Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.14/15057
Título: Diferenciação da experiência orante em Santa Teresa de Jesus: do tempo ascético a uma simbólica mística
Autor: Silva, Carlos Henrique do Carmo
Data: 1983
Editora: Faculdade de Teologia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Citação: SILVA, Carlos Henrique do Carmo - Diferenciação da experiência orante em Santa Teresa de Jesus: do tempo ascético a uma simbólica mística. Didaskalia. Lisboa. ISSN 0253-1674. 13:1-2 (1983) 105-250
Resumo: The aim of present investigation is that of making clear St. Teresa's point of view on prayer, not from a doctrinal perspective, almost exhaustively studied elsewhere, but in a different way, by the meditation of its experimental characteristics. The main thesis of this exposition is that it is a not acceptable to consider from an indifferent perspective the several stages of prayer, and that their identification within the dynamics of inner experience implies a differential perspective in which it would be possible to delimite all their degrees in a relationship with their different ontological structure of consciousness. This differential approach to the experience of prayer implies the clarification of some essential points.
The structure of this study contains three principals phases, closed by a brief conclusion. In the first part (Preliminaries, pp. 105-119), the Author intends to establish the critical pressupositions which lead to the methodological definition. (1. The difficulty of the subject and the methodological problem, pp. 105-113). We point out the limits of historical method and of theological hemeneutics, both derived from the main streams of western thought. Besides that, the contrast of the actual interest in mystics and the needs of a perspective concerned essentially with praxiological and social points of view, is also notified and motif of reflexion. In contrast to those kinds of representation, or «mental picture» that seem reductive, one must make clear the performative aspect of a comprehensive way of perceiving and understanding the event that points to its own experience. From that results not only a method of meditation which leads to that inner structure, but also to the several ontological degrees which can make real this hierarchical relations between conscience and its own self, and between man and God.
In the second item of these Preliminaries (The place of this subject and the problem of how to translate spiritual languages, pp. 113-119) the context of a phenomenological approach to Portuguese spirituality is made relevant in contrast to the continental poetical and mystical tradition of Spain's siglo d'oro. Several geographical, cultural and religious differences are pointed out, and also a reference can be found to the semitical substract of their own spiritual experiences.
The IInd Part studies St. Teresa's prayer-life. It is subdivided into the following points: 1. Turning points of this chronology and the principal moments of St. Teresa's devotional biogaphy (pp. 119-131); 2. The constructive forces of prayer and the apparent physical and psychical residuals — the disease and the mystical phenomenon (pp. 131-145); 3. Sources and parallels of the theresian way of prayer (pp. 145-178).
In the first of these points the beginnings of differential dynamics of St. Teresa's prayer-life is indicated. Attention is drawn to the jewish origins of the voluntaristic «determinada determinación» of the saint's character, and also the efforts and the conquest of different obstacles in the way of prayer. Specially relevant is the subject of self-conversion, of self-kowledge in the so called «christian-socratism», afterwards develloped in the contemplative-active life and in the realistic tone and effective practice of prayer-life. One must point out the importance of detailed narrative procedures when observing life and psychological characteristics, visible in several and most important works of St. Teresa: Libro de la Vida, Camino de perfection and Moradas del Castillo Interior.
In the second point the priority of the experience of prayer is affirmed in this relationship with the physical and sensorial limitations felt during St. Teresa's disease. In a previous consideration the reductive perspectives of the principal methods based on psycho-pathology are refered when they are applied to mystical questions.
St. Teresa's experience is able to transform in a spiritual way her own suffering and disease. And so, it is particularly important not to propose the value of prayer as another «therapeutical strategy», but in that spiritual sense, as she herself learned it from the start, as «prayer of quiet» or oration de recogimiento, from Osuna's Tercer Abeceddrio Espiritual.
In the third and last point of this part, St. Teresa's «prayer-drama» is considered from her own texts and spiritual encounters with particularly relevant parallels established. Those parallelisms are remarkable and connected with the different stages of prayer, according to St. Teresa. The influence of spiritual franciscan «Observances» upon the Saint is also underlined, as are Osuna's and Laredo's. The legendary origins of the Carmelite Order, as viewed by St. Teresa's Reform of Carmel are refered. Beginning with a reference to the «allumbrados» in Spain, and also with a reference to the erasmian influence, besides the islamic and oriental tradition transmited by the franciscan friars, by means of the flemish school of spirituality and the devotio moderna, it is also pointed out the agostinian and patristic lineage of prayer basic to the long monastic experience from which derives the eremitic character of theresian Order and discipline of prayer. There is also a parallel between the hesychasm of oriental monachism and several pratices of meditation in the jewish and islamic traditions.
The convergence of the different lineages of spiritual practices in the theresian doctrine of prayer is noticed and also the function of this doctrine in the future spread of devotion, and particularly, in the affective path of French spirituality. The parallel between theresian prayer and the technique of meditation in India and Far-East are also mentioned.
But what constitutes the main point of differenctiation in St. Teresa's prayer-life is neither the events to her biographical narrative, nor the regimen of parallels in a kind of technical and doctrinal similarity between her own prayer and other ways of praying. The different moments in St. Teresa's devotional life, the incarnative experience of pain and also the assumption of the message of major trends of interior experience, all that is marked by chronological patterns. Those moments are not successive occasions, but, on the contrary, they are unique instances that lead to other dimensions of inner life. The doctrine of the degrees of prayer finds here its concrete origin and the key to a «not-indifferent» access to these grades of awareness. It is on account of that, that this last point specially brings out the spiritual encounters that St. Teresa had and the importance that she attributes to spiritual directors and confessors.
In the third Part — Ontological differentiation of prayer's consciousness — the dimensions of this life-experience of prayer are considered. This analysis is marked by three points: 1. Ascetical conditions (pp. 178-194); 2. The degrees of prayer (pp. 195-223); and 3. About the mystical-symbolic language (pp. 223-243). In the first of these points, and remembering the limitations of a philosophy determined by the analogical regimen, the logic of discontinuity of the inner process is observable because the real differential process can only be analised throught an integral perspective given by a Life-Philosophy.
St. Teresa has a 'socratic' understanding of prayer from the stage of meditation on preliminary conditions to the integrative feeling of exercizing virtues, of observance of several psychological faculties, and particularly, the struggle against «phantasy». Humility, silence and interiority are pointed out as the principal aspects according to the spirit of theresian Carmelitic Reform. In this sense, the interior life is ordered by that exstatic temporality that anticipates in a kind of ascetical pedagogy, the sense of that in-temporality specific to the mystical experience. And to that contributes the devotion to the image of Jesus Christ in His holy Humanity, as the basis of the spiritual love and dynamic of the degrees of prayer.
About the different degrees of prayer is notable the possibility of relating ascetical and mystical points of view, joining the differential perspective of hierarchical grades with the rythms on non-continuity in a fulfilling experience. The analysis of different degrees of theresian prayer shows that the different structures and their process of division accord to numerological archetypes which symbolise the different degrees of consciousness and, above all, the «eternal now» of contemplain. The characteristic effects of the several degrees of awareness are observed in the dynamics of prayer, in a connection with the grade of its ontological state and introducing a difference between the 'acquired' and the 'infused'.
In the last of the divisions of this part is shown that the unique way leading to superior grades of consciousness and contemplative life is made by the means of symbols. Here it is captured also the function of the image in St. Teresa's spiritual pedagogy, and expressed, for instance, in the Moradas as the point of view of their speculative function. This function ennables one to understand the differentiation of the last degrees of prayer. Contemplation has in this way the sense of contemporaneity or simultaneity in mystical experience, and is centered in particular on Christ's Humanity as the only means to concrete fulfilment of the symbol and also as the mystical transposition of the event. It is shown that St. Teresa's mystical-symbolic language must be understood above all as a pedagogic means, not to interpret, but to exercise in a pratical way.
The Conclusion points out the way in which the several degrees of prayer aloud one to define a scale, not only of the faculties of the soul in a psychological perspective, but also to see how inner life is constructed. In this sense, the message of St. Teresa's «recogimiento» is a model of intensification of real time to eternity, only sayable in the spiritual pedagogy that translates mystical experience and, specially man's spiritual and total metamorphosis.
Peer review: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.14/15057
ISSN: 0253-1674
Aparece nas colecções:RD - 1983 - Vol. 013 - Fasc. 1 e 2

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