To someone who wrote asking about some statements I had made regarding the secret esoteric beliefs of many in the Eastern Orthodox churches.
In the heart of the Eastern Church is a vast amount of esoteric knowledge that “must be kept secret” because of the “guardians of orthodoxy” that ruthlessly destroy anything that differs from the official theology.
At the funeral of Metropolitan Anastassy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia I heard a conversation between two subdeacons about psychic experiences that would have gotten them in deep trouble with the “guardians.”
The abbot of a monastery with roots in Mount Athos once said to me: “If the Greek Church knew what the fathers of the Holy Mountain really believe, they would send the army onto the Holy Mountain and take them all away.” That is why their beliefs such as the ultimate salvation of all beings and the divinity of the Virgin Mary are kept strictly quiet.
“Heresy” about the Name of Jesus
If you are interested in the Name of Jesus “heresy,” Here are some quote from Saint John of Kronstadt in My Life in Christ:
“When you pronounce to yourself in your heart the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then in that Name you have the Lord’s whole being. It is His infinite mercy, His boundless wisdom, His inaccessible light, omnipotence, and immutability. Approach this all-creative, all-keeping, and all-ruling Name in your thoughts and heart with the fear of God, and with faith and love. This is why God’s commandment strictly forbids us to use God’s Name in vain, because His Name is Himself, an incomplex Being, represented and contained in one single word, although at the same time He is not contained or limited either by it or by anything that exists.”
“The Name of God is God Himself.… As the Lord is the most incomplex Being, the most incomplex Spirit, He is wholly contained in one word, in one thought, being at the same time wholly everywhere, in all creatures. This is why, if you only call upon the Name of the Lord, you call upon the Lord Himself, the Savior of those who believe, and you shall be saved.”
“Thus in the Name of Jesus Christ dwells Christ Himself, wholly, His Soul and Body, united to the Godhead.”
Support from the Holy Mountain of Athos
One of the most renowned and influential elders of the Holy Mountain considers that the higher states of hesychastic prayer are the same as the receiving of Holy Communion. And so do others of the hesychast tradition. They are often accused of that by other monks, but only by those that do not say the Jesus Prayer except superficially. Naturally I cannot name names.
I once spoke quite openly about these various matters to the librarian of a Coptic monastery in Egypt. He said to me: “I have not before heard these things you have said, but I believe every word.”
Heaven to a Coptic Abbot
One Pentecost in a Coptic monastery I was visiting the abbot gave a sermon in which he told the people quite openly that if they wanted to go to heaven after death they would be disappointed: that God had only one goal for man: total union with the Uncreated Light and assimilation (not dissolution) into the Godhead. And that was the real meaning of Pentecost.
If the “infallible” Ecumenical Councils (whoops! I mean the Holy Spirit!) had not propounded their errors as orthodoxy, then Orthodox Christians would not be afraid to speak out the truth.
- Open Secrets (an introduction to the Gospel of Thomas Commentary)
- An esoteric Christian Creed
- The Kingdom Revealed (an article from the Commentary on the Aquarian Gospel)