Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The ‘Alchemy’ of the Saints

Æforetime we saw how the Southern tradition regarding the creation was in accord with the Orthodox Church’s Holy Tradition.  Now we must look at how it differs.

While the Fathers agree that there are boundaries as to what man ought to do with the creation, they do not quite agree as to the place of man within the creation.  The Souðern Agrarians have seen him more often than not as a servant or steward merely, not as one that has any right to rule over it.  They have, as it were, lowered man too much in the order of creation:  It is too often portrayed as a brooding, unknowable force before which man must bow as before a god.  The Fathers teach us, ræther, that man, through much difficult self-denial, can see and know the inner ghostly essences of created things, and, further, that man was made to be the king, the ruler, over all the created world.  Here is what St Gregory of Nyssa said of man’s kingship in his On the Making of Man (I:5, II:1,2):

Now all things were already arrived at their own end: “the heaven and the earth,” as Moses says, “were finished,” and all things that lie between them, and the particular things were adorned with their appropriate beauty; the heaven with the rays of the stars, the sea and air with the living creatures that swim and fly, and the earth with all varieties of plants and animals, to all which, empowered by the Divine will, it gave birth together; the earth was full, too, of her produce, bringing forth fruits at the same time with flowers; the meadows were full of all that grows therein, and all the mountain ridges, and summits, and every hillside, and slope, and hollow, were crowned with young grass, and with the varied produce of the trees, just risen from the ground, yet shot up at once into their perfect beauty; and all the beasts that had come into life at God’s command were rejoicing, we may suppose, and skipping about, running to and fro in the thickets in herds according to their kind, while every sheltered and shady spot was ringing with the chants of the songbirds. And at sea, we may suppose, the sight to be seen was of the like kind, as it had just settled to quiet and calm in the gathering together of its depths, where havens and harbours spontaneously hollowed out on the coasts made the sea reconciled with the land; and the gentle motion of the waves vied in beauty with the meadows, rippling delicately with light and harmless breezes that skimmed the surface; and all the wealth of creation by land and sea was ready, and none was there to share it.

For not as yet had that great and precious thing, man, come into the world of being; it was not to be looked for that the ruler should appear before the subjects of his rule; but when his dominion was prepared, the next step was that the king should be manifested. When, then, the Maker of all had prepared beforehand, as it were, a royal lodging for the future king (and this was the land, and islands, and sea, and the heaven arching like a roof over them), and when all kinds of wealth had been stored in this palace (and by wealth I mean the whole creation, all that is in plants and trees, and all that has sense, and breath, and life; and—if we are to account materials also as wealth—all that for their beauty are reckoned precious in the eyes of men, as gold and silver, and the substances of your jewels which men delight in—having concealed, I say, abundance of all these also in the bosom of the earth as in a royal treasure-house), he thus manifests man in the world, to be the beholder of some of the wonders therein, and the lord of others; that by his enjoyment he might have knowledge of the Giver, and by the beauty and majesty of the things he saw might trace out that power of the Maker which is beyond speech and language.

For this reason man was brought into the world last after the creation, not being rejected to the last as worthless, but as one whom it behoved to be king over his subjects at his very birth.

Understand, however, that by ‘king’ we do not mean a cruel tyrant after the usual image of kings in the Western mind.  Adam was to serve creation as any real king serves his subjects during his reign, with kindness and love - with the greatest kindness and love in fact, raising all the things of the earth to participation in the divine life by uniting within himself all the created world together with the uncreated Grace of God (See pgs. 136-7, Chapter 7, ‘The Economy of the Son’, in Vladimir Lossky’s The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, Crestwood, Ny., St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1976 [1944]).

But Adam fell; and having fallen, he and all mankind lost the ability to carry out this work given them by God.  And yet Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, the God-man, fulfilled what the first Adam failed to do.  Now, by being united to Christ’s Divine-human body, the Church, through the work of the Holy Spirit, man (Southern man included) may take up again this work of hallowing the creation (ibid.).

This calling, though, still haunts the enemies of God, who try to transform the creation by other methods.

In contrast to common notions, the banking sector is in no way left to “market forces,” but is completely gamed, and the same plan is evident in the A.I. reconnaissance program known as the “Internet” and “Facebook.” It becomes evident in flash trading and wash trading, which is preparing us for a cashless global currency. The alchemy of A.I. is the alchemy of finance, as both are geared towards the reductionist quantification of all things. Humans are thus natural resources being trans-mutated into data resources, just as currency is becoming a digital “resource.”

Source:  Jay Dyer, ‘Alchemical Banksters’, Soul of the East, http://souloftheeast.org/2015/01/29/alchemical-banksters/, posted 29 Jan. 2015, accessed 17 March 2015

But the saints show us by their wonderful lives how God intends us to use His Grace to bless and hallow the creation in sooð.  One ensample:

"A wonder-worker of the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev, he was named the Orach-eater because the whole time he lived in the monastery, he never tasted bread but fed himself on orach [a kind of wild spinach] prepared according to his own particular method as a sort of bread. When he gave someone some of this bread with his blessing, it was as sweet as honey, but if someone stole some, it was as bitter as wormwood.   "At one time, when there was a dearth of salt in Russia, Prochorus distributed ashes to the people for salt. The ashes that he distributed with his blessing became salt; ashes, however, that anyone took for himself remained ordinary ashes. Prince Svyatopolk ordered that all the ashes from Prochorus' cell be brought to the court without his permission, let alone his blessing. When the ashes were brought there, it was obvious to everyone that they were ashes and not salt. Then Prochorus told all the people who came to him for salt to go to the prince's court, and, when the prince threw the ashes away, to take them and use them as salt. This they did, and the ashes again became salt. The prince himself, learning of this, was filled with a deep respect and love for him and, when Prochorus died in 1107, placed him with his own hands in a grave near the great Russian saints, Antony and Theodosius." (Prologue).

Source:  See under 10 February ‘Our Venerable Father Prochorus of the Kiev Caves (1107)’, http://www.abbamoses.com/months/february.html, posted n. d., accessed 17 March 2015


Þis being St Patrick’s Feast Day we encourage everyone (especially Southrons, in whom Irish blood makes up no small part) to honor him and pray to him for salvation and help.

But at the same time, ƿe (we) ought to show the same reverence for the many, many other Irish saints, known and unknown,

that we give to St Patrick.  For they are involved in our salvation and well-being just as that great missionary is.

Holy St Patrick and all ye holy Saints of Ireland, pray for us sinners at the South!

(Icon found at this site:  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Patrick_of_Ireland)

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