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OS (Text) -- 14

The road towards gnosis—dispassion and humility, without which things no one will see the Lord.

68 He who unceasingly makes his occupations round those things which are within is continent; and not only, but he also contemplates, theologizes and prays. And this is what the Apostle says: ‘Walk in the Spirit and do not accomplish the desire of the flesh.’ [Gal. 5, 16.]

69 He who does not know how to travel the spiritual way does not take care for the impassioned mental representations, but he has all his employment round the flesh, and either he commits gluttony and is licentious, or he is sorrowed and grows angry and harbours rancour. And, hence, he darkens the mind (nous), or he makes use of an immoderate ascesis and clouds the intellect (dianoia).

70 He who has renounced the objects, as wife and money and the rest, has made the outer man a monk, but not yet, however, the inner man. He who has renounced the impassioned mental representations of this—that is, the mind (nous)—such a one is a true monk. And one easily makes the outer man a monk if he wish. It is not a little struggle to make the inner man a monk.

71 Who, therefore, is there in this generation who has been entirely freed of impassioned mental representations and who has been found worthy of pure and completely immaterial prayer (proseuche), which very thing is the token of the inner monk?

72 Many passions have been hidden in our souls. At that time they are convicted, when the causes appear.

73 Do not have all your occupation round the flesh, but lay down for it an ascesis according to its strength and turn your whole mind (nous) round those things that are within. ‘For bodily exercise is beneficial to a certain extent; piety, however, is beneficial in everything.’ [1 Tim. 4, 8.]

74 When the passions are inactive either because the causes have been cut off or because the demons have craftily withdrawn, pride occurs.

75 Humility and ascetical hardship free the man of every sin, the former cutting all round the passions of the soul, the latter the passions of the body. For this reason, the Lord says ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,’ [Matt. 5, 8]: him and the treasures in him, when by charity and continence they purify themselves; and by that much more as much as they augment the purification.

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