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The early Church once led saints to salvation. Around that way of life grew a whole civilisation; knights spent hours in vigil; kings practiced self-denial; heroes fought the dragons of their own minds. We can discover a lot from those old teachings that can help us rediscover spiritual realities in our modern world.

This information is drawn from two main sources:

1.  Inner knowledge recognised through the repetition of elements in rare experiences such as those called 'mystical', and in the recognised repetition of patterns linking these experiences over long periods of time.

2.  Reports of similar experiences, including experience of ways of enhancing sensitivity to such experiences, as defined in the teachings of the early Church during what we call the 'Time of saints', as represented not simply by analysis of literature but by linking this to the experiences of those following the same teachings today during 40 visits to Mount Athos.

Together these describe a recognisable and verifiable kind of knowledge that is entirely different in its quality from that given by modern scientific methods. The benefits this inner or recognition knowledge gives are known to include possibilities of spiritual changes in our own nature.

 

Knowledge of this kind cannot be conveyed simply by words, but can be confirmed by individual experiences that happen when it is put into practice.

 

Often awareness of this special experience is seeded by a series of coincidences whose growth is fed by a compost made of the dead branches of previous searches. At other times, the process is assisted by individuals who recognise these inner truths.


Personal testimony

My own introduction to the spirituality that can only be finally proved by experience came - not surprisingly - in a whole series of experiences or, as they were known at one time, revelations, I learned to see the world in a different way, a way that led me to think differently about life, and to be experientially certain of that different world-view.

What was it that happened all those years ago? At the beginning of my search for inner truth, in a London emptied out by a World War that had only recently ended, and which had consumed the attention of a whole people for a period of years, I came together - at different times in those three different buildings - with other people who were also searching. What I learned in those times was how to give attention in the stillness of one's heart to the others there with me; how to begin to pray and meditate; how to be attentive to life itself; how to remember and recognise forgotten truths. How to trust the voice from the silence that says: wordlessly. "Be still, and know that I am God." What I remember most from those times was an intense stillness that endured for years.

Better than describing the spatial locations, I can still describe some of the revelations, the experiences themselves; what they seemed to be and what, in some strange way, were the truths they taught me, right at the beginning of my way; the invisible revelation that said: "Be still, and know that I am God." 

..............................

There are traditions that teach this; one of them is Christian; formulated in advance for our times. The seeds kept through the harsh winter include methods of sacramental therapy. The compost includes the Gospel, the teachings of the early saints, the more recent lessons learned and shared by monks, hermits and elders of our own time. Praxis Research Institute exists to collect this material and make it available, so that we all may hear the true being in our hearts that speaks wordlessly to us.


Robin Amis

December 2005

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