Mass Anxiety, Greta Thunberg, and the Healing of the Nous

Hope in the Age of Anxiety

By the turn of the 19th century, the industrial age was in full swing. How far humanity had arisen. From the ruined stockpiles of Babylon the Great arose a beast like none other. The pyramids were rendered jewels of the past, and colosseums no longer instilled fear but served as a tourist trap for travel-happy westerners (still pumping the Roman economy full of their hard-earned income like their more barbaric ancestors did.) Not even Solomon in all his splendor could dare dream of the things these upright monkeys were doing.

Seemingly all at once, the great steam engine condensed our travel time, electricity was becoming a standard for many, and the great machine of the modern world rolled on with a snowball effect that made the gods of Greece look like men and women dressed up in cheap drugstore fairy costumes. Dionysus was no longer seductive but wine drunk; Zeus no longer mighty but cocky; and Christ no longer divine but poor. The world of antiquity, complete with its senseless pomp, backwards morality, and war-torn sandals were replaced with a booming existence fueled by levers and buttons. The world — now, more than ever — was something we could turn on and off like a machine.

The world, and the way we speak of salvation…

Greta Thunberg emerged in the consciousness of most no more than a few months ago. “She sailed all the way to New York by herself, didn’t you hear?” Yes, I did. “She’s really quite amazing, so unassuming in that hoodie and all.” Sure.

Essentially, if you aren’t a boomer living under a rock, the chances of you knowing something about Ms. Thunberg are quite high. “I want you to panic; I want you to feel the fear I feel every day.These words — perhaps, famous words by now — truly positioned this young lady as the darling poster child for climate change. And, in a country doing its best to hide the light-up sneakers of our youths so they can more readily escape the gunfire found all too often in elementary schools spread across this great land, it seems she came right off the heels of the ‘youth explosion.’

Kids are our future.” Yes, that’s how it works.

Children will save us.” Perhaps.

The Nous has generally not existed in the west. That is, the concept of the Nous in its truly mystical sense has not existed.

The Nous is the center of the soul. Some call it the heart or the eye of the soul. Since man, in eastern orthodox theology, is a microcosm of the macrocosm, it can be said that man is comprised of reason (logos and dianoia), spirit, and Nous. The Nous is our interior being — the spiritual eye of the soul — that experiences the uncreated energies of God in full communion with the Holy Spirit. To put this in other terms, it is how and where we experience that true, deep, internal peace. It is, to quote the Apostle Paul, how we “pray without ceasing.” The fall of our primordial parents darkened our Nous when they cut themselves off from Life, and we have continued in this trend ever since.

Like a body with a failing lung, we are heaving on the road of desolation. But Christ isn’t exclusively referred to as the righteous judge (though, let that title sink in). We have titles for Him like the Good Shepherd and the Great Physician. If I may be so bold to assert the following: Christ came not to condemn the world but to save it. Again, if I may be so daring: It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

You see, this is where so many of us have it wrong. In the aftermath of the industrial age, our conception of the Father is much more reminiscent of Karl Marx’s understanding of the factory boss than a great physician. But Christ’s love fills the whole of the hierarchy, and He is not the cruel boss demanding more, but the slain lamb saying, “You don’t have to live like this. You don’t have to live like this. You don’t have to live like this.

If this is the case, if God is really the lover of mankind and the rescuer of our souls, it stands to reason we don’t primarily need saving from Him but rather ourselves. Christ came to heal our Nous. To render the accusations of the Slanderer void once and for all. How can the Accuser have any claim on us when he proved himself so inept for his position as to render a guilty verdict on the one party free of all sin and evil?

I am vinegar in the mouth of death,” He says. And again, “O devil, all your joy has been turned into grief.

Christ put on our humanity so that we could wear — by grace — His divinity. Let me say that again. Christ put on our anxiety, fear, anger, resentment, regret, bitterness, sorrow, and death so that we could wear his perfect love. He descended alone but ascended with many.

And, do you remember what they say about perfect love?

In the age of anxiety, the truth hurts just as much as ever. And the truth is, we don’t need Greta Thunberg to tell us to panic. We don’t need another doomsday to worry about when we can’t even learn to worry about each other. We don’t need another political party to demonize. We don’t need another reason to turn our love for our brothers and sisters off. And we sure as hell don’t need machines to teach us about salvation; because Christ is our groom and we are his bride.

It’s always been about a relationship because everything ultimately is. Salvation is not mechanical, and it’s not fundamentally a fulfillment of a divine legal stipulation. It is covenantal. God has chosen to stand in covenantal relationship with us. And so, with gritted teeth and white knuckles, I choose to stand in covenant relationship with you. I choose to stand in relationship with Greta Thunberg, Joe Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the disgruntled grocer I see once a week.

The scroll has been rightly interpreted. And all of the world’s power is rendered null and void by the utter weakness of the Son of Man, the lamb slain before the foundation of the world for all.

We are not saved by a type of skin of the teeth salvation. We are destined for deification as sons and daughters. We will be healed. We are being healed.

Perfection is our future.” Yes, that’s how it works.

A child has saved us.” Yes, He has.

Original source: I Might Believe in Werewolves — Medium



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