Truth that transforms and transcends the psyche.
Sunday afternoons for Christians who wish to keep their Sundays sacred.
Pax@Praxis expresses the Gospel truth that ...
"... where two or three are brought together in my name, there am I within them." (Matthew 18:20.)
This is a practical online method in which Christians come together in true faith to develop inner peace - the Greek hesychia - which forms the basic experience of the hesychastic methods of the early Church.
We call it 'Pax Iesu' to give credit to Whom it is due!
Behind it lies the early Christian awareness that there is a difference between 'descriptive thought that thinks about something', and 'direct recognition which perceives that thing'. Because of this difference, our attempts to control the activities within our psyche are only effective when we learn to recognise each form of activity, perceive clearly what good or harm it is likely to do, and so gain the power to choose between alternatives.
If we retranslate a passage from Saint Paul in terms of recent discoveries, we discover a very precise definition of those spiritual possibilities of humanity which we seek together: "But a man of the psyche does not receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are discerned (or recognised) through the spirit.
"But he that is spiritual can judge all things, yet he himself cannot be judged by anyone. For who can instruct someone who has known the nous of the Lord, and we have the nous of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:14-16.)
Belief, the lower stage of faith, is formed by the thoughts of the psyche, while true faith is born by the spiritual recognition that acts through the nous when it becomes still.
Pax as a method is simply the effort to develop inner peace by struggling against all the inappropriate, uncontrolled and habitual actions of our psyche; learning to recognise them and their limitations; developing the power of choice over them.
At first this is only possible when we come together for that purpose, when Grace comes amongst us and makes it possible for us to be taught how to recognise what is happening inside us. This recognition, described in the early Church as diakrisis or discernment, is the first key.
Slowly, in that inner peace, a new integration of the psyche is formed that allows us to experience taking control of the different parts of the psyche; of thoughts, feelings, imaginings, perceptions and the formation of actions.
The effort to 'hold our peace' during the Pax meeting depends on our struggling against the normal habits of our psyche. This not only forms new habits, but creates the self-knowledge on which recognition is built and strengthened.
Slowly, from this, we begin to take control of ourselves at other times, mastering ourselves from the level of recognition, instead of failing to do so from the level of the Personality which is built of those patterns of activity which fragment the psyche and destroy control.
The Abbot of the monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, St. John Climacus, said about the pursuit of inner stillness: "The hesychast is someone who seeks to enclose the incorporeal in his body." This links with the fact that the early fathers of the Church generally teach that Christ will only enter the body when our attention has entered it. "If the hesychast does not enclose the nous in his body, how can he bring Him who has clothed himself in a body to enter him, He Who, in His natural aspect, penetrates all organised matter?47 For the exterior aspect and divisibility of matter is not compatible with the essence of the nous, unless that matter itself truly begins to live, having acquired a form of life that conforms to the union with Christ".48
To change one's heart requires a struggle, but it does not so easily turn back again.
uses words to strengthen that process
in a way that aids us
in our struggles with ourselves.
Pax@Praxis is Ontological Transmission.
It is based on the idea that Christ can 'help us in our unbelief;'
that He can sustain our belief when we are willing,
for the grace of Christian Inner Knowledge purifies the heart,
leading to a transformation that endures.
"Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." (Mark 16.14-20.)
Pax@Praxis is thus a practical method of spiritual growth; it is rooted in the Theosis teaching of the early Church, before it divided itself into different denominations.
Pax@Praxis is Emotional Education:
Through spiritual knowledge that integrates the psyche
and so wakes the heart to a Christian reality.
Based on in-depth studies of the early church and contact with its living succession on Mount Athos, these meetings are intended specifically for those whose spiritual search has been real, and who now seek help to progress further. This help is provided by a living connection to the Christian Inner Tradition sometimes known as Esoteric Christianity.
They have been developed, in a successful attempt to present living Christian truth in a form that wakens the heart as did the teaching of the early church, from the Sunday afternoon 'synaxis' meetings held on Sundays in Orthodox monasteries such as those on Mount Athos.
These meetings provide a unique facility for those who seek to integrate their psyche through attentiveness. When most of those present understand the active conflict that exists in modern mind between the distracting activities of the different faculties of the psyche, and see that this can most easily be resolved by action in concert under the influence of spiritual forces, leading to stillness, then a change occurs which makes it possible for participants to reject the personal elements in their own psyches in favour of the common ground of clarity, stillness and love which, to those who recognise them, are the signs of the Christian integration.
The whole process depends on faith: "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established." (Isaiah ....)
"And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have." (Luke 8: 4-18)
Pax: A kind of lecture;
one that evokes the daimons that divide the psyche,
raises them into consciousness, and then
brings them to inner peace.
Christian Pax: a healing state of mind,
that, building distance between I and me,
will bridge divisions twixt both thought and heart
and bind them with that inward fire
to living silence.
Inner Christian Pax: a gift of grace
that brings reflection to the eye of thought
and shapes intention into purest will
that inward fire shall fill with light
the place of dreams
and drive away grey night.
CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE
From the beginning of these meetings we wish to emphasise that the primary purpose is to create a prayerful stillness between and within us all. For this, we must take care not to turn it into a discussion. If everyone attempts to hold to the stillness and so says very little, the communication that continues within that atmosphere will be permeated by the stillness.
The formation of the individual Magnetic Centre, the integrating core of psychological ascesis, is primarily the result of time given to noetic prayer or prayer of the heart, but is made much easier by certain forms of temporary community activity in which participants come together in love and silence of a kind which encourages and enables them to develop a temporary state hesychia or inner stillness, also known as apatheia - once called passionlessness, a form of self-control.
By observing and remembering our efforts to maintain this state, we can learn very slowly how to maintain the same state when we are alone and face to face with everyday life.