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The Philokalia

The Philokalia, Volume 1, 1979
The Philokalia, Volume 2, 1982
The Philokalia, Volume 3, 1986
The Philokalia, Volume 4, 1999
(Gk. "love of the beautiful") is an anthology of texts that were written between the fourth and fifteenth centuries by mostly monastic writers of the Christian hesychast tradition [1]. It was compiled by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth, two monks of the Greek Orthodox Church, and first published in 1782. The book is a principal spiritual text for all the Eastern Orthodox Churches in the last century its popularity has spread to include Western Christians, due to the growing interest in contemplative prayer.

The various texts were chosen because of their shared teachings on the way to self-perfection, illumination, and purification, with a strong emphasis on inward prayer. They were originally written for the guidance and instruction of monks in "the practise of the contemplative life", though the Philokalia has been used widely by lay Christians. The works were individually known in Greek-reading Christian monastic culture before their inclusion in The Philokalia, but the collection resulted in a much wider readership due to its translation into several languages, including a seven-volume translation into Russian (Dobrotolyubie) by St. Theophan the Recluse in the nineteenth-century.

The full name of the text is The Philokalia of the Neptic Saints gathered from our Holy Theophoric Father, through which, by means of the philosophy of ascetic practice and contemplation, the intellect is purified, illumined, and made perfect. That title distinguishes it from many other books of monastic spirituality that are also titled Philokalia (or Philocalia), and also gives emphasis to the Greek nepsis[2], or "watchfulness". The other notable book titled Philokalia is an anthology of the writings of the third-century theologian Origen.

   [1]Hesychasm: HESYCHIA means stillness, and the practice of stillness in the presence of God is called HESYCHASM....ORTHODOX PSYCHOTHERAPY

  [2]Nepsis: Nepsis, or nipsis, is a Greek word which means to be watchful, alert, and vigilant, and to keep on your guard for illusions and fear, with a clear, sober mind. Parallels could likely be made between Nepsis and the concepts of mindfulness in Buddhism, dhikr in Islam, and devekut in Judism. In spiritual literature, Nepsis is the natural state of an awaken soul: one that is both connected with the Divine and is self-aware of this connection.

Nepsis is an interesting and important sacred concept, because it is a major requirement for those that practice the teachings of any spiritual path. Nepsis is also an early Christian precept as it was considered as a requirement or virtue that was avidly expected for the seeker to develop during their lifetime. The Essenians and the Fathers of the Desert, thought that evil thoughts were thoughts brought in by demons. These thoughts darken the mind; they bring in doubt, and fear. Nepsis was a way to intentionally “close the gate” to other non Godly thoughts...Humanity Healing Network

The inner unity of the Philokalia and its influence in East and KALLISTOS, Bishop of Diokleia
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