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Melinda12

Anchorites

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4 minutes ago, pg4Him said:

 Why must we look for reasons to say these anchorites were wrong? Perhaps the Lord calls a few intercessors to spend a great deal of their day in prayer. Not every Christian can travel the world to evangelize. Paul told the church at Thessalonica to work with their hands and mind their own business so they would need nothing from outsiders.  Why can’t it be enough that we let each Christian do what the Lord has called them to do? 

Well, I wasn't going to get into all this in this thread, but a lot of these male and female "hermits" if you will were mystics. There are still mystics today and I just don't believe God calls anyone to that.  

Christian mysticism is when a person puts their focus on their experiencing God in the flesh and psyche for God's revelation.  Like mortifying the flesh [flogging oneself, starving oneself, and other things until one has a "vision"].  Excessive periods of silence and solitude can put a person into one of these induced states.  Mysticism puts the mystic in a place of exalted authority or sainthood sometimes.

I just don't believe a Christian has to witness a bleeding Jesus on a crucifix [yes, literally bleeding] to hear from God.  I don't believe in contemplative prayer [which neither contemplated God nor is it Biblical prayer] and I don't believe that people with special and unique physical and psychological experiences brought about by hermitism, seeking to mortify the flesh, or via emotional/psychological "trips" get revelations from God that cannot be found in the Bible.

These people may have written some good thoughts about God, by they have no special and unique revelation.

They may be true Christians, but are not sources of spiritual authority because they saw blood dripping from a crucifix.

 

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Well I didn’t realize we were discussing all of that. I thought it was a question of whether God calls some to spend more time alone in prayer. That’s all I was asking. I’ve never heard of anchorites.

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8 hours ago, Melinda12 said:

I study on my own. Today i have read about anchorites in connection with reading a wonderful book of the writings of Julian of Norwich. Such profound wisdom. 

I wondered, if you had lived in a past age, would you have wanted to be an anchorite? Living in seclusion but at the heart of a community. Spending your whole time in prayer and steeped in the Bible. Sounds good to me! 

I don't remember anything in the Bible that tells us to live that way...   I don't think I would ever do so willingly.   

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9 hours ago, Melinda12 said:

I wondered, if you had lived in a past age, would you have wanted to be an anchorite?

My understanding is that much of the inspiration for the anchorite lifestyle is the common biblical example of God calling people to be alone with Him for a time in the desert or wilderness.  I've heard many testimonies over the years how people had life changing experiences when God called them into the wilderness (usually figuratively speaking though at times somewhat literally) to get away from the normal hustle and bustle and distractions of life.

As I've meditated and written and rewritten this post, I'd have to say that my best answer is that to some degree I've been figuratively living like an anchorite in many ways for much of my life.  I think the benefits of being an anchorite comes more from a state of heart and mind than a physical location.  

I think that there are compelling reasons why some elements of that lifestyle could have a profound impact on most Christians today.

My sense of things is that God created us to live at a particular pace of life.  Think about life in the garden of Eden.  We were created to live in nature.  Our brains were created to be most at home in that environment.  We were created to walk and talk with God in that environment.  Compare sitting and watching a sunset with someone to an hour in a typical western lifestyle having a TV running, a computer with multiple windows open, and smart phone with multiple text conversations going.   To some degree, we are living in an altered state of consciousness because of this sensory assault and frenetic flow of information on our brains.  Each source of information has to become more intense and extreme to compete for our attention with other sources of information.  We now have a few generations who are losing the ability for critical thought because they are living in something akin to an altered state of mind where their brain constantly switches between things and reacts to things rather than deeply focusing and meditating on one thing.  Things are coming so quickly and furiously that our brain can do nothing more than react.  Through constant exposure to this, many people's brains have become wired to react to information rather than understand information.  In this altered state of consciousness, many "facts" people learn are merely emotionally shocking pieces of information (be they real, fake, accurate, or inaccurate) that cause a deep reaction.  They become incapable of disbelieving such things which have been absorbed by their brains.  The stronger the shock value, the more likely it is to be embedded as something "factual" that we know.

I believe this is affecting Christians negatively.  It becomes harder to meditate and be thoughtful when our brains are in some type of altered state running in hyperdrive to process input from multiple sources.  It becomes harder to separate truth from lies when we are reacting to things rather than processing and understanding and meditating on things.   A shocking video, image, or quotation (whether in or out of context, whether accurate or inaccurate, whether truth or a lie) becomes embedded in some people's minds and will remain there.  The more shocking, the more likely it will be remembered and embedded in someone's brain.  Inaccurate headlines and shocking images become something our brain believes in this altered state of hyperdrive.  Things that we would normally reject as foolishness and error if we slowed down and thought about them get past our discernment filters because our brain is reacting rather than meditating.  If we've gotten used to communicating to a dozen people at once in several conversations between multiple chat platforms and text threads, it becomes hard to sit down with one person and focus on that conversation (which likely adversely affects our ability to commune with God).

In hindsight, this thread has made me realize I've been leading a more anchorite life than most Christians simply because of the path God has lead me on.  Decades of my hobbies (enjoying reading, music, languages, and learning new things) and professional career (which required me to spend hours per day of systematic clear thinking and reasoning) has made me somewhat immune to much of what is happening.  I can trivially spend an hour thinking, meditating, writing and rewriting a post like this, or spend a few hours meditating on some topic or question.  In contrast, as soon as a few chat windows light up or my phone rings or beeps for a text, I get frustrated and tend to ignore them.  I cannot have the computer and TV on at the same time.   A question such as "would you be an anchorite" immediately triggers in depth meditation on who are anchorites and where did anchorites come from, to what degree is it a biblical practice, and how might such things benefit or affect us today.  Hence, a post like this results.  The processing of thinking and writing is one of learning and growth for me.   Each time I do this, I am practicing meditating, thinking, and learning about the Bible, other information, and how to apply it.  I think that the ongoing environment we provide for our brains deeply affects how we think.  If our lives are spent constantly being saturated with sensory and information load, we are rewiring our brain to deal with being overwhelmed all the time.  If our lives are spent with more things such as calmly reading books, having real talking conversations with a few people, and doing things such as watching sunsets, taking walks (without the phone), playing with the dog, enjoying eating a meal, and writing in-depth letters or messages, our brain is rewired to think more calmly and systematically and to actually enjoy the world around us rather than mostly react to it.  

I think regularly having some type of anchorite-like time in our lives would be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy for us.  When I left a previous job due to high stress levels, it took close to 3 months before I physically started feeling okay again and about another 6 or so months before I felt normal.  My guess is that it would take most people at least a few weeks or more for disconnecting from sensory and information overload to start getting their brains back to a more healthy state of operation and likely months to really develop healthier patterns.

God created humanity to walk and talk with Him in the garden of Eden.   I think to the extent our lives have this type of pacing, the easier various spiritual practices become for us.  I wonder if many of the spiritual blessings attributed to anchorite types of practices is mostly related to the pacing and organization of our lives rather than the physical isolation.  

 

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7 hours ago, Melinda12 said:

Interesting. What about monks and nuns who live out of society in order to free themselves to worship and serve Christ

Paul didnt live out of society He even worked to make money, may be some people isolate themselves as monks or nuns because they just fear the world.

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23 minutes ago, R. Hartono said:

Paul didnt live out of society He even worked to make money, may be some people isolate themselves as monks or nuns because they just fear the world.

This could well be. It's hard to know about them, as reclusive folks with a vow of silence are difficult to find, and even more frustrating to get a word with them. :whistling:

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4 minutes ago, BeauJangles said:

This could well be. It's hard to know about them, as reclusive folks with a vow of silence are difficult to find, and even more frustrating to get a word with them. :whistling:

Two of my ex highschool friends hv become a celibate catholic pastor, u know they left their home n family, another friend has become a catholic pastor too because he was refused when he proposed marriage by her girlfriend's parents. What i Saw from them is that they actually just fear the  unkind world full with competition. I don't blame them either, its not wrong either if they choose to leave the world out of their fear, is it ?

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3 minutes ago, R. Hartono said:

I don't blame them either, its not wrong either if they choose to leave the world out of their fear, is it ?

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  KJV

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, R. Hartono said:

Paul didnt live out of society He even worked to make money, may be some people isolate themselves as monks or nuns because they just fear the world.

...or think by their “ sacrifice” they are earning their way to Heaven......who on Earth can “ pray” for hours and hours.....horse hockey!

Edited by Blood Bought 1953

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5 hours ago, GandalfTheWise said:

My understanding is that much of the inspiration for the anchorite lifestyle is the common biblical example of God calling people to be alone with Him for a time in the desert or wilderness.  I've heard many testimonies over the years how people had life changing experiences when God called them into the wilderness (usually figuratively speaking though at times somewhat literally) to get away from the normal hustle and bustle and distractions of life.

As I've meditated and written and rewritten this post, I'd have to say that my best answer is that to some degree I've been figuratively living like an anchorite in many ways for much of my life.  I think the benefits of being an anchorite comes more from a state of heart and mind than a physical location.  

I think that there are compelling reasons why some elements of that lifestyle could have a profound impact on most Christians today.

My sense of things is that God created us to live at a particular pace of life.  Think about life in the garden of Eden.  We were created to live in nature.  Our brains were created to be most at home in that environment.  We were created to walk and talk with God in that environment.  Compare sitting and watching a sunset with someone to an hour in a typical western lifestyle having a TV running, a computer with multiple windows open, and smart phone with multiple text conversations going.   To some degree, we are living in an altered state of consciousness because of this sensory assault and frenetic flow of information on our brains.  Each source of information has to become more intense and extreme to compete for our attention with other sources of information.  We now have a few generations who are losing the ability for critical thought because they are living in something akin to an altered state of mind where their brain constantly switches between things and reacts to things rather than deeply focusing and meditating on one thing.  Things are coming so quickly and furiously that our brain can do nothing more than react.  Through constant exposure to this, many people's brains have become wired to react to information rather than understand information.  In this altered state of consciousness, many "facts" people learn are merely emotionally shocking pieces of information (be they real, fake, accurate, or inaccurate) that cause a deep reaction.  They become incapable of disbelieving such things which have been absorbed by their brains.  The stronger the shock value, the more likely it is to be embedded as something "factual" that we know.

I believe this is affecting Christians negatively.  It becomes harder to meditate and be thoughtful when our brains are in some type of altered state running in hyperdrive to process input from multiple sources.  It becomes harder to separate truth from lies when we are reacting to things rather than processing and understanding and meditating on things.   A shocking video, image, or quotation (whether in or out of context, whether accurate or inaccurate, whether truth or a lie) becomes embedded in some people's minds and will remain there.  The more shocking, the more likely it will be remembered and embedded in someone's brain.  Inaccurate headlines and shocking images become something our brain believes in this altered state of hyperdrive.  Things that we would normally reject as foolishness and error if we slowed down and thought about them get past our discernment filters because our brain is reacting rather than meditating.  If we've gotten used to communicating to a dozen people at once in several conversations between multiple chat platforms and text threads, it becomes hard to sit down with one person and focus on that conversation (which likely adversely affects our ability to commune with God).

In hindsight, this thread has made me realize I've been leading a more anchorite life than most Christians simply because of the path God has lead me on.  Decades of my hobbies (enjoying reading, music, languages, and learning new things) and professional career (which required me to spend hours per day of systematic clear thinking and reasoning) has made me somewhat immune to much of what is happening.  I can trivially spend an hour thinking, meditating, writing and rewriting a post like this, or spend a few hours meditating on some topic or question.  In contrast, as soon as a few chat windows light up or my phone rings or beeps for a text, I get frustrated and tend to ignore them.  I cannot have the computer and TV on at the same time.   A question such as "would you be an anchorite" immediately triggers in depth meditation on who are anchorites and where did anchorites come from, to what degree is it a biblical practice, and how might such things benefit or affect us today.  Hence, a post like this results.  The processing of thinking and writing is one of learning and growth for me.   Each time I do this, I am practicing meditating, thinking, and learning about the Bible, other information, and how to apply it.  I think that the ongoing environment we provide for our brains deeply affects how we think.  If our lives are spent constantly being saturated with sensory and information load, we are rewiring our brain to deal with being overwhelmed all the time.  If our lives are spent with more things such as calmly reading books, having real talking conversations with a few people, and doing things such as watching sunsets, taking walks (without the phone), playing with the dog, enjoying eating a meal, and writing in-depth letters or messages, our brain is rewired to think more calmly and systematically and to actually enjoy the world around us rather than mostly react to it.  

I think regularly having some type of anchorite-like time in our lives would be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy for us.  When I left a previous job due to high stress levels, it took close to 3 months before I physically started feeling okay again and about another 6 or so months before I felt normal.  My guess is that it would take most people at least a few weeks or more for disconnecting from sensory and information overload to start getting their brains back to a more healthy state of operation and likely months to really develop healthier patterns.

God created humanity to walk and talk with Him in the garden of Eden.   I think to the extent our lives have this type of pacing, the easier various spiritual practices become for us.  I wonder if many of the spiritual blessings attributed to anchorite types of practices is mostly related to the pacing and organization of our lives rather than the physical isolation.  

 

Hi

What a great answer. I learn So much from what you and others say. It reflects my ien thoughts. I seek solitude for prayers and connection with God in the midst of the busy noisiness of life. Yes, an anchorite state of mind is the goal. 

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