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OS (Text) -- 25

The legislator, Moses, is taken by the Fathers to be an image of the mind (nous): who sees God in the Bush [cf. Exod. 3, 2–6] and the face is glorified [cf. Exod. 32, 30] and who is established by the God of gods as a god to Pharaoh [cf. Exod. 7, 1]; and who scourges Egypt [cf. Exod. 7 et seq.] and who leads Israel out [cf. Exod. 12] and who legislates [cf. Exod. 20]: which very things taken figuratively according to the Spirit are actions and privileges of the mind (nous).

140 The image of the man without: Aaron, the brother of the legislator. Bringing forth accusations with temper (thumos), as Moses to Aaron when he had fallen [cf. Exod. 32, 1–6], we also say: ‘In what did Israel do you an injustice that you hastened to separate them from the Lord the Living God and Ruler of All?’ [Cf. Exod. 32, 21.]

141 For the Lord exhibited and handed over to us with all the other goods this also when he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead: by means of urgent admonishment [cf. John 11, 33] to keep back the womanishness and gaiety of the soul and to strive after a rough character, which very thing—I am saying, truly, self-condemnation—he knows to redeem the soul from love of self, from vainglory and pride.

142 Just as at all events it is impossible without a great ship to cross the expanse of the sea, thus it is impossible to chase away the assault of a wicked thought (logismos) without invocation of Jesus Christ.

143 It is the custom of rebuttal, on the one hand, to muzzle the thoughts (logismoi), and of invocation, on the other hand, to chase them out of the heart. For when the assault formed in the imagination of a sensible object in the soul, as the face of him who has sorrowed us, the imagination of womanly beauty or of gold or of silver—each one of these things if indeed it should occur in our intellect (dianoia)—directly, the thoughts (logismoi) of rancour, of fornication and of avarice are convicted of showing an imagination to the heart. And if our mind (nous) has been experienced and has been trained, being in the habit of the keeping of the mind (nous) and of seeing clearly and under a clear sky the attractive imaginations and frauds of the wicked ones, easily it directly extinguishes the flaming arrows of the Devil [cf. Eph. 6, 16] from spreading, <by means of> rebuttal and the prayer (euche) of Jesus not permitting the impassioned imagination to stir up [our thoughts] at the same time with it, nor that our own thoughts (logismoi) should be conformed to the appearance in an impassioned way, nor that they should converse in a friendly manner, nor that they should make many ideas or give consent—from which things follow by a certain necessity, as nights follow the days, the wicked works.

144 If, however, our mind (nous) is inexperienced in the free exercise of sobriety, it immediately has intercourse in an impassioned way with that which appeared to it as an imagination, whatever it might be, and holds converse, receiving unlawful questions and giving answers; and at that time our own thoughts (logismoi) mix promiscuously with the demonic imagination, which imagination increases and multiplies even more, so that it quite appears lovely and comely and pleasing to the mind (nous) that is accepting [it] and being despoiled. And at that time, the mind (nous) suffers the same thing as if, indeed, there should appear a dog in some level place where there happen to be some lambs, who are guileless and often run towards that which has appeared to them as to their own mother, gaining nothing from the approach to the dog except only to share in its uncleanness and bad odour. In exactly the same way, our own thoughts (logismoi) also run ignorantly towards all the demonic imaginations in the mind (nous); and, as I said, having become promiscuously mixed, it is possible to see both of them taking counsel to destroy Ilium, as Agamemnon with Menelaos. For thus these also take counsel what must happen to lead into act (ergon) by means of the body that which has appeared comely and sweet to them from fraud through the demonic attack. And thus, indeed, are further created within the falls of the soul; and from that time forth there is a necessity to accomplish outside those things that are within the heart.

145 For the mind (nous) is an easy and guileless sort of thing easily following behind the phantasms and difficult to restrain from the lawless imaginations, if it does not have hindering it everlastingly and bridling it the thought (logismos) which is the emperor of the passions.

146 Contemplation and gnosis have the nature to become the guides and purveyors of an exact way of life on account of the fact that the intellect (dianoia), being raised up by these things, arrives at a contempt for the pleasures and the other sensible things and sweetnesses of the way of life [of the passions] as paltry.

147 A careful way of life, however, which is achieved in Christ Jesus becomes again the father of contemplation and gnosis, the begetter, then, of divine ascents and of the wisest conceptions (ennoies), being married to its spouse, humility—as Isaiah the divine Prophet says: ‘Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they will put forth wings; and they will take wing by means of the Lord.’ [Isa. 40, 31.]

148 To keep stillness (hesychia) in the soul from every thought (logismos) indeed appears hard and difficult to men. And in very truth, then, it is both troublesome and laborious. For not only is it burdensome both to enclose and to restrict the bodiless in the bodily house to those only who are uninitiated in the war, but even to those who have received experience of the immaterial battle within. He, however, who through continual prayer (euche) has clasped the Lord Jesus to his breast will not grow weary following behind him, according to the Prophet [cf. Jer. 17, 16], and such a one will not desire the day of man [ibid.] on account of the comeliness and delightfulness and sweetness of Jesus. And when he speaks to them in the gate of the heart, he will not be put to shame by his enemies [cf. Ps. 126, 5], the impious demons who walk up and down about him [cf. Ps. 11, 9], and through Jesus he will drive them to flight.

149 A soul through death flying up in the air and having Christ with it and on behalf of it in heavenly gates will not even there be put to shame by its enemies, but at that time too, as now, it will speak with boldness to them in the gates [cf. Ps. 126, 5]—only, until its departure, let it not be faint-hearted crying out towards the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, day and night, and he will quickly make the soul’s revenge according to his unlying and divine promise, which he spoke concerning the judge of injustice: ‘Yes, I say to you, he will do it, and in the present life and after the soul’s departure from the body.’ [Cf. Luke 18, 8.]

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