Category Archives: Gnostikos

Isaac of Nineveh (c. 613 – c. 700)

Also known as Saint Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Nineveh was a Middle-Eastern Christian monk and spiritual-writer who commanded the way of Eastern Orthodox Monasticism. The references to his life and work in this blog are largely from the magnificent two-volume hard-bound series, Encyclopedia of Monasticism (Vol 1 A-L) edited and compiled by William M. Johnston, published in 2000. It seems really hard to fathom, but today’s hellish war–ravaged Syria in Classical Times was a seedbed for truly brilliant and luminous ascetical spiritual writing that was the vanguard of Orthodox Monasticism and Spirituality. Abba Isaac entered the monastic-life while still quite young and who’s erudite grasp of the Ascetical Way over time eventually attracted the attention of prominent religious figures who recommended that he be ordained Bishop of Nineveh. Being exclusively of an ascetical and solitary temperament the administrative duties of this post drained him of energy and so only after five-months he abdicated this position and then retired to the wilderness of Mount Matout which was a spiritual refuge for anchorites. He later moved to the monastery of Rabban Shabur where he spent the rest of his life in Blessed Solitude. There is an anonymous West Syrian source that claims that in old age he eventually went blind and was later referred to as the “Second Didymos”, after the beloved Didymos the Blind, another spiritual ascetic of great stature. His blindness was attributed to his incessant devotion to study. Abba Isaac’s literary legacy was comprised of ascetical and mystical homilies written in Syriac. His mystical homilies influenced many monastic writers and even Dostoevsky was deeply influenced by them and even became the “source material” for his character of the Elder Zosima in his epic novel, The Brothers Karamazov (1879-1880). read more

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Gnostikos—The Text

The full title of Evagrius’ Gnostikos is The Gnostic: To the One Made Worthy of Gnosis. In this context, a “Gnostikos” is a form of exegete and teacher who empowers others on the contemplative path to add as one of their resources for inner-growth and development pertinent scriptural passages. In a comparative context, for example, a Gnostikos within Unborn Mind Lankavatarian Zen  searches Buddhist sutras and other pertinent texts for sharing Buddhagnosis. The intent for both paths is to meet the adept “where they are at”: read more

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Acedia: The Noonday Demon

Acedia is best defined as relaxing one’s ascetical discipline to the point of dosing off into a sort of anemic haze, totally abandoning one’s commitment to the Recollective Resolve and surrendering to the subtle attacks of the demon: read more

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Evagrius Ponticus—Gnostikos Premier

Evagrius Ponticus (b. 345 in Ibora; d. 399 in Egypt), was an ascetic-theologian monk and is considered to be one of the most outstanding intellects of the fourth century. Seemingly destined for a brilliant ecclesiastical career, he chose the more radical option of fleeing to the desert in Egypt and living at the monasteries in Nitria and Kelli. This move was necessitated after engaging in a brief extramarital affair: read more

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September 23, 2017

Does today mark the beginning of the Apocalypse and the imminent arrival of the Rapture?  Legions of imminent doom videos on Youtube have painted the picture of today’s prophetic setting—they all point to an astrological constellation occurring today, September 23, 2017, that apparently matches what is written in the Book of Revelation 12:1-2 read more

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