What’s to be Done: On Holy Indifference Pt.2

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10 Responses

  1. Simon says:

    Thank you, very much appreciated.

  2. Han Fei says:

    Regarding the last point: history was replete with persons who sought to forcibly seize fortune by strength of their will and personality. They would flutter about for a while and become dispersed as if by the wind. Lu Bu, Manuel Komnenos, Henry the Lion and Alcibiades were such figures. And in more modern history….

    I also speak from personal experience when I say that I had plenty of dismal, even crushing failures, on no account of lack of ability or determination, but rather out of you could say, possessing the wrong inner state, which almost uncannily inhibited every task and endeavor I set out. At that time I would excoriate myself for opportunities missed and prerogatives not pushed to their limit, without realizing that the problem lay deep within my consciousness.

    Also regrettably, I do have the quality of being quite the Debating Andy sometimes. Partly due to this site and part to life experience, I have to manage to curb this habit.

    • Malić says:

      Debates you initiate are on the level where debate is appropriate and there’s always a moment of auto-irony, so everybody is also invited not to take himself too seriously. That’s debate proper, in my book. Mihai, on the other hand, had in mind people who use holly theology as a weapon in dick size contest. That’s intrinsically irresponsible and in the long run very dangerous act of pulling God by his beard in the hope that He’ll always be in the good mood.

      That aside, it is an interesting thing, this main feature or main flaw, of one’s character you mention as ruining one’s endeavors. For each of us it is different and most people tend to see it – if they glimpse it at all – as their main virtue; its almost always this way and it is a moral accomplishment of note even noticing it in oneself, let alone defeating it.

      • Han Fei says:

        This is an interesting phenomena, that shouldn’t necessarily relegated to the pages of history, as it happens with our daily acquaintances as well. The kind of person I have in mind is a competent individual. There was no flaw in the way he acts and he has no moral faults of note. But he fails anyway. It leads us to overstate his errors, without realizing that even greater mistakes committed by others in different times nevertheless led them through to success. But the nature of the fate is independent of his actions, and in most cases the externally evident traits of his character.

        Sometimes they simply die with their plan unfulfilled. Sometimes they get struck down in their prime. Sometimes they never get into a position to accomplish what they strive to achieve.

        There was a great traditional notion, common to all great cultures, of the right place and the right time. This article deals with this notion in significant detail.

        I suspect that is why Jesus conducted his activity in the world in the guise of a street preacher and beggar, not as a readily apparent regal polar solar Caesar. When you consider the spiritual state of the world of that time, the only” influence” that could affect mankind on whole in significant manner, probably had to come from sharing the common ground with the masses in such fashion.

        Those with a view of history that doesn’t go beyond picking fossilized corn out of corproliths will miss this insight. I don’t of course mean there isn’t a place for that either.

  3. Mihai says:

    It’s funny that you mention Manuel Komnenos. I’m currently reading a debate of his with a Mihail Glykas- a theologian of his day- on the subject of astrology.
    My impression on him is that he was a good man, but infected by the fresh spirit of chivalry brought in by the crusaders. The chivalry of the West may be an interesting phenomenon in itself, but for the throne of Byzantium and especially in the circumstances of the 12th century, it was completely unfit. Someone with the cunningness of his grandfather- Alexios- was definitely a much better choice.

    Alcibiades is also an interesting case. The whole period of the Peloponesian war and up to the time of Phillip II always makes for a great study in many aspects of life.

    These sort of characters, as you mention, are characteristic for periods of turmoil- usually signalling the upcoming decline.

  4. coco says:

    This is really beautiful article. Especially I like the elaboration about the time and differences between Cosmic/Natural and modern abstract time conception.
    Though, I cannot avoid being puzzled how you and others here as “Traditionalists” look upon the some of the revelations coming from esotericism in this context. For instance, you are most probably aware of the story of cycles or epochs as known in Teosophy first made public by Blavatsky and latter elaborated further by Steiner.
    There we have Atlantean etc. epoch and now we are in 5th out of 7 post-atlantian epoch etc.
    So, aside from Sun and the Moon we have this more detailed and concrete knowledge available, which we are not supposed to accept blindly or by authority, but nevertheless it is here for us to explore.
    In your Traditionalist views, do you find it somehow problematic to add these, for example, more esoteric views on the Times and Epochs as such? If yes, what is the reason – is it due to fact that it is not part of “canonical” body of revelation that Orthodox or some other Church operate with? Or it is considered suspicious and corrupt in some other view?

    • Mihai says:

      @Coco: In the context of this article, these questions don’t have a bearing. My intention was to point out things which are literally within everyone’s reach and which, once understood and assimilated, can have extremely beneficial effects in an age when the typical city dweller feels he’s living in a meaningless temporal continuum, where there is no meaning, nor rhythm, but just a combination of chaotic change and vicious circles. And it is something which only requires that you stop, look around and listen.

      I certainly do not take serious any “revelations” coming from occultist currents of the 19th and first half of twentieth centuries, which are basically rip-offs of Oriental or Ancient religions, gathered in a syncretistic mix and made subservient to extremely modern or even darker, more sinister ideas- like, for example, the Liber al vel Legis of Aleister Crowley, whose idea of the “new aeon of Horus” has signs of more than charlatanry- signs of a more sinister, satanic source.

      That said and more to your point: I do have my own speculations regarding some ancient mythological places- such as Atlantis, Hyperboreea, mount Meru and so on, but I recognize them as, at best, a secondary question of a secondary question. I certainly wouldn’t spend my energies dwelling into such questions.
      As for cycles, the Christian tradition, having an eschatological purpose, is entirely silent on them- this does not mean that they are rejected, only that they are regarded as unimportant.
      In the Book of Daniel there is a place where the Judaic vision of time is united to that of the Greeks and Hindus: namely, the vision of the giant, with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver and so on- which is a clear reference to the different ages in which our history unfolds- starting from the Golden age, all the way down to the Iron. But, ironically enough, it is this same vision which casts aside this question in favor of the Eternal Age, symbolized by the small stone, cut from the mountain, which pulverizes the giant.

      So, if someone would ask me, I would say that the question of historical cycles though not a meaningless one, can become a distraction if it is being pursued at the cost of That which is above all time and change.
      Plus, it almost always ends up in fantastical narratives , the truth of which can never be accessed directly by anyone (in this life at least)

  5. Istoriya says:

    Sir, with regards to your insight into our ethnos and how we cannot escape our nationality or who we are, what if we carry ancestry from another ethnos within us?

    For example, what about the person who has a grandparent from the east but who has their ancestry mostly from the west?

    I am one such person and I feel very strong attachment to the east. And is it inauthentic or incorrect to feel this attachment to the North East of Europe of which I have ancestry?

    • Mihai says:

      Istoriya: It is important to distinguish between ethnicity and nationality. The first is a term which denotes something organic, natural, the second is ideological (or at best administrative and done for social and political expediencies)- even though it is based on the truth contained in the first, this time, however, applied in a mechanistic, inauthentic manner.

      So, of course, in each individual as in each ethnos at the macro level, there are certain elements which predominate over others.
      They are all part of who you are and they determine the way you approach reality.
      I myself can say that certain remote elements of my ancestry have a greater influence on my personality than more recent ones. This is not something which can be easily defined, it is very mysterious.

      What is essential to remember, however, is that your ethnic identity is not the one which is written in your ID card, nor can it be determined by quantitative calculations (ex: I have 5 members of my family who are X and 2 members who are Y, therefore X wins 5-2 and I am X).
      So what you describe is not inauthentic, but an authentic longing to discover who you are more deeper than customary social and administrative distinctions.
      You realize that you have a content and you would like to explore this content.

      What I was talking about, however, are people who go shopping for containers and labels, then try to force themselves to fit those labels and containers they have chosen according to some passing whim or fad. This is inauthentic and destructive.

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