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The fall of man or the state of ancestral sin is a) the failure of the noetic faculty to function properly or to function at all, b) its confusion with the functions of the brain and the body in general and c) its resulting enslavement to anxiety and the environment. Each individual experiences the fall of his own noetic faculty in varying degrees as he becomes exposed to an environment of non-functioning or sub-functioning noetic faculties. The reverse is usually true when the environment is dominated by illumination in Christ, again in varying degrees.

The result of malfunctioning noetic faculties are abnormal relations between God and man and among men and the use of both God and fallen man for one’s own understanding of security and happiness. The god or gods [or lack thereof] man imagines to exist outside of illumination are psychological projections of his need for security. Because of fear and anxiety, his relations to others and to God are utilitarian. Nevertheless, every individual is sustained by the uncreated creating and sustaining glory, light, power, grace, etc. of God, even when not members of the Body of Christ, having not been led to illumination by purification of the noetic faculty in the heart. Reaction to this direct relation or communion with God ranges from the hardening of the heart (i.e. the snuffing out of the spark of grace) to the experience of the glorification of the saints. This means that all human beings are equal in possession of the noetic faculty but not in quality or degree of function.

Protopresbyter John Romanides (Source)