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What to do after the epidemic? What not to do after the epidemic?

Season concluding thoughts about the mercy of renewal

1. What not to do after the epidemic? What should be avoided in this summer? First we should avoid being very optimistic. As the ancient wise men taught, we have to avoid the other extreme, i.e. fear, too. We managed to build up such a complex system (network) with the help of our worldwide connections that we cannot comprehend any more. Our computers cannot comprehend it either. Moreover, they will not comprehend it either. It is because the complexity of the system grows more quickly than the complexity of the parts able to comprehend the system. We need to come to terms with this emerging permanent uncertainty. There is no padded, safe life any more. In fact, there has never been a safe life – but we managed to create the illusion for a few decades that there was. It’s over. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What to do after the epidemic? What are the most important take home messages of the pandemic? All extremes should be avoided. We should not rush – but we should not isolate ourselves either. What could be the advantage of South-East-European countries in the pandemic? The local experience (considered “fresh” on a historical scale) that we have to be able to change our lives – could be an important contributory cause. The regime change from socialism to capitalism (and the recession in 2008) made South-East-European countries (and the Greeks) accustomed to the necessity and possibility of society-wise changes. What did this pandemic teach us? We learned behavioral flexibility. It taught us that we have to train ourselves for changes, for that we “switch on” or “switch off” (or rather switch over) our lives according the situation. This knowledge will be much needed in the expected, big cataclysms of the coming decades of the 21st century. Those communities which practice the capacity of behavioral change better now, at the time of this mild “main rehearsal”, will be better survivors later if the real problems (climate change, water scarcity, food shortage, etc.) will strike. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is the real solution? The mercy of revival. When the interconnectedness of networks exceeds a certain density, the period of instability together with a series of unexpected situations begins. This is what the world reached in the past decades. We applied the simplest answer to system stabilization during the past months. We disconnected the world network and by this we started to return to the stable regime. But the world is about to “switch on” again and facing to a new uncertainty – just differently. We do not have to look for the real answer OUTSIDE but INSIDE. How do I have to change? The real answer is the mercy of our inner revival and purification – and this we may only ask for from above. A man looking for the real answer opens, reveals and leaves space for God’s presence in him. THIS carries him to the life that will be the real answer in ITS OWN totality – in the midst of any external change. Only this inner revival brings real resilience and survival – anywhere and anyhow. Let’s be converted! There is no other way. I wish all my dear Readers this revival during the summer. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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About the benefits of overwhelmedness

Thoughts about the most beautiful manifestations of spiritual depths

 

1. Our very good reasons why we have banished the term of overwhelmedness from the dictionaries of our time. Nowadays we don’t like being overwhelmed. According to the dictionary, overwhelmedness is „being shocked/shaken caused by a distressing circumstance or a disaster”. The synonyms of overwhelmedness are shock, trauma, grief, consternation, indignation, amazement. Well… It is not a comforting list… If we do not want to be shaken, would it mean that we would like to be unshakable? I wouldn’t believe that this is the public opinion. Warriors of the Middle Ages, the epic heroes should be unshakable. We don’t want to deal with this ‘overwhelmedness thing’. We would like to be happy again together. We have been deprived enough from joy – years in advance. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. About the benefits of overwhelmedness. "Shock, trauma, grief, consternation, indignation, amazement" – what do they have in common? The root cause of overwhelmedness is a radically new situation. A situation, what we cannot react to as we used to. Something, what cannot be avoided, proudly refused, or swept under the carpet. Overwhelmedness happens when something radically evicts us from our comfort zones. What happens to us when we are overwhelmed? We’ve just been given a chance to learn something very new. We’ve been given a chance to improve our survivability. We’ve been given a chance to be really creative. We’ve been given a chance to have a new life… Is it such a big problem? (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. About the real purpose and meaning of overwhelmedness. There is an interpretation of overwhelmedness that we do not realize nowadays. The soul’s overwhelmedness is not a conversation topic today. When does our soul become shaken? The soul’s overwhelmedness is provoked by our experience of the ultimate questions of life. Life, death, love: commitment to someone forever. What happens to our soul when it meets the ultimate questions of life? The most important experience of the shaken soul is that it is not alone. That there is Someone who wants to get connected with our soul. We feel that the overwhelmed soul meets love, don’t we? The love, what wants to give something important to our souls. Love, what wants to grow and improve our souls. The overwhelmed soul meets the inexhaustible love of Jesus and the Father. Even if it feels – lacking the necessary experience – that something so terrible has happened to it that it cannot cope with it. Now, between Easter and Pentecost, let’ think about all these – and let’s wait for, let’s ask for the possibility of overwhelmedness – because we can be enriched by it in a previously unimaginable way. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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How can we reach peace?

Thoughts about the power of faith when we feel that the light has run out…

 

1. Our age: the age of unrest. It is not the uncontrolled temper but the extravagance of the soul that represents unrest in today’s ‘developed’ countries. We are unable to calm down. We are unable to appreciate what we have. We are unable to get satisfied. We are unable to get on well together. The spaciousness of a love community’s inner space is endless. Let’s make an attempt to let our isolation and unrest free in these immeasurably spacious inner dimensions! (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Why is uncertainty good and how can it be tolerated? There is worse than isolation in the weeks of corona virus epidemic.” Many would say. “And this is uncertainty.” Let me remind ourselves that we haven’t known anything until now either but we convinced ourselves to forget about this in the ecstasy of rush. Tolerating uncertainty is a key virtue. Only tolerating uncertainty leads us to real, creative and new solutions. All changes of existing situations generate uncertainty. Uncertainty is a necessary corollary of the reorganization of complexity by a creative change. We imprison ourselves if we do not tolerate uncertainty. If we can establish uncertainty-tolerance in ourselves now, we can prepare for future changes successfully. For we can tolerate uncertainty, we have to believe in something. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. How can we reach peace? The power of faith – when we feel that the light has run out… For we can find peace after unrest, we have to believe in something. For me the essence of faith is the certainty of belonging: to not less than Totality. The certainty that Totality, God accepts and embraces me, not because of my own virtues but due to the sacrifice of Jesus. Years ago I was sure that light and love show the way on the path of faith. Recently, I understood that nothing has been lost even if we cannot see the light and cannot feel the love-avalanche covering us either. Because faith, the certainty of belonging, does remain. Faith gives birth to hope again. Hope creates love. And love creates light. Not from us, not for us, but as the gift of God, of mercy. There is stability in the middle of uncertainty. This stability does not hide from us but offers a helping hand to us. Let us accept it! (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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About the benefits of suffering

Good Friday thoughts about the unavoidable antecedents of a new life

 

1. Corona virus: a chance to change. Our welfare society lives in an irreconcilable conflict with suffering. In our time there is no room for suffering. Some years ago the "snowflake behavior" appeared that implies increased vulnerability and a lack of tolerating opposing opinions. As I wrote in my previous essay, we would like to get everything at once: we are unable to bear the ‘suffering’ of even waiting. All these have been "directly hit" by the corona virus epidemic and (I hope with all my heart that) have been sunk by it. It would be very unfortunate to return to where we were after such a global learning process. We could become more trained to tolerate changes than we have been earlier. We may become more cohesive than we have been. We may become more understanding than earlier. Are we doing so? That is The question of this year. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. About the benefits of suffering. Reading this title the Reader may think that I have gone crazy. Isn’t there enough suffering here? Yes, there is. Even so. It is important to see suffering from another point of view than before. Suffering is not a leftover of ancient history surviving today that modern man can exterminate completely. The proper answer is not shaping our environment to meet our demands. The proper answer is reforming ourselves. The corona virus epidemic forces us to recognize this. Change always causes suffering. Suffering is such a state of being, in which complex systems are not in a resource-rich but in a resource-poor status. Resource-poorness educates to select. It teaches to distinguish between valuable and valueless. Only suffering educates to appreciate the good. We become defenseless without suffering. We have to practice how to stay alive – if we want to survive in the future... That is exactly what we are doing now. We are conducting global survival exercises right now. Suffering is a prayer. A prayer that manifests Jesus Christ’s redeeming mercy in the world and with this it contributes to the world’s purification. A suffering man awakens this mercy in the souls around him which are open to good. This is how a sufferer helps these souls get closer to Jesus with his silent service. All of us, let’s feel this call. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

   

3. The necessity of resurrection. When I was kneeling at the Golgotha in November, 2019, and after that when I was embracing the resurrected Jesus’ tomb, I clearly understood that there is no resurrection without crucifixion. Jesus’ resurrection’s world explosion that took place in a split of a second was the consequence of the slow crucifixion full of suffering. It is necessary to get through the narrow gate to see the entire Universe opening up. Our birth, life and death are all these very same analogies. We cannot omit suffering from our lives if we want to receive peace. Our Lord asks us to take up His cross every day (Lucas 9:22-25). So we should not protest – if it is here now. And let’s wait for the Easter Dawn, first with increasing hope, then with certainty emerging from this. Because the dawn of resurrection WILL COME after suffering. Because it has been consummated. Amen. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What can we learn from our current miseries?

Lenten thoughts about the benefits of slowing down and longsuffering

 

1. Why do not we want to (why cannot we) tolerate longsuffering in this century? Not so long ago, there was a large rush all around the world... We have forgotten even that how to prepare for something. The problem with this was that we never arrived where we were. Because we never know where we are. Because we never let ourselves have enough time to realize where we will be... The moment became unimportant. There will be a new, another moment instead. Only the lack of tolerating unchanging things was bigger than the hunger for changes. "It is unbearable if we have to bear anything!"– we thought. Mankind lived in the illusion of omnipotence. This was a blindfolded road to the abyss. Then the crisis came. Corona virus appeared... I think that mankind learns now a very painful, very awful, but for our long-term survival very important lesson today. We should learn from this. We need to find the path to inner growth in these weeks of coerced silence. Please do not return back to rush even when these weeks will be over. This is the way how we can save the Earth, our home. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Longsuffering as a part of wisdom. Inner peace and wisdom can only be reached with the ability of distancing ourselves from our desires. For that we have to become trained at longsuffering. Now we are gaining the very important skill of longsuffering... Lent of the church calendar became a coerced-Lent... Please do observe that we may only prevent individual tragedies with a community longsuffering. Those local communities which were not ready to follow the new rules of life, had many more infections than those which were able to slow themselves down. This slow-down will be (hopefully) over in a few months. Let us build up during this time ourselves in a different, in a better way! (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Longsuffering: God’s exceptional mercy. The driving force of longsuffering is love that "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (1Corinthians 13:7). Let me repeat my previous sentence here: we may only prevent individual tragedies with a community longsuffering. We do see now why love is the driving force of longsuffering, do not we? We may only save those who are the fragile members of our community with the longsuffering of the whole community. We did not receive corona virus as a punishment. However, it is our education which proceeds right now. Let us observe that despite the sad tragedies this education comes with much love. Let’s feel the love flowing on us even amidst our current misery and we will be given the grace of inner peace with it, too. With this love and inner peace let us start re-building our communities. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


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How is innovation created in the society networks – and in the Church?

Thoughts about our innovation-poor times and love networks

 

1. Why do we live in innovation-poor times? What do you mean by innovation-poor times??? Artificial intelligence overtakes the human brain right now. It is predicted by a lot of people that singularity, the times of innovation spinning up to endless speed is almost here. The problem is not the quantity of innovation. The problem is the direction of innovation which has got fatally lost. There are almost no collective reflections about the possibilities of inwards growth, about the survival chances of a "post-disaster humanity" or about the methods of preparing for that. Any of these would be real innovations. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How is innovation created in society networks? Where can the sources of real innovation hide? Definitely not where there is "rush". The core of society networks repeats those "innovative ideas" over and over that have received confirmation in the big communication echo-chambers again and again. Dense network connectedness results in group conformity. In every complex system (from proteins through cells to brain) innovation arrives from the edge of the system, from the periphery. Real innovation does not increase our current comfort but it removes us from our comfort zones. Ideas that are born in remote places should not be looked for according to which ones are "useful", "cheap", "comfortable", "able to create big markets", etc., but according to which ones force us to make a much more radical change of our lifestyle than any others do. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. Why are love networks important in innovation? How can we let the periphery’s very much disliked ideas, which extrude us from our comfort zones, into the center of the social public opinion? For that it is not enough to loosen the rigid, hierarchical social structures anymore – which has always been enough so far during the history of the humanity because mankind has not ever faced that it has devastated the whole planet successfully on which it should be living. We have to become Earth-conform humans. This is the real revolution. We must not look at the world with our own eyes any longer. We have to look at the Earth with the eyes of God the Creator, the Good Shepherd – considering all its parts as treasures. For this we need love. LOTS of love. The time has come when prophets do not have to be stoned but have to be loved. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

4. How is innovation created in the Church? A technological system that is fundamentally gone sideways cannot be fixed with innovations derived from the same technology. This is the time when "Humanity 2.0" is needed. There has already been Somebody who made this possible with His crucifixion. Almost exactly two thousand years ago... That is why the Church becomes vital in the revival that leads us to our new, Earth-conform selves. For the Church will be able to help sufficiently in this revival, it has to renew itself, too. Where can the sources of revival come from within the Church? First from the love network. And there is a huge difference here which is the essence: the real love network is not the love network that is there among people. The inexhaustible source of the real love network is God’s love and the strength of the Holy Trinity’s loving relationship. The Church being in its right place grows out from this and passes this on with the strength of the Holy Trinity. What can help the Church in all this, except for the essence of the essence, mercy? It is exactly the periphery which this whole essay is about. Both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis think agreeing that the Church can be renewed by its periphery. Pope Benedict speaks about the strength of the small, creative, lightning Christian communities. Pope Francis emphasizes the flourishing example of the Southern Hemisphere’s Church. Both are the periphery from where Jesus Christ’s real innovation can break into the center – and at the same time into our souls’ center, too. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the essence of sincerity?

Thoughts with regard to the eighth commandment

 

1. Who is my neighbor and what is false testimony? How much easier the eighth commandment ("Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour!") would be if the words "your neighbor" were not there or there were "your friend" there instead. Jesus’ illustration about the Good Samaritan (Lucas 10:25) teaches us that the network of love around us and the acts of mercy recognizing the need determine the idea of "neighbor". God has no respect of persons being not partial (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11). We should not be either. False speech is harmful by far not only on court. Our nowadays "post-reality" society has made it an awfully common practice that if something is told with a media-magnified voice becomes true – whether or not reality is diametrically the opposite of it. Faithful word is not only right but pure, too. Silence can also be false witness. The real point of the eighth commandment is not prohibition either but persuasion. I should spread the truth and stand for it: I should not be silent when truth is violated. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. How can we be sincere? A lot of people identify sincerity with truthfulness. The profound content of sincerity is to be honest with God. When somebody speaks sincerely, he speaks about the essence instead of unimportant things. Sincerity does not necessarily mean to be talkative. (In fact real sincerity speaks little because it focuses on the essence.) A Carthusian monk who has taken a vow of silence can also strongly show the essence of his existence through his life, metacommunications and writings. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is real sincerity? The essence of sincerity is our relations to the harmony of the created world of God. If we accept the harmony of the created order of God, we get into the love stream coming from the Holy Trinity. Whether we hear the call of Jesus to love is the only really important decision of our lives. It belongs to real sincerity that we forward the love to others that we have received. It is the essence of our existence to participate in the love chain. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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What is the opposite of theft?

Thoughts with regard to the seventh commandment

 

1. What can we steal? By far it is not only an object, which may become other people’s property to be stolen. According to its original interpretation the seventh commandment referred to kidnapping. God has given people the freedom of choice even at the cost that we turn against Him and kill His only begotten son. We should not expropriate the freedom of any person. Trust can also be stolen. All kinds of manipulation, illicit profit or fraud are thefts. Greediness and prodigality are also theft because they limit other people’s prosperity. As we destroy the Earth now, we steal from our descendants. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What is the opposite of theft? The opposite of theft is not the pledge of "I will not steal from now on". We do not steal the opportunity from others only – if we create it for them. As in the case of every commandment, including the seventh about theft, the point is not what I DO NOT do, but what I do. The lazy non-action is day theft. The real opposite of theft is not self-restraint or refraining from the sin of theft but generosity, providing advantages to others and increasing others’ self-confidence and self-esteem. Only a life of dedicated service is free of theft. You do not take away only if you give. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. When do I not steal from God? Life is a zero-sum game only in case we do not believe that God still goes on creating and He overwhelms us with His love stream in every moment. This inexhaustible source provides the extra love in the world that can be forwarded again and again. Our lives become complete if they are connected to the love network of the Holy Trinity. If we close inside the love falling on us and we do not forward it, we steal from God. One of the criteria of canonization in the Christian Church is that the candidate should radiate joy around him. We are all able to radiate joy around us because this joy comes from the infinite love reaching us. Forwarding God’s love what makes our joy complete, too. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

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Life situations of fulfillment at young and old age

Thoughts about the Totality of a life in Jesus

 

 

 

1. What is the difference between the young and the old? Being young is identical with our openness to the world, the diversity of our responsiveness and our capacity to lifelong learning. The old age can be described with an experience encoded as an effective behavior pattern, the wisdom of distinguishing the substantial issues from the unimportant ones and the restraint from the extremes. The young and the old behaviors are not linked to the chronological age. Systems become complex if they are capable of both behaviors – alternately. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my essay here.)

 

2. Life situations of fulfillment at young and old age. Young age is the age of exploration and enrichment of the information of the environment. In young age there is no permanent order. The young cannot be controlled, it is vigorous and happy. For the young every moment is a whole life. The fulfillment of the young breaks the limits and creates a new world. The old age is the age of clarity, the capability to identify what is important and what is not, thus the age of wisdom. The old age has learnt to wait. The old age has learnt to listen. For the old the whole life is a moment. The old age has experienced the beauty of purity and silence. (If you would like to read about this more, please, please, read my essay here.)

 

   

3. Life situations of fulfillment in Jesus. The man living in Jesus is not alternating between young and old but he has entered the timelessness of the Holy Trinity where he can be both young and old at the same time. Jesus as the Door (John 10:9), opens the Totality of the Father that gives an unlimited space for the youth to grow and enrich. As the Path and the Truth, Jesus endows the old age’s capability to identify the essence with the Totality of Vision. Jesus, as the Life, joins the impulsivity of the youth with the timelessness of the old. Man living in Jesus lives in the Resurrection where death is not the end but the door opening to God’s Totality. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my essay here.)

 

 

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Cross and glory

Good Friday/Easter thoughts about the totality of salvation

 

1. Good Friday: The Path of the Cross – understandings and misunderstandings. Christ’s Cross stands in the center of Christian faith, in the middle of our hearts. Still: we are unable to understand the scandal of the Cross. Human thought is very much limited and simplifying. We think: If something is that majestic like Jesus, it cannot be humiliated. When we feel that "something is wrong" with the serial scandals of Jesus we actually feel that there is something wrong with ourselves because we are still not able to stand in front of Jesus and look at the beautiful Totality of His Face, Cross and judgment. With everything. With anything. With Him. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

2. Holy Saturday: The beauty of the Silence of mourning. It is silence on Holy Saturday. Is this silence frightful? Is it the silence of the absence of Jesus? No, it is not! It is the silence of hope, expectation and our internal communion with Jesus. The Silence of the Holy Saturday is the Silence of God’s Totality and Purity reflected in Jesus. Good Friday is the occasion to face ourselves, while Holy Saturday is the time for immerse in ourselves. Let’s feel as we approach the core of our existence: the power of the resurrection’s Gospel that rewrites everything. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

3. Easter: The Glory of resurrection. According to the Greek Orthodox thinking Christ suffers for us on the Cross in every moment. Let us experience this as the inconceivable pain of the Father above the Cross, the suffering of Christ on the Cross and the heartbreaking pain of Holy Mary under the Cross are becoming unified. Let us experience the dignity of that the Father does not stamp the Creation but opens the direct Path to Himself as the tapestry of the Sanctuary of the Jerusalem Church is ripped apart (Matthew 27:51a). The covenant is made once and for all: the Father has become the Father of us all to whom we all can turn to – by Jesus and for Jesus – in a first name basis. Let us experience the beauty of resurrection! Let our hearts also resurrect from their dead and let them revive, live a new life that is Eternal! Let us ask for it together with the psalmist: "One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit his temple." (Psalms 26:4). Our prayer in the Psalms has been fulfilled: the fact of resurrection is unchangeable, irrevocable and eternal. Hallelujah! Amen. (If you would like to read about this more, please, read my Good Friday essay published here.)

 

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