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Hubris

“…hubris seems to signify not pride but rather a failure of the aesthetic sense; the hubristic man is the man who cannot see that his life, his talents, and his virtue are mostly gifts. He cannot see that these goods are a kind of theophany, evidence of divine good favor. Rather, the hubristic man takes his life and virtue as a given upon which his mind and efforts then go to work, charting out a “secular” and self-reliant path.” (Timothy G. Patitsas)


“Hubris motivates someone to use, intentionally, any means, even aggression, to degrade or humiliate others. I would suggest that hubris is fed by narcissism, a sense of inflated self-focus and self- worth that blinds us to the feelings and needs of others.” (Fr. George Morelli)


“Educated people…have strong inclinations towards individualism…the educated among us won’t stand for any adverse comment on their behavior, but instead each thinks he or she is always right about everything’…Clearly the saint [Saint Sophrony in Essex] wasn’t against letters and education…he was vastly educated, the author of many books filled with wisdom, and an artist of merit…He does…point to a problem…that people educated in secular matters, people of the arts and sciences, ‘have strong inclinations towards individualism’, which is why ‘they are very difficult’…with minds ‘illumined’ by the light shed by science, they begin to stray down the path that leads to delusion: the arrogance and pride that they’re superior to ordinary people, that they stand out in the world. This… is how the archangel Lucifer viewed himself before he fell… he thought that God’s light, which God had given him, was actually his own…‘But knowledge puffs up’ [1 Cor. 8:1], human knowledge leads to pride. The ancient Greeks had also noted the dangers of such a condition and called it ‘hubris’” (Saint Sophrony in Essex, Pemptousia Partnership)


“The devil slanders Life by means of the hubris that still prevails in the world against God, humanity and the creation. The devil assaults Life by means of the sinful tendency that exists within us like “old rust,” using this to entrap us either into tangible sin or delusional belief. Hubris is the offspring of that “rust”…Accordingly, it is imperative that we purify ourselves of this rust with great attentiveness and carefulness in order that the profuse life-giving light of the Risen Christ may shine in our mind, soul and body, so that it may in turn dispel the darkness of hubris and pour the “abundance” of life to all the world.” (Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew)


“A strength of the modern project has been its use of reason and math…we have seen amazing advances in science and technology…the same strength has also been its greatest weakness…we have tried to reduce everything to science and reason (with increasingly bogus versions of both). The more purely “reasonable” and “scientific” revolutions were all abject failures and the cause of untold misery…Though democracy found its way across many other nations, most sought to balance pure reason with the wisdom of inherited tradition…solutions based on pure reason fail at the human level….this is true because the soul (and thus human behavior itself) remains not subject to reason or math. It stands as a boundary to our arrogance and a point where trespass happens at our peril. That quality is present elsewhere…For though many aspects of human existence can be measured and quantified, they cannot be reduced to their quantification. There is always a remainder that cannot be accounted for, other than by a recognition that we are in the presence of life itself…much of modernity will often choose to ignore the remainders of our existence, seeking to force life into quantifiable boundaries. Such efforts must be cataloged as examples of arrogance and the danger of modern hubris.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


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