[quote=HagiaSophia]That sounds really interesting - care to explicate a little - keep it simple remember I’m Theosis 101.
The mere fact that you are asking the questions is a great start. The subject is far too deep to be encapsulated in a posting or two, I’l just try to give a sense of it.
Let’s remember that we westerns tend to compartmentalize things and sometimes prefer to see them in isolation. So just as a Roman Catholic might see Carmelite spirituality, Franciscan spirituality and Ignatian spirituality as useful variant ways to find holiness, it might be thought that theosis is just another option.
In fact, it is fundamental to eastern spirituality. It is the basis for everything an eastern Christian, Catholic or Orthodox, will do. It is the systematic approach to holiness in the east, and this crosses over into the Oriental Eastern churches as well because it’s roots are so ancient it precedes the schisms.
I am only trying to construct an example, so please do not think that anything I say will be criticism, I will leave that for those other “hostile” threads and posters.
Imagine if you will, the primary basis for your own striving for holiness. I presume that you would like to see God face to face, just as I would. What immediately comes to mind when you see this task in front of you? What is it about you that makes you wonder if you’ll see the pearly gates?
I am not trying to put words in your mouth, I will speak of an anonymous western Christian just for example
Most likely a western Christian would respond that we are sinful by nature, we need to expiate those sins to get right with God, and we need to make up for those past indiscretions. This is why we need to do penance, and say that our lifetime is not enough, we need purgatory to cleanse us of those sins.
Hopefully, with sorrow for our sins, confession and penance we will become acceptable to the Lord Our God. With this in mind let us say that the basic premise in western thinking is that if we are to become saints we must become less and less sinful. This is the fundamental driving force behind most of the various western approaches to spirituality: become less and less sinful while using every suitable method we can find to prevent ourselves from falling into sin again.
The goal then is to remove all of those demerits, all the minus signs, the goal is something like zero.
- I can remember when times were a lot harder on me than now, I was in debt with no assets, my big goal in life was to pay off those debts! Eventually I finally did, I was flat broke and happy.*
Some Protestants (also from the west originally) cannot take all of that uncertainty, they just want to be saved once and for all. Like declaring bankruptcy, they would just like to rub out those sins with a declaration and feel free forever.