What a beautiful filautìa

Publish date 05-10-2022

by Flaminia Morandi

With the pandemic, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, phobias, stress have increased by 30%. With the war, mental disorders are on the rise everywhere, dramatically in the countries involved where people, subjected to continuous traumatic experiences, flee sometimes in dissociation.
What to do?

Psychologists answer: help to find meaning, despite everything. Making sense: it is interesting that even in times of peace, in 1932, Carl Gustav Jung defined neurosis as "the suffering of the soul that has not found its own meaning". For the second founder of psychoanalysis: "neurosis is a split of the personality ... between the man of the senses and the man of the spirit" and "the problem of healing is a religious problem". Of all his patients over the age of 35, "there was not a single one whose substantial problem was not that of his religious attitude. Ultimately everyone gets sick because they have lost what the living religions of all times have given to their faithful; and no one truly heals if he fails to achieve a religious attitude ”.
Religious attitude: not belonging to a church or a confession of faith.
What then?

The face to face with one's shadows. Psychotherapist and spiritual father (understood, this is the problem, as wise, experienced, at peace with themselves) can work in synergy, helping people to get started from the simplest thing, which is also the most difficult: to explore one's mistakes without discount. The decisive experience that led Saul on the road to Damascus was his obstinacy in his "worst mistake than him, his hatred of Christians". It is on the false path that one stumbles upon the true one: it is the reversal towards the opposite (the fall of Saul from his horse) that makes peace between the man of the senses and the man of the spirit possible and "puts an end to the civil war Which is psychic neurosis. It means having the courage to enter within oneself, to face the great spiritual pain that the discovery of one's shadows entails. After all, "light needs darkness, otherwise how can it be light?"

Sometimes, it feels right to host a poor person, forgiving someone who has offended me, loving an enemy for Christ's sake. Right. "But if I were to discover that the smallest, the poorest, the most brazen of all, the worst enemy to love is myself, who needs my goodness?"
Here love and patience disappear… here we deny having ever known that wretch who is in us… ». The great Fathers say the same thing in their language. There is a bad philauty , the attachment to one's own opaque ego that loves itself "against itself", says St. Maximus the Confessor. And there is the "beautiful filautìa", when man loves himself in the deepest and most essential reality of him: when he loves his ugly self as it is, because so is God loves. "This beautiful philautia is authentic adoration, pleasing to God". Always possible, locked in the house and under the bombs.

Flaminia Morandi
NP May 2022

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