Mysticism and Delusion

What Is Spiritual Delusion

Prof. A.I. Osipov. "Mysticism and delusion". Lecture at the Moscow Theological Academy, 5th year, 22.01.2007.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7DAVTgCc4A

Prof. A.I. Osipov

I believe that we can start the second semester with a topic that is both urgent, and useful, and necessary for us both in personal terms and in the terms of our communication with other people. I am referring to mysticism. This word is very often used, we hear it, we read about it, we observe different attitudes towards it, but it is very important to get acquainted a little with what it is, and especially with what mysticism relating to the Christian sphere of life is. Well, the word mysticos is more or less clear to you, it is connected with mysteries, with mysteriousness that goes beyond the boundaries of the empirical world, not just with the secrets of nature which physicists and chemists discover to us, as well as astronomers do, but which go beyond the boundaries of the natural world, i.e. it is connected in some way with the spiritual world. Mankind, if we turn to its history, always knew that the other world exists, and not just anywhere, but here, namely in this place. At what point? At any point. If some skillful person managed to pull apart our space, we would see that there was another world. Paul the apostle in one place writes so that now we see it through a glass — that world, through a glass, darkly, i.e. divinatory, and you know that since ancient times people were telling fortunes, and fortune-telling was often associated with mirrors. So, through a glass, darkly, conjecturally, he says face to face that when we throw off these coats of skins, this is our body, our flesh, then, without this barrier, the soul begins to see that world, as it is. Now, these coats of skins do not allow us to see it. Sometimes there are some glimpses, they are very interesting. People have always wondered: what is there? The more so, as numerous facts testified that this world is amazing. In this world, both the past and the future already exist. It is that world where one can see what was in the past. In that world, if you suddenly get there, you can find out what will happen - with a single person, or with people, with someone’s family, tribe, with the world in general, after all. It turns out to have everything already. At least, everything can be seen. How can this be seen? How to understand this? Whole theories were formed about this. Whole religious doctrines tried to make it clear. But the fact itself that the penetration into that world reveals to a person what is not visible here remained for granted during the whole history of the human mind. I say ‘the whole history’, because I will tell you that even this age of the Enlightenment, I say this is the 18th century, the century of subsequent atheism, it itself inflicted a purely intellectual, maybe, blow to this belief, but the vast majority of the world population preserved their belief in the mystical world. The only question that arose was how to get there, in that world, because it was very interesting. Not just interesting but sometimes even important - after all, having learned what would happen, one might take the appropriate steps.

But how to penetrate into that world is not the only question. The second question also arose due to experience, thanks to many factual data. How to get there and remain alive. There were many facts when attempts to get there resulted in insanity or even in death. The mysterious forces hidden there often proved to be disastrous for man. It resulted, by the way, in appearance of entire religious systems of thought and belief, when people tried to appease those terrible spirits and gain their favor. Religion itself has never doubted - I am talking about the religion as a whole - the presence of the mysterious world, the mystical world. Never doubted. The difference of religions was based or was seen in mainly one thing: in the understanding of this mystical world. What is this world? Is it a world in which there is God, there are some spirits, forces, or is it a world of some faceless forces, mysterious forces to which these spirits themselves are subordinate, and even God Himself if there is such, or gods. The question was different: how to find the lever, or the control panel, if you like, the key to these forces. And some religions tried to find this key in order to command these spirits themselves, even the gods themselves. Other religions looked at it differently: they forbade penetration into that world, and talked about the tremendous danger that arises before the person, who did not fulfill the relevant conditions, and these conditions were mainly of moral and spiritual nature, and it was said that if a person does not fulfill these conditions, then he could face terrible consequences. Something like this.

This area, I will tell you, and this topic are very large. This is a topic on which you can give lectures during a whole year. Considering different ideas about the world, different ways of penetrating that world, and, thus, various religious systems, sometimes you can hardly call them religious — there are such systems, just some kind of mystical systems, without religion. Religion is a connection with God, but there are systems that do not imply this connection with God, where God as a higher being, as a source of being, is actually absent. Just belief in some forces that dominate in this world and come from there. This topic, I tell you, is very broad. I don’t know, maybe you touch this topic in the history of religion, and it would be, in my opinion, useful if considered in the key of Orthodoxy. That would be very helpful.

I want to acquaint you first of all, or rather, a make an appraisal of the mysticism that comes into close contact with our real life. So you even prepared the speeches yourselves, got acquainted with the literature on natural mysticism, we discussed it with you, and I think that it is worth talking a little bit; about occultism as such; about delusion. This is worth talking a little. What is meant by natural mysticism. Emergence of the ability of a person to see at a distance. To see through various objects. To foresee even future events. This ability simply arises in a person. Why, how – no one knows. Someone disappears - they turn to this man, let's call him a mystic. He may, plunging into a state of trance, i.e. deeply focused – listen to me, deeply focused, i.e. focusing himself (I give an example: the sunshine on their own, when the sun is not so strong, is pleasantly warming and that’s all; take a lens - when it gathers rays, you can burn a paper with it, or something else, such a strong concentration appears) - such people can suddenly see where a person has disappeared, for example. Or what happened there. Concentrating themselves takes a lot of energy, much energy. Some people even see this without special concentration. There are many cases in history when, for example, they see a battle that took place hundreds of kilometers away. And they saw everything as it is. They look up and see: that one is shooting from there, there is an offensive, there is cavalry, etc. Suddenly see. Some had a vision of Palestine. They saw everything, the paths, the ways where they were, could tell never visiting it themselves. And they tell exactly. You see, it is revealed to them. These spontaneous phenomena or properties found in a person apart from their will and consciousness is called natural mysticism. That is, mysticism is related to the mysterious world. Natural — that is, when the vision of that world or due to that world, including the properties associated with this world, opens naturally. We call this natural mysticism, and those of you who have just been preparing a seminar on this issue know better what it is.

So, such people are sometimes capable of clairvoyance, telepathy, even healing. What is the assessment of this phenomenon? The things themselves, how to understand them. Many are afraid of such people. It is said that these are sorcerers. Or it is a demon who reveals everything to them. Well, this is an ambiguous question. It happens, now we really cannot know where this ability comes from in a person: it is natural for him, or he made some efforts and acquired these things. But at least one thing we can say: even the natural existence of these properties can often lead a person, as having a completely unique ability, to pride, if you like, to vanity, arrogance, sometimes manifested, sometimes quite hidden. But now, these human passions, which are superimposed on this ability, can lead to very serious consequences for this person and for those who receive information from these people.

Remember the statement of Anthony the Great? When we sin, we unite - naturally unite - with spirits, demons - tormentors. When, on the contrary, we repent and try to live according to the commandments, we unite — again, you hear — naturally, with the spirit of God. Do you understand what is going on? Let’s imagine, I have a bad thought. Somehow dirty. It turns out that there is a natural union of similar with the similar. And then such a process can occur: the one through which the phenomenon of resonance was discovered. Somewhere in Austria, maybe, I don’t remember, somewhere a detachment marched in step across the bridge, and the bridge collapsed, and all of them died - a phenomenon of resonance. So here, when our natural passions unite with these spirits, demons - tormentors, then these passions can increase tenfold. And can have a fatal impact on the person himself due to their power. That’s why the Church always warns people in every possible way from being fascinated with such phenomena. Even from believing, I will say this loudly, to these revelations that occur in this person. It can very easily occur here that a real, correct vision, i.e. if you like – good, will be mixed with evil. A magnificent ship may be prepared for you, but it will go in the wrong direction. It may seem that everything is correct, but the fact that you find out about it can lead you to a shipwreck. Everything is great, only the ship goes straight to the reefs. People sometimes do not understand and are waiting to find out - what will happen, what will happen? Look now who are looked for? Clairvoyants. Nobody needs those who will save. It is clairvoyants and wonder-workers that are important. So, these people possessing even natural abilities, alas, already in adulthood, being infected with passions, and completely unfamiliar with the spiritual life, may reveal to a man the knowledge which will turn fatal for him. Or very difficult to overcome. The one that can bring him the real troubles. He does not need to know this. For any knowledge imposes a heavy imprint on our lives. How much it means that we see neither Paradise nor Hell. We believe. We may believe, we may not believe, it is quite another issue. Our freedom is preserved. And if we saw right away, how would our state change? Well, we could behave like the rat, you see, like the rat with the electrode implanted into the brain, to the point of the brain where some area is located, let's call it the paradise area, the one of pleasure, and show the button for contact to the rat. Press the button and you are in the paradise. The experiments were conducted, you know, it is the most interesting thing. Near the rat, they put its most favorite things that it loves, tasty ones, the rat even did not pay attention to anything. It just pressed this button again and again. Reached exhaustion, so literally fell from it, and only the first impulses of power appeared, what do you think, did it rush to the food? It pressed the button. And eventually it was dying. Oh how good it is that we do not see Paradise, otherwise, we would kick the bucket, oh, pardon, we would not die, we would kick the bucket. It’s good that we don’t see Hell, we could feel horror and other things, i.e. we would be like animals, and our freedom would be paralyzed. Great mercy: we are given the freedom of choice. Man, judge yourself. See where the truth is, where the lie is. Build your life in the truth, and not by the fact that you saw heavenly joys or hellish torment. Build your life in freedom. What a great blessing. That is why Christ said blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. This is why they are blessed. Yes, we would not stand what we saw.

So, what about natural mysticism? Why is the Church so cautious, and sometimes even forbids asking such people for help? The ones who are natural mystics. In whom it seems to emerge naturally. They are no sorcerers at all. Why? Not because these phenomena themselves are of demonic nature, no, these are natural abilities in a person, you hear, our soul is by nature a resident of that world, here it is simply covered with these coats of skins and sees nothing. But sometimes suddenly someone has some kind of window opened. And he sees a little bit. A piece of that world. A slice. And insignificant slice. The most elementary one. The trouble is that if we, on the basis of this piece, suddenly rush somewhere, we can get into the swamp. And even more so with the person leading a sinful life, an unspiritual life. And the unspiritual life is a sinful life. No matter that morally he can be perfect. Vanity itself is enough. The very vision of the reality of that world leaves an imprint of a curved mirror: a person can see but in a completely different light. And this person may offer us the information that will prove very harmful to us. So, this is a natural mysticism.

An even more severe, much more severe phenomenon is the acquired mysticism. This is what people have already got in a special way. Already knowing this way. Getting to know this way. Trying to penetrate that world. About this, it seems to me, the Lord says in a parable, when he says that there is an opportunity to enter into the sheepfold. What is the sheepfold? This is the kingdom of God. By the door. But He talks about something else as well. And the one who climbeth up some other way - over the fence, is a thief and a robber. And what they do with thieves and robbers - everyone knows. So, it turns out, some insolent penetration into that world, an attempt at all costs, the search not for the truth, not for God, not for the meaning of life, but the search for these secrets - what is there? Do you hear? What is there - on the one hand, this is a stupid curiosity, on the other hand - there is another moment, a very important moment, it is nothing but the desire to seize the powers, the keys to those powers, to use those mystical powers for their own purposes. These goals ultimately flow out of pride. Power. Power over natural things, power over people, power over all processes that occur in our human life. That is this acquired mysticism, it therefore acquires a particularly dangerous character. The desire to get there illegally, climb over the fence - this is a terrible thing. All this mysticism is devilish, satanic. For many, it ends with the cult of Satan. Because, in the end, a person can even enter into communication with these devils. And recognize this devil for his ally. If only he could get fame and power. Remember, how Christ was treated: all the kingdoms of the world were showed to Him. ‘Bow to me and all this will be yours.’ And the same thing is happening throughout the history. Do you hear? You should not think that something like this appeared just to Christ. We do not literally give importance to this amazing fact. This temptation is constantly present and - most important - not just present, but many people live right within the framework of this temptation, I don’t know how many people, no one knows, but that there are exactly Satanists who live by this - a thirst for power, a thirst for violence, a thirst for suffering of other people caused by it, because they act according to this devilish spirit. This is an indisputable reality. We find repeated references to this even in the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament.

So, acquired mysticism certainly cripples a person in a terrible way. This acquired mysticism can be divided into two, if you like, categories. One category of them is the occult one, about which I have just said - when a person’s goal is to penetrate into that world and use the powers of that world for their own selfish, ambitious, proud goals; here a person unites with the outcast spirits, the devil, causing himself, as a rule, irreparable harm. And the second direction, it is connected, as it seems, with something else, it is connected with faith in God, it is connected with faith in Christ, it is connected with the recognition of the Holy Scripture of the New Testament. It bears a Christian, it seems, the character of all the formal data, but which the Holy Fathers called the word delusion, a delusive way of penetration into that world. What is this delusion, what are its sources? We have already talked a little about this, so I’ll just remind you. When a person enters the path of spiritual life (i.e., the path of prayer, the path of asceticism, the path of receiving church sacraments) not for the sake of salvation - he does not see, soon he completely ceases to see his sinfulness, his sins - but for the sake of seeking Divine pleasures, Divine gifts. Here it is, this delusive path: seeking pleasure, grace, apparitions, revelations, insights — all gifts, miracles, etc. Here it is, the way of delusion. Tell me, just think about how we call a person who is terminally ill, who barely moves his tongue, saying nothing about his hands, feet, and all he is longing in this state is pleasure, not healing. We can only shake our heads and say: yes, poor thing, he has some problems with his brain, not only with the body. Yes, nothing else can be said. The man is dying and what is he thinks about? The person chokes, drowns, and shouts not the words “save me”, but “give me the nightingale trills”, otherwise I will drown now. What is it? - Madness. Delusion is really insane. This is madness. Why is it madness, where does it come from? From the failure to see the disastrous state of own nature and own spiritual appearance. The failure to see it. The delusion is self-deception and devilish deception. This is the most dangerous thing, and this we see - where especially? - in Christianity – in which? – in the perverted Christianity. And do not think that the delusion exists [only] in Orthodoxy: there are delusion in Orthodoxy, delusion in Catholicism, delusion in Protestantism, delusion in Christian sectarianism. Everywhere - I will tell you, behold, with the Bible in their hands they solemnly walk, everywhere we can find this delusion. For delusion, being the state of seeking pleasure, you hear, the search for God's love, the search for all these gifts of God, it is itself nothing but a terrible deception, a sign that a person does not see that he is dying. Why it is so false, my friends, it’s still necessary for us to understand that if it took God Himself to incarnate for our salvation, you hear, God Himself, what does it point at? The fact that no angel, no revelation, no prophet, no saint could save us from such a grave condition, that God Himself came. If He Himself came, then mankind was in the direst state of destruction. This is elementary logic. Nobody, no one having a splinter, is running to the Kremlin hospital? “I’ve got a splinter, pull it out, please”. They will say ‘crazy man.’ Nobody will run, right? With an elementary disease we will come saying “please give me a pill, I have a headache”. And that's all. And the more serious the disease is, the more qualified help is needed. And the fact that it was not somebody who came for our salvation, but God the Word Himself, this fact already indicates our condition. And suddenly, a person is looking not for salvation - he does not see his death - but for pleasures and gifts. That is where the trouble.

All the Holy Fathers unanimously say that the first sign (remember, I quoted wonderful words of Peter of Damascus) of the beginning health of the soul [is] what? Starting cleansing from sins? - No. Obtaining prophecy and wonderworking? - No. Getting Divine Delights? - No. Just think. And look what our ordinary people are looking for. This is what they think, they think it is a sign of some kind of spiritual growth. They think it is exactly the sign. -No. Do you hear? And three exclamation marks. -No!!! The first sign of the beginning health is apparently to see your sins. To see, i.e. our fall. To see your inability to heal your nature. You see, we cannot heal our nature. I can't make it immortal. I can't triumph over these passions. They live in me and that’s all. I can fight - right, I can make an effort - yes, but I cannot eradicate. I do not know how. I cannot do it. It turns out that with the right spiritual life it is the first sign of the right way. It’s this, and not the gifts and pleasures.

A person walking along the path of delusion already goes in the key of seeking the pleasures of grace and other things, and he does not receive it. Therefore, all who are in delusion - what do they teach? My friends, for God's sake, remember this. Because, I'm not saying this from myself. I know nothing. This patristic experience says. What do all deluded ones write about? About pleasures, about divine love, about sweetness: both in the larynx, in the tongue, and on the lips, they write only about this. They write endlessly about how many Jesus prayers they can say, how light they feel, etc., etc. They write - about what? – pay attention to it. About purely external things. And everywhere, I beg your pardon, there is this unhappy sweetness. Because there can be true sweetness, you hear, the Holy Fathers say, yes, it can be, but when! The deluded ones write that immediately. Immediately.

Here is a book for you. Here, now you can buy it if you want. Monk Joseph Dionysiatis "The Teacher of Noetic Prayer". He writes about this teacher, Haralambos. Remember, I told you when he asserts: “I can say one hundred, two hundred Jesus prayers in one breath in and out”. Oh, what a spiritual perfection! Think, even Buddhists, even they probably will scratch their heads. Even if the windmill will spin like this, it probably will not make a hundred or two hundred ones. How horrible. The young man who just came — imagine you came — is given a rosary with three hundred prayers. Not a hundred, but three hundred. Come on, say three hundred prayers. And it was necessary to do it so quickly that the demon would not have time to slip between the words of the prayer. The result was that even less than in an hour this young man had already made four of these rosaries, the so-called round (this is a slip of tongue of A.I. Osipov, in fact, it’s about 12 rosaries). 3600 prayers of Jesus. Less than in an hour. The question arises: Haralambos, where did you get this from? We know many teachers of Jesus prayer, saint and indisputable ones. Haralambos, where did you get this? Quote at least one father, at least one. He does not refer anywhere. He started this activity himself. Less than in an hour - three and a half thousand. And this young man finished this first round, began to feel sweetness in the larynx, etc. this sweetness emerged. When he made four rounds, imagine 14 thousand, then sweetness poured forth. Haralambos was delighted indescribably. My son, follow this path, I will teach you even more. Do you hear? This book is preceded by the enthusiastic foreword of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Irenaeus I. Do you hear authority? True, I do not know to whom you will go for spiritual advice. To Anthony the Great, who was not even a deacon, or to the Patriarch of Jerusalem. But it sounds good: Patriarch, doesn’t it? An enthusiastic review about this book, about this teacher.

Or another book about which I, as you remember, spoke from the very time that it came into my hands - the elder Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia. “Life and Words”, published in Maloyaroslavets, in a convent. What he teaches. He receives from the elder the gift of clairvoyance and prayer, his elder did not even see, but he managed to receive it from him. This is not to get, this is – I do not know even – he probably stole it from him. To get what only God can give. You will not find such things in the history of Christianity. God can give the gift of prayer. And when to give? After a certain way, the performance of prayers. What performance? In contrast to Haralambos, what kind of performance? Remember, St. Ignatius says: for a hundred of Jesus prayers, it takes about half an hour. Try it. But strangely, we graduate from seminary, academy, no one even tries so carefully to read one hundred prayers of Jesus. The greatest theologians, indeed. Spiritual school. And he never would try even for many years. How? As the Holy Fathers say. Attentively every prayer. If you want, making a breathing pause even after each prayer. Small, to focus attention every time. For a hundred prayers of Jesus, about half an hour. That is two hundred prayers per hour. And not three and a half thousand per hour.

This Porphyrios, remember, I told you, “do not fight evil”. This is what he says - do not fight evil! “Do not fight passions” - it is written by him in black and white. “Love God”! What kind of opposition is this? He establishes two paths to God. One is struggling with passions, this is a hard, he says, way. And the other way is an easy one, the love towards God. I go this way. Let’s go with me this way. Show me where the Holy Fathers teach it. Which Holy Father says so of it. My friends, I said previous time, and now I just consider it my duty to warn: alas, there is an invasion against us. I say “against us” - not in the sense of you and me, but I mean there is an invasion against Orthodoxy – the invasion of false spiritualism, false spiritual elders, false elders. Who teach things that the Holy Tradition of the Church does not know. Moreover, it is called delusion, disastrous way. And now it is being presented to us, with some panegyrics! I told you about this elder Porphyrios, a Greek metropolitan writes there such an enthusiastic comment, a nun — the abbess of some monastery, where this Porphyrios was, in Greece as well. You hear: inexperienced people will take [the book]: “oh, hurray, and I, a fool, fought passions when you just need to love God and that’s all. But what it means - I do not know. ” The thing that must be completion, love - as a gift, as a feeling, as an experience, as a state, friends, you must know that – is the fruit of a correct spiritual life. Love is a union, conjunction, connection, the top of all perfection. And love - here we are talking about something else - there is another love, when we act out of love of truth, out of real love, out of striving towards God - this is also called love, but what kind of love is this: Christ says: “He that keepeth my commandments, he it is that loveth me." Do you hear what He is saying? He that keepth my commandments. That is who fights passions and evil. And then what kind of opposition is this?

So, my friends, it means that there is delusion in mysticism, now in a Christian form of mysticism. This delusion, this terrible thing. Which we find both in Orthodoxy, and in sayings of the Holy Fathers, how much is said about the delusion! How much said! It's all written. All these things are known, all these things. These people, the elders, apparently did not even read. And do not want to read. That this is the way of delusion. And they even dare to teach others such foul devilish things. I want to say one more thing. I brought to your attention this monk Joseph Dionysiatis, who wrote the book about Haralambos “The Teacher of Noetic Prayer”, this elder Porphyrios, there is also elder Anthimus, there will be more and more of them, they deceive us! How? Just remember, I told you and I will repeat it again. Without any effort, if you want, straight to Paradise, only get you a rise. That's how they deceive us. Do not need anything. What these sectarians and Protestants promise. “Come here and you are saved.” Nothing to do. But we are now talking about individuals, about separate persons, and we can still distinguish and understand, evaluate from the point of view of the patristic experience and see all the lies and deceptions of these things. We, the Orthodox people, still are at this stage, when we see more and more of these false teachers. You hear: there are more and more of them. And they go with us, it turns out, they are all around, so many of them! Did you hear about “Radiant elder”? There is such a book. He rides. "Yes, in this village only three will be saved." Oh! “They put a TV in the monastery, and the grace there decreased by 30%.” What wisdom and clairvoyance, do you see it? Think only. And everyone gasps, with mouth open. “Oh, father, he found out that by 30%! Father, but maybe by 29.5%?” Some kind of insanity that is taken for spirituality. But once again I tell you: you see, here, one after another appears, and I warn you: there will be more and more of them. They do not want to go along the patristic way. It is really the way of fight with one’s old man. You see, with yourself in the end. As the Lord said: “If any man hate not his own soul, he cannot be my disciple.” His own soul – it became our soul.

This is one level we have with you. But we are moving to another level. And perhaps we will reach it. What is this level? The whole Roman church made it its faith - this is the way. Here is another level. Here is a terrible thing. It made it its faith, it is declared to be the Catholic faith. Catholic faith! Which one? Who are the teachers? Who are the doctors of the church? See who! Different Angelas, Teresas, Francises, Ignatiuses of Loyola. See who they are! Who they are! Read. You will say: Oh my God, this is namely the same as with Porphyrioses and these Haralamboses. Church! You see what level has already been reached. Do not think that these separate units, these beautifully published little books, that this is only a trifle. This is only a trifle, and we know the truth. No. There is a process going on. And you can resist this process. You hear, you, because you get to the forefront. You can tell the people: this Porphyrios, this is your teacher, you see how he teaches: “Do not fight passions, give up this nonsense, which Christianity has lived for 2000 years. This is how it should be: love God and that’s all.” And all the people will melt: "and I love God as well, we will love God together." The community will be gorgeous, all in love. All. It depends on you where you lead the people. Or say: “Here, he appeared as an angel of light." The Catholic Church, alas, has elevated it to the level of ecclesiastical teaching. You hear the church’s teachings. It began, maybe even with things that are not clear to everyone. I read, I remember, before entering the Academy, well, it was just recently, you remember, probably, before entering the Academy (A.I. studied in the 1960s), I remember once I heard that the book “Imitation of Jesus Christ ”by Thomas à Kempis is not a good book. I remember that Ignatius Brianchaninov has a case in which he cites this: the landowner saw a book in his daughter’s hands, snatched it from her and said: “Stop playing romances with God”. I heard it all, I read it. I study at the Academy. I remember that I either fell ill or fell ill writing an essay, in general, in an isolation ward. I think, let me see what this Thomas à Kempis is. I read. “Nothing special, a good book. And why people scold it. That's right – to imitate Jesus Christ. What's so bad about it?” Now I remember and think: “well, how stupid I was! Stupid and ignoramus!” Then, when I looked it through after a long time, this delusion is visible at every step, this delight, this exaltation, this false love. I did not understand anything. I did not understand anything, imagine! I did not see. It was noticed by people who simply understood it and felt. They saw where the lie was. But if this example turned out to be so subtle for me because of my rudeness, my short-sightedness, then I saw the following examples, then I no longer had doubts. When I read “The Little Flowers of Francis of Assisi”, Fioretti, I shook my head, I saw that there was a completely different thing.

I saw: in the 11th century the schism took place. Well, in fact, a little bit earlier, already in the 9th century, it all started, the 11th century only what is called formalized it. And we see that the most important thing started that probably resulted in the schism itself. This came from the spiritual evasion of people. They abandoned this patristic way of struggle with passions and followed the path of love towards God. Try to object it: “Ah, you are against the love towards God, aren’t you?” Let's take the path of this false love of God. And here we see, when you get acquainted with these Francises and subsequent saints, everything becomes clear - what happened to the Western Church. This terrible misfortune has happened: the spiritual teaching, the teaching about spiritual life has completely perverted. The things that all the ancient fathers of the first millennium, both of East and West, claimed to be charm, delusion, diabolical deception, all this became known as holiness and spiritual perfection. This is where the main difference, you hear, between the West and the East (I'm talking about Christianity) lies. This is where, not in the Filioque at all, this is an elementary consequence. Not even in papism. Although it is terrible, of course, but it is not even what attention is paid to at all. You know what a short-sighted man sees: here are just such [large] letters, he no longer sees smaller ones. So it is here. This is where - in the fundamentals of spiritual life, we see the gravest damage. Here is a fallacy. What are they teaching?! In general, I will not say much here, you read this [book] by the test, okay? Not Osipov’s “Life after Death”, but Osipov’s “The Path of Reason”. The path of its delusions. Look here in the “individual revelation” paragraph. The facts are very simple. I just want to say one thing. Now the lecture time is ending. Although, there is only one path, three lines can be distinguished here if you like, lines in this single path. The first path that Francis of Assisi especially cultivated: the path of compassio. It is truly interesting for you to remember. A Latin word, you can parade your knowledge. Compassio - compassion towards Christ. This compassion, brought to the last degree, led to the appearance of stigmata on Francis’s body. The second thing is that we still do not observe with Francis, but that we see magnificently with the same Angela, with Teresa the Great, with Thérèse the Little Flower of the Child Jesus. What is it? Matrimony with God. Christ already embraces Katarina. He already directly declares to Teresa the Great: I am your husband. Thérèse the Little Flower sees herself: “we merged and I drowned like a drop of water in the ocean,” etc. Matrimony with God. Love affairs, real love affairs with the image of Christ, the mental image of Christ. And the third direction is the dreaminess of imagination. Ignatius Loyola wrote the so-called spiritual exercises, where at every step there are the words: ‘imagine’, ‘just fancy’, which were strictly forbidden by all the patristic experiences. At every step. And I have to tell you, my friends, I learned that in all the monasteries of the Roman Catholic Church these spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola are a reference book. Here is a clear demonstration of what level of delusion one can reach. This is no longer Porphyrios and Haralambos, this is already a church’s teaching. I'll tell you this is already a tragedy. And that's where the root is. That is the root of the differences and discrepancies between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. And Protestantism, of course. Saying nothing about the latest.

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