PHILOKALIA on the metro
I am reading PHILOKOLIA this month.
Sometimes, I need some special readings for anti-stress, for one different opening, to broaden my experience, to let some parts of me be what they want …
From wikipedia: The Philokalia (Ancient Greek: φιλοκαλία, lit. ‘love of the beautiful’, from φιλία philia “love” and κάλλος kallos “beauty”) is “a collection of texts written between the 4th and 15th centuries by spiritual masters” of the Eastern Orthodox Church mystical hesychast tradition.
I usually read on the subway and I like that. A gap is created between me, who am walking in the mind of ancient monks, and the reality around me, where noises and colors (yellow and gray) mix.
Sometimes the immersion is really deep so that I get off the metro with a seamless “decalage” between the real and my reading. Can we call it a “virtual” reality the dimension in which I was catapulted?
I recently went to Athena. I visited ALL the Orthodox churches I found along my way: wandering made me discover little jewels of architecture, history, behavior, and rituals. The Orthodox rite is beautiful for me as I am used to the standardized ritual of the Catholic Church. In the Orthodox church, I found an innate and chaotic symmetry between priests and the faithful. During a celebration, while a monk sang, a woman cleaned and organized her activity freely and joyfully! And — what I like most — no one cared about me.
Why read such a repetitive book like Philokalia? Why immerse yourself in endless religious rituals of any kind? I rediscover a sense of peace and quiet that only a tree can give me.
My wandering between one book and another, between one street and another, between one concept and another, signals me that perhaps I am more interested in seeking than in finding.
The way of a pilgrim.