I'm going to be all over the place commenting on the following video compilation and blending it with Orthodox knowledge which aims to explain the CORE PURPOSE of Christianity: The True Purpse of a Christian Life
. Sharing personal experience and books. This post and the books are meant to be "digested" over a long period of time - I share, you pick and choose. Jordan I hope you're reading.
On this video
at @ 3:07
"Transforms you biologically" - AND spiritually. It's a Transfiguration reversing the "falling" (of the human body/soul - they work together) back to the original state Jordan. There is a specific practice - The Jesus Prayer (with its stages, 9 in total
) which supersedes any other prayer. All prayer is equal in fact - but that simple repetitive form is the preferred method for spiritual improvement. The human is supposed to rise from saying the prayer with words to actually "conversing" with God, but this conversation need not be with words; it's a state of divine euphoria (and this how it's possible to achieve that state like Paul says to the Thessalonians: pray without ceasing-
he's merely saying to those people to never quit praying and to strive to reach those kind of spiritual levels/improvements/performances because that's when the Transfiguration can happen effectively: for the ceaseless prayer to exist, the Holy Ghost must be hosted within the heart - and that's why he talks bout the fruits of labor later, love, patience etc. because those are literally the effects of the Holy Ghost seeded within a human being )
. Look at contemporary saints who were able just with a blessing to wipe out anger, clear example in this story of Rosh getting a blessing from Fr Ephraim of Arizona
- those people not only host The Holy Ghost BUT they make other experience God within them.
I can tell you personally that that higher state of prayer exists as different hermits, holy relics, or communion have helped me experience it briefly with their blessings. Examples in literature - which talks about the true purpose of Christianity - is the conversation of Motovilov with St Seraphim of Sarov, who was given a spiritual experience of Grace/The Holy Ghost in order to understand what it feels like and to live/tell others about it all so Christianity could be revived/brought back in its original tracks: https://www.themathesontrust.org/papers/christianity/Motovilov.pdf
. Like St Seraphim says there, one must accumulate that spiritual wealth in order to transfigure, to become truly "good" like God intended for us naturally. The Way of the Pilgrim
, another "classic" story on the subject of acquiring the prayer, details the process of a man who starts from "normal" like Motovilov and acquires the prayer. Along the way he meets others who've acquired the prayer (and given that Russia is an Orthodox country, then that account is absolutely realistic - in fact anybody can "test" this
: however, disclaimer, I asked a holy father how easy it is for non-baptized, ie non-Orthodox, to achieve the "felt" prayer and he said that it's not that likely since the baptism does something spiritually to the human's soul which is a quantum leap that can't be achieved only with human effort - hence the need for Christ's work altogether) . Two Elders on The Jesus Prayer
is more like a textbook with teachings from two contemporary fathers, ones of them is St Joseph the Hesycast - the elder of Fr Ephraim above (so no wonder he ended up a saint like his "old man"). And these books are nothing but a fraction from the entire Orthodox literature which is vast!
Some of those books can be mind bending spiritual text-books. 3:13
"within your genetic structure there's all sorts of potential" - NOT only that - you increase or destroy that potential. There was a Romanian Fr, Arsenie Boca (during the communist era), who wrote The Path to the Kingdom
. And in there he explains - also with the Bible's quotes giving the full meaning of those words, how the genetic material gets re-written!
every moment of your life. For example, fasting and doing "the prayer" you're stepping towards sainthood. Any form of sinning (sinning is more extensive/complicated than those 10 commandments - sinning can happen even at the level of thought!! hence why all the humans sin every day) are damaging the DNA weakening the human's ability to acquire the prayer. Depending on how rooted somebody is within a sin (for eg judging other) they would have to "pray extra" to overcome some of that damage (to explain simply) and then to step on the "spiritual ladder" and whatnot. All of these actions, good or bad, get transmitted to the offspring.
That's how humanity has fallen - and it's a continuous negative spiral, and because humans aren't taking any positive action it looks like there won't be a recovery anytime soon and we're sliding into the Apocalypse faster and faster.
Ben is right in saying that we cannot overcome our sins on our own however
each person is having different "challenges"/temptations and at different stages in their fight
Christ gauges how much we're fighting with our own passion. So you do fight them - on your own, employing "Christ's weapons" (the prayer, the holy church's mysteries and so on). This is to say each Christian trying to acquire the prayer has got to feel the pain of resisting their temptations and this somehow "forges" them into a stronger self, then they acquire a spiritual gift
which enables them to step up
. At that level they will endure even greater temptation
, thus fighting their challenges even more intensely (that's why the hero's journey is so essential, and Disney is screwing it all up - demons!! nothing less)
. And this happens on and on until the person gets purified and they overcome temptations all together (but very few ever get there - but even something as early as the "felt" prayer is amazing!!! so imagine being a living saint: life feels truly amazing when you are in that state and it has PURPOSE). And btw this is the short version of what holy parents are writing in the teachings regarding spiritual evolution towards becoming "spiritually accomplished" (and yeah there's a ton of literature of this that humans in general have no clue about)
. I remember reading from St Gregory The New Theologian - and, in a story, while mending the wound of this half naked prostitute she asked him if he's tempted, to which he replies that indeed he has become as such that he doesn't distinguish between female and male body
(speaking of his passions, of course he knew she was a female biologically; heck he probably was able to see her soul, her past and her future - and this is no exaggeration: but I digress ).
Those are realities of what the Christian life does, of its purpose, that regular folk today can't even conceive. What do you mean no sex? What do you mean no booze? This is normal! This is 2020! C'mon! WE got SCIENCE -
and it will save us !
Well, no, you got "certain death" and you have to replace it with something in order to recover spiritually. And you won't do that alone as a human. And that something that would replace your secular meaningless-ness not only is totally worth it, but it's also more valuable then the entire world. Not an overstatement. Somebody who even tastes from "The Prayer" looks at expensive things with a bit of disinterest (everything is compared with that spiritual experience
- life doesn't taste the same anymore because it can't compare). And that's where humanity goes wrong about Christianity: most of the world is NOT Christian and they have no Christian education/knowledge and they've never had a Christian genuine experience of God/Holy Ghost. So of course the heresies/copies-of-Christianity fail in practice because they're fighting with their own human tools and are VOID of anything spiritual. No church mysteries: no actual baptism, confession, communion, etc. Christ did die for us, and created some TOOLS - divine tools which we have to EMPLOY
. We can't lay back like the Protestants do and say "yeah, it's already done ... pass me some Doritos and a Coke". At 5:10
"confusion in the Christian community" - like I said above and I'll explain, the actual Christian community is much smaller than you think and there is NO confusion - at all
. Realistically speaking (and I know I might get some hate from those belonging to these so called denominations) all those "Christian churches" outside of Orthodoxy are nothing but heresies - which simply means false teaching. And (most importantly)
they were given to Anathema
(spiritually disconnected !!!
) early on - and this the biggest deal: NO connection with Christ
. If they were simply heresies and they were left to be in communion (ie connected),
then they would have been technically Christian churches. But like the Saints would teach us, that would be an insult and great injury to Christ/God. So the Orthodox can't and won't accept any heresy. NOT because they're stubborn. But because this means to severely disrespect Christianity while pretending all is good.
It's like you take a shit on Christ and saying "Aren't we great!!!". The best I can explain it. The Bible says: you can't serve two Gods - to accept heresy, is to accept a lie = the devil. So to accept Orthodoxy and a Heresy simultaneously is like serving God and the Devil - error 403
Christianity spread so fast because of the saints. The amount of spiritual experiences were so overwhelming that people knew they had to become Christians.
Don't you think they had other beliefs? The Romans had their Gods. The Jews were Jews. Each and every population had their beliefs which came with high INERTIA/resistance for joining any other belief - especially in a world WITHOUT globalism. <-Key point.
People were weary of pissing off their community. Yet, they become Christians and pissed off their community and risked torture and death!! Insane people! Why? Spiritual experience - like the above with Fr Ephraim of Arizona: a simple blessing could make even the worst drug addict feel the Holy Ghost (and I saw that, and I talked with drug addicts who came there for help
, I'm not simply venting opinions). So if that happens today: imagine the 1st, the 2nd or the 3rd century when the saints were a "better breed".
In the first centuries of persecution, especially because of the persecution, Christians were extremely serious. Like with any sport (and St John Chrysostom refers to saints as Christ's athletes) serious practice leads to many "gold olympians
". So Christians had many saints and amazing ones. Heck even until the 19th or 20th century, sainthood among laymen was not that unusual (for eg see Ascetics in the World vol 1
and Vol 2 - and that is only covering a tiny part of Greece during a tiny period in time - I BET there were many other in EACH Christian Orthodox country: many many more unknown in spite of the many known). Orthodoxy makes saints out of humans, IF they practice it!! SO, if today
we have that many saints still - imagine back in the day when the DNA fiber was of a better quality and humanity had more integrity (reminder: the DNA moral fiber is going down the drain with each generation - fact stated by the saints) !!
Emperor Constantine and his mother, Helen, made Christianity legal
, and that's when Christians started to "chill". So one got DNA degradation and the offsprings of offsprings began to accept heresies (which are nothing more but suggestions from demons accepted as good ideas; saints divide thoughts into 3 categories: demonic - a lot of them for a regular person, personal - neutral, Divine from God- very rare for a normal person; which comes back to the idea of how much we sin since we accept most demonic suggestions "as our own" - which also explains the sheer stupidity of "expressing yourself truly" like people say today). These heresies were combated with synods - and more then often it was a saint with a miracle which settled the debate UNANIMOUSLY
(that was the main key requirement, but sometimes groups held onto heresy so you got anathema/separation of churches). People relied on saints! Not just opinions: this is not some intellectual battle
(AGAIN: key problem in the modern globalized society of "smart idiots").
SO, when somebody says that Christianity is made by humans - totally wrong: it is of Divine origins 200% , the saints acted only as relays for information.
In total there were something like 5 or 7 big heresies
(see the picture in the link). Rosh in the story above belongs to one of them (Armenian Monophysite I think). After that you had the Catholics. And out of the Catholics, the Lutherans, Calvinists, Protestants - and hundreds of others were born. All of the heresies were given to Anathema!
All. There is no exception. Anathema means that the baptism, the spiritual gifts within the priests and so on become NULL - God retracts those. They are pagan.
A priest/clergy can "curse" somebody if he is truly justified. Otherwise, the curse comes back at him. So cursing somebody is very serious business! and it's not done lightly (this is some Harry Potter shit right here I bet you didn't know). So giving somebody to anathema was always considered seriously for many many years and even hundreds of years as in the case of the Western Christians - ie Catholicism.
Christ when he died, resurrected, and ASCENDED (key),
that's when he ended his "job".
Look at it like The Internet for Spiritual Download.
That's the main problem of humans: they have lost some type of information within and needed a way to re-acquire that knowledge
. The Apostoles acquired the Holy Ghost, "downloaded"/Acuired Grace from Christ directly
, 50 days after Christ's ascension. And we celebrate that at the holiday of Pentecost (50th day from Easter). Then they ordained clergy through the help of those spiritual gifts.
So all this implies a few things: every Christian Orthodox priest today goes back to Christ, because a clergy ordains clergy. Secondly: there are spiritual GHIFT(s) which are seeded/PUT within every priest at ordination by Christ Himself through the priest doing the ordination!
Those gifts are doing something to those subjected to the spiritual rites. That's why a priest has to behave in a certain way (and yes they can be married! - IF they marry before ordination: the Catholics fudged this one up badlyyy - says the saints).
So, it's not just external form. It's not like you go to church and you assist a spectacle. I have met my fair share of Protestant Americans who ended up in Orthodox churches and had a Divine Experience- just like Jonathan Jackson (the actosinger) recounts in his story of how he became Orthodox
. There is a spiritual counterpart.
Thus, IF you are spiritually "cleaned" you CAN witness what is going on SPIRITUALLY in that church: you can see the angles, you can feel that Heavenly energy - and it's something out of this world (orgasmic but of a wise everlasting nature - impossible to describe)
. The amount of information on this is overwhelming - study the holy parents (that's how we call the humans who've become holy - they are parents because they can teach us and guide us on the road of prayer / spiritual improvement). The point is that NOTHING within the church, none of our beliefs, none of our dogma, none of our rites are done arbitrarily - it's Wisdom straight from God through the saints and this has become canonical in the first centuries anyway (just study the lives of Christian Orthodox saints, look at the life and miracles of St Paisios Athonite: it will blow your brains - people can't say they want proof of God when they have that! Or St Porphyrios or St Iakovos - contemporaries of St Paisios Athonite).
Clergy has a right to give to Anathema (it is a "legal" curse) anything and anybody who is a heretic (false belief) and a sinner WHO shows repeatedly that they don't want to repent (= to give up sin, repentance is not wailing like a moron). Clergy is OBLIGED to give them to anathema for several reasons: 1) to not soil Christ's Church with their actions perpetuated by bad will 2) to preserve the righteous faith and doctrine (so people can't say that the bad person is a Christian worthy to learn from) and 3) feel free to add here any other observations along the lines - I'm not a scholarly theologian so give me a break.
So, knowing all this, The CHURCH had to give to anathema all the heresies. And as a consequence those "churches" are not The Church. The Church refers to the spiritual body of all the believers tied to Christ. If you're not TIED to Christ in spirit, then YOU'RE NOT in THE CHURCH. Plain and simple. Those priests have no baptism themselves, have no spiritual priestly gifts and they can't do anything for the believers in front of them (baptism, marriage, confession, communion etc 7 holy mysteries in total).
That is why you have "dead" faux-Christians who have this huge spiritual thirst and anxiety and have no idea how to quench it.
So, all these people thinking
that they are Christians but are not orthodox are drinking the cool-aid (it's wishful thinking). All the Orthodox who are baptized but are NOT observing their canonical practices are drinking the cool-aid (they're staying "dead" instead of reviving their "soul"). So if you subtract all the non-Orthodox heresies, and all the Orthodox who are not practicing - how many TRUE Christians are you realistically left with?
So NO, the Christian community is NOT confused.
And the Christian community is waaaaaaa(x10000)y times smaller than you think Jordan. That's the plain simple truth. That people want to complain and think that this is a personal attack to "their beliefs"? Whatever!!! Do you want the truth or do you wanna be a stinkin' miserable politically correct dead-beat.
Hint: the eternal life is at stake here. And here's the rule of thumb given to us by the "holy parents" who have let us writings about acquiring the Holy Ghost:
You can't expect in the Afterlife, that which you haven't experienced in This Life
In other words: you have to become a saint, to be close to God after death. You will not enter Heaven after death if you're a cunt - not because God says SO, but because you "physically" - it goes against the law of existence
. You have to be good, to enter Heaven. And keep in mind, NO Orthodox worth his/her salt will every say that non-orthodox will go to Hell! False! Only God knows who will go to Hell.
So what am I saying? That: Orthodoxy is the only Christianity. Then, that Christianity allows you to be sure of salvation IF you're practicing it properly. MOREOVER it allows you to become a SAINT - if you want that for yourself and IF you put in the EFFORT.
And the result is more important than any riches in this world. And I'm also saying that no other "religion" can do that for you (to ensure salvation or to transfigure towards sainthood).
Also sainthood is not the label we have socially of a pious sucker; saints appear like normal folk - and usually have awesome, charismatic, lovely nature from what I read/experienced: people feel the LOVE (realistically speaking) - in fact in English the spiritual gifts are call Charismas (from what I hear) - Harisme (in Romanian) - and Har = Grace (in Romanian, most likely from Greece I think, so that's the meaning of things). Saints are like a breath of fresh air in terms of human experience; and it's so subtle you can even miss it if you're not paying attention - other times it can be as strong like a bus hitting you (like if they bless you and you feel the Grace strongly - see the Athanasios Rhakovalis gurus story for reference)
SO that's the big deal - divine integrity and the only point of salvation that ever was (just that mate!). No Orthodox (worth his salt) will ever accept ecumenism. And the Orthodox will fight tooth and nail to stay united and unaltered forever.
In case this isn't clear. After Adam felt, no human was able to "restore" the spirit. So Christ coming on Earth, dying and going back to The Father (Catholics say that Christ is a source of Grace - a point of heresy ), creates this point of access of "spiritual data" from The Father to the human: which restores the human nature to its Heavenly Origins (thus sainthood). So that's the need for Christ in a human life - that's what He did that we humans couldn't do
( I can't begin to explain to you how many years and suffering it took me to understand this info; most of it not obtained from books or from "thinking").
SO we have to allow
Christ to DO that for us. It is a cooperation effort.
As a consequence: all the meditation and other "religions" in the world are nothing but demonic deceit - very dangerous too. First of all I have been through meditation many years. And I thought I was getting something and somewhere with it (Thanks! God I didn't). And to be fair: meditation/visualization did sharpen my mind - a skill which you need for The Prayer since it employs the same human skill: attention/presence (but presence on its own can be demonic, so beware of Eckart Tolle and the likes of teachings!)
You must safeguard the "entry point" by allowing only Christ to enter you.
Nothing compares with what Orthodox Christianity offers. WARNING NOTE
: meditation and other spiritual practices (like worshiping gods, doing ayahuasca) can lead to demonization - I got examples and stories but I won't get into that making a long post even longer (if you want to know ask - open to anybody). Worth mentioning is this book from Athanasios Rhakovalis - about his experience
with black magic, going to India to become spiritually enlightened, and his experience with one of the greatest saints of the 20th century: St Paisios Athonite. You can hear some of his stories in this St Paisios doc (a doc which barely scratches the surface, in spite of its 5h run time) and see how the author describes his first encounter with the Saint
"that doesn't alleviate the moral burden weirdly enough" - exactly! Saying that Christ died for us and that we don't have to do anything is false. We have to work together with Christ in order to "prepare" (or better said to allow Christ to prepare) in us, in our heart a spot for Him to reside. What this does in turn, it ultimately invites the Holy Ghost inside and the body becomes incorrupt. Just look at the wealth of Holy relics within the Orthodox church - St John Maximovitch in San Francisco
(to name one of many). That is why I say that the saints of the Orthodox faith are the prime example of why the Orthodoxy is the only one alive and true true church. 6:22
"Inquisitors arrest [Christ]" - Dostoevsky's comments on the Catholic "church" (ahem) is a genuine mirror of real events
in a way.
The catholic church has tortured and killed many Orthodox Christians for being heretics (for eg, search for the Native Americans who converted to orthodoxy and were martyrized in California, all disciples of St Herman of Alaska - won't search the historic events now, but the history is full of them). There is no "watering down" in the Church like you say Jordan; you roll with it and suffer, 4 hour long Liturgies, long Vespers, long fasts etc. And indeed anything less than Orthodoxy, even the Monophysites with one idea
(Christ is not human, only God - everything else looking like Orthodoxy) is watering down - and it can't be accepted as Christianity, because it ISN'T. Just like Adam was not able to co-exist in Heaven, a space of perfection, with one tiny mistake, just the same Christianity can't be Christianity with one tiny imperfection in its doctrine. And people get upset when you draw attention to this (hence the implementation of politically correct-isms in our society by the occult ... if you say to somebody that they're not Christian, you become the oppressor ... let the crazy be crazy they say).
8:05 - "You . Well does that mean you utter the words that ? That's a pretty shallow form of belief! "
BINGO Jordan. That's exactly the problem: being aware that Christ existed and not knowing you have to do something for yourself. Faith is NOT a childish make belief sustained for your entire life!
Faith is a biological-spiritual Mechanism which allows you to bring and keep(!) the Holy Ghost within you. Faith is knowing Christ Himself, Faith is CERTAINTY of Christ.
Faith will never be make believe - never ever ever. Faith is akin to muscles. You're either a spiritual paraplegic or you can move! Make believers are dead, they are paraplegics spiritually speaking.
How come martyrs were able to endure the worst tortures for Christ? Just read about it. Some even performed miracles while being under torture. OR they were tortured and the very next day they were as if they were not harmed at all. HOW was this possible AT ALL??? Do you think these are fairytales?? They're not. And that's the problem with "churches" outside of Orthodoxy and even inside Orthodoxy itself. People don't know anymore about the acquisition of the Holy Ghost and of Faith as a living/acting mechanism within which is rooted in knowledge. 8:16 "Not all those who utter the word Lord Lord will be saves" - bingo #2. Some of these people will die, get taken by demons and cry "God we served you!" - when in fact all they did was stage a theatre with nothing spiritual in it. The externals don't matter
. You could do the Orthodox liturgy perfectly. IF you're not ordained, IF those present are not baptized, confessed and ready for communion: you're doing the Holy Liturgy for nothing (ie the Holy Ghost won't descend into the communion) and people will receive only bread mixed with wine. Period.
And as a side note for the Holy Ghost not descending - there is a great miracle which happens yearly: The Holy Light of Jerusalem. Historically only an Orthodox Patriarch was able to summon it - Catholics or Armenians HAVE tried in vain. Dig this website - or his book
And btw, there are "miraculous pictures" which serve as testimony for the Light/Divine nature of these practices. See this dingy yt video
(watch it all, you can even contact the priest in California or wherever he is and whatnot) - but make no mistake the photos are real; AND I can vouch with personal experience that a blessing from a saint feels like that kind of LIGHT entering you - except you don't see it; I didn't. So it's not a feeling - it's an out of this world experience
. I am a photographer and I've seen these pictures over the time and other pictures; they happen here and there. And I've heard that photo retouchers are deeming these unaltered. Secondly I have a friend who took a similarly shocking picture - and I know that old man wouldn't be able to open Excel, let alone photoshop. What I'm trying to say: I have the experience to know these are real beyond any shade of doubt. 9:30
- "The Orthodox Christian like me, I don't know why" - because you have an innate sense for the Truth, because you stand for the Truth with fierceness and courage, standing to lose everything, and because you are a strong man and an example for all the weaklings who have lost any sense in an insane world which is purposely misguided so they could accelerate the Second Coming (you'd think I'm kidding, I'm not). You are an outstanding example of a human being relative to the Absolute Objective Truth. That is why, those standing in the shadow of lies can't stand you at all - and those in the Light love you for your positive traits. 10:59 -
"I don't think the Orthodox felt into that to the same degree". Yes and no. There are people who refuse to go to the church saying "they believe" (they might visit at Easter and at Christmas, for like 1 hour - meh). Other go to the church "light a candle" and then chatter or don't pay attention and/or don't pray at home. Some ignore confession/communion. All of this is a mix of communism damage, secular globalism damage and so on. Christian quality is going down the drains - if it were a stock this would be on the brink of bankruptcy. In short: the work of the devil affecting humans generation after generation somehow. But that's just people.
THE Church itself is an unchangeable rock as I explained. Christ is The Church. And EVERYBODY else who is baptized plugged into Christ like lights. If they wanna choose to be OFF - their problem. If they wanna be ON - Christ welcomes them. Didn't change, won't change. It's not the fault of Orthodoxy that its subjects are drifting away into all sorts of heresies, wrong practices and whatnot. The subject has the duty to learn out the correct practice and to be a good Christian - by literally doing whatever it takes for Christ to enter him/her so they can undergo the abovementioned Transfiguration.
In this world a human has TWO choices: A) become demonized or B) become a saint
Anything in between is a waste of time. Most people waste time.
11:22 "the cross is the X, where everyone is located, you're right at the center of reality". Yes. I've heard an old friend saying that the Vertical is the Divine, showing us that we can go Up or down, and the horizontal is the secular. We must strive to free ourselves from the secular so we can rise.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I want to add broadly speaking on the subjects of saints and miracles. I have witnessed personal (family) prophecies or broad prophecies concerning nations; I've witnessed "mind reading" miracles (live saints knowing the thoughts of other because God revealed them with a purpose). I've been told directly of various miracles of physical nature (levitation and whatnot), healings, demonized being helped (demons taken out), people having seen visions with the help of saints, saints acquiring advanced scientific knowledge or knowledge (speaking other languages, knowing of what is going on in various scientific fields). And so on: the amount and kinds of miracles are simply mind-blowing. I saved some of them as bookmarks (speaking of those circulating on orthodox websites) other I know because of my own life experience. I won't make this post any longer, it suffices to say the info is out there, and it proves that the Orthodoxy is the only and one Christianity. Any human can test it by getting baptized (ie by an Orthodox priest) and practicing "The Prayer" - I have given you more than enough info on that. People can achieve the "felt" prayer - that's supposed to be a normal thing (says the holy parents).
Let me tell you one personal witnessing of a prophecy which matters for now. I didn't hear it my self from Fr Ephraim of Arizona, but I don't speak Greek anyway - and having met the elder and his "spiritual antics" I have no doubt this is a true prophecy (and the events are already true anyway). It happened in Sept 2018 when I was in AZ at St Anthony's monastery. A Greek local my age told me, after I mentioned that I'll go back to Canada and get back, that I might not be able to visit again. And he warned me that Gheronda (Greek for elder- term of respect) said that "THEY" will make it so that we won't be able to travel soon.
I pressed for details and he assumed that this might occur in 1-2 years and that indeed it's a job from the masonic/satanic deep state (saints have warned us that it is not a theory that the masons are ruling the world - and they know this as a confirmation from God, it's not an opinion - also they know they are devil worshipers: and that's the main concern - it's a direct conflict of interests). Of course in 14 months, March 2020, Canada closed the borders and there was a travel ban internationally. I then asked a Greek bud from Toronto for news from AZ, and he and other have told me that Gheronda said before his passing (7 Dec 2019) that right after he's gone, "the events will start". Like most saints, I think he had knowledge of his going away (for example Fr Arsenie Boca, mentioned above, painted his date of death on a massive church painting he was commissioned to do: Orthodox churches are painted inside and, sometimes, outside - and Fr Arsenie did some unusual paintings/icons, depicting the Discovery NASA shuttle even before it was concieved as a project
- I'm not even discussing that him being in a commie country he had no access to NASA info back in the 70s- clear prophetic drawing - and other things before their time: and he wrote next to it IIRC something like "people are so proud of their scientific achievements but know nothing of God's might" ... more data for the noggin' ).
So, what I'm trying to say is 1) all these politically correct people and movements are nothing but the sinister work of demonic social engineering 2) the covid bullshit is a means to enforce the nations to do something - commie style (there is a virus(!) but it is probably nothing like they say it is: could be a common flu indeed in spite of the inflated numbers: and YES I know directly from people in 3 different EUROPEAN countries, people directly involved - one a nurse, of how they were bribed to lie about covid numbers so don't get me started ... not even a secret anymore .... there was this US nurse posting vids of the BS they do in hospitals: infecting negative patients etc).
And last but not least. You and other: be warned
- there might be a time soon when you won't be able to get baptized. So if this is of an interested to you: hurry the eff up before they shut down the churches dammit!
PS: my apologies for the long post - how do you explain this without splitting some heads?
PS2: I remembered about a little book - Theosis
- which is one of those higher steps of prayer and "the purpose of a Christian/human life" - that's the Greek term for it anyway. That book - Add it on the list for reading; it's worth your time 110%, it's an amazing gem of Orthodox literature!
Let There Be Sight!
The retina, in the back of our eyes, is a delicate and complicated piece of biological machinery. In the retina is a molecule called 11-cis-retinal
; when light hits the photosensitive part of the retina, this molecule converts to a different chemical form (called all-trans retinal), which then triggers a cascade of chemical alterations that, eventually, lets our brain perceive images.
But all-trans-retinal needs to go back
to its original form—the cis
version—and prepare to receive a new blast of light. A protein called RPE65
helps with that, but mutations in that protein can, unfortunately, cause inherited blindness.
In a new study, published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering
on Oct. 19, researchers used a base editor protein, which can change specific nucleic acids in the genome without cutting the DNA, to restore vision to near-normal
levels. The base editor—and a guide RNA to direct its genomic edits—was packaged inside of a virus, injected into the eyes of adult mice, and corrected the desired mutation in the Rpe65
gene “with up to 29% efficiency and with minimal formation of indel and off-target mutations”. Link
“Honey, I Shrunk the Cas9”
Cas9, a common protein that molecular biologists use to cut and edit DNA, is large: 2.5x bigger than hemoglobin, and more than 27x bigger than an insulin protein. That’s a problem, in part, because it means that Cas9 can’t always be packaged in teeny tiny viruses, and delivered to different parts of the body for CRISPR therapies.
Now, researchers at UC-Berkeley have reported a technique that enables them to test various deletions in the Cas9 protein and then assess whether its function remains, or is lost. The method, called MISER (Minimization by Iterative Size-Exclusion and Recombination), was used to systematically explore the effect of different Cas9 deletions. The result? The authors managed to remove large chunks in several protein domains, and Cas9 still
retained its function for genome editing. The new, “minified” CRISPR proteins are less than 1000 amino acids in length, and the smallest variant that they created is just 874 amino acids in size, which is about 60% of the mass of the original Cas9. This work was published on bioRxiv
, is open access, and is the first preprint that I have featured in this newsletter. Link
E. Coli Were Fed a Diet of Air (Poor Things)
Plants and algae—including cyanobacteria, which are probably the most important bacteria on earth—fix carbon, from atmospheric carbon dioxide, using the Calvin cycle
. But atmospheric carbon dioxide is present in really low concentrations (about 412 parts per million, and rising), so bacteria and plants first need to concentrate it. To store and concentrate carbon dioxide, some bacteria use a protein capsule called a carboxysome
. Unfortunately, despite the critical importance that “carbon dioxide concentrating mechanisms” play in photosynthesis, researchers don’t fully understand which genes and proteins are involved.
Now, research led by groups at UC-Berkeley and the Weizmann Institute of Science have figured out a way to get E. coli—
which are definitely not photosynthetic—to concentrate atmospheric carbon dioxide. To do that, they expressed twenty genes
involved in concentrating carbon dioxide in E. coli
. The engineered microbes were then able to “grow by fixing [carbon dioxide] from ambient air into biomass”. That’s a beautiful result, and one that also led to some important advancements in our understanding of how these carboxysomes work at a fundamental level. This work was published in the journal eLife
on Oct. 21 and is open access. Link
Reverse Engineering S. pneumoniae Infections
You have probably, at some point in your life, fallen ill with pneumonia. It’s a terrible feeling—lying on the couch with a glass of OJ, binge watching Jeopardy, is my preferred cure.
Most cases of pneumonia are caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae
, which are little microbes that look like squat noodles. S. pneumoniae
naturally resides in the sinuses, nose, throat, and lungs, but sometimes, it causes serious disease (and about 1 million deaths every year). Before S. pneumoniae
starts to wreak havoc in the body, though, an array of genes come sweeping on, and its infection machinery boots up.
Unfortunately, researchers don’t really understand how S. pneumoniae
switches from “benign microbe, comfortably residing in your nose” to “terrifying pathogen that induces Jeopardy binge watching”.
Now, synthetic biologists at the University of Groningen have developed methods to control genetic programs in this important microbe. In a new, open access study, published in PNAS
, the researchers report that they successfully “rewired gene expression of the operon responsible for the main pneumococcal virulence factor, the exopolysaccharide capsule”—referring to the actual surface of the bacteria, which shields the microbe from the human immune system. Further, the authors show that they can build synthetic, gene-regulatory networks, in S. pneumoniae
, and tweak them to better understand how pneumococcal pathogenicity occurs. The tools developed here could go a long way in bolstering our understanding of S. pneumoniae
DNA Stores Mozart’s Music
In 2012 and 2013, scientists could store about 1MB of digital information in DNA (or about one 52,000 word book). By 2017, the data storage density of DNA was equivalent to roughly 256 petabytes per gram. In recent years, improved technologies, especially parallelized DNA synthesis and high-throughput DNA sequencing, have brought DNA data storage ever closer to a practical reality.
Now, a new study has used a parallelized version of DNA synthesis to store about 100 kB of digital information—“52 pages of digitalized sheet music” from Mozart’s string quartet, called ‘The Hunt’—in 16,383 DNA sequences. The DNA synthesis method used by the authors is extremely error prone, but is cheaper and faster than other options. Despite the higher number of errors in the DNA sequences, the authors were able to retrieve all of the stored information, thanks to some algorithms that “reconstruct” the data. This study was published in Nature Communications
and is open access. Link
🧫 Rapid-Fire Highlights
More research & reviews worth your time
- A mouse model of Angelman syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by a mutation or deletion in a gene called UBE3A, was rescued with Cas9. Researchers packaged a modified version of Cas9 and guide RNA in a virus, and injected mice during the embryonic and early postnatal stages of development. The CRISPCas injections effectively unsilenced UBE3A expression and “rescued anatomical and behavioural phenotypes” in the animals. Nature. Link
- In a paper related to “DNA Stores Mozart’s Music”, researchers in George Church’s group reported a multiplexed, enzymatic method to synthesize DNA that uses light to specify and control the assembly reactions. They use it to store video game music in DNA, but its potential is far, far greater. Nature Communications (Open Access). Link
- Prime editors work really well in monocot plants, like rice, but are apparently not as good in dicots (like tomatoes). A new study has adapted a mammalian prime editor, and used it in tomato plants. They were able to swap out nucleic acids, delete them, or cause targeted frame shifts in the tomato DNA. Plant Biotechnology Journal (Open Access). Link
- Cas9 and Cas12a, two commonly-used CRISPR proteins, are limited in that they can’t really make large deletions to genomes. A new study used the Cas3 enzyme, together with accessory proteins, to perform large genomic deletions in several bacterial species (between 7,000-424,000 base pairs, with 100% efficiency). The tool may help genome engineers swap out large chunks of DNA as they redesign or refactor genomes. Read the press release. Nature Methods. Link
- A new review discusses base editors, and how they can be used in various therapies. A nice, recent demonstration of that is the featured research article this week, in which vision was restored in mice with a genetic mutation in the Rpe56 gene. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. Link
- Synthetic biology researchers have exploited only a tiny fraction of the sum diversity of genetic material found on earth. Most labs confine their research to model organisms, like E. coli and Baker’s yeast, and tools to efficiently engineer other types of organisms are…lagging behind. A new Perspective paper explores how bacteriophages (little viruses that infect bacteria) can be used to engineer these understudied organisms. Nature Communications (Open Access). Link
- E. coli cells with reduced genomes (in some cases, with more than 35% of their genome missing) were engineered with a biosynthetic pathway that produces a pigment called protodeoxyviolacein to study how miniaturized genomes affect resource allocation inside of cells. bioRxiv (Open Access). Link
- “Designer proteins” that can bind to, and inhibit, the spike receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 were created. The proteins successfully blocked SARS-CoV-2 infection in a cell culture model (I previously covered this study as a pre-print in this newsletter). Science (Open Access). Link
- Another inhibitor of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain—engineered using a mixture of bioengineering methods—was also effective at preventing infections in a cell culture model. PNAS (Open Access). Link
- dCas12a (a type of Cas enzyme) has, for the first time, been used to increase and decrease the expression of multiple genes at once in bacteria. bioRxiv (Open Access). Link
- A new database for CRISPR-Cas9 off-target assays has aggregated data from 17 studies, encompassing more than 25,600 genetic targets. Nucleic Acids Research (Open Access). Database & Link
- Glycopeptide antibiotics are used to treat severe infections by gram-positive bacteria. Unfortunately, this type of antibiotic is difficult to manufacture with existing technologies. A new study engineered a strain of bacteria, called S. coelicolor M1154/pAMX4, to produce a whole slew of glycopeptide antibiotic compounds. This could prove useful in finding and producing new antibiotics for hard-to-treat infections. Nature Communications (Open Access). Link
- Researchers created synthetic cells with lipids, and then coaxed those cells into aggregating with one another via DNA that was modified to act as a signaling molecule. This study raises new possibilities for the programming of “designer cells”, built from scratch. bioRxiv (Open Access). Link
- A light-inducible BMP signaling pathway has been created and tested in mammalian cells, which could prove useful for studying how this evolutionarily conserved pathway behaves over space and time. ACS Synthetic Biology. Link
- There are only two biosynthetic pathways that cells use to create NAD+; but now, scientists have engineered a third. The new pathway uses chorismate as a starting molecule and, when introduced in E. coli cells, “yielded extremely high cellular concentrations of NAD(H)”. bioRxiv (Open Access). Link
- A method to create many distinct species—which are very nearly genetically identical, but not able to reproduce with one another—has been reported for fruit flies. Scientists used the method to create eight “reproductively isolated” strains of fruit fly, but it could theoretically be used on any insect disease vector, including malaria-causing mosquitoes. bioRxiv (Open Access). Link
📰 #SynBio in the News
Story of the week:
- A wonderful story in Undark tells the story of Indian and Sri Lankan adoptees that are turning to genetic tests to understand their past. Undark. Link
- The New York Times published a 40-minute audio interview with Jennifer Doudna. The promises and pitfalls of CRISPR are discussed. New York Times. Link
- Quanta, last week, ran a feature on Jeff Gore and his work on biological physics, synthetic biology, and microbial communities. Some of my work at Caltech was deeply inspired by Gore’s findings, particularly his group’s studies related to how quickly a functional gene can arise from mutations in totally random DNA sequences. This article is worth your time. Quanta Magazine. Link
- Bioeconomy.xyz published a story about the history of bacteriophages, and how a company is using them in clinical applications. Bioeconomy.xyz. Link
- Biotechnology companies are being targeted in an onslaught of cyber attacks. Labiotech.eu. Link
- The Department of Defense awarded $87M to BioMADE “for a new Manufacturing Innovation Institute”. The goal of the new institute is to research and develop sustainable technologies for biological manufacturing. DoD. Link
- Fifty Years, a VC firm in San Francisco, launched a new podcast called Translation, featuring interviews with the first authors of breakthrough papers in synthetic biology. Link
- Audrey Teh, at St. George’s Hospital in London, is growing antibodies to fight cancer and COVID-19 in plants, in a greenhouse called “Skylab”. Nature. Link
- Some biotechnology companies are going through multiple funding rounds in a single year; some have even gone public within 18 months from launch, setting a record pace (paywall). STAT. Link
- Off-the-shelf CAR-T cell therapies may soon be available for patients with advanced B-cell lymphoma, according to preliminary clinical trial results reported by STAT on Oct. 21. STAT. Link
- (Not synthetic biology) Nokia and NASA are building a cell network on the moon (in 2022). But it will be 4G—your internet connection on the moon will probably be slower than your grandmother’s Wi-Fi. Forbes. Link