disappeared, as did the other forty floors above his apartment. He remained in that flood of light for a very long time – he couldn’t even tell for how long!

I stood amazed! I could feel and understand that this incident was “from God”. It was real. He had actually seen the “uncreated light”.

What had he done in his lifetime? How did he live to deserve such divine things?

He was married; he had a wife and children. His wife had said to him: “I’m sick and tired of housework; I want to be able to go out for a walk every now and then.”

Well, she wasn’t exactly employed, so she started to go out with her girlfriends and pressured him into accompanying her every night on her outings. After a while, she said: “I want to be able to go out with my girlfriends, alone.” He accepted this, for his children’s sake. Later, she wanted to go on vacation by herself. What could he do? He gave her money and the car.

She then asked him to rent out an apartment, so that she could live on her own; she would also invite her friends over. He would speak to her, he would counsel her, "How do our children feel about all this?" She was adamant. In the end, she extracted a large sum of money from him and deserted him. She felt too confined!

A few years later, he learnt that she had ended up a prostitute in the clubs of Piraeus!

He was distraught! He lamented over her fate! He thought of looking for her, but what would he tell her?

He knelt down to pray: “My God, help me, tell me what to say, what to do, to save this soul." You see, he was hurting for her. He wanted “that soul to be saved”. No male ego, no vindictiveness, no contempt. He truly hurt inside, seeing her wretched state. He ached for her salvation.

That was the moment when God opened up the heavens and flooded him with His light
.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

On Transfigured States Of Eros


The island of refuge, standing midway between true love and engodment.

A sublime and partly-dispassioned admixture of eros and kenosis, as deep, and strong, and powerful as parental love, but with the romantic component still intact.

Even as the light of all the stars of the night-sky put together cannot match the brightness of the moon, so can true love ( for a woman ) not be compared to this mystical state.

But, just as the mid-day Sun shining in all its splendor on the sky completely obliterates the radiance of the moon and all night-stars, making them wholly invisible to the naked eye, so does the beauty of engodment, with its two-edged sword of agape and dispassion, render even this transcendent state obsolete.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Do NOT Try To Limit God, Or His Creativity !


Nine great masters,
carpenters and masons,
with Manole, ten,
who surpasses them...

So reads the second stanza of the age-old Romanian ballad Master Manole, a master-piece of local folklore... According to legend, the Black King commissioned him and his fellow craftsmen with the task of erecting the most beautiful monastery on earth. When they were done building the edifice, while they were still up on the roof, finishing the last touches, the King approached them once again, asking them if they were capable of constructing yet another church, even more magnificent than the first one. When they joyfully answered in the affirmative, he commanded that the stairs be removed, trapping them all on the roof. Desperately, they fashioned wings of wood, seeking to fly down and land on the ground, but only fell to their dreadful death instead...

Just like the Black King himself, we also tend -perhaps either unknowingly or unwillingly- to limit God and His creativity, conveniently forgetting that it is He Who brought everything from non-being into being, by crafting all that exists with unlimited imagination. It is as if -all of a sudden- we simply lose faith in His infinite potential as Maker and Architect, believing -as it were- that He has somehow exhausted all of His mental resources, and is now unable to show us anything new, contrary to the words of the divinely-inspired Apostle Paul, who wrote in his First Letter to the Corinthians that "what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, these are the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him ".

To be more specific: we think that romantic and/or parental love are the highest summit and ultimate epitome of all human experience, than which nothing better can be imagined. This is simply not true.

We Can't Just Pick And Choose: When The Passions Go Down, They All Go Down Together

Which means that there's just no way to salvage the eros from its impending doom, I'm afraid...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why Would ANY Sane Person Want To Let Go Of Romantic Love !?


Because, for as long as our feelings towards other persons continue to be conditioned by their objective worthiness, we remain vulnerable to the assiduous attacks of hatred, indifference, or heartbreak. But, once their foundation has been completely shattered, we can finally break free -drastically so- and -for the very first time in our life- actually be able to breathe with tremendous relief. The mind becomes utterly unconditioned, and the heart transforms into a never-ending abyss of deep, pure love, overflowing the entire creation, and fulfilling the soul to no end, thus rendering all lusts, passions, cravings, and desires obsolete, inasmuch as that which has already become complete stands in need of no further addition whatsoever.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Our God Is NOT The One We Pray To...


...but rather that which we pray for...

( And it's very important that we be aware of this... )

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why Eros and Agape Cannot Co-Exist


Because they rest upon mutually-exclusive foundations.

The former is based on discrimination and self-centeredness,
while the latter is grounded in non-discrimination and self-giving.

In the end, there can be only one...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We Do Not Truly Understand That Which We Already Know To Be True


Hence why we find ourselves living in a perpetual state of mental disconnect.

We know, for instance, that -theoretically- God is the happiest being there is, and that -at the same time- He never experienced, nor will He ever experience, during His entire eternal existence, the feelings of eros, romance, sensuality, and sexuality, which -for us humans- would basically equate to a life completely bereft of any real meaning or fulfillment...

We're also aware, theoretically, that partaking of this divine love is the greatest possible pleasure and delight known to man, while -at the very same time- not being at all able to understand how on earth this can actually be the case, since this other-worldly love is especially famous for its sheer and utter inability to co-exist with any passion whatsoever, including those that have been mentioned earlier, and which are known to fill our life, heart, soul, and being with so much meaning, pleasure, and delight...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Child-Likeness = Christ-Likeness

This is the equation that leads to salvation.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Perhaps I Should Just Give Up Blogging, And Find Myself A "Real" Job Instead...




Giving Up Blogging For Lent...

Yes. It Is Actually Possible For The Grown-Up Mind To Re-Experience States Of Utter And Complete Child-Likeness


That's what my previous post was about...

( You know... the one that almost no one actually bothered reading... )

That's what all my posts for the past five weeks have been about, actually...

But, hey: it's OK. If the topic of engodment bores you, that's fine by me... I could always use the remaining time-frame to post all those nice little videos about Iesbians that I was storing up... They've been piling up by the dozens anyway... What better way to honor the sacred time-span of Great and Holy Lent, right ? Besides, it's not like anyone cares anyway, so...

Friday, March 23, 2012

We Were All Children Once, We Can All Become Children Again !


We have to... There's just no other way...

Matthew 18:3 And [ Jesus ] said: Verily I say unto you: Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said: Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them: Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God.

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said: Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God.




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Christ's Bride or Satan's Harlot ?


We dance as our master sings, and move as he commands: but this master is NOT Christ !

Matthew 11:16 ¶But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17 And saying: We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cold-Blooded


Our souls are like snakes: possessing no inner warmth, being doomed to depend on exterior sources of heat. In the company of friends, we are friendly; but when surrounded by enemies, we become hostile. Our self-perceived friendliness is therefore not a part of our nature, but rather an aspect of our outside environment. Needless to say, Christ was nothing like us, radiating only goodness, loving-kindness, and forgiveness from His pure heart even in the midst of the most abject torments and unspeakable torture.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On the Fifth Week of Fasting, the Elder Said to Me:



The Difference Between God's Love And Man's Love


Human love is based on the objective worth of the other.

People have to be or do something in order to win and earn each other's affection.

God's love -on the other hand- is based on His own, personal, and subjective decision to not be anything else -or anything less- than infinite love, sheer goodness, endless loving-kindness, and utter self-giving.

His clean and child-like heart, filled with the other-worldly beauty of these things, and delighting in the indescribable joy and peace that can only spring from such great purity and innocence, completely abhors the notions of hatred and indifference, which only help to limit, bind, confine, chain, restrain, and constrain one's being, deeming such things to be entirely despicable, and refusing to be defined by them, seeing with perfect clarity the abysmal depths of meaninglessness and self-destruction wrought by such spiritual states, where one's being is tainted, defiled, and corrupted by unspeakable evil, darkness, and ugliness.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On the Fourth Week of Fasting, the Fathers Said to Me:


1. It is impossible for someone who is passionate about anything earthly to arrive at the measure of divine love.

2. Love is born of dispassion.

7. The one who cares more for the body than for the soul, and for creation more than for its Maker, is no better than idolaters.

10. The mind aflame with divine love abandons attachment towards anything created, even as the sensible eye is no longer able to see the stars when the Sun is rising.

13. The one who loves God cannot help but love everyone as himself.

14. Unclean is the passionate soul, full of hatred and desire.

15. The one whose heart has even the slightest trace of hatred in it, is completely alien of the knowledge of divine love, for that love cannot bear such hate even in the slightest.

16. The one who does not love his neighbor cannot love God either.

17. Blessed is the one who can love all men equally.

25. God, being good and dispassionate by nature, loves everyone equally.

31. As the remembrance of fire does not warm the body, so does the faith devoid of any good deeds not work in the soul the enlightenment of one's conscience.

34. A clean soul is freed from passions, delighting constantly in divine love.

37. Remember Saint Stephen, the Disciple of Christ, who -like the Redeemer Himself- prayed to the Father for his executioners, asking for their forgiveness.

49. Don't defile your mind by thoughts of hatred and desire.

71. Perfect love does not divide the one nature of humanity, according to their merit, but -looking constantly upon itself- loves everyone equally.

110. If you hate some, others you neither love, nor hate, and yet others you love, but only moderately, while -finally- others you love very dearly, then know from this inequality that you are a stranger to perfect love, which loves every man equally.

Maxim Martyr, Four Hundred Chapters on Love

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On True Love: Why Parents Don't "Truly" Love Their Children, And Husbands Don't "Truly" Love Their Wives


True love is unconditioned, knowing no "reason", "cause", or 'because'.

Parents love their children because they are their children... They obviously don't love all other children out there as their own... And -even if they would- they would do so because they are children, and not something else... Obviously, they wouldn't love grown-ups as much as they would love children: especially their own... And sometimes they don't even love all of their children to the fullest possible extent, and with the greatest possible love that their heart could give, but rather they prefer some of them over the others, loving some of them less, while others more... And even those few that love all children as if they were their own, prefer the cuter, smaller, nicer, more obedient ones over the others...

In other words, not even the greatest love known to man, namely that between parents or grand-parents and ( their ) children or grand-children, is the true love that the Scriptures talk about... the love that God freely pours out of Himself over all creation... the love that created the Universe... the love that brought everything from non-being into being... the love that destroys everything... the love upon which the world was established... the love that beget the Son and poured forth the Holy Spirit... the love of the Saints in Glory... the love that Christ poured from the Cross over his mockers, tormentors, and executioners... the love that springs as if from the bowels of the earth... the love that destroys everything...

But what then shall we say about the ( true ) love between man and woman ? It is even less worthy of the name, even in its purest and most profound form ! ( After all, when push comes to shove, one can divorce one's spouse, but one can never, ever, "divorce" one's children: no matter what the circumstances... ) Not even the transfigured forms of eros, which are infinitely deeper than even the so-called "true love" for one's spouse, cannot match the other-worldly beauty of agape, but pale by comparison, as dwarves along-side titans: and I'm not saying this to be "poetic"... Regardless for what reasons a man loves a woman, what matters is that said reasons do in fact exist... even if they are selfless, and noble, and pure, they are not non-existent...

Discrimination: The Mother Of All Passions


Lust is born by discriminating between the two sexes.

Hatred is born by discriminating between friend and foe.

Pride, envy, egoism, and indifference are born by discriminating between oneself and others.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Discrimination: The Root Of All Evil


All passions sit on the same throne, and share the same footstall:

When this common foundation is removed, they all fall to their death.

This single supporting platform is discrimination, the enemy of loving-kindness.


It is unkind to care less for other children than for one's own.
It is unkind to care less for other elders than for one's parents.
It is unkind to care less for other women than for one's wife.
It is unkind to care less for other men than for one's husband.
It is unkind to care less for other people than for one's friends.

It is unkind to care less for people you don't know, than for the ones you do.
It is unkind to care less for people you don't need, than for the ones you do.
It is unkind to care less for unattractive people than for attractive ones.
It is unkind to care less for uninteresting people than for interesting ones.
It is unkind to care less for unintelligent people than for intelligent ones.


But -then again- how can one's heart truly, deeply, and sincerely care so much for other people (of the opposite gender) in an actually meaningful manner, without falling into the other extreme of the lust-hate spectrum ? Of course, to the mind the answer comes easy: let go of lust, and you'll be able to love all people infinitely, without any limits or boundaries, just as God does... but how can the heart ever actually do such a thing... and, more importantly: why ?

Do you better understand now how it is that we find ourselves trapped in a cage of our own egoism, doomed to never be able to break out, unless -by doing so- we may perish by entering into another one, diametrically opposed to the former, yet equally deadly and dangerous ?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Love and Desire

Love is self-giving. Desire is self-centered. By nurturing the former, we're weakening the latter.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Absolutes

There aren't any ...

The Fool Had Said In His Heart: There Is No Spoon !


Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief. They are all mind-wrought.


If women are truly that irresistible...


1.

... why don't they fall in love with each other, or even with themselves ?

( Do not automatically silence your mind by truisms : think about it ! -- Could it be that our lust for women makes just as little sense as their desire for men ? -- After all... what sane person could ever desire a man !? We wouldn't ! Of course, we're glad to be desired by them, but -deep down inside- we all know that it's just plain ridiculous ! -- But we don't tell them that because we can't even bear the thought of a life without them, let alone actually live it... yet -according to Christ- this is precisely what Paradise will be like... )

2.

... why are their own brothers, parents, and children so utterly immune to their charm ?

( Out of the many stupidities that people say to themselves and to others when rejecting monasticism, the excuse I find the most hilarious is that they supposedly "love" their wives ! It's not their "wives" that they love, but rather the sensual feelings of eros, romance, and sexuality: If they would truly love their spouses, they would try to love them with the highest possible love: and what other kind of love can that be, if not the love that parents and grand-parents have for their children and grand-children ? What greater love is there, that's known to the average mortal man ? Please, do tell me, 'cause I'm just dying to know ! [ Pun very much intended ]. The true husband sacrifices pleasure for the sake of love, and attains engodment: That's why -of the two men that were taken up to Heaven- one was married, and the other was celibate; that's why both marriage and monasticism are valid paths to salvation; that's why Christ had both married and celibate men amongst His most trusted inner-circle of devoted Disciples... Blessed are those dumb enough to believe this, and crazy enough to put it into practice, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven ! )

3.

... why did Christ Himself never marry ?

( True, He came to suffer, but now that His earthly mission is over, and His suffering is in the past, what exactly is it that's stopping Him, and why ? )

4.

... why does God apparently 'punish' Himself by not having a beautiful woman as wife ?

( Just what exactly is it that's stopping Him, and why ? )


Just what exactly is it that we are missing ?


The things that chain us are unreal, but the chains that bind us to them are very real indeed.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Lust & Hate

Two sides of the same coin.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

On Prince Charming and the Seven-Headed Dragon


How can the Charming Prince ever defeat the many-headed monster, if each time he cuts one of the Hydra's heads, another one grows straight away to take its place ?

By aiming for the heart !

All passions sit on the same throne, sharing the same footstall: When that common foundation is removed, they all fall to their death, as a group of men sentenced to hang, standing on the same scaffold, from underneath whose feet the single supporting platform is instantly removed.

Friday, March 9, 2012

All Our Hopes, Dreams, Wishes, And Desires...


...were NEVER meant to be fulfilled in the first place !

Our heart is directed towards all these [ worldly ] things, is stuck on them, loves them, and longs for them. But the release from catastrophe should be sought elsewhere. The change should occur within us. We must become total strangers towards everything human, towards human logic and human thought, and towards all good things. We must be indifferent towards everything. When estranged from everything, then God can be everything for us, for God alone to remain with us. This will give us the deep peace from within. Otherwise, even if there is something in our heart which is not of the other life, but of this one, we should know that we will be continuously tormented.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

On My Previous Post


I wasn't referring to psychological states of hopelessness and despair, but to the overpowering drive and overwhelming compulsion that characteristically accompanies our sinful passions, whose strong grip on our hearts and minds creates in the weakened soul the illusion that any resistance is childishly futile, and that their outcome is utterly unavoidable, completely inevitable, and totally inescapable...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You Don't "Have To"


Whenever necessity dictates that we adopt a certain course of action... Whenever circumstances force us to behave in a certain manner... Whenever we're left with no choice and no other alternative, finding ourselves hopelessly trapped inside the cage of a vicious circle... remember these apparently-meaningless words...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On My Last Two Posts


Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief. They are all mind-wrought.


Nothing and no one can truly force us to be or to do or to feel anything...

The devil may tempt us... but he cannot actually make us sin...

As for God Himself, even though He could control us -if He wanted to- yet He never actually "possesses" us, but rather respects our personal freedom of choice, inasmuch as He created us to be like Him, made in His image: Lords, not slaves...

Cause and Effect, Action and Reaction

There's no such thing ...

Monday, March 5, 2012

On the Fourteenth Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:


Mind precedes all mental states.

Mind is their chief.

They are all mind-wrought.

From the First Two Stanzas of the First Chapter of the Dhammapada

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Beatitudes


Blessed are those who live full of love amongst those consumed by hatred,
dwelling free from hate amidst the hateful.

Blessed are those who live free from craving amongst those enslaved by desires,
dwelling free from compulsion amidst those enchained by lusts.

Blessed are those who gave up their belongings, for they shall be fed with joy !

The First Four Stanzas of the Nineteenth Chapter of the Dhammapada

Saturday, March 3, 2012

On the Twelfth Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:


Though one may defeat a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest conqueror, who overcomes himself.

The Fourth Stanza of the Eighth Chapter of the Dhammapada

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On the Second Week of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:




Monks, I know of no other touch by which a man's heart is so enslaved as it is by that of a woman !

Monks, a woman's touch obsesses a man's heart !

From the First Chapter of the Anguttara Nikaya

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On the Tenth Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:




Monks, I know of no other sound by which a man's heart is so enslaved as it is by that of a woman !

Monks, a woman's voice obsesses a man's heart !

From the First Chapter of the Anguttara Nikaya

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On the Ninth Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:




Monks, I know of no other scent by which a man's heart is so enslaved as it is by that of a woman !

Monks, a woman's scent obsesses a man's heart !

From the First Chapter of the Anguttara Nikaya

Monday, February 27, 2012

On the Eighth Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:




Monks, I know of no other form by which a man's heart is so enslaved as it is by that of a woman !

Monks, a woman's form obsesses a man's heart !

From the First Chapter of the Anguttara Nikaya

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On the Sixth Day of Fasting, the Rabbis Said to Me:


The greatest hero is he who turns his worst enemy into a friend.

Babylonian Talmud, Tract Aboth, Fourth Chapter,
Tosephtha: Aboth of Rabbi Nathan

Friday, February 24, 2012

On the Fifth Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:


Here he grieves, hereafter he grieves : In both worlds does the evil-doer grieve, perceiving the impurity of his own deeds.

The Fifteenth Stanza of the First Chapter of the Dhammapada

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On the Fourth Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:


Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; through love alone does it cease: This is an eternal law!

The Fifth Stanza of the First Chapter of the Dhammapada

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On the Third Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:


"He hurt me, he hit me, he beat me, he robbed me" : In those who harbour such thoughts hatred is never appeased.

The Third Stanza of the First Chapter of the Dhammapada

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On the Second Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:


- Give up on one thing, monks, and I promise you deliverance !

- Which one?

- Anger, by which men are led to evil places, enraged... By rightly discerning that hatred, those who see clearly let go, and are thus delivered...

From the Fourth Chapter of the Itivuttaka

Monday, February 20, 2012

On the First Day of Fasting, the Buddha Said to Me:


- Give up on one thing, monks, and I promise you deliverance !

- Which one?

- Lust, by which men are led to evil places, craving... By rightly discerning that desire, those who see clearly let go, and are thus delivered...

From the First Chapter of the Itivuttaka

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Lent Effect




It's coming... It's coming... It's here, have no fear!


A Picture's Worth More Than A Thousand Words...


( At least she's taking it better than this guy... )

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Science" & Religion




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).


...and people still wonder why the two don't mix...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thousand Word Essay On My Current Spiritual Condition




A Picture's Worth More Than A Thousand Words...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Roman Catholic Women Ordinations




Habemus Papam! Axia! Digna Est!


How could the Orthodox even resist such a tempting offer !?
After all, wasn't it their great writer, Dostoyevsky, who said that "Beauty will save the world" ?

Clearly, only their mindlessly-rebellious and enviously-schismatic spirit could have blinded them
to such irresistible beauty, and to the discreet charm of the papacy !

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Dangerous Lives Of Eastern-Orthodox Apologists


Though thousands still looked up to him as being a great Oriental guru, he ended up a broken-down, cynical drunk, who used to say: "I'm not at peace with myself when I'm sober".

Hieromonk Damascene Christensen,
Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Work,
on Allan Watts

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Undeniable Proof of Intelligent Design




A Picture's Worth More Than A Thousand Words...


Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

William Foster

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Novus Ordo Directives From The Vatican




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).


Roman Catholic Liturgical Aesthetics

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Traveling Destination





Quo Vadis ?





Where we're heading...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Everyone Says They Love God, But Not Everyone Wants To Deny Oneself, Lift Up Their Cross, And Follow Him...




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).


Mankind's age-old "love-song" for its Creator...

Friday, January 20, 2012

How Sin Drags Us All To Hell




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

More information on this topic can be found here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ever Had That Nagging Feeling That You Were Heading Straight To Hell ?




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).


The soul’s state beyond the grave is the continuation of its earthly condition... When the soul is kindled by the desires of the flesh, all these lusts accompany the soul into eternity, constantly devouring him, urging him to fulfill them in deed, even though he no longer possesses a material body as its tool, as was the case during its earthly existence, therefore enduring an even more unbearable burden than before, when these cravings, having been satisfied through the body, conveyed to the soul the illusion of their quenching, thus offering a false impression of peace and gratification. But immediately after the body’s demise, these lusts stir in the released soul a blazing flame of cravings and desires, which torment him just as much as excruciating thirst would torture someone passing through the Sahara desert without finding even a single drop of water... Every passion that the soul held dear, but is now unable to fulfill, will stir itself up more and more, growing stronger and stronger, tormenting him forevermore with increasing heat and power. There is no deliverance from this agonizing suffering caused by the never-ending growth of lusts and passions, since the soul is immortal, and unable to terminate its own existence.

Father Arsenie Boca, The Way of the Kingdom

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Stylishly-Elegant Foray Into Waltz And Astronomy For All You Geek-Orthodox Out There...




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).


A bit of art and culture for my refined readership...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Aftermath of Advent and the Christmas Holidays




( You may wish to turn up the volume on your computer ).

More information on this topic can be found here.


Every Orthodox Housewife's Holiday Nightmare...