Alexandr Golenkov's site
Alternative Theology, Philosophy, Russian Orthodox Christianity, new world outlook systems…
What do I mean saying "esoteric" and "mystic" in regard of the Orthodox Christianity:
Saying "esoteric" I mean that it is largely not known to the Catholic-Protestant West:
THE UNKNOWN CHRISTIANITY,
and so – "esoteric" for it. On the contrary to that, for instance, In Russia it's largely NOT "esoteric", as it is "mass religion" (and in former Russia – even "state ideology"!), even filled ("diluted") with many pagan superstitions, and so – NOT MYSTIC EITHER, in true Christian sense of this word! Then:
Saying "mystic" I mean, first of all, that it is LESS RATIONALIZED form of Christianity than its Protestant either Catholic form.
Rationalization (from the other hand) is trying to understand by mind ("ratio" – "mind") things which are NOT for "mind only", moreover – not of this world at all, ultramundane, supernatural, etc… "Cut by mind" their ultramundane supernatural MYSTERY, namely from where the word "MYSTIC" is, implying NOT DOING THIS, leaving mystery AS IT IS, letting it … "BREATH" (so to say), and so – BREATH BY IT (breath by it SPIRITUALLY).
It's strange, but such "cutting" ("truncating") of Mystery (and so – God in it!) is even regarded as "something good" ("positive"; from where another word is: "Positivism", to match "Rationalism"!), without even a thought that it is … THE CREATING OF IDOL, self-same "GOLDEN CALF", as it was once in the Old Testament(,,); as it ALWAYS is, for the godless nature of human always tries to "replace God" by something "clearly visible and understood"; by at all SOMETHING, "some thing" (Creator – by some piece in creation)!
In this case, this "something" is "for the mind"; does it change a lot?! Contemporary people need different idols than the ancient ones: those for mind, "intellectual", and not "just for physical worship"!
So, for dispelling the idols of mind, here is, first of all, a little piece of my dictionary:
Esoteric Christianity, My dictionary of words:
as truly Mystic and Esoteric
So … we need other word to reflect the vividness of God-Son and the vitality of God-Spirit coming from UNREALIZABLE MYSTERY of God-Father!
- Mystic – beyond rational understanding; what cant't be totally … "grasped", comprehended and understood; OF WHICH ALWAYS "SOMETHING REMAINS IN MYSTERY" (from where the word namely is!). Everything regarding God is mystic "by its own", because God is Creator, and not "anything in creation"! (While … any idea or notion are creation as well!) Although, in Christian understanding God also gives Himself know in Flesh and in Person of Jesus Christ, and in orthodox (orthodoxian) Christians' understanding, that Flesh of Christ is What namely they take nowadays as the Sacrament of the Holy Communion…, this remains mystic, as can not be totally rationally explained in any finite form!
- Mystic: a person who comes to God namely from such positions! Not, for example, as in Protestantism, where they search namely rational understanding of everything in Christianity, including the matter of what is known as Salvation (as they want to "be saved" as … "file on computer" if to use present-day imagery, or as a result of some "bargain", if to use the imagery of those times in the history when the Protestantism was born…). By such understanding, "mystic" is equal to something "occult" (see "Occult" as the following entry). But … already in truly mystic in Christian sense understanding, such outright rationalism is FORM OF IDOLATRY! Or, namely – replacing of the Creator by something in the creation! For … all human notions and ideas are no more than SOMETHING IN CREATION, and are suitable for talking (and thinking) of God only in very limited sense: namely LIMITED BY TRUE MYSTICISM, from the other side!!!
- Occult – definitely "BAD" word for ANY Christian, meaning "demonic", "from devil". Although … some person may say: «Is there any much difference between "Occult" and "Mystic"?»; «They both come from Latin origin meaning "Hidden", "Mysterious", "Covered by Mystery"», etc… By the origin – yes; but to the 21-st century the language has changed, many words have acquired NEW sense: in a sense of which word "Occult" means now not only "Mysterious", but also … "Evil" and "Sly" (which are in Russian one word as name of the devil, "the evil one"). Occult is mysterious not "by its own" (for example, BY NATURE, for NATURE ITSELF of Creator is DIFFERENT FROM CREATION), but … because "someone made so artificially" (being evil and sly: the evil one!). Just by the meaning of word (the original one plus acquired)!
- Esoteric – in any common understanding, "not for all", "hermetic teaching" or knowledge "for some dedicated and disciples only"; but here we should distinguish: between that same "Occult" (see above) and truly "Mystic"! In truly mystical sense Christ says to His disciples: «…You are to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, while to those outside all in parables…». There can be indeed … TRULY HUMAN limitations making something (of God!) "esoteric" or "mystic", and those artificial as well (from the evil one!).
- Orthodox – in literal meaning (Greek "ortho" & "doxa") "Right Teaching" or "Correct Doctrine" (even … "Direct Glory"!), but the acquired sense of this word causes controversy (no less, than above-mentioned "occult", although "from other side", maybe…), for the general understanding is such that "orthodox" is something "fixed in its forms", even DEAD; how, then, can it be true and real expression of what is said in the Bible as … «…Life came, and we saw, and do witness of that and proclaim you this Ever Lasting Life…». — EVER LASTING, ETERNAL (always changing, developing: GROWING), and not limited with some concrete forms of a definite (FINITE) time, preserved in a certain Tradition!
Ortho-Doxia, that is: Correctness, Rightness – is only but one side. Something may be right, but dead! While we are talking o LIFE. Can life at all be "correct only"?! Life doesn't fully repeat anything of what was before. Life always changes, it flows, deviates: even if from some high idea(l). Life always is "incorrect", in a sense…
My proposal – is to use Russian word "Pravoslavie" (read: "pravoslA:vee-ye") which combines both. (For simplicity of English pronunciation it may be reduced to "Pravoslavy"…)
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Alexander Golenkov, Russia, 156023, Kostroma, Titova 9-57
last update: after 19 oct 2007