Healing the Sicknesses of Philautia and Egocentricity through the Restoration of the Nous

In a previous post, I mentioned, “The soul of fallen man has come under the illusion of self-sufficiency.  Therefore, it is not satisfied with concerning itself with temporal needs (food, clothing, and shelter), but seeks also to dominate nature and others as well as to find new sources of sensual enjoyment.  In fact, man begins to view self-expansion and the self’s pleasures in their extreme form as inalienable rights.  Such a soul has become what is today called an ego. On the one hand, our spirit (or nous) in communion with God is our real self, the true seat of our personhood. On the other … [Read more...]

The Fallen Ego versus the Renewing Nous: The Ancient Battle for Supremacy of the Soul

In diagnosing the post-fallen human condition, the ancient fathers recognized that the natural order of the soul had become disordered.  As a result of the Fall, the lower aspects of the soul—the discursive faculty, the desiring faculty, and the aggressive faculty—have become so dominant and reduced the faculty of the nous to such obscurity that by the time of Plato, the soul was defined exclusively by the three lower faculties and known as the tripartite soul. In the present state of affairs, the nous, highest faculty of the soul through which the soul has communion with God, has been … [Read more...]

The Modes of Faith, Reason and the Role of the Nous in Coping with Thoughts

In our last blog post, we spoke about faith and hesychasm as means of coping with the thoughts. In the West, the mode of reason has been championed as the sine qua non concerning all knowledge claims about the human person and the world in which we live.  This is a radical departure from the ancient Christian world view where, as I note in chapter five of my book, “In addition to a primitive mode of passion and a metacognitive mode of reason, the man of faith knows a third state in which he experiences diving grace through the spiritual heart that is also called the nous.  Saint Mark the … [Read more...]