REDISCOVERING OUR SPIRITUAL ROOTS
In Praxis, restoring the original meanings of early Christian terms is not an academic exercise, but rather a means to reconnect to vital perceptions which formed the core of Western spiritual traditions, and which now have been lost through mistranslation. Among the most important of these terms are nous and kardia. Nous, generally translated as ˜intellect,' actually refers to a higher part of mind which, when freed from disturbance in the psyche, allows objective perception, self-awareness, recognition, and discrimination. Ultimately, this can lead to connection with the divine through direct insight and intuition. Kardia, commonly translated as ˜heart', does not, in this tradition, refer to the physical heart, but to what is often called the ˜inmost heart,' where it manifests at times as the ˜voice of conscience.' ˜Prayer of the Heart' progressively allows the nous to energise and awaken the kardia as it gradually becomes purified. In this relationship of the mind in the heart is found true wisdom, the ˜kingdom of heaven,' and ˜the peace that passeth all understanding.' For many, active participation in a faith community of their choice can facilitate the growth of this deeper relationship. For them, and for others, Praxis can serve a similar role.
THE MISSION OF PRAXIS
The mission of Praxis is in reconnecting with the spiritual core of traditional culture, and its action is to help people living in the world today to reconnect to their own inner cores. Therefore, while its teachings are grounded in Eastern Orthodox traditions, the practices and membership in Praxis are open to serious seekers from any background. Current members include practicing Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, as well as those with no religious affiliation.
Praxis also holds that individual development should be understood in a larger context. Praxis Research Institute was founded in the conviction that knowledge of the heart and the profound transformation it made possible was essential to the original development of Western civilization. The continuing work of Praxis is based on the teaching of Elder Paisios of Athos, that this knowledge is all the more necessary today, if civilization is to survive and fulfill its potential in the 21st century.