Saying “No” to The Culture

Searching__but_not_seeing__by_LyndzieMany of us in the West have lost interest in philosophical belief systems and are searching for something much deeper. It is that search that brought me to Orthodoxy, and now the healing process has begun. Below is an excerpt I recently read by an Archimandrite on Mt Athos regarding why we feel a restlessness within us:


The Middle Ages passed. Scholasticism gained strength. Roman Catholicism advanced. St Gregory Palamas, the herald of grace, was treated as deluded and a heretic. The West advanced in its philosophy. Its programme was put into action. It progressed along the lines of knowledge for the sake of knowledge. It built technological civilisation, the most elaborate prison man has ever known.

And today the younger generation is in revolt. The most vital section of society in the West is reacting against all this. It is saying “No” to its culture. These people are looking for something else, more important, more mysterious, which relates to the whole person and respects the whole person. They are running hither and thither…

If I want, I can breathe out of a gas canister. But I cannot survive breathing that gas. My internal organs are made for the air of the atmosphere. I cannot change their nature.

And the internal organs of the human being as a whole are formed to breathe in the space, the climate of the Orthodox Church. In the spaciousness of the Church, man is able to realise himself. Where he can begin to grow, to flower, to bear fruit: to attain to deification.

-Archimandrite Vasileios (Abbot of Iveron Monastery, Mt Athos) in What Is Unique About Orthodox Culture

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