"Is human being an ecstatic being? Is it possible for a human being to live without any kind of spiritual experience?" Even from ancient times people were searching through various methods, ways to reach some high spiritual experiences regardless their religious views or methods they used such as iatromantis, yoga as Indian way, Buddhist meditation in Asia, Kabbalah, Rumi or Christian way and not only. This is proof that human beings do search for a spiritual experience that exceeds the material world and its rationality. For Eastern Christianity a moment of a great importance was the controversy between Varlaam, the monk from Calabria in southern Italy and Gregory Palamas a greek theologian and philosopher, this controversy marking actually the first confrontation between Eastern tradition and the new occidental man. It pinpointed the articulation of hesychasm, moving from living the experience to reflecting upon it. Eastern mysticism talks about a direct knowing of God, a union with Him, while Western rationalism implies more of an imitation of God, a rational knowing of God, denying any divine implication in this process, which makes ecstatic experience completely different, even if it’s the same God. Palamas presents the monologue kind of prayer, focused on repeating the name of God over and over again. It was used by the Dessert Fathers and was known as Kyrie Eleison, Prayer of the mind, Prayer of the Heart to transform later into Jesus’ Prayer or Remembering the Word. This prayer is the core of the whole byzantine spirituality.
Adriana Elena Vlaicu, University Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Romania
Stream: Religion - Mysticism, Faith, and Scientific Culture
This paper is part of the ACERP2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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