OS (Text) -- 27
163 To the supposedly simple and more dispassionate thoughts (logismoi) follow closely on the impassioned thoughts (logismoi), as we found from the experience and observation of many years; and the first become the place of entrance of the second, and the dispassionate of the impassioned.
164 For in reality it is necessary to cut the man in two by deliberate intention; and, with a most wise purpose, it is needful to be divided, as I said; and it is truly meet that one be an irreconcilable enemy of his own self, as someone, therefore, who completely has a disposition towards a certain man who has very greatly and often afflicted and wronged [him]—thus, or even much more, if indeed we wish to accomplish the first and great commandment, I say, truly, the way of life of Christ, the blessed humility, the incarnate way of life of God. Whence, the Apostle says: ‘Who will deliver me from the body of this death?’ [
165 The beginning of the fruit-bearing: the flower. The beginning, however, of keeping of the mind (nous): continence in food and drink, and a denial of and abstention from all thoughts (logismoi), and stillness (hesychia) of heart.
166 To those who are strengthened in Christ Jesus and who have begun to run in the sobriety which is certain, he first appears to us in the mind (nous) as a small torch held by us, so to say, in the hand of the mind (nous) and guiding us in the paths of the intellect (dianoia); then as a radiant moon making its circuit in the firmament of the heart; and, after that, then, Jesus appears to us as the sun beaming justice, that is to say, showing himself and the completely radiant lights of his own contemplations.
167 For he reveals these things secretly to the mind (nous) which abides in his commandment that says: ‘And you will circumcise your hardness of heart.’ [Deut. 10, 16.] And, as has been said, earnest sobriety teaches the man extraordinary conceptions (ennoies). For the Divinity is no respecter of persons [cf. Rom. 2, 11]. Whence, the Lord says: ‘Hear me and understand. For whosoever should have, to him it shall be given and it shall be made to abound. Whosoever, then, should not have, even what it appears that he has will be taken from him.’ [Cf. Matt. 13, 12; Luke 8, 18.] And: ‘All things work together for those who love God.’ [
168 A ship will not go many miles without waters, and the keeping of the mind (nous) will not advance at all without sobriety together with humility and the prayer (euche) of Jesus, [and these practised] totally.
169 Stones are the foundation of a house; of this virtue, however, both the foundations and the roof are the worshipful and holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And a foolish captain will easily shipwreck in time of storm, having cast the sailors out and having thrown the oars and sails into the sea and himself sleeping; a soul will be more easily drowned by the demons in the sea, however, if it neglects sobriety and to call upon the name of Jesus Christ in the assaults when they are beginning.
170 What we know, we say, writing; and what we have seen crossing over the road, we bear witness to for those who want, if indeed you wish to accept those things that have been said. For he has said: ‘If someone should not remain in me, he will be cast out as the vine-branch, and they gather it and cast it into the fire and it is burned. He, then, who remains in me, I also [remain] in him.’ [Cf. John 15, 6–7.] For just as it is not possible for the sun to shine without light, thus it is impossible for the heart to be purified of the filth of thoughts (logismoi) of destruction without the prayer (euche) of the name of Jesus. If, then, this is true, as I see [it is], let us make use of this as our own breath. For the one is light; the others, darkness. And the One is God and Master; the others, slaves of demons.