Asceticism - A Short History

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In Modern age the ideas of asceticism were scarified, especially in the works of P. Holbach and F. The ascetical ideal rises from protecting and treating instinct of degenerating life falling over itself to resist and fighting for its existence; he points at a partial physiological detention of some functions and the fatigue with which the deepest remained untouched life instincts fight The protestant ethic of M. Weber correlates with it.

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His ethic avoid superfluity and to lead austere life. According to the authors, the estimations of the asceticism within the context of sociology, political science or religion science issue from the fact that they are beyond the current research. Dogmatic ideology widely used by all theorists of collectivism was elaborated on the ground of the asceticism.

Art styles can be considered as such cores in Art as for literature they can be chronotopes. In modern culture the stress is laid on memes which can also be considered as such cores.

In many cases polysemy takes place in the designation of such cores, and their interaction with each other. The aspiration to the system and communication limit supposes the formation of stable and optimal system covering the cores within an activity or the whole cultural sphere. If a separate core is often distinguished with some ambiguity, then the complex of these cores forms stable structures within the system. In culture and its main subsystems the core systems are used in the first place.

Cultural code uniting the cores of all main kinds of activities of examined culture is the brightest example. The conjoint substance can appear as coherent information, coherent spirituality, coherent intellect. These are dead simple constructions, where all phenomena correspond to fundamental zero balances connected in a single whole. The process providing bigger and bigger simplification in comparison with spontaneous structures corresponds to them. Coherent spirituality and intellect have got the essential meaning for the provision of coherence during the formation.

There are some bright examples of conjoint substances in culture, arts, linguistics and in other sciences. The atomic propositions of L.

There is nothing superfluous in this tractate, only the necessary for the expression of main ideas, so this approach can be also used to prove the ideas developed by us. In modern global world there are two main tendencies to which the majority of cultures is subject. From one hand everyone aspires to self-identification, in other words to distinct determination of own borders, typical features and to maximum transparence for there presentatives of other cultures.

From the other hand they have to contribute to the integration of the humankind. So nowadays the weakening of economical, political and state borders combines with much bigger cultural isolation cultural diversification.

The Book of the Prince and the Ascetic and the transmission of wisdom

Moreover, in recent times, the culture relevant to modern human needs tends to become network and traditional cultures can be a part of it as some elements. Cultural nets should be formed on the ground of systems and subsystems made of these elements. The tighter and the more active the cultures will be connected with each other, the better for humankind. Of course, they all should be tolerating, humanity-oriented and unique.

Every modern human should interact actively with several cultures, contributing to their closing in united energetic and information cycle.

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The questions, mentioned above, connected with the identification and integration of all cultures can be examined from the point of view of their own asceticism, which can become a key-element during the formation of the dialogue between cultures. In the frame of developed approach, all cultures in modern conditions should tend to the state of stable synchronic and diachronic fluctuations. In the first case named for our purpose horizontal it happens between the cores of self-identification of traditional cultures and forming invariants of panhuman culture.

In the second case named for our purpose vertical it happens between two best examples of the world cultural heritage and corresponding milestones of information society. As a result, there is a two-dimensional dynamic balance within the interaction of traditional cultures with economical, financial, technological, informational subsystems of modern world is possible.

Every nation is able to make its own unique contribution to the formation of natural system of axes and the more contribution they make, the more stable this system will be. At that, the ascetic parts of traditional cultures will be formed as their invariants, determining the web of the main worldview universals able to provide further possible human development. Nowadays, there is no alternative to such development. If all cultures will tend to the identification of their own asceticism, the formation of intercultural dialogue will happen due to universal rules, contributing to the establishment of the world communicative reality changing gradually into the world being.

The revelation of the rules mentioned above considerably depends on new educational approaches. Firstly, the education should expose the particularities of two kinds of asceticism: self-identification asceticism and web asceticism.

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  • The web-structure also rejects everything superfluous, that hinders its formation in the optimal way, otherwise, it becomes unstable and easy to destroy. The web self-organization aspires to provide their formation with optimum speed of complementary unification of synchronic and diachronic cultural subsystems, in other words, of the elements of national and mass culture, and also of the best samples of world culture and information society. The main point of this education is the creation of communication web by a human during all his life. This web connects him with other people deeper and more tightly, unites the people of different cultures.

    This web is focused on the only system of the world axes. Article in PDF.


    The last represents natural or cultural formations where all its interactions power, information, spiritual counterbalance each other. Averentsev S. The new philosophical encyclopedia in 4 vol. Apresyan R.

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    The encyclopedic dictionary in 3 vol. As this research progressed over the last five years a strange phenomenon became more and more apparent; with the exception of the ubiquitous Syrian glass, there was an astonishing lack of Syrian artefacts in Eastern Georgia. When this absence was raised with Georgian colleagues working on the archaeology of the classical and late antique periods their initial reaction was to dispute this claim, but on reflecting and examining their records they all conceded that this was in fact the case and nobody had any idea as to why this might be.

    This mystery deepened when it emerged that this same dichotomy emerged in the archaeology of the Bronze Age 1 with there being evidence of trade with the Levant via Asia Minor in the regions west of the Surami ridge, but only the material culture of eastern-facing regions such as Persia east of the range.

    As it has long been apparent that the much higher and more difficult routes across the Greater Caucaus to the north have never offered any impediment to the free movement of people, ideas and artefacts, then it is clear that something else must be responsible for this strange lack of communication. As the archaeologist and director of Tbilisi Archaeological Repository, Mikheil Abramishvili has observed the impediment appears to have been the result of psychological and cultural factors rather than being a question of geographical isolation.

    This apparent repetition of a pattern that occurred in the Bronze Age reoccurring in Late Antiquity is reinforced by the fact that in both of these periods there was one exception to this rule; the region of Zemo Upper Imereti was culturally, intellectually and often politically dominated by the east even though it is located west of the Surami ridge. The fact that Zemo Imereti maintained this pattern through both the above periods serves to reinforce the parallels between these two periods and underlines the fact that there is something currently inexplicable going on.

    Identifying this phenomenon is in itself an important step forward in our understanding of trade and cultural relations in this period, but at the time of writing the reasons for this apparent cultural divide remain unknown. The discovery of this recurrent phenomenon in the archaeological record leads us to hypothesise several points about the legends concerning the Thirteen As Syrian Fathers. Firstly the fact that the accounts of these figures were only written down even in the earliest estimation in the eighth or ninth centuries, some two to three hundred years after the events that they purport to recount, can be held responsible for some minor discrepancies.

    Secondly if we take into account the degree of lexical imprecision encountered in some of these sources and interpret these figures as being Assyrian rather than Syrian then this fits in with the evidence of the material culture, which shows abundant interaction with the Persian Empire in Late Antiquity. There are large quantities of Persian coins, monuments such as Zoroastrian Fire Temples Ateshgah and many other factors suggesting widespread interaction between the two regions and thus making it entirely plausible that a group of Christian holy men would have been free to travel from the Persian Empire to Kartli and Kakheti.

    Since this empire included the land formerly known as Assyria, it seems probable that any such travellers were coming from the environs of modern Iraq or possibly the parts of Mesopotamia that now fall in the countries of Syria and Turkey. However we must bear in mind that the question of a Syrian identity for these figures is not entangled simply with questions of material culture; it is also a reference to the vicious doctrinal disputes of the time and this is the factor that we shall turn to next.

    It is clear that all literary references to the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers, as we shall finally call them, were written post and the final divorce of the Georgian and Armenian Churches at the Third Council of Dvin. This is of course highly significant in helping us understand the political and doctrinal biases of the authors of these texts.

    It is here that, in the opinion of this writer, the deliberate haziness between Syrians and Assyrians began to be employed for the first time. The Assyrians, who have historically been pejoratively referred to as Nestorians by their detractors, had become the majority Christian group in the Sassanian Empire due to their persecution on Byzantine territory. As the Church relied on Constantinople for both spiritual and temporal succour, a narrative of Syrian monastic missionaries kept the conversation within the parameters of the Byzantine Empire.

    At the same time as we can see an underlying doctrinal imperative shaping this narrative, we must also conclude that the to us odd vacuum in which these events purport to take place was also very much a product of its time with regard to the tropes of late antique hagiography. In this genre conforming to a known pattern of events and reinforcing the tropes of the form were more important than including historically verifiable elements or placing the action within a familiar and geographically identifiable location populated with notable figures.

    Finally we must also remember that concepts of ethnicity and nationhood were understood and expressed in very different terms in this period and, when we look at Northern Mesopotamia, the region we chiefly associate with Assyrian Christianity, there is evidence to suggest that these contemporary preoccupations were not relevant in the lives of the people of the time. Payne observes that:. Although historians frequently classify the population of Northern Mesopotamia into discrete Aramean and Iranian groups, those individuals who did not espouse an Iranian ethnicity do not appear to have shared a similarly cohesive epithet.