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OS (Text) -- 8

Thus it is necessary to flee familiarity as the venom of the asp and to turn aside from an excess of encounters as snakes and ‘the brood of vipers’ [Matt. 3, 7], these things being extremely able to bring the soul quickly into complete insensibility (lethe) of the war within and to draw the soul down from the lofty joy which is from purity of heart. For the accursed insensibility (lethe) lies opposed to attention as water to fire, and it happens to be a mighty adversary to it at every moment. For from insensibility (lethe) we go downhill to negligence; out of negligence to contempt and indifference and absurd desires. And thus again we return to the rear in the manner of a dog returning to its own vomit [cf. 2 Pet. 2, 22]. Let us therefore flee familiarity as a deadly poison. The evil acquisition of insensibility (lethe), and those things which come from it, are healed by an extremely exact guard of the mind (nous) and by continual invocation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Without him we can do nothing [cf. John 15, 5].

33 It is not admitted of, nor even possible, moreover, to make friends with a snake and to carry it in one’s breast—neither to flatter the body in all kinds of ways and to take care of it and to show charity to it, except for the needful and the necessary, and to take care also for heavenly virtue. For it is the nature of the first to wound him who comforts it; it is the nature of the second, however, to pollute in pleasure him who serves it. In those things in which it fails, let it be tormented unsparingly with whippings and the clenched fist like an escaped slave full of new wine. Let the worthless slave know the Lord. Let it not pass its time in the tavern and let it, the perishable clay both servile and nocturnal, not ignore its imperishable mistress. Until the departure do not take courage in your flesh. He says: ‘The will of the flesh is enmity towards God, for it is not obedient to the Law of God.’ [Rom. 8, 7.] ‘For the flesh desires contrary to the Spirit.’ [Gal. 5, 17.] ‘Those who live in the flesh are not able to please God. We, then, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit.’ [Rom. 8, 8–9.]

34 The work (ergon) of prudence: ever to set the temper in motion towards engagement in the battle within and towards self-condemnation. Of wisdom, then: to set the rational part in motion towards strict and perpetual sobriety and towards spiritual contemplation. Of justice: to direct the desiring part towards virtue and God. Of manliness: to govern the five senses and utterly to restrain them so that our man within, that is to say, the heart, not be polluted by them, nor our man without, that is to say, the body.

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