PSYCHE

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PSYCHE - The most important and least understood of all Biblical words is the word psyche. The Orthodox understanding of psyche remains unified and unchanged. The psyche is a pure unalloyed essence which animates the body and gives it life; it is our immaterial nature, created yet eternal, comprising of our cognitive, conative, and affective aspects, including both the conscious and the unconscious. It naturally follows that psychic health precedes salvation.

In order to encapsulate the full meaning of the word psyche as understood by traditional Christianity, we will have to combine the meanings of five English words:  soul, life, breath, psyche, and mind.

In the West, the soul has become a debased and ambiguous term; the psyche, its original biblical counterpart, has now constellated into two distinct conceptual fields. The words soul, life and breath form one field. The words psyche (as in modern psychology) and mind (as in the mind-body dichotomy) comprise the other field. As such, there is little or no connection between  psychic  health and the eternal animating principle known as soul. This dislocation is indicative of a deep spiritual malady in Western man.

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