Buddhist Liberation and Christian Deification: Experiential and Doctrinal Aspects... by Elizabete Taivane

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Today in the period of post-modernism Comparative Mysticism is a controversial field of research. The question of the border between experience and interpretation (the same indoctrination of the experience) is one of the most important. Steven Katz ’s position has become the dominant orientation amongst scholarship in the field of the comparative study of mysticism since the 1980s. His three main arguments concerning mystical experience in different religious traditions are as follows:

  1. It is not possible to drive a wedge between experiences and their interpretations. What we think is interpretation may be the experience itself.
  2. At the same time the experience is always conditioned. Hence there can never be two identical mystical experiences in different religions.
  3. No perennial parallels between concepts of different religious traditions are possible. [1]

Recently there have been a number of critical responses to Katz’s position, focusing particularly upon his claim that it is not possible to have an unmediated experience [2] . The task of the paper is to continue the critical dialogue with Katz tantric Buddhism and the experiential aspects of deification (theosis) in Hesychasm. The research shows that the first argument of Katz is perfectly correct whereas the second and the third one are wrong. making use of a comparison of the experience of liberation in

Buddhism and Christianity represent completely different doctrinal systems. [3] Tantric Buddhism of Tibet, basing upon the idea of alaya-vijnana joined by the concept of tathagatagarbha , presupposes oneness of all things and therefore can be designated as the monistic doctrinal system . Man is Buddha in his innermost being. If so, man is able to communicate the Ultimate only in the process of introspection culminating in introversion of consciousness. Such a transformation is fully a result of human effort. Any kind of divine support is completely excluded in tantrism . This sort of experience is qualified as knowledge because man acquires some sort of gnosis of himself and reality.

Hesychasm belongs to the theistic world view, dealing with the Ultimate Other situated beyond and not in us. If so, the Ultimate can’t be experienced in the process of introspection and introversion. In this context the idea of salvation through divine grace comes into being. The path of grace, when man and God cooperate, is based on agape. God loves man and initiates the salvific process whereas man accepts (or refuses) the divine grace.

Hence, the Buddhistic path correlates to the so called impersonalist religious doctrine whereas Christian religiosity entails personalism. If to use Katz’s second argument the mentioned two doctrines should cause completely different mystical experiences. According to the presupposed scheme in the monistic case of Tantric impersonalism the Ultimate Other should never be experienced whereas Christian Hesychast in his vision of God should not lose his personality or merge with the Divine. Nevertheless at the level of mystical experience, especially at its culminating stage when the soteriological goal is achieved the monistic and theistic schemes blend. Both tantric Buddhists and Hesychasts experience liberation / deification as a unification of two Lights. Although the experience of unification does not correspond to the Christian doctrinal dichotomy whereas presence of the two is not in accordance with the monistic model of tantric Buddhism the mentioned soteriological experiences of tantric Buddhists and Hesychasts seem to be identical. We shall try to demonstrate our position making use of the extracts from Hesychast and Tibetan experiential narratives.

It is discernible that sometimes Christian contemplators describe the apparition of two Lights following each other. For instance, Symeon the New Theologian using the third person narrative, witnesses about it in the following way,

“One day, as he stood and recited, “God, have mercy upon me, a sinner” (Lk. 18:13), uttering it with his mind rather than his mouth, suddenly a flood of divine radiance appeared from above and filled all the room. As this happened the young man lost all awareness (of his surroundings) and forgot that he was in a house or that he was under the roof. He saw nothing but light all around him and did not know whether he was standing on the ground. He was not afraid of falling; he was not concerned with the world, nor did anything pertaining to men and corporeal beings enter into his mind. Instead, he was wholly in the presence of a immaterial light and seemed to himself to have turned into light. Oblivious of the world he was filled with tears and with ineffable joy and gladness. His mind then ascended to heaven and beheld yet another light, which was clearer than that which was close at hand.” [4]

We shall postpone our commentary at the moment and turn our attention to a Tibetan passage from the ‘Path of Knowledge: the Yoga of the Six Doctrines’ . Unlike the emotional language of St. Symeon, the Tibetan passage is deprived of any emotion,

“When about to die, cut off all entangling attachments [to the world and to worldly possessions], along with hatred [for any enemy or other person left behind]. By allowing the mind to rest free of thought-forming during the stages of the subsiding-process, the experiences of the subsiding-process accordingly merge into the natural state of quiescence as soon as they have dawned. Thereby dawneth the Offspring Clear Light. Then, as a secondary result, there dawns the Mother Clear Light […]. The intellectual recognition of these two aspects of the Clear Light, being like the recognition resulting from meeting an old acquaintance [since death hath been previously experienced many times], is known as the blending of the Mother and Son Clear Light.” [5]

A good explanation of the apparition of two Lights in Tibetan mysticism is given by Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro. He asserts that “in general, clear light is of two types — the objective clear light that is the subtle emptiness [of inherent existence], and the subjective clear light that is the wisdom consciousness realizing this emptiness.” [6] To paraphrase the words of the Tibetan scholar, the objective Clear Light represents the perfect and constant and unchangeable ultimate reality which can be compared to the Christian notion of the Divine. The subjective Clear Light is the capacity of our consciousness to discover the objective Clear Light. It is obvious that here we deal with the human perception of Light. Any concrete person is endowed with his/her own measure of Light perception. The Objective Light is constant and unchangeable, whereas the measure of the subjective Light can differ depending on our individual capacities to perceive Light. As a Russian theologian Oleg Klimkov observes, the Divine Light exists as an objective reality independently of our individual consciousness. The divine Light is constant; our capacity to perceive Light can alter. Its measure can increase and decrease because it depends on our capacity to share the Divine life. [7] Thus, the objective Clear Light called by the Tibetans ma, i.e., Mother [Clear Light] is compared to God, whilst the subjective Clear Light (Tib. bu or Son [Clear Light]) represents human being perceiving the objective radiance.

John Myrdhin Reynolds explains the apparition of the two Lights in a similar manner to Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro, “This Mother is something universal, rather than being individual, in the sense that, although many different individual Buddhas manifest throughout time and space, they all participate in a single Dharmakaya that transcends all dualities and pluralities. We come to recognize the Clear Light by means of the view to which we have been previously introduced by the master, who indicates it to us, saying, “This is the Clear Light of your own Rigpa, your state of intrinsic Awareness.” This individual Clear Light to which the master introduces us and which we experience again and again in our meditation experience throughout our lifetime, is known as the Clear Light of the Path (lam gyi ‘od gsal) rather than the Clear Light of the base (gzhi’ ‘od gsal). This luminosity met with on the path is also known as the Son Clear Light (bu’i ‘od gsal), in contrast to the Mother Clear Light (ma’i ‘od gsal).” [8]

The scholar adds, “This son or child is like a small spark of the totality of the Clear Light. For example, it is said to be no more than a small butter lamp held up against the midday sun that is a source of all light.” [9] It means that the subjective human Light is much smaller than the objective one. Obviously, the same limited measure of the human light is underscored also by Hesychast Archimandrite Sophrony,

“Having arrived at the darkness of divestiture, the mind may feel a peculiar quiet delight, and if it then turns to itself, as it were, it may perceive a certain light, which, however, is not yet the Uncreated Light of Divinity but a natural property of the mind created after God’s image. In that it is a crossing of the boundaries of “things seen which are temporal”, such contemplation approaches the mind to knowledge of things which do not “pass away” — to “things which are not seen which are eternal” — thereby possessing man of new knowledge, which, nevertheless, is still not eternal life through communion in Divine Being.” [10]

Archimandrite Sophrony asserts that luminosity of the human mind is really splendid; nevertheless, the Light of God is greater. [11] Unlike the Tibetan masters of meditation, Archimandrite Sophrony doesn’t assert that the light of human mind is the means of Light recognition in the after-death state. Nevertheless, it can’t be denied that the human light, being an image of the Divine one, is a result of introversion of consciousness and is situated at the border of transition from the created to the Divine, from Jungian consciousness to the collective unconscious.

The subjective light as the means of liberation in Tibetan tradition is discussed by Sogyal Rinpoche like this,

“The Mother Luminosity is the name we give to the Ground Luminosity. This is the fundamental, inherent nature of everything, which underlies our whole experience, and which manifests in its full glory at the moment of death. The Child Luminosity, also called the Path Luminosity, is the nature of our mind, which, if introduced by the master, and if recognized by us, we can then be gradually stabilized through meditation, and more and more completely integrate into our actions in life. Even though the Ground Luminosity is our inherent nature and the nature of everything, we do not recognize it, and it remains as if hidden. I like to think of the Child Luminosity as a key the master gives us to help open up the door to the recognition of the Ground Luminosity, whenever the opportunity arises. Imagine that you have to meet a woman arriving by plane. If you have no idea what she looks like, you might go to the airport and she could walk right past you and you would miss her. If you have a photo of her that is a good likeness, and you have a good picture of her in your mind, then you will recognize her as soon as she approaches you. Once the nature of mind has been introduced and you recognize it, you have the key to recognizing it again. […] Then the recognition becomes so ingrained in you, so much a part of you, that you have no further need of the photograph; when you meet the person, recognition is spontaneous and immediate. So, after sustained practice of the recognition of the nature of mind, when at the moment of death the Ground Luminosity dawns, you will be able then to recognize it and merge with it — as instinctively, say the masters of the past, as a little child running eagerly into its mother’s lap, like old friend meeting, or a river flowing into the sea.” [12]

During prolonged meditations the experienced Light ingrains in man and becomes his part. The means of liberation transforms into the inner content of man. Thus, the border between Light as the means of liberation and man himself is rather subtle. That the Ground Luminosity and the Path Luminosity are the same by nature has been clearly explained by Sogyal Rinpoche. Tibetan Buddhism belongs to the monistic religious system which presupposes the presence of the only nature and the return of a human being to his Ground in the same way as a river flows into the sea. [13]

Although Christianity doesn’t share the Buddhist notion of the only nature, the first light of Symeon the New Theologian in the passage from the Discourses, quoted above, may be compared to the Path Luminosity of the Tibetan Buddhism rather than to the mental light of Archimandrite Sophrony because the first light, Symeon experiences, appears from above and comes at the moment of prayer. Although the mental light of Sophrony also appears as a result of introversion, its manifestation can be controlled by man. The apparition of the mental light takes place only if the mind “turns to itself”. The vision of the Divine Light comes as a result of repentance. The observation made by Archimandrite Sophrony helps to interpret the first Light of Symeon. [14] As Symeon testifies, his hero was praying with the words of the sinner. It means that the prayer of the zealot was an act of repentance. Besides, according to Sophrony, the Divine Light “comes exclusively as a gift of God’s mercy”, and “cannot be discovered by ascetic techniques”. [15] The prayer of Symeon before the vision of both Lights is an explicit example of such a call for God’s mercy. Hence, the first Light of Symeon is of Divine nature, bearing similarity to the Path Luminosity of Tibetan Buddhism.

Discussing the question of true Light vision, Archimandrite Sophrony also formulates an idea of Light which is rather similar to the Tibetan Light of the Path and to the first Light of Symeon. He writes that the Divine Light as such is invisible in the same way as the physical light is unseen if doesn’t find an object which can perceive it. The physical light, in order to be seen, requires the presence of the sensual eyes in the body of a living being. The Divine Light, in turn, needs the spiritual eyes of man to be open. If the spiritual sight is active in man then he himself becomes similar to a mirror reflecting the Divine Light. Then the reflected Light transforms man completely, making his soul and body luminous. The Divine Light which reflects in contemplator can be perceived by the physical sight of other people. [16] Unlike the mental light of Archimandrite Sophrony, the described “subjective” Light of illumined man can’t be separated from the Divine Light. The only thing which reminds us about the theistic model of two natures is the image of a mirror. The 4concepts, however, lose their meaning in the ecstatic vision.

Although the topic of the Divine Light is ineffable and can’t be grasped completely by the dichotomous mind, we shall make an endeavour to find a Tibetan equivalent of the mental light as well as of the lights of demons described by many Christian ascetics. A usual position of Orthodox theologians concerning the photic phenomena in the beginning of introversion, performed by Indian yogins, is that their equivalent in Orthodox spirituality is a manifestation of demons. [17] Such a critical position of Christian exclusiveness seems to be rather doubtful. As Tibetan masters of meditation point out, the apparition of luminous visions before the manifestation of Clear Light is a natural sign of the dissolution of gross and subtle elements. Probably, an adequate equivalent of these “minor” photic apparitions is the mental light of Archimandrite Sophrony.

An appropriate equivalent of demonic lights of the Christian ascetic tradition, in turn, is represented by the dull lights of the six samsaric worlds (Skt. loka) manifesting in Chonyid Bardo of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. These very samsaric lights always manifest along with the bright ones expressing, in turn, the luminosity of the naked mind. Being acquainted with samsara better, an ordinary person is attracted by the dull lights. Making this choice, he/she afterwards has to experience the following stages of the process of individuation (not to be identified with the individuation of Jung) or reincarnation. It is interesting that Gregory the Theologian describing his visions also mentions two lights. In accord with him, the light is of a twofold nature. The first light takes a man to God whereas the other one, being a direct opposite of the Divine Light, is deceptive. It tries to seem similar to the uncreated Light in order to lure the man. A contemplator should be rather intelligent in order to make the right choice. [18] Here the two lights become an equivalent of the twofold photic apparitions in Chonyid bardo.

The above similarities between the liberative experience of Buddhists and the salvific one of Christians allow us to make two conclusions. Firstly, it is important to agree with the first argument of Katz about the extremely subtle border between the experience and interpretation. It is rather difficult to say if the idea of “unification” and the notion of “the two” belong to the field of doctrine (interpretation) or to the sphere of experience. Secondly, the culminating point of mystical ascent in both religions is not conditioned being described afterwards in different ways according to the cultural and historical background of the visionary. To say it differently the indescribable vision of the Ultimate is indoctrinated. Doctrine, in its turn, becomes a directive to reproduce a basic experience by an individual. [19] While the lower stages of mystical experience are conditioned by doctrine the highest one is not, becoming a starting point of any doctrine. Hence, we have turned the second argument of Katz upside-down preferring and adapting to our context the statement of the famous Russian theologian Vladimir Lossky. In accordance with him religious doctrine and religious experience are interdependent and forming each other. [20] The former is a derivative of the latter. At the same time doctrine shapes the religious experience.

Further making use of the example of Hesychasm we shall try to show that apparatus interpreting or indoctrinating the experience in a certain religious tradition is not stable being conditioned to a large extent. The liberative / salvific experience, in its turn, is unchangeable becoming a source of perennial parallels between concepts of different religious traditions. In this way we shall oppose the third argument of Katz.

The union of the two, i.e. of God and of man during Light vision, is interpreted by Orthodox theologians as deification (theosis). According to the foundations of the Orthodox doctrine a necessary condition of our deification is Incarnation. Having descended to humanity out of love for humankind, God became man so that, ascending to divinity out of love, man may in turn become God. [21]

Speaking about theosis in Christian mysticism, the question of substance and energies must not be ignored. Archimandrite Sophrony explains these two categories like this, “Divine Being, absolutely realized, absolutely actualized, excludes the presence in Itself of undeveloped potentialities and, as such, may be defined as Pure Act. Divine Being, as Self-Being, having no cause outside Itself, all-perfect from the beginning, is for the created being datum and, as such, may be defined as Pure Fact. As Act (Energy), Divine Being is communicable to the reasoning creature in all Its fullness and infinity. As Fact (Essence), It is absolutely transcendental and incommunicable to the creature, and remains a mystery, for ever unapproachable. […] The Saints, fully deified by the gift of grace, are so introduced into the Divine Act that all the attributes of Divinity are imparted to them, even to identity — but identity of Act only, never of Nature. By His nature God eternally and immutably remains God for created beings, even when they arrive at perfect identity.” [22] The question of theosis in the context of Light vision is discussed in detail by St. Symeon the New Theologian. He underscores that man shares the Divine Light according to the measure of his purification and capacity to perceive this Light. For Symeon theosis is necessary holistic, “God is Light (I John 1:5), and to those who have entered into union with Him He imparts of His own brightness to the extent that they have been purified. When the lamp of the soul, that is, the mind, has being kindled, then it knows that a divine fire has taken hold of it and inflamed it. How great a marvel! Man is united to God spiritually and physically, since the soul is not separated from the mind, neither the body from the soul. By being united in essence man also has three hypostases by grace. He is a single god by adoption with body and soul and the Divine Spirit, of whom he has become a partaker.” [23]

In this passage, the limited measure of the Light perception bears affinities to the Tibetan idea of the Clear Light of the Path. The latter is considered to be smaller than the Clear Light of the Ground. At this stage the vision of the Light in both traditions is not yet perfect. Nevertheless, when the perception is good enough, Light reveals to man in all its fullness. The idea of the complete transformation into Light is relevant for the monistic context. Man is this Light by nature, and fullness of enlightenment is thus possible. Although Christianity belongs to theism, it also accepts the notion of a complete deification. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, the first theologian discussing theosis systematically, admits that man becomes god to the same extent to which God became man, “I too might be made God so far as He is made man”. [24] The consideration of Gregory Nazianzen is confirmed by the contemporary master of contemplation, Archimandrite Sophrony, “And just as Christ in His human nature contained “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” and “sat with the father in his throne”, so every man is called to the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. If this were not so, Christ could not have bid us “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”.” [25] This full measure of the Divine vision and the perfect deification can be compared to the union with the Mother Clear Light in Tibetan Buddhism. In the same way as Tibetan masters assert that the full measure of spiritual growth can be attained only when the life of a zealot is over, Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu writes, “This perfect union between the object and the subject, which may occur at the last moment of a lifetime, after a lifelong search, fills the painful gap between the human creature and the Creator.” [26] In spite of the conceptual differences, the universal experience of union of the two lights transcends the doctrinal barriers. Both traditions mention two lights: the subjective one, presenting a certain individual, and the objective one, representing the impersonal and transcendent reality. These two are supposed to be united. This very union of man and the universal Buddha is explained by rDzogs chen tradition in a “parable” about a clay pot. A liberated man is likened by rDzogs chen to an empty pot which is broken in fragments. Then there is no difference between the inner space contained within and the outer space that surrounds the pot. [27] Hence, in Tibetan tradition the two lights are just two relative parts of the one and the only real whole. A similar idea is expressed explicitly in Hesychasm. That there never exist two or more independent lights is stressed, for instance, by Gregory Palamas in his Triads (I, 3, 43). According to that God is the only source of any light. For this reason, when theosis takes place, man transformed into light and the Divine Light are inseparable. The idea of the destruction of the border between man and God during deification is found also in the treatises of St. Mark the Ascetic. He writes that any intellection presupposes dichotomy, i.e. the presence of the subject and the object. But God is beyond substance and beyond intellection. He is the undivided unit (monas) without parts; He is completely simple. A man, who transcends the intellection, is beyond dichotomy too, finding himself in God. [28] The idea of the annihilated dichotomy, suggested by St. Mark, has strong affinities to the monistic perception of reality in Buddhism. Finally, it would be rather interesting to note that doctrinal accuracy is sometimes not at all important for the masters of prayer in Hesychasm. A great mystic Macarius the Egyptian, for instance, being a true contemplator, goes beyond the doctrinal boundaries. The experience (peira) of God and not theological speculations was the core of his teaching. [29] He doesn’t distinguish between the substance (nature) of God and His energies, suggesting an idea of the substantial “mixture” of man and God. [30] He teaches that God’s implantation into the human soul should be understood literally. Macarius even asserts that the Incarnation in the body of Jesus was not unique; it was just a particular case of the constant incarnation of Christ in angels and souls of the saints. [31] As a result of the union with the Divinity, God becomes in a sense the soul of man. [32] Evagrius of Pontus is another representative of the Eastern Christian tradition teaching the literal union with God. According to him, human mind becomes a reservoir of God in the proper sense of the word. [33] Seeing God, man then sees himself and vice versa. In the same way as Buddhist masters of meditation deal with enstasis (introversion), Evagrius admits that mind is endowed with a natural capacity to perceive the Divine Light and needs not to transcend itself. [34] No doubt, Macarius and Evagrius who lived in the fourth century AD were not yet acquainted with the Hesychast concept of the Divine substance and energies. The above mentioned ideas have been formulated by Palamas only in the fourteenth century. The mystical experience of Macarius and Evagrius, however, couldn’t be so easily defined and was explained in the notional language of the fourth century. The formulations of the medieval theologians, being free from a strict dogmatic “stratum” of the later ages, are even closer to the essentials of the mystical experience. Therefore, a conclusion can be made that doctrinal truths are just secondary expressions of the primary and universal experience of the Ultimate. Doctrines of different religions being derivatives of the unconditioned experience can be compared. Such a comparison making use of experiential data and performed carefully should become a source of perennial parallels between and among religious ideas of different religions. Let the words of Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu sum up the present research, “Even if, given its objective social aspects, religion has at times been incorporated into history, spirituality — because it presents religious absoluteness as the invisible part of religion — will forever break all historical barriers; it will forever be nonhistorical.” [35]

Footnotes

  1. Richard King, ”Mysticism and Spirituality” in John R. Hinnells, The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion (London, New York: Taylor&Francis Group, 2005), p. 316.
  2. Ibid., p. 317.
  3. In accordance with Th. Stcherbatsky in Hinayana we have a radical Pluralism converted in Mahayana in as radical Monism. (See Th. Stcherbatsky, The Conception of Buddhist Nirvana (Leningrad: Publishing Office of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1927), pp. 39-43. (In Richard A. Gard, ed., Buddhism (New York: George Braziller, 1962), p. 118.)
  4. Symeon the New Theologian, The Discources (XXII, 4), trans. C.J. deCatanzaro (New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1980), p. 245-246.
  5. The Path of Knowledge: the Yoga of the Six Doctrines (V, 21-24) in W.Y. Evans-Wentz (ed.), Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines or Seven Books of Wisdom of the Great Path, According to the Late Låma Kazi Dawa-Samdup’s Eglish Rendering (London, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 237.
  6. Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro, Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating the Presentation of the Three Basic Bodies – Death, Intermediate State and Rebirth in Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermediate State in Tibetan tradition, p. 48.
  7. Свящ. Олег Климков, Опыт безмолвия: Человек в миросозерцании Византийских исихастов (Санкт-Петербург: Алетейа, 2001), c. 169.
  8. Commentary on “The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King,” by the Translator in John Myrdhin Reynolds (trans.), The Golden Letters: The Three Statements of Garab Dorje, the First Teacher of Dzogchen, Together with a Commentary by Dza Patrul Rinpoche entitled “The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King” (Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications, 1996), p. 96.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Archimandite Sophrony, The Monk of Mount Athos Staretz Silouan 1866-1938 (Crestwood, New York: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), p. 111-112.
  11. Старец Силуан: Жизнь и поучения (Москва, Ново-Казачье, Минск: Православная община, 1991), c. 165.
  12. Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, ed. Patrick Gaffney, and Andrew Harvey (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994), pp. 267-268.
  13. The image of a river merging with the waters of a sea, is found in Upanishads as well as in Teresa’s Interior Castle. The similarity of descriptions of the mystical experiences in different religions allows to make one more conclusion about the universal character of this very mystical condition of human psyche.
  14. Старец Силуан, Жизнь и поучения, c. 163.
  15. Archimandite Sophrony, The Monk of Mount Athos Staretz Silouan 1866-1938, p. 110.
  16. Архимандрит Софроний (Сахаров), Видеть Бога как Он есть (Essex: Stavropegic Monastery of St. John theBaptist, 1985), c. 176.
  17. See, for instance, Митрофан Лодыженский, Сверхсознание и пути его достижения (Москва: Эксмо-пресс, 2002), c. 139.
  18. Григорий Богослов, Сл. 40 (In Игумен Иларион Алфеев, Жизнь и учение св. Григория Богослова (Санкт-Петербург: Алетейа, 2001), c. 368.)
  19. See about soteriology as a directive to reproduce the basic experience in Е.А.Торчинов, Религии мира: опыт запредельного: Трансперсональные состояния и психотехника (СПб: Петербургское Востоковедение, 1997), с. 47.
  20. V. N. Lossky has discussed the matter in the context of Eastern Christianity. He has never distinguished the religious experience from the dogmatic theology. The former is an individual manifestation of the common faith; the latter is a common expression of what can be experienced by anybody. (В. Н. Лосский, Очерк мистического богословия Восточной Церкви // В. Н. Лосский, Очерк мистического богословия. Догматическое богословие, Москва: СЭИ, 1991, cc. 8-11.)
  21. Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu, “The Jesus Prayer and Deification” in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 39.1 (1995), p. 5.
  22. Archimandite Sophrony, The Monk of Mount Athos Staretz Silouan 1866-1938, p. 112-113. The terms substance, essence and nature have the same meaning whereas presence or manifestation of God are the same Divine energies.
  23. Symeon the New Theologian, The Discourses (XV, 3), p. 195.
  24. Gregory Nazianzen, Select Orations of Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Sometime Archbishop of Constantinople (XXII, 19), trans. Charles Gordon Browne in The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of Christian Church (Michigan: Wm.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, n.d.), p. 308.
  25. Archimandite Sophrony, The Monk of Mount Athos Staretz Silouan 1866-1938, p.113.
  26. Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu, “The Jesus Prayer and Deification”, p. 5.
  27. Commentary to “The Last Testament of Garab Dorje,” by the Translator in John Myrdhin Reynolds (trans.), The Golden Letters, p. 158.
  28. Марк Подвижник, De temperantia et virtute c. X, col. 1057; (In Сергей Зарин, Аскетизм по Православно-Христианскому учению (Москва: Паломник, 1996), cc. 437-438.)
  29. Macarius writes, “We have partaken God, we have got the experience”. (Преп. Макарий Египетский, Homilia 40, 1, PG 34, 761. (in Владимир Лосский, Боговидение, пер. В. Рещиковой // Владимир Лосский, Богословие и боговидение, ред. Владимир Писляков (Москва: Издательство Свято-Владимирского Братства, 2000),c. 215.)
  30. Homilia 8, 2, PG 34, 524-525. (In И. В. Попов, Святые отцы II-IV вв., т. 1. (Сергиев Посад: Свято-Троицкая Лавра, 2004), c. 131)
  31. Homilia 4, 9-10, PG 34, 480. (Ibid., c. 133)
  32. De libertate mentis, 12, PG 34, 944-945. (Ibid., c. 134.)
  33. Евагрий Понтийский, Kephalaia gnostica III, 1. (In Владимир Лосский, Боговидение, c. 210.)
  34. Владимир Лосский, Боговидение, c. 211.
  35. Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu, “The Jesus Prayer and Deification”, p. 5.