Thinking of Origen’s visionary experiences

A common perception among many if not all of the patristic fathers and mothers was the understanding of what we call “significant‘ in our lives as being something we learned through experience. We then give ‘meaning‘ to the reality experienced. This applies to our spirituality and our search for the ‘significant other‘ in our lives we often call God as much as it does for discovering what a coffee cup is… For Origen visionary experiences, were seen or one could say, they were understood as events triggering the creation in our lives. The disciples experienced ecstatic visions in their lives as we read in the New Testament and early church writings. “ecstatic visions‘ should be considered a normal part of the human experience. The question I believe we grapple within the modern era, is how has our ‘culture’ suppressed the experience? Origen was of the Platonic tradition, even with his squabbles with Aristotle he knew all ‘know-how‘ came through the senses just like it does for us, and then we give it meaning…I think about this as we enter Holy Week this week and next week for my orthodox friends…as we reflect for many of us alone in this time of the virus and not in an active community…reflecting on what extraordinary experiences have we missed in our lives that pointed us to the significant other? Where did culture get in the way? Where did culture open our mind’s eye?  What role is technology playing in the suppressing or opening of our mind’s eye?

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