Dostoevsky’s short story The Dream of a Ridiculous Man tells of a transformation of the heart and a journey from despair to joy: a joy that can be known by all through the experience of God that transcends a simply rational discourse.
Posted by Sharon J. Smith on 25th Jul 2022
This is a wonderful book! Finally and at last, someone, namely Mary Naumenko, has written a clear and comprehensive exposition of the Nous for the general reader, no advanced Degrees required. When I would read about the Nous over the years in Eastern Christian writings it would be translated as “intellect” or “mind”, to which I would mutter to myself “No it’s not!!” because I considered these kinds of “knowing”, logical, 2+2=4 kinds of knowing. I finally read about Myrrha Lot-Borodin who identifies it as “the intuitive faculty” – to which I replied – “Yes, that’s exactly it.” It’s the “aha” moment, the “Oh!” or even the ”Oh, no!” kinds of experiences where we “see” directly into a situation. Naumenko traces it through ancient Greek philosophy, patristic writings and the development of the understanding of the incarnation, deification and the Heart as they all relate to the Nous and its purification in spiritual practice. She illustrates the Nous by means of Dostoevsky’s short story “The Dream of the Ridiculous Man”. She closes out by bringing us up-to-date with contemporary thought about the Nous. For myself, I define it as “the capacity to see directly into a situation with the eye of the heart”.
Read this book. Reflect on your own Nous experiences. Do you recognize them, what do you do with them? Do you integrate the Nous into your own journey toward deification? We all have the Nous,; we are born with it. It comes with our Birth Certificate –Thank You, God!
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