Medieval Monks and True Will

The New Yorker ran a piece about a new book called the Wandering Mind: what Medieval Monks Tell Us About Distraction that caught my attention. An excerpt reads:

‘Kreiner uses the word “monk” inclusively, referring to both men and women, regardless of the form of monasticism that they practiced. During the period covered by “The Wandering Mind”—the fourth through the ninth centuries—monastic orders were still taking shape, their leaders devising and revising rules about sleep, food, work, possessions, and prayer. All these habits of being were an attempt to get closer to God, not least by stripping away worldly distraction, but how best to do so was a matter of constant experiment and debate. Routines and schedules circulated like gossip, with everyone wondering if some other order had arrived at a superior solution to the problem of focus, or yearning to know exactly how the apostle Paul or the Virgin Mary had arranged their days.’

So how does this apply to Thelemites? Well if you look at the term “God” as referring to an internal be-ing instead of, or in addition to the external, you might now have an injunction laid upon particular O.T.O. initiates, mebbe (I ain’t tellin’). Certainly to free yourself from distractions from wholeheartedly pursuing your True Will is one of the messages of Crowley’s essay “On Duty.” In fact, the Prophet of the Lovely Star recommended St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises for study and practice.

PS this same author wrote The Social Life of Hagiography in the Merovingian Kingdom – SQUEEE!

read the whole article:

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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