The eyes of my noetic soul * have become blind, O loving Lord, * because of dark and sinful deeds. * O Savior, lead me to the light; * implant in me humility, Master, and purify me * with tears of repentance.
--from the matins of the Sunday of the Blindman
What does “the eyes of my noetic soul” mean? This phrase is an image for the object of the healing that is a main purpose of the Orthodox faith. Christ not only vanquished death at his resurrection, but He made it possible for us to receive real healing in our souls during this life.
Our noetic soul is also sometimes called the “Nous.” Sometimes we refer to it as our heart, but again, this is an image. Another way to think of this part of us (as in this hymn) is to consider it an organ of spiritual vision. Its view of the world has become blurred and unclear, even blind, due to the effects of sin.
In this and many other hymns, we ask God to lead us back to the light. All of the practices that are part of a full Orthodox life are aimed at cleansing the view of the eyes of our noetic souls. God does not need our prayers, fasting, giving, worship, chanting, or anything other activity we do because of our faith; but He does love us and provides these activities for our healing—bringing light to our dim spiritual vision.