Sunday, December 27, 2009

Orthograph #11- Famous Spiritual Father Corollary


James the Thickheaded said...

A number of folks are wondering whether the Kevin Bacon corollary applies in this case and we need to measure not distance, but our Degrees of Separation? Could be complex.

Otherwise, perhaps other more specific measurements need be applied: I vote throwing a paper clip at the guy to see whether he's really magnetic. Or you might do the non-Gallileo thing and take navigation sitings off him at noon and see whether you tell anything about where anybody is. If nobody moves... then maybe it's just static electricity.

Alternatively, maybe you need to apply a spiritual bimbo test. "Say Father, I'm puzzled: Two of your spiritual children walk into a bar, and one says to the other..."

Steve Robinson said...

JtTh, ROTFL! I think all those suggestions should be added in the commentary box of an "Orthodox Googly-eyed Convert Study Bible" on I John 4:1 "Test the spirits..."

But, seriously, unless someone lives in a monastery under a "famous SF" who is everyone's spiritual father there, anyone who either lets people know who his spiritual father is (no matter how humbly or casually) or has sycophants who advertise it for him as if his spiritual father makes him anything, should be red flagged. We should read about that relationship after the person has died in hagiography, and then we can connect the dots between his saintly life and his relationship with his SF. To be blunt, self promotion of who my SF is before death is pedigree-ism, egoism, wearing a badge and, in my experience with such people, the precursor to a spiritual crash and burn (and this applies to non-Orthodox pedigrees also.) But some people are fooled by falsely humble pedigree-ism. As a wise elder once told me, "If people aren't in the market for it, they won't buy it."

I think I'll keep a few paper clips in the pocket of my cassock from now on... :)

margaret said...

Two of your spiritual children walk into a bar...

Have mercy, have mercy, I'm drinking tea here beside a new computer!

I was asked once by a very nice lady who my spiritual father was (I know hers and he is famous, at least in Europe) and when I told her it was my parish priest (as it was at the time) she was utterly non-plussed and gave me a cup of hot water with no tea-bag.