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Psychologists, sorcerers, psychics the candle is not for sale. You probably saw the same ad at the Desk in the temple. This is not a position rather a misunderstanding. Different views of human priests and psychologists. About it our conversation with one of the most interesting intellectuals who know both sides. Submitted by deacon Andrei Kuraev.
OUR PSYCHOLOGY: lately it became fashionable in the direction of "Christian psychology". How do you feel about that?
ANDREI KURAEV: once, at the dawn of European culture, any knowledge called philosophy, sometimes math. Then from these two primary philosophical systems spun off a number of different disciplines, including pseudo-scientific – theology, theology. And psychology from philosophy began to separate recently, but, nevertheless, the twentieth century is a time of serious formation of psychology. I would not say that psychology as a science to the end took place, yet. When it comes to the mysteries of the human soul, they remain mysteries. The remarkable words of the Russian Saint Theophan the Recluse: "there is no Science, but there are Sciences that twirl in the science as you want." They are very definitely relate to psychology. Today there are hundreds of competing psychological schools, they have different vocabulary, a different methodology and a common template yet. On many issues it is impossible to reach the academic scientific consensus. Psychology highly ideological, and very much depends on the willingness of the scientist, from bias, from the choice of field of study. Bias is always present, and it allows to speak about existence of Christian psychology. I think that in the future psychology will more and more begin to attach labels like "Christian", "Buddhist", etc.
Andrei KURAEV, a Russian religious and public figure, Protodeacon of the Russian Orthodox Church; senior researcher of the Department of philosophy of religion and religious studies of philosophical faculty of Moscow state University, writer, theologian, philosopher and publicist, Professor of Moscow theological Academy.
NP: as far As the priest necessary and useful knowledge in the field of psychology?
A. K.: Absolutely not useful and even harmful. If the priest would assume that he's a great teacher, or psychologist, or a doctor, he is pretty hurt those who agree with his self-esteem. However, there are times when a professional teacher wears a cassock or an economist becoming a monk. One example is a monk who is a leading expert-auditor of the accounts chamber of the Russian Federation. As a man, many years taught in European universities, I would say that in the Seminary preparing priests. It is naive to think that a short course of psychology or pedagogy, can make a priest of anyone except the priest. Today, every Church bench littered with waste paper on the so-called Christian psychology. Scribblers took up the matter seriously. The authors of these books often have no idea about what is psychology, especially modern psychology. They just regurgitate the secular language of old Church books. Today it is a fashionable bracelet, but, unfortunately, very far from psychology. Just a profanation. At the same time, there is a small group of real Christian psychologists who know the Christian tradition and combine it with psychology. You can call the Professor of Moscow state University Boris Vasilyuk, which is not under the influence of a wave of fashion deals with Christian themes. Remember his book of the eighties "Psychology of emotions" in which there are no quotations from the Bible, but I feel the Christian view of man. These people piece instances. I knew the father of Boris Nichiporov, who combined psychology with service in the Church. Once I asked him: "what you psypack graduated from MSU, helps in the work of the priest?" He said, "You know, in order to become a priest, I had to forget everything I was taught in University. Because it is a different vision of man. And only in one case it helps me: I can tell where the emotional problem, where the spiritual where you need the assistance of a psychologist, psychiatrist, and where Church funds – the fasting, the prayers, etc."
NP: Can a Christian see a psychologist, isn't that a contradiction?
A. K.: the Main thing – not to be mistaken in the choice of masters to which you refer. The criterion for a good specialist in any field – knowledge of the boundaries of their competence. This is true even plumbing.
NP: And the priest?
A. K.: Yes, and psychological consultants. They also have their temptations, the professional temptation to consider themselves masters of the shower. This excessive self-importance all the way. But if there is an understanding that I can help the world in the extent of their competence, the principle of complementarity is easy to find.
NP: Our magazine is about self-development. What does self-development for a person religious?
A. K.: This is a complicated topic. In essence Christianity and the term "personal development" are incompatible because Christianity is a religion of salvation, and salvation is the opposite of self-improvement. It is hoped not on merit but on mercy. This is a very important part of the Christian psychological culture.
NP: So you need to expose yourself only to the negative evaluation?
A. K.: here is where the problems start. Psychologically we understand that this is a destructive path. It is necessary to distinguish where my personal assessment, where particular. There are vysokochastotnaya ethics, she "peaks" works, but maybe the height of its inaccessibility to crush the man. The matter of humility not to compare yourself with others – a classic patristic formula.
NP: Some people believe that God created man, others that man has created God, and others – that God and man can not exist without each other. What is your opinion on this?
A. K.: For the Christian, there is a big problem in this matter. The same is true of the first two thesis: God created man and man created God. In the history of religion man has created God in his image and likeness. The evidence is very clear: the residents of the African gods of the blacks, the Chinese also are similar to the people of this country.
NP: the Bible, the New Testament was written long ago, modern obscure language of the people. Why the texts are not adapted?
A. K.: Religion beyond words. Now is the stage when words have lost their meaning, all you need to prove the case. None of the sects that claim that we have outgrown the gospel text, can't offer anything higher. This should be accepted, are absolute point in our relative history.
NP: Sociologists have measured the projection of spirituality in the form of crime, level of aggression and proved that in the countries of Northern Europe, where the level of religiosity is not the highest, committed fewer crimes, and in those countries where the level of spirituality is high (e.g. Brazil), and higher aggression levels. The spirituality needs to be the projection on the material world?
A. K.: These studies are pretty well known, it should be added: aggression can be expressed in different ways. There is such a phenomenon, when the aggression is not splashed to the outside and destroys the person, leading to murder and suicide. In Sweden, aggression erodes people in relation to ourselves. In this country are legally allowed to prescribe drugs weak. I really don't like the combination of the words "science" and "spirituality" in the Christian Orthodox sense, there are no devices for measuring fields of grace.
NP: But is the projection of these fields on the surrounding world?
A. K.: In Christian and European culture, the meaning of spirituality revealed through the formula of the Apostle Paul: the natural man does not understand spiritual, translated into our conversation, the psychologist does not understand the spiritual. Spirituality is what takes us beyond culture, the gravitational field of the Creator in the human world. Repentance is the consequence of the newfound spirituality, manifestation.
NP: How much is an acceptable donation to the temples of the money earned by dishonest means?
A. K.: the Rules of the ancient Church reads: "an Offering from the thief not take." From the point of view of the ancient Church, the money smelled. But then the notion of "microsocium" and "macro-society" did not differ, the whole of Moscow was less than one modern district, all knew each other. And now the person comes and speaks: "I Want to donate to the Church a certain amount", and I can't check who he is, I have no intelligence.
NP: is There in Christianity, the term "active humility"?
A. K.: It is a matter of intuition, you have to understand where you can be active and where we must accept. There is an ancient form of prayer: "Lord, give me strength to change what I can change, give me courage to accept what I cannot change and give me wisdom to distinguish one from the other." I want to note that the boundaries of this formula change for one simple reason – in the Internet era is not already running, the saying "One man is no man".
NP: so you can own weak voice increase through social networks, for example?
A. K.: There is a famous psychological experiment. The man offered to pull the rope alone, and then paired with another participant. Many studies have proven that when a person pulls the rope, he exerts less effort. The presence of the Creator, who pulls the rope with you, makes you stronger. All major projects were made by people who thought that God was helping them. For the Christian, important formula of "one person plus God is a majority". published