Tag Archives: Spirit

Gregory of Nyssa: your spirit is a copy of God

“Since one of the signs of the Divine Nature is its essential incomprehensibility, in this also must the copy be like the original. For were the nature of the copy comprehended, when the original was above comprehension, the copy would be a mistaken one. But, inasmuch as the nature of our spirit is above our understanding, it has here an exact resemblance of the all-sublime, representing by its own unfathomableness the incomprehensible Being of God.” — Gregory of Nyssa, quoted in The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto

According to the Orthodox Church in America, Gregory of Nyssa was “[e]ndowed with philosophical talent” and “saw philosophy as a means for a deeper penetration into the authentic meaning of divine revelation.”

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A thread of Christianity present in Socrates — an excerpt from ‘Phenomenology as a Mystical Discipline’

The late Colin Wilson, writing for Philosophy Now:

“In the next chapter of Beyond the Outsider, ‘The Strange Story of Modern Philosophy’, I begin by considering the ‘world rejection’ of Socrates, who tells his followers that since the philosopher spends his life trying to separate his soul from his body, his own death should be regarded as a consummation. This is consistent with his belief that only spirit is real, and matter is somehow unimportant and unreal. This notion would persist throughout the next two thousand years, harmonising comfortably with the Christian view that this world is unimportant compared to the next.”

from Phenomenology as a Mystical Discipline | Issue 56 | Philosophy Now.via Phenomenology as a Mystical Discipline | Issue 56 | Philosophy Now.

The spirit of man and spiritual men — C.S. Lewis clarifies

“The rational part of every man is supernatural in the relative sense — the same sense in which both angels and devils are supernatural. But if it is, as the theologians say, ‘born again,’ if it surrenders itself back to God in Christ, it will have a life which is absolutely Supernatural, which is not created at all but begotten, for the creature is then sharing the begotten life of the Second Person of the Deity….

“Some people use ‘spirit’ to mean that relatively supernatural element which is given to every man at his creation — the rational element. This is, I think, the most useful way of employing the word. Here again it is important to realize that what is ‘spiritual’ is not necessarily good. A Spirit (in this sense) can be either the best or the worst of created things. It is because man is (in this sense) a spiritual animal that he can become either a son of God or a devil.

“Finally, Christian writers use ‘spirit’ and ‘spiritual’ to mean the life which arises in such rational beings when they voluntarily surrender to Divine grace and become sons of the Heavenly Father in Christ. It is in this sense, and in this sense alone, that the ‘spiritual’ is always good.”

— C.S. Lewis, “On the Words ‘Spirit’ and ‘Spiritual,’ Appendix A in Miracles