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Orthodox Advices
Orthodox Advices
  Orthodox Advices



Each age was a fight against something. The Renascence was the fight for restauration of man, the Modern Age’s was for the instauration of democracy and so on. The most interesting fights of all is being carried today. The last fight of mankind – it may seem strange, is the fight against shame.
The Freudian theory of complexes he put forward the last century invaded instantly everybody’s mind, many times without him knowing or wanting it. I don’t know to what extent he succeeded in finding a cure for these complexes but it is sure he managed to create a whole new complex that infected the XX th century – the Freud complex.
What is the Freud complex? It consists of the obsessive seeking and identifying liberating causes – i.e complexes. Freud started from borrowing Budha’s assertion: “ Life is suffering, there is a cause to each suffering” .Freud goes further and adds the causes of this suffering.
The causes of Freudian suffering are a little unusual, nevertheless they managed to become in very short time, ordinary. One of them is the boy’s desire to sleep with his own mother along with the girl’s same desire towards her father – the Oedipus complex and the other one - the shame that comes from the feeling of inferiority resulting from previous failures.
The obsession of life accomplishment seems to have been easily solved in our days – Persevere ! Dominate! How will you be respected if you don’t respect yourself ? Take over your timidity – the cause of all failures!
Modern psychologists offer many a methods to get rid of timidity, this has become a central preoccupation of school pedagogics and of young families. Everything to nourish the personality of the child and to get rid of the communist frustrations!
To kill in oneself the feeling of shame does not mean one will not longer do shameful deeds .Embarrassment resides specifically in the serenity with which one does embarrassing things, convinced he does well. On the contrary, we need shame to avoid making fools of ourselves to other people. Shame is the insurance of our dignity.
It is funny how the sociable young man - who must tell a joke he only laughs at before introducing himself, has replaced the idea of the silent and sober nobleman. These buffoons of our time – the easygoing youngsters who sell cigarettes by piece or lead other small business surprisingly fascinate cheap series consumers. How cute they are when they can’t remember who wrote Faustus or when they say Einstein composed the “Moonlight “ Sonata.And do you know what makes them so charming? The way they are not at all embarrassed when they are told they are stupid.
I am not trying to replace that ideal with the Christian ideal., because I want you to read me all the way through this piece .But I would propose that we go back to ancient Greeks that usually awaken a lot of admiration even in those who know nothing about them.
Let us take the best version of today’s man – young, reach, owning a business, one of those two man who meet in the elevator in the shoe polish advertisement and enviously look at each other’s shiny shoes. One of those who follows their shrink’s instructions and always starts the conversation. Now imagine this nowadays young man placed in Pythagora’s Gardens., where novices keep silent for the first three years. It is understood that our man will be cast away by Pythagoreans like a barbarian at his first attempt of standing out.
Let us take this man to the Taoist, maybe they will welcome him there. But it looks like Lao Zi does not even lay eyes upon the idle talk of the newcomer , he knows silence may say everything.
Then we take him to Confucius, but he says also, noticing the price the stranger puts on the polish of his shoes ”Wise is the man who can stand in rags in the gathering of the dear clothed and not be ashamed.”
I will no longer continue this journey, but I assure you our man will not be welcome in any of the traditions of the peoples around the world. This ideal is a product of our century which reached us only in the past 10 years. A product of a continent of no tradition, religion or culture – the continent of hamburgers.
The advertisements we see in the streets, newspapers, on TV all incite to be the first, the best. Of course, this rises the question: How can they all be the first? In the tradition of all people becoming the first takes a lot of effort, you must obtain all virtues. Nowadays everything is much more easier .Do you want to be the first? No problem, buy Duracell batteries and smoke Kent cigarettes , but if you are short of money, at least watch one of the PRO TV shows, they will all tell you are the first!
We, Romanians, know perfectly well this strategy from street gypsies. Only those, in order to win you over, begin to predict blondes will chase you, therefore you will have more enemies and you will receive money from relatives abroad. It is just that you remain the same “ugly bastard” you used to be if you refuse to give them money.
We will get all the praises of our time on condition we buy the advertised product, otherwise we remain the same uncivil Romanians we used to before PRO TV came on the market. This is surely a strong psychological trauma.
Are you fat? Drink Fanta and all the girls will be crazy for you! Are you stunted and your classmates kick your but when they see you? That’s fine, wear Gillete aftershave for “strong men “. Are you annoying and this is the reason you don’t have a boyfriend? Try the true meaning of friendship by buying a Royale pack of cigarettes.
Now I propose to you to figure out where this fight against “timidity” and communist residues in new school programs - in all we see and hear- comes from? How else could they have sold to normal women in Romania long boots - that remind us of the fishermen in the Danube Delta at the price of a cow? Or how would they have sold plasticine hamburgers at the price one can buy a chicken if they hadn’t show in the streets posters that say: “Me, wash and iron?, “ Me, satisfied with little? ,”Me , home early?”
The today society raises a generation of buyers: buyers of clothes, buyers of computers, buyers of books, buyers of contraceptives. We need a lot of attention not to turn into a commercial robots, randomly buying things we don’t need. But especially let’s be careful not to pay for these worthless things out of our true , own dignity.
In order to sell their merchandise, fashion houses and make-up stores put forward the single girl complex. The age a girl should feel this complex reduces as the producers’ thirst for money increases so that, without exaggeration, one may spot it in a schoolgarden girl, although some say – in a not alarming degree.
This merchandise would have sold at a lower rate - I especially mean underwear, stockings, blouses, which are obvious professional tools, if there had not been for the single girl complex, so they sell well amongst the little girls who are still to take the 8th grade exams.
Normally, kids this age don’t own large amounts of money ( although some earn it themselves using handily the tools mentioned before ) so they invented a complex of the parents who deliver the cash and the complex of the narrow-minded parents who are usually bad because they will not let their kids live their lives.
Salesmen that give religious lectures are the most interesting. There lectures reach the hearts of the youth faster than those of Saint Paul; “God created us so beautiful ! He made us man and woman and gave us attraction towards one another. He gave us the commandment to love each other- God Himself is love! So love one another while still young, buying this condom and that contraceptive. And so that your love will not perish, buy your girlfriend this make-up case. Start right now, you will not be young forever…”
Actually, things are a little different, human nature itself tells us so. Although covet won and took over the mind, still we realize the things we do are not altogether good. Otherwise, how would you explain the student’s panic when she hears her parents came unexpectedly and are waiting for her in the hallway while in her unmade bed someone is lying? The shame a girl feels when meeting the boy’s parents and the other way around are even more expressive. If there is nothing wrong in what you do, why do you feel ashamed? When you were to commit sin, the covet drove away the shame and when time comes to confess it the feeling of shame revives.
Aesop the poet – who does not represent the biblical tradition, has an extraordinary fable on shame: When creating men, Zeus gave them each different inclinations, but forgot to give them Shame. Having no place left for him, He ordered him to creep between the buttocks .Shame got upset and didn’t obey. But Zeus strongly renewed his order and Shame said: “ I shall creep between the buttocks if Eros does not creep the same way; if he does, I shall get out”. From that respect, all fornicators are shameless (“Zeus and Shame”)
I mentioned on purpose – here and above, traditions of other people and beliefs, so I will not be an obnoxious eulogizer of Christianity. Human virtues were and remain the same throughout history and for all nations and these are : modesty, kindness, wisdom, “love that never fails” ( Corinthians 13, 8).
What leads us towards virtue, like Ariadne’s thread, is the feeling of shame which is, according to the Patristic opinion, the voice of the Holy Spirit within ourselves. One will not find shame in little kids, as long as they dwell in the state of happy innocence that is beyond virtue. It appears along with the first soul movements towards sin, when a child learns about good and evil.
The little girl that jumped into your arms up until yesterday as soon as she saw you, blushes and turns very quiet once she has seen the little red triangle movie. This shame is the break on her way to sin as she grows bigger, unless she consents to the shows that will entice her to take over her timidity. This shame would have been saved her from other painful and – why not, tragic situations, rendering her unspoiled to her future family, children and husband. A woman’s shame ends the disgrace, said one of the Parents of the Church.
Shame is the state of all men after the fall form Eden. When we fight shame in order to sin, we fight the voice of God who walks in the chillness of the sunset and says ”Adam, where are you? (Genesis 3,9).
We have all inherited this law of nature –the believers and the non-believers. If you will, this is proof God exists and that the Bible is real. Notice it in the young people who come from the countryside to study in the cities. Be wondered at their timidity that PRO TV presenters mock. Be wondered at their blushing when buying a pack of cigarettes in a crowded bar. Be wondered at their modesty as they stand on the side in barbarian disco clubs waiting for the blues so they could invite the girls they are in love with to dance.
Have you ever asked yourselves the reason they kill the lights in disco clubs and the reason they are ashamed to dance ?Have you ever asked yourselves the reason teenagers lock themselves up in a room and teach each other those unnatural moves ? Have you ever asked yourselves why freshmen would not leave the room when they first dye their hair or change their hairdo? Maybe because there are just a bunch of kids who would never have done this unless fashion had asked for it.
A young person is soon confronted: on one hand, everybody tells him this is right, on the other hand he feels within a very strong opposition he cannot explain. His inner voice tells him it is stupid that a big crowd gathers in a large hall and people move around in each other’s face , and on the other hand this gives him pleasure. Eventually, in order to make both ends meet, they kill the lights in disco clubs. Beginners make themselves dizzy drinking win to chase the painful sensation. The frightening, void pleasure is all there is left.
Beginners sin with lights out. They are not only ashamed of each other but they are also ashamed at God’s omnipresent kindness. We inherited the habit of killing the lights from Adam who right after committing the sin ran and hid in the shadow of a bush in the Garden of Eden. We have been reproducing his gesture since.
At night theft and raping are done, it’s the favorable time for sin. It was also at night when Judas left the Last Supper to betray Jesus : “Therefore having taken the morsel, he went out immediately; and it was night: (John 13,30).Judas was still holding the morsel Jesus had hold out to him as he was on his way to betray Him .To fully understand the beauty of His gesture, we should know that it is the Jewish tradition that the host gives the first morsel to the dearest of the guests. This is what Christ meant to show when holding out the piece of bread to Judas, the clearer the gesture is when we take into consideration that it was not mere bread, but eucharistic bread – Christ actual Holy Body, He who sacrificed Himself for us all – including Judas. Insisting upon this detail, Saint John emphasizes the great level of impudence Judas reached due to his passion.
Fighting shame is fighting ourselves. Let us not think that if we were left without a foot or an eye we would be called handicapped and if we let one of the basic feelings of our being be destroyed we would be called enduring. We would be still called handicapped , but monstrous ones no one would take care of.
It is dreadful that those who carry a fight against shame usually succeed. Know that it is possible to take over the shame and along with it destroy all trace of God’s face within ourselves. It takes quite an effort, to be true, but it is not impossible. We have the power and the freedom to turn ourselves into monsters that cold-heartedly rip their children apart on behalf of an absurd liberation of complexes.
For those to which fighting shame has become a necessity, there is a possibility of satisfying it.
Fight the shame we feel when we fail to give a better impression of ourselves to others – this is a sinful shame sprung from pride. Fight the shame that overwhelms us when we go to the priest to confess the sins we were not ashamed of while committing them. Fight the poisonous shame which chokes us when we should say to each other : “I am sorry, I was wrong”.
As far as complexes are concerned, these are the secret deeds and thoughts that arise upon our faces and into our eyes, however less we fight it. How do you want to get rid of them if you masturbate, if you get all lustful when you speak to a girl, if you are cheap and you want to look greater than you are? Leave all that behind and you will get rid of complexes.
So do the works of light, cause “the light has come into the world , and men loved darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil. For every one who practices evil hates the light , and does not come to the light, lest his work be reproved. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be manifested that they are wrought in God” (John, 3:19-20)
“Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the weapons of light. Let us walk becomingly as in the day” ( (Romans 13, 12-13)
It is rather difficult, what can you do? The whole world is turning into a cosmic disco club. Lights are out. Everything is ready. In the darkness, a known voice calls us by the name.

“ To stand without shame dressed in an old gown by the ones dressed in furs and shiny silk – only Zi Lu could do such thing!”( “Analecte”, cap. 9 – “About keeping the rules”, Confucius)

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