Metanoia – or ‘Changing your mind’ often mistranslated as ‘Repentance’ – is a Greek term that is often used in Christian theological literature but has its origins in Greco-Roman paganism. The idea is fairly simple in that in life we have profound moments when we realize that we were wrong and/or that we’ve been fucking up (often badly) and that change is required.
If we define a Metanoia that way, we can also see that almost every woman has at least one in her life which Rollo Tomassi defined in ‘The Rational Male’ as the ‘Epiphany Stage’ where a woman suddenly realises – after riding the cock carousel in her prime years - that her biological clock is ticking louder and louder and that she still has yet to find a man who is willing to invest in her and that she is willing to submit to. So therefore she has to change for something or her standards so that she can fulfil her biological imperative and reproduce.
In other words, the ‘Epiphany Stage’ is really a dramatic shift in a woman’s thinking and forces a reorientation of her life and a change in her expectations about that life. This is a Metanoia in the simplest meaning of the term, but yet there is something this misses out in that a Metanoia as originally conceived of by the Greeks was very much a ‘changing of your mind’ with resulting differing actions. A Metanoia is not saying ‘Okay I was wrong’ and carrying on as before as it requires action otherwise you haven’t actually ‘changed your mind’ but rather superficially conformed to something for some reason or advantage you perceive subconsciously or consciously.
The Christian mistranslation of ‘Metanoia’ as ‘Repentance’ – inveighed against by Tertullian himself because it simply doesn’t mean that and actually distorts the meaning so as to be unrecognizable – will not do either because while one naturally regrets one’s past mistakes. Repenting something doesn’t necessarily require an actual ‘changing of your mind’ but rather the superficial conformity to another doctrine without changing very much on the inside. So, you merely become a Christianized Pagan or a Paganized Christian but not a truly sincere Christian or a Pagan, which is where the problems arise.
Fulton Sheen once rightly wrote that ‘Truth is intolerant of Error’ and he was right in this because if you’ve actually had a Metanoia then you have fundamentally realized a truth or series of truths about something fundamental to yourself and/or your understanding or vision of the world. So therefore, if you have realized a truth or series of truths then why would you be tolerant of falsehoods (aka error) because a lie is still a lie even if you dress it up in a pink tutu and call it Larry and a Metanoia fundamentally requires a deep conversion of mind and faith which is then translated into action which is not the case if you want to tolerate lies that violate and/or misrepresent the truth.
So why would you be ‘tolerant’ if you’ve had a Metanoia?
A Metanoia is a totalitarian or an all-or-nothing experience of mind.
It is not some half-baked platitude that some deranged woman spouts out when she starts ‘speaking in tongues’ and collapses on the floor in a convulsive fit but fails to mention her history of schizophrenia – not that schizophrenics cannot have a Metanoia as of course they can – rather it is a deeply spiritual ‘changing of the guard’ so that your life will never ever be the same again.
Take my own experiences with Metanoia as an example.
I have had four Metanoia in my life at ages: 17, 20, 22 and 36.
And yes, you can have multiple Metanoia as often truths are revealed only in compounding stages in your life. At those respective ages I discovered, realized and applied the following things – necessarily general for sake of not making unnecessary diversions: Responsibility, Race, National Socialism and Congruency.
These have changed my life fundamentally each time they have occurred and compounded on each other each time as I strive to come ever closer to be the ‘New Man’ and neither am I alone in such an experience.
Metanoia often derives from what William James famously termed a ‘Religious Experience’. They are however not the same thing as a ‘Religious Experience’ can often serve as a catalyst for a Metanoia, but you don’t have to have a ‘Religious Experience’ to have a Metanoia. It is just usually that this is what motivates/triggers the Metanoia itself.
A good example of a ‘Religious Experience’ based Metanoia is found in Oliver Cromwell – later Lord Protector of England and eventual victor of the English Civil War – when he – as an obscure country gentleman - had a series of personal crises between 1628 and 1632 causing him eventually to have a ‘Religious Experience’ (probably in 1631/1632) and then as a result have a Metanoia and change his life from a more secular one to one of radical religious Puritanism and the resultant political activism.
Another example of a Metanoia but not one based on a ‘Religious Experience’ is found in Joseph Goebbels – later Propaganda Minister of the Third Reich – when he had just gotten his PhD, was living at home in the Rhineland town of Rheydt and had found himself unemployed and unable to get any work other than as a bank clerk in Cologne. In November 1923 Goebbels read Adolf Hitler’s speeches at his trial for treason in Munich and it changed his life. He then had a sudden ‘changing of his mind’ – having previously dismissed National Socialism – and almost immediately joined the NSDAP, became a prominent local activist and turned his life from a state of idleness and purposeless into extreme industriousness and activity in pursuit of what he described in his famous diary as ‘his quest for the New Reich and the New Man’.
This is what is so important when understanding what a Metanoia truly is: a deeply spiritual ‘changing of your mind’ that is put into action with your life. So rather than Metanoia being a part of a gift of supernatural ‘grace’ as understood by Catholicism among others; it is actually a deeply spiritual ‘changing of your mind’ causing you to make your life congruent with the truths revealed in your Metanoia.
In short, a Metanoia is how a fractured mind and soul becomes whole again.
It is a truly spiritual experience and one you should seek out in your life because it is only generally by confronting your demons and the world in general that you gain such wonderful epiphanies.