ŚMIERĆ WE WSCHODNIO-CHRZEŚCIJAŃSKIEJ DUCHOWOŚCI HEZYCHASTYCZNEJ
Death in the Eastern Orthodox Hesychastic Spirituality
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The problem death is essential for the therapeutic hesychastic spirituality, because it is one of pre-conditions and a practical recommendation. It is important in the fight with particular mental, physical and spiritual disorders. The process of healing is conditioned by the right preparation, enabling the human person to open more and more to the healing action of God. The process consists in the radical turning towards God, which in practice entails constant striving towards the change of intellect (metanoia) in order to: break off sinful dispositions, receive God’s grace, and acquire the condition of compunction (katanyksis) which is simultaneous awareness of one’s own sinfulness as well as God’s forgiveness. It is of great importance in the process of integral healing the conscious expectation of one’s own death and consideration of the Last Judgment. People, who hold the thought of death at the center of their being, withdraw from being enslaved by the created. St John Climacus teaches that: “To be reminded of death each day is to die each day. Fear of death is a property of nature due to disobedience, but terror of death is a sign of unrepented sins.” The remembrance of death can significantly reduce the amount of eating, and by this some other passions will be correspondingly reduced. It is worthy to remember that the ancient Greeks described philosophy as meditation on death. The same is clear from the Bible: “Remember your last end, and you will never sin” (Sirach 7:36).
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