Civilizing Knowledge

Inner Christianity Glimpse of Truth Different Knowledge Darkness of the Psyche
Inner States Consciousness Retold Speaking of God Seeking Self
Inner Identity Civilizing Knowledge    


Ancient 'civilising' psychological and spiritualising knowledge belonging to the large part of  the Christian Inner Tradition which never reached the West, still exists in the Eastern church.  Our early investigations of this knowledge made us almost certain that if it should be made available to - and eventually established in - Western Christianity, together with a direct continuation of its practice, the benefits for our world would be considerable.  Continuing the work of previous generations, this is what Praxis Research Institute seeks to do.

The question we now have is how to implement this purpose. In contemporary terms, we are learning how to inform people about ways of recognising and understanding the more subtle and often uncommon inner experiences which can provide them with personal doorways to spirituality.  What we teach is based on this research into the Christian esoteric tradition, combining practice of what we learn from this continuation of early Christian thought and practice into our own search for self-knowledge.

Learning to understand this by applying it in practice teaches us to recognise the inner realities represented by the Traditional ideas, and thus leads to understanding. Passing from the discovery of data to experiential confirmation gives rise to agreement based on consistent conclusions. It is this element of research into our own nature and possibilities that in time qualifies the serious student to research the deeper elements of the Inner Tradition so that as you begin to participate in that broader research, you will be a true follower of an ancient tradition that began with Saint Paul, continued through the true fathers of the early church, and at its best is found in the saints of Western as well as Eastern churches. Its present contact with that tradition has been established through regular retreats in one of the ruling monasteries of Mount Athos over more than two decades.

    In addition, it first drew information from the 19th century researches of an informal Russian group who described themselves as a 'nobility of service'. This concept was originated by Russia's first  Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, and given a less military meaning by Peter the Great, whose 'aristocrats of service'  seem to have remained functional after his death and to have been involved in a re-awakening of this spirit of Christian investigation in the 19th Century with a co-ordinated research programme into lost early Christian knowledge. This programme appears to have included Andrew Mouravieff, then a member of the synod of the Russian church, Saint Theophan the Recluse, and - later - Boris Mouravieff. Researches by the first two appear in the Russian Philokalia, and those of others in that group are almost certainly to be found among the teachings of the ‘Fourth Way’ groups of the 20th Century, especially in the additions to that corpus made by Boris Mouravieff.

    In the past quarter century our research programme has included more than forty visits - many of them extended - to Europe's almost forgotten 'Holy Mountain' of Athos, in NE Greece, and translation projects which include translations of key works in the Inner Tradition revealed by this long programme of investigation.

    But there is no point in obtaining hidden knowledge only to hide it again, so these investigations have now led to a teaching programme that although small extends throughout most of the English-speaking world - and beyond, which maintains small study groups in a few locations and combines this with on-line study on an international scale. Much of the latter is now taking the form of videocasts distributed through the web.