OS (Commentary) -- 29
180 Every thought (logismos)
This is ‘thought (logismos)’ in the sense of Evagrius in TPL, one of the eight most general thoughts (logismoi): gluttony, fornication, avarice, sorrow, anger, accidie, vainglory or pride. St Hesychios is using Evagrian terminology here, and we have learned in Volume II from TPL and OTT that there is a correspondence thought – demon – passion for each of the eight most general thoughts.
makes an imagination
Impassioned mental representation. We have already seen that St Hesychios, evidently following the customary usage of his time and place, prefers the Stoic term ‘imagination (phantasia)’ to the more Aristotelian term, ‘mental representation (noema)’, that Evagrius was wont to use.
of a sensible object in the mind (nous).
This is discussed systematically at the beginning of OTT. We see the following in OTT 1: ‘All demonic thoughts (logismoi) introduce into the soul mental representations (noemata) of sensible objects, being imprinted in which things the mind carries round in itself the forms of those objects.’
For the Assyrian,
The Devil or demon.
being a mind (nous), cannot otherwise have strength enough to deceive unless he should make use of sensible objects
Actually, the impassioned mental representations or recollections of sensible objects. St Hesychios is speaking imprecisely here. This might be considered to be the fundamental doctrine of the Evagrian asceticism that we studied in Volume II.
The demon makes direct use of sensible objects when, for example, it incites a dispute over some such object: this is the cause of wars among men.
and habits that pertain to us.
Evagrius does not specifically refer to habit as something that the demons might make use of. However, he does emphasize, especially in the Skemmata, that even without the demon our own vices are sometimes sufficient to cause us to have ‘bad thoughts’.
St Hesychios continues:
181 Just as it is not possible, therefore, for us to pursue winged birds in the air, we being men,
St Hesychios exercises some ingenuity in the construction of these metaphors.
or to fly up just as they do, our nature not having this, thus it is not possible to prevail over bodiless demonic thoughts (logismoi) or to have the eye of the mind (nous) very intently towards God
Following the reading in Alphabetic ‘W’ for the verb in ‘…or to have the eye of the mind (nous) very intently towards God…’ instead of ‘…or for the eye of the mind (nous) to swim very intently towards God…’. We have italicized the difference. While the verb in the main text accords in sense with the passage in OS 171 where St Hesychios speaks of the Hesychast swimming in the Uncreated Light, the verb in Alphabetic ‘W’ has a simpler, more straightforward, meaning. However, we have maintained the reading of the main text for ‘the eye of the mind (nous)’ rather than ‘the eye, the mind (nous)’ of Alphabetic ‘W’, which seems to be in error.
without sober and frequent prayer (euche). If not, then, you are beholding
Following the reading in Alphabetic ‘W’ for ‘beholding’ instead of ‘hunting’. The words are quite similar in the Greek. In the places in this chapter that we have accepted the reading of Alphabetic ‘W’, the main text does seem corrupt.
That is, you are not making progress in contemplation, even if you think you are, but you are tied to the earth and your contemplation is of the earth.
St Hesychios now gives one more prescription about the Prayer. Remember that he is now speaking to advanced Hesychasts.
182 In very truth, therefore, if you wish to clothe the thoughts (logismoi)
The demons. See the commentary on OS 180. St Hesychios is by and large using Evagrian terminology in these chapters.
That is, put them to shame, defeat them. Demons do not easily feel shame.
and to keep stillness (hesychia) favourably and to be sober in heart with facility,
These are, as we said, instructions to the experienced Hesychast.
let the prayer (euche) of Jesus stick to your breath,
This is a very clear indication that St Hesychios is counselling the use of a repetitive formula of prayer to Jesus Christ united to the normal breathing.
and you will see this to occur in a few days.
The sense seems to be: if you are having difficulties—since the Hesychast is experienced, it cannot be a matter of starting the Prayer of Jesus from the beginning—concentrate on the Prayer in harmony with the breathing (normal, we think), and in a few days you will see results.
St Hesychios now makes another admonition about the Prayer of Jesus, this time to stick it to our sobriety. He also makes an interesting remark about preserving sobriety unto eternity that accords with our remarks in the commentary on OS 149 about the value for the soul immediately after its departure from the body of the practice of the Prayer of Jesus in the hours and days leading up to death.
183 As it is not possible for letters to be written in the air—for it is necessary that they be engraved on some body so that they might lastingly be saved—, in the very same way, let us stick the prayer (euche) of Jesus to our toilsome sobriety
‘Sobriety’: Here, to be taken to be the immaterial war, attention or the guard of the mind, depending on the spiritual attainment of the Hesychast.
so that the all-good virtue of soberness
‘Soberness’: Here ‘soberness’ must be understood to be contemplation or the whole constellation of elements which together constitute the Hesychast’s spiritual condition. It also refers to the ‘attention’ or ‘extreme attention’ to which St Hesychios has referred and which is an important component of the Hesychast’s spiritual condition.
remain lasting together with Jesus, and, through him, it be preserved inseparable from us unto eternity.
In this metaphor, sobriety is analogous to the letters, and the Prayer of Jesus, because it connects us intimately to Jesus himself, to the body on which the letters are engraved. By attaching—gluing or sticking—the Prayer of Jesus to our guard of the mind or attention, through Jesus we preserve our soberness or spiritual condition inseparable from us unto eternity.
184 Roll your works (erga) upon the Lord ‘and you will find grace,’ [cf. Prov. 3, 3]
Philokalia F and G both give this scriptural reference, and we have retained it, but the connection is quite tenuous, resting only on ‘and you will find grace’.
he says—so that what is said by the Prophet not be applied also to us: ‘You are near, Lord, to their mouth, but far from their reins.’ [Jer. 12, 2.]
‘Reins’ are kidneys. In Scripture, they refer to the innermost man.
The next line is very important:
No one else except Jesus will make your heart steadfastly peaceful from the passions—if not Jesus Christ himself, he who ‘has joined those things that were far separated’ [cf. Eph. 2, 14].
In Ephesians, we read:
For he is our Peace, he who made both things one and who loosed the partition-wall of the barrier, the enmity; who in his flesh abolished the Law of commandments in proclamations; so that in himself he make the two [i.e. the Jews and the Gentiles] into one new man, making peace; and so that he might again reconcile both with God in one body by means of the Cross, killing the enmity in it [i.e. the Cross].
While St Paul clearly is referring to the making of the Jews, the People of the Old Testament, and the Gentiles, those who were ‘without God in the world’, one, it seems to us that St Hesychios has another peace and union in mind: that of the soul and God, when in Theology, dispassion in the sense of St John of Sinai, divinization (theosis), adoption as son, restoration of the kath’ homoiosin, the Hesychast is united to God.
This union of the Hesychast with God—here, in a manner consistent with his Christocentric spirituality, St Hesychios says ‘Jesus Christ’—is what makes the Hesychast’s heart steadfastly peaceful from the passions. And what is this if not dispassion in the sense of St John of Sinai, or, in St Hesychios’ own terminology, purity of heart?
In the next brief chapter, St Hesychios provides a caution about intercourse with the demonic thoughts and about vain talk, as being, both of them, damaging to the mind. He then turns, in the subsequent chapter, explicitly to discuss purity of heart, now taken as adoption as son. He continues to discuss purity of heart in this sense until his conclusion in OS 199, which is followed, in OS 200 and 201, by a paean to the Hesychasts that he has taken, with some modifications, from the Ladder of St John of Sinai, in OS 202 by an admonition against self-love, and, in OS 203, by a postscript for Theodoulos, the unknown recipient of OS.
Hence, we are now, in this series of chapters of OS, at the highest stage of attainment of the Hesychast: purity of heart taken as the adoption as son. In what follows, we will in the commentary restrict the sense of ‘purity of heart’ to the adoption as son, dispassion in the sense of St John of Sinai, restoration of the kath’ homoiosin, divinization (theosis).
185 Both things darken the soul in a similar fashion: both the conversations of the thoughts (logismoi) in the intellect (dianoia)
That is, the conversations in the intellect (dianoia) with the demonically sown mental representations—or imaginations, as St Hesychios himself is wont to say.
However, although St Hesychios does not himself say so here, at this stage the Hesychast recognizes clearly the approaching demon itself and can, if he is foolish enough, converse with it.
and the encounters and idle talk outside.
Outside the hermitage. Hermits attract visitors, curiosity seekers, spiritual seekers, sincere seekers after spiritual enlightenment, and, today, tourists. Moreover, St Hesychios foresees that the Hesychast might be conducting his program in the context of a cœnobium, in which case the opportunities for idle talk would be that much greater.
It is necessary, then, avoiding the damage to the mind (nous),
In this chapter, St Hesychios speaks seriously about the actual damage to the mind from these things. The Hesychast damages his spiritual condition by engaging in conversations with the demonically sown thoughts in the mind or with persons who approach him in the hermitage. Of course, there are cases—Fr Paisios, the great Starets was one—where by divine revelation the Hesychast is obliged to meet with persons in order to help them. Even in cases where such a public ministry of starchestvo is not involved, discretion is required in the preservation of silence and seclusion in the face of the approach of a visitor: there is an issue of Christian charity in the demeanour and behaviour of the Hesychast in the face of the approach of his Christian visitor, the image of Christ.
for us to sorrow both thoughts (logismoi) and men—
The less-experienced monk should beware lest his immature zeal to cut off idle talk not conceal self-love and condemnation of others, both serious sins.
since both love to talk idly—on account of a cause most blessed according to God: so that the mind (nous) not, being darkened, slacken the sobriety.
At the stage at which the Hesychast now is, of continuous prayer and contemplation, this is a serious matter.
For being darkened by insensibility (lethe),
Here, lethe (insensibility or accidie) has the character of the opposite to gnosis: it is a falling away of the mind (nous) from the contemplation of God.
we destroy the mind (nous).
The damage to the mind that occurs at this stage of spiritual attainment is serious.
In the remaining chapters, as we have stated, St Hesychios is addressing the most advanced Hesychast, him who has attained purity of heart.
186 For he who with every earnestness keeps watch over the purity of heart
The Hesychast has attained purity of heart, adoption as son.
It is not a matter of taking it easy—‘I’ve got it made!’ Until death the Hesychast must struggle: ‘Those (demons) which rule over the passions of the soul persist until death…’ (OTT 36.)
will have as Teacher, the Legislator of this very thing, Christ,
The Hesychast is ineffably united, by the uncreated operations (aktistes energeies) of the Holy Spirit operating in his mind (nous), to the three persons of the Holy Trinity: this is what adoption as son means. Recall the small piece of glass which reflects in miniature but perfectly, the image of the sun. The Hesychast has attained to that bold familiarity with God, including his Son and the Holy Spirit, Blessed beyond all Ages, that Adam had in Paradise. This is the import of OS 179, dedicated to quotations from the Life of Anthony. For example: ‘For the soul to be upright—this is the mental part (to noeron) in it according to nature as it was created.’ Hence, since the two that were separated have been joined—St Hesychios is referring to the union of the Hesychast with God—, the Hesychast has as Teacher, Christ Jesus—
secretly speaking his will to him.
Fr Ephraim of Katounakia was such a man. After years of hard and harsh obedience, he encountered the saintly Elder Joseph the Hesychast, whose disciple he became, all the while remaining in his original cell in the same hard and harsh obedience to his original Elder.
He was offered the Abbacy of the first-ranked monastery of Mount Athos, Great Laura, to which monastery he was bound by obedience as one who dwelt in a cell belonging to Laura.
He went into the chapel of his cell (a cell is a monastic dwelling) and raised his mind to God. ‘I felt a very great weight,’ he said, referring to the duties of Abbot: he was already an old man with five disciples under him in the cell. ‘I said to them [the delegates of the Great Laura]: “Usually Jesus gives me a plerophoria [private revelation] on matters of such import in my life two years in advance. I do not have any such plerophoria about becoming Abbot of the Great Laura. Would you please excuse me.”’ They did. This we ourselves heard, although we are quoting from memory, when Fr Ephraim himself told the story while catechizing monks in our monastery.
‘I will hear what the Lord God will speak in me,’ [Ps. 84, 9] says David, exhibiting this very thing.
What St Hesychios intends is that when the Hesychast has attained purity of heart as we have defined it, adoption as son, then part of the bold familiarity that the Hesychast now has is the receiving of these private revelations of ‘what the Lord God will speak in me’. We ourselves have seen this charism in operation in certain Elders many a time.
It is difficult to follow the chain of reasoning in the remainder of the chapter, perhaps because the text is corrupt. Let us see, however, what St Hesychios says:
Signifying, then, the visitation of the mind (nous) towards itself—
St Hesychios nowhere else uses this expression.
as concerning the intelligible war—
The immaterial war. Just as Adam and Eve were tempted in Paradise, the Hesychast even at the level of the adoption as son cannot expect not to have temptations.
and the defending protection of God,
This is clear. The Hesychast is now an adopted son, a son of the Father by grace, a brother of Jesus Christ, a man united to God in the Holy Spirit. Whatever afflictions the Hesychast encounters, Christ is with him and for him: consider St Paul, afflicted at every turn and able to say: ‘I, then, no longer live; Christ, however, lives in me.’
he was saying: ‘And man will say, is there therefore fruit for the just?’ [Ps. 57, 12.]
These quotations seem to be joined somewhat arbitrarily in an anthology.
Afterwards, declaring the subject for debate accepted by both from the discussion,
This is very ambiguous and unclear syntactically in the Greek text. We have provided what must be considered to be merely a likely meaning. The phrase, in any event, seems to be used merely as a literary device to join quotations. Perhaps it is due to a copyist seeking to correct a faulty text, we do not know.
he says: ‘Therefore God is judging them, the wicked demons in the land of our heart.’ [Cf. Ps. 57, 12.] And elsewhere he says: ‘A man will approach, and a deep heart, and God will be exalted.’ [Ps. 63, 7.] And then their wounds will be reckoned by us as the arrows of infants [cf. Ps. 63, 7].
The last quotation is important. Despite the difficult syntax of this whole passage, what St Hesychios is driving at is the third stage of the war against the demons, the one that St John of Sinai has expressed by saying that the Hesychast ‘has spit on the demons once and for all’.
Does this mean that the Hesychast who has attained purity of heart, the adoption as son, is free from sin? No. That St Hesychios agrees can be gleaned from the cautions and admonitions in the remaining chapters of OS against acceptance of a wicked thought, against pride, against vainglory, against sin, against indulgence of the body, and, finally, against self-love, whose child, pride, pulls angels and Hesychasts down from Heaven and clothes them in gloom.
It does mean that if the Hesychast continues in humility and prayer and the will of Jesus Christ, then he will have God with him to protect him; and the angels to help him; and the saints to help him and intercede for him; and then the demons will be able to do nothing, although they try might their mightiest to destroy him spiritually or even bodily.
A more subtle analysis would remark, following Evagrius, that the Hesychast at this stage must be particularly careful of those demons, not those which rule over the passions of the passionate part of the soul (these are the eight most general thoughts), but those demons which attack the mind (nous) with delusions, false revelations, false visions and the like. Certainly, a Hesychast at the stage of purity of heart will have received the charism of the discernment of spirits, but the foundation of this discernment—indeed, at this stage, of every virtue—is humility. If the Hesychast loses humility—not impossible—he will be deceived. Let us hope, not unto death.
We can now understand the next chapter. The Hesychast continues, St Hesychios insists, the basic method of sobriety: humility, attention, rebuttal, the continual invocation, now explicitly linked to the breathing, and the memory of death. However, there is a transformation that comes about from the union with God: the instruction in wisdom, which instruction takes place in the heart, and the breathing continually of the strength and wisdom of God. Let us see what St Hesychios says:
187 Having been instructed in wisdom in the heart, [cf. Ps. 89, 12]
The man becomes wise when he has been united to Jesus Christ. We knew Fr Paisios, the great Starets, to be a man of such divine wisdom.
according to the sacred Psalmist, let us ever live continuously breathing this very Power of God the Father and Wisdom of God, Jesus Christ [cf. 1 Cor. 1, 24].
That is—the syntax of the original is difficult to render clearly in English—we continually breathe Jesus Christ: this, of course, refers to the Prayer of Jesus, now taking on special significance from the habitual union of the Hesychast with Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. And Jesus Christ it is who is the Power of God the Father, and the Wisdom of God. And Jesus Christ it is who has instructed us in wisdom in our hearts.
Now the first caution: negligence. St Hesychios speaks gently:
If, then, growing slack out of some state of affairs,
Some situation, some event that has happened. Perhaps a visit, perhaps a storm, perhaps a forest fire.
we should take very little care for the intelligible practice,
Of sobriety. Recall OTT 17, where Evagrius speaks of shepherding the mental representations of this Age. It might be remarked that the practice of sobriety that Evagrius describes in OTT 17, when allowance is made for the modifications that St Hesychios introduces into the Evagrian system in his own method of sobriety, is a very good portrait of the practice of sobriety by the Hesychast who has attained to the stage of purity of heart. OTT 17 is recommended to the reader at this point.
the next morning
Well before the sun rises.
let us again gird well the loin of our mind (nous)
For battle. For the toilsome guard of the mind—this is the sobriety that constitutes the everyday occupation of Hesychast who has attained purity of heart—the Hesychast of St Hesychios and St John of Sinai toils mightily, more than the ascetic of Evagrius in OTT 17.
and let us again mightily engage in the work (ergon),
St Hesychios now insists again on the moral duty:
knowing that there is no apology for us, having known the good, if we do not practise it [cf. Jas. 4, 17].
The next caution: acceptance of a wicked thought. The therapy is interesting and important:
188 Just as the foods which cause illness, having recently been put into the body, disturb [the body],
Rotten food. The sign that something is wrong is not the external appearance of the thought but the disturbance that the thought causes in our mind or soul. This criterion is important for what follows, and it is also important as a general criterion in the discernment of spirits.
and he who eats, directly sensing the damage
What St Hesychios means is the operation of the charism of discernment.
and more quickly vomiting these things out by means of some medicine,
An emetic. We will see what St Hesychios has in mind.
has remained unharmed, thus when the mind (nous) also accepts and swallows wicked thoughts (logismoi)
The rotten food.
Discerns. Recall TPL 82:
82 Just as the soul, acting by means of the body, perceives the members which are ailing [here, the stomach], thus so, the mind, operating its own native operation [here, the charism of discernment], recognizes its own powers [faculties] and, through that which is hindering it [here, the disturbance which is caused in the mind by the wicked thought], finds the commandment [here, prayer] which will heal it.
their bitterness, then by means of the prayer (euche) of Jesus uttered in a loud voice out of the depths of the heart
‘Out of the depths of the heart’: This is an important qualification. Recall OS 137, where even old thoughts that had got stuck in the heart could be removed from the depths of the conception of the heart by the Prayer of Jesus practised with sobriety. Here, the wound is fresh and easier to heal. Here, however, the Prayer itself is to be uttered ‘out of the depths of the heart’, and moreover ‘in a loud voice’. ‘In a loud voice’ is not to be taken literally; it has to do with the intensity of invocation: the formula continues to be repeated silently in the heart. Recall that the Hesychast can attach to the Prayer the temper operating according to nature, and also his heart. That is what is intended here. The Hesychast prays intensely in the way we discussed in the commentary on OS 137, and elsewhere, until he has been freed of the recently accepted thought. Depending on the circumstances and the person and the gravity of the thought, this could take some time.
it easily vomits out these [thoughts (logismoi)]
For a man who thinks that thoughts (logismoi) are electrical states of the brain, this might be hard to understand.
The thought, as an impassioned mental representation sown by a demon—these are wicked thoughts—behaves somewhat more like a foreign (intelligible) body which is to be vomited out. In later Hesychast theology, as we have already discussed, we speak of energies (energeies), in this case, the energies (energeies) of the demon, which energies accompanied the thought when it was accepted by the Hesychast.
A further discussion can be found in the commentary on OS 137: the same principles apply here as there.
and completely casts them off, as, with the help of God,
‘I have learned what I, St Hesychios, am saying through experience with the help of God, not by my own efforts.’
Following the reading in Alphabetic ‘P’ for ‘misfortune’ instead of ‘instruction’. The words differ by one letter.
and the experience have given by instruction to those who practise sobriety to have understood concerning the matter at hand.
This is clear: St Hesychios is speaking from his and others’ experiences in the matter. This is a practical therapy.
The next chapter is important.
189 To your breath and nostrils unite sobriety and the name of Jesus—or the incessant meditation on death and humility. For both know to benefit greatly.
Alphabetic ‘Q’ has a completely different reading for this chapter:
Unite the incessant meditation on death and humility and sobriety as breath and nostrils, together with the name of Jesus.
We are not sure which is the better reading. The reading in Alphabetic ‘Q’ is more consistent with the remainder of OS, but we would not want to say that it is the more authentic reading. For the reading in the main text is consistent with OS 14–17, above, where the memory of death is presented as one way of sobriety among others. Our further comments treat the main text as the authentic reading.
We do not think ‘nostrils’ is an allusion to a yogic breathing posture or exercise. It is merely pleonastic for ‘breath’. This chapter is a repetition of St Hesychios’ previous counsels that we unite the Prayer to the natural breathing; here he has added sobriety. We think that he is urging great self-concentration and attention: at this stage of purity of heart, the Prayer and sobriety must both be united to the normal breathing.
Does St Hesychios intend that at one time the Hesychast should use sobriety and the Prayer of Jesus and, at another time, the incessant meditation on death and humility? We think not. Does he mean, then, that one road of Hesychasm is to ignore the Prayer of Jesus and to cultivate the incessant meditation on death with humility? We think not, although there is more foundation in OS for this second view. What then is St Hesychios saying?
We wonder whether, in fact, the ancient redactor of the alphabetical version of OS did not have the same questions as we have just raised, and whether he did not rewrite this chapter of OS to fit with a proper interpretation. We think that his interpretation is reasonable, although we cannot suggest that his version is the original form of the chapter.
There has been far too much emphasis throughout OS on the continual invocation of the name of Jesus for us easily to believe that St Hesychios wants us to start and stop the invocation so as start and stop the incessant meditation on, or memory of, death. Certainly St Hesychios lists the memory of death in OS 17 as one way of sobriety, and we believe that it is from OS that St Theodore Studite took much of his spiritual way for the monks of his monasteries of the memory of death and the immaterial war. However, there is too little on the memory of death in OS for us to be able to suggest that St Hesychios treats it as a completely parallel way of Hesychasm or even as something we now and again stop the Jesus Prayer to practise. While St Gregory of Sinai, in On the Two Methods of Prayer, recommends alternating between two different versions of the formula of invocation so as to rest the mind (nous), which grows naturally weary from the continual invocation, no one, we think, would recommend starting and stopping the use of the formula for the sake of the memory of death. To the contrary, the Fathers counsel continuity and stability in the repetition of the formula—whether or not they counsel the alternation of two formulas over broad stretches of time.
It may be that St Hesychios, in his time, knew of Hesychasts who practised the memory of death with humility instead of the Jesus Prayer with sobriety and that he did not want to ignore them, although he himself emphasized almost exclusively the Prayer of Jesus with sobriety. It may be that St Hesychios saw that those Hesychasts who practised exclusively the memory of death with humility also attained to unitive contemplation and adoption as son, and for that reason placed this chapter in his discussion of purity of heart.
In the main text, in this chapter the memory of death is not, seemingly, counselled as a permanent activity. So while we would see Hesychian sobriety as a permanent activity, we might see the memory of death as something which might be engaged in, in addition to, and not instead of, the basic four-part Hesychian system of humility, attention, rebuttal and continual invocation, when the Hesychast judged that it was appropriate. However, we would think that as the Hesychast progressed from a more elementary level of the practice of the Hesychian method to the level of purity of heart that is here being discussed, then he would attach the memory of death more and not less often to his practice of the method. And, indeed, that may exactly be what St Hesychios is counselling in this chapter.
We think, then, that the interpretation provided by the alphabetic version of OS, although in our view textually uncertain as regards the original form of the main version of OS, is the correct interpretation of the main version of the chapter. It is the interpretation that we suggested in the commentary on OS 155, above: the attachment of the memory of death to the other four components of Hesychian sobriety: humility, attention, rebuttal and the continual invocation. In fact, that is why in the commentary we have almost always listed the memory of death as one of the basic components of Hesychian sobriety.
At the level of spiritual attainment presupposed in this chapter, personal discernment plays an important role in the spiritual program of the ascetic.
The next chapter introduces a series of three chapters that treat of the necessity of humility and the danger of pride. They constitute the next caution for the Hesychast who has attained to purity of heart.
 Eph. 2, 14.
 Eph. 2, 12.
 Life of Anthony, Chapter 20, 7: Anthony, p. 190, ll. 25–6.
 OS 184.
 Gal. 2, 20.
 St John of Sinai, quoted in the commentary before OS 87.
 Here, we take sobriety to be the ‘superintending continuity of attention in the ruling part of man’ (OS 7).
 See TPL 82, quoted in the commentary on OS 188, above.