Zealots in the garden


It is appalling how some people who pretend to be Orthodox slander the Ecumenical Patriarch. On many forums, blogs and websites, His All-Holiness Bartholomew I of Constantinople is accused of being a CIA operative and a NATO shill, working for US imperialism. He is said to be a heretic and a Freemason, practicing ‘Eastern Papism’ — that is, trying to become the Pope of Orthodoxy. This slander happens always without any evidence, often based on extremely far-fetched ‘conclusions’ and interpretations (as malicious as possible) of some media reports.

Here are just two examples, and it is very easy two find lots of more of that filth. They can usually be found from Russia-oriented websites, the current Ukraine crisis being often as the context, although this anti-Bartholomew propaganda began long before the autocephaly controversy. (I also think Petro Poroshenko is an evil dick — it just does not have any relevance concerning the long-continued schism.) These examples were written on the Patriarchate’s official Twitter account, as responses. Being public in the first place, I do not censor their names and pictures.

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Of course, this kind of zealots and sectarianists can not possibly care about the purity of the Orthodox faith or the unity of the Church. If they did, they would concentrate on their spiritual contemplation, the holy mysteries, and studying the mystical theology of the Church — none of those are under threat in this temporal Ukraine controversy — without bothering themselves with the organisational matters of the Church. Such matters are important for technical reasons, but they are still secondary.

That is why the Orthodox Church have Her church officials: to take care of these temporal and earthly matters so that they could in their best way serve the faithful. Now two Patriarchs have disagreements of how they should be handled. Those for whom Orthodoxy is a matter of finding connection to God and cultivate one’s soul could not care less about that disagreement. But it reveals the sectarian twits for whom religion seemingly is nothing more than a reason to pick sides and fight.

That often seems to be what many people want to do with their lives. They use religion, nationality, ethnicity, language, or any difference possible to do so, most likely without caring very much about the issue itself. The Holy Orthodox Church of course is not immune to sectarianism and zealotry, as we live in the fallen world, under the veil of māyā. These people exploit the Church as merely a part of international or identity politics, in a way that can rightfully be described as ‘diabolic’.

These zealots are doing exactly what they say the Ecumenical Patriarch is doing: they are tearing up the Church — they are, not the Patriarch. They are dividing the Church, wanting to bring it from a mere organisational dispute towards a genuine schism. They declare anathema to the primus inter pares by the authority of their Self-Educated Expert of Everything status, granted by the All-Knowing Internet. They are trying to cast a curse upon the hierarchs of their own Church and break the communion.

Indeed, in their hybris they are even excommunicating the Patriarch, asserting themselves above those with the apostolic succession. It is these zealots alone that are dividing the Church, not the Patriarchs, whatever earthly disagreements they might have. The Church is one and remains one. Their All-Holinesses Bartholomew and Kirill will solve the Ukraine crisis somehow, and as a result, the Church is more unified than it has been since the schism began. The Orthodox support these attempts and pray for all the bishops involved, they do not wage war inside the Church.

One might disagree with the bishops, in earthly matters, in organisational matters, to some degree in theological matters too. But in any possible circumstance any Orthodox Christian does not slander and curse bishops and patriarchs. Their apostolic succession is the spine of the Church, they act as the guardians of the Mystical Body of Christ. They have been given a difficult task to organise the Church here on Earth, and they do not need their flocks to throw any stones at the other side of the same Temple.

St. Paul says (2 Timothy 2:22–26),

So shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Blessed be the Church of Constantinople, New Rome, blessed be the Church of Moscow, the Third Rome, and blessed be the One Holy Orthodox Church, God’s Israel.

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Those damn Zionists again


‘[W]e are supposed to be awed by Israel’s greatness and horrified by the Palestinians’ innate backwardness and inexplicable hatred of Jews. We are not supposed to be able to comprehend how Palestinians would wish for an end to Israel’s rule over them.’ (Page 75)

Some time ago, I happened to have a free copy of a Palestine-related book, and as an Orient-enthusiast I obviously read it. It was worth my time, and no doubt it is worth yours. You can buy the book here.

I have heard several times from Israel fans that those who support the Palestinian cause should take a look into the facts, but never have I met any Israel fan who has actually meant that. For everyone who genuinely wants to understand and educate themselves on the history and situation of Palestine, I recommend Jeremy R. Hammond’s book Exposing a Zionist Hoax: How Elan Journo’s “What Justice Demands” Deceives Readers About the Palestine Conflict (Worldview Publications 2018). It is a response to Elan Journo’s book that claims to offer a ‘fresh’ and ‘original’ take on the Palestine conflict, but, as Hammond shows, only manages to offer a pile of old and overused Zionist falsehoods, omissions, and distortions.

I warmly recommend Hammond’s book even for those who have not read, and are not planning to read, Journo’s book. From Exposing a Zionist Hoax, you will find lots of information on the history of Palestine, the establishment of Israel, the ethnic cleansing, occupation, censorship, the economy of Palestine, the ‘peace process’, and so on. Hammond argues convincingly for his moral stand and offers lots of credible sources for his readers to back up his claims.

After reading all of this, I wonder does Journo genuinely believe in what he says in his own book.

Even though Hammond has written his book as a response to another, it is written so that it can have value even years after everyone has forgotten that Elan Journo ever existed: Its responsive nature just guarantees that Hammond is not fighting against his own straw men, but he is engaging in a dialogue with authentic and significant Zionist views, claims, and arguments. His thorough investigation and evaluation of this wide range of claims and wide use of sources, in a quite small number of pages, make Exposing a Zionist Hoax a useful handbook for anyone who wants to take a look into the facts.

‘But setting aside Journo’s fiction and considering the actual nature of the occupation regime, the Palestinians’ desire for freedom is the simplest thing to understand. Their yearning for liberty, to be able to have a say in how they are governed, to determine their own fate and live up to their full potential, is a trait shared by all human beings.’ (Ibid.)

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Back to the Doric Order

Old Layout

I liked the previous layout I had in my blog. Its colours were aesthetically kitteneous. But my interest changes rapidly. For example, I have already found many more interesting research topics than the one of my doctoral thesis. So I decided to change the layout to a simpler one—at least for now.

During the Romantic Era, European intellectuals got fascinated by Ancient Greece. That of course meant the ruins of Magna Graecia in Italy. The simplicity of the Doric order, the oldest of the classical architectural orders, enchanted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe with its primordial beauty.

This view of the beauty of simplicity is often brought up in lists of advices that are given to writers: removing unnecessary words, using concise language, and writing simple sentences often make expression better. I have noticed—like I have stated earlier—that using foreign language helps.

Those who believe in the idea of philosophia perennis often prefer primordial forms of religion and philosophy over the modern ones. When a tradition grows, it usually creates lots of new branches and interpretations—often to the extent that the core is forgotten. Humans begin creating Geist instead of Geist manifesting itself through humans.

In the areas of art, religion, and philosophy it is occasionally necessary to go back ad fontes, so that we remember why those manifestations appeared among the humanity in the first place. Perhaps it has not happened because of lesser understanding and skill of mind, but because of human’s natural sense of beauty, wisdom, and wonder.

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