Gladsome Light, Kabbalistic Prayer and Heeding the Self

Phos Hilaron, in Greek “Joyful Light” or “Gladdening Light” is the earliest known Christian hymn recorded outside of the Bible that is still in use today. It is the latest addition to our popular Sacred Audio Collection, including authentic recordings in Greek, Latin, Arabic, Armenian and English. Click here to visit the page and listen.

A recent translation of Abraham Abulafia’s Meditations on the Divine Name gives us a practical insight into the contemplative life of one of the most vital branches of the traditional Kabbalah:

Adorn yourself and seek solitude in a special place where no one can hear your voice. Purify your heart and soul from all thoughts of this world. Think that in the coming hour your soul will leave your body and you will die to this world and you will live in the next world… And chant the aleph, and every letter you recite, with terror, awe and fear, coupled with the gladness of the soul in its comprehension which is great.

• Studying an homily by St Basil (4th cent.), Olga Alieva shows the common ground between the Platonic and Christian understanding of the Delphic maxim: “Know thyself.”

‘Give heed to thyself’ – that is, attend neither to the goods you possess nor to the objects that are round about you, but to yourself alone. We ourselves are one thing; our possessions another; the objects that surround us, yet another. We are soul and intellect in that we have been made according to the image of the Creator.