parts 2-8 of the Introductory first chapter
by Andrea Elizabeth
of Orthodox Interventions by Archimandrite Dr. Andrew deal with, in my impression, applying the western scientific method to Orthodox therapeutic measures such as prayer and fasting. The last section (9) of this chapter deals with a definition of the ancient terms surrounding our theology and man’s relationship to God. If this is what the rest of the book is about then I am disappointed that it is not more of a bridge with western psychology, but rather just using western methods of measurement to eastern psychology. This is why he makes a point to say how western psychiatry is giving credence to Asian meditation and how helpful that can be. I appreciate that prayer and one’s relationship with God is the number one way to healthily relate to self and others, but I would also like attention given to necessary needs for relationship with other people. He talks about proper self-consciousness in gaining control of your own thoughts and actions, but it sounds kind of lonely. I have heard some criticisms that the Orthodox approach relies heavily on monastic literature and that there isn’t much help in relating to family and other relationships “in the world”. Maybe this is a cop out, but if enlightenment comes by degrees, then shouldn’t attention be paid to the lower levels of being influenced by and needing to relate to others and not seeing this purely in terms of one’s own sinfulness?