Getting to the Root of the Problem


Do you ever feel like like spiritual  advice equates with  the proverbial  doctor saying “take two and call me in the morning”?  Sometimes  it amounts to mere moralisms and does not address the root problem. This requires self knowledge.  St.  Gregory Palamas, the defender of 14th century inner stillness, constantly quoted  Moses’ admonition “Pay attention to your self.”  When  we observe our faults St. Gregory reasoned,  then we ultimately will see the genetic relation  between vices and virtues. And we will go beyond just seeing the branches on the tree but understand why, at least in measure,  we do what we do. Just trimming the weeds in the garden  does no good; they  need to be uprooted.

The genetics of sin

Evagrios Ponticus  lists the root sin  as selfishness.

The first thought of all is that of love of self (philautia); after this [come] the eight” (skemmata,7)

All sin can  be rightly understood as selfishness. Pleasure as opposed to pleasing God, and by relation my neighbor. Yes,  the biblical  definition is “sin is the transgression of the Law.” Yet, the fulfillment is love. “Love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Eight branches to the tree;  eight  logismoi,  thoughts.  Reproduced below is the text of Evagrios on the eight thoughts.

1. OF the demons opposing the ascetical life [pratiké], those standing in the first [wave] for combat are:

[1] those entrusted with the appetites of gluttony,

[2] those that inspire us to love money, and

[3] those that entice us to seek human glory.

[p.148]1.Τῶν ἀντικειμένων δαιμόνων τῇ πρακτικῇ, πρῶτοι κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον συνίστανται

οἱ τὰς τῆς γαστριμαργίας ὀρέξεις πεπιστευμέοι,

καὶ οἱ τὴν φιλαργυρίαν ἡμῖν ὑποβάλλοντες,

καὶ οἱ πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀνθρώπων δόξαν ἡμᾶς ἐκκαλούμενοι.

All the rest march behind and receive the wounded whom these three pass along to them.

Οἱ δ’ ἄλλοι πάντες κατόπιν τούτων βαδίζοντες, τοὺς ὑπὸ τούτων [79.1201a] τιτρωσκομένους διαδ́εχονται.

[1] For it is impossible to fall into the spirit of adultery, unless one has succumbed to gluttony;

[2] it is impossible to be agitated by anger, unless one covets and fights for food, or money, or fame;

Οὐκ ἔστι γὰρ ἐμπεσεῖν εἰς χεῖρας τοῦ πνεύματος τῆς πορνείας, μὴ ὑπὸ τῆς γαστριμαργίας καταπεσόντα·

καὶ οὐκ ἔστι ταράξαι θυμὸν, μὴ ὑπὲρ βρωμάτων ἢ χρημάτων, ἢ δόξης ἀλόγων ἐπιθυμιῶν μαχόμενον·

[3] and it is impossible to avoid the demon of sadness, unless one has been deprived of all he wants to obtain;

[4] nor is it possible to escape pride, this first offspring of the devil, unless one has uprooted the love of money… the root of all evil (1Tim. 6.10); since Poverty brings a man low according to the wise Solomon, (Prov.10:4).

καὶ οὐκ ἔστι τὸν τῆς λύπης δαίμονα διαφυγεῖν, τούτων πάντων στερηθέντα, ἢ μὴ δυνηθέντα τυχεῖν·

οὐδὲ ἀποφεύξεται τὴν ὑπερηφανίαν τις, τὸ πρῶτον γέννημα τοῦ διαβόλου, μὴ τὴν τῶν κακῶν ῥίζαν ἐξορίσας φιλαργυρίαν, εἴπερ καὶ πενία ἄνδρα ταπεινοῖ, κατὰ τὸν σοφὸν Σολομῶντα·

In other words, it is impossible for a man to fall under the power of any demon, unless he is first wounded by the three of the first wave.

 [p.152] καὶ συλλήβδην ἐιπεῖν, οὐκ ἔστιν ἄνθρωπον περιπεσεῖν δαίμονι, μὴ πρότερον ὑπ’ ἐκείνων τῶν πρωτοστατῶν κατατρωθέντα,

THIS is why the devil suggested these three [tempting-]thoughts to the Lord (Mt 4:3, ff):

[1] the first, when he suggested that stones should become bread;

[2] the second, when he promised the whole world, if [the Lord] would fall down and worship him;

[3] and the third, when he said that if he would listen to him he would be glorified, suffering no harm from his fall [from the Temple].

διὸ καὶ τοὺς τρεῖς τούτους λογισμοὺς ὁ διάβολος τότε τῷ Σωτῆρι προσήγαγε. [Mt 4:3, ff]

Πρῶτον μὲν τοὺς λίθους,[79.1200b] ἄρτους γενέσθαι παρακαλῶν,

ἔπειτα δὲ τὸν κόσμον ὅλον ἐπαγγελλόμενος εἰ πεσὼν προσκυνήσει·

καὶ τρίτον εἰ ἀκούσοι δοξασθήσεσθαι λέγων, μηδὲν ἐκ τοῦ τηλικούτου πτώματος πεπονθότα,

But our Lord, showing himself to be above this, commanded the devil to get behind him (cf. Mat. 4:1-10), showing us by this that it not possible to banish the devil unless we depise these three [tempting-]thoughts.

ὧν, ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν κρείττων φανεὶς, εἰς τοὐπίσω τῷ διαβόλῳ χωρεῖν προσέταττε, διὰ τούτων καὶ ἡμᾶς διδάσκων, ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν ἀπώσασθαι τὸν διάβολον, μὴ τῶν τριῶν τούτων καταφρονήσαντας λογισμῶν.



 2.  ALL the [tempting-] thoughts of demonic origin introduce into the soul concepts of sensory concerns[“objects”]: because of this the nous, stamped with the imprint of these concerns, carries them about within itself; and [so]from the concern itself it [can] henceforth recognize the approaching demon.

[p.154] 2. Πάντες οἱ δαιμονιώδεις λογισμοὶ, νοήματα εἰς τὴν ψυχὴν αἰσθητῶν πραγμάτων εἰσφέρουσιν, ἐν οἱς τυπούμενος ὁ νοῦς τὰς μορφὰς τῶν πραγμάτων ἐκείνων ἐν ἑαυτῷ περιφέρει, καὶ ἀπ ᾿αὐτοῦ τοῦ πράγματος λοιπὸν ἐπιγινώσκει τὸν προσεγγίσαντα δαίμονα·

For example, if the face of a person who has done me harm or insulted me appears in my mind (dianoia), I recognize the approach of the [tempting-]thought of memory of injury. Or if there arises a memory of possessions or of esteem, we will recognize from the concern which [demon] is troubling us. And it is the same with other [tempting-]thoughts: from the [mental] concern we can discover which demon stands beside us, suggesting the representation (fantasia) to us.

[79.1201c] οἰον, εἰ τοῦ ζημιώσαντός με, καὶ ἀτιμασαντός με ἐν τῇ διανοίᾳ μου τὸ πρόσωπον γένοιτο, ἐλέγχεται ὁ τῆς μνησικακίας παραβαλὼν λογισμός. Εἰ πάλιν χρημάτων, ἢ δόξης ἀνάμνησις γένοιτο, ἐκ τοῦ πράγματος δῆλον ὅτι ὁ θλίβων ἡμᾶς ἐπιγνωσθήσεται· καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων δὲ λογισμῶν ὡσαύτως, ἀπὸ τοῦ πράγματος εὑρήσεις τὸν παρεστῶτα, καὶ ὑποβαλλοντα τὰς φαντασίας δαίμονα.

I do not say that all memories of such concerns [“objects”]come from the demons; for when the intellect is activated by man it is its nature to bring forth the representation(fantasia) of past events.

Οὐ πάσας δὲ τὰς μνήμας τῶν τοιούτων πραγμάτων ἐκ δαιμόνων λέγω συμβαίνειν· ἐπειδὴ πέφυκε καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ νοῦς κινούμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῶν γεγονότων ἀναφέρειν τὰς φαντασίας,

But all thoughts producing indignation (thumos) or desire(epithumia) in a way that is contrary to nature [are caused by demons].  For through disturbance of these two powers thenous mentally commits adultery and becomes incensed, and is no longer able to welcome in itself the representation (fantasia) of its [divine] lawgiver:

 [p.156] ἀλλ ᾿ ὅσαι τῶν μνημῶν θυμὸν, ἢ ἐπιθυμίαν παρὰ φύσιν συνεπισπῶνται. Διὰ γὰρ τὴν ταραχὴν τῶν δύο δυνάμεων τούτων, ὁ νοῦς κατὰ διάνοιαν μοιχεύει, καὶ μάχεται τοῦ νομοθετήσαντος [79.1201d] αὐτὸν θεοῦ τὴν φαντασίαν ἀναδέξασθαι μὴ δυνάμενος,.

for such luminosity only appears in the mind (hegimonikon)with the deprival of all conceptions (noemata) of objects[“concerns”] at the time of prayer.

εἴπερ ἡ λαμπρότης ἐκείνη κατὰ στέρησιν πάντων τῶν ἐν τοῖς πράγμασι νοημάτων ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τῆς προσευχῆς τῷ ἡγεμονικῷ παραφαίνεται.



3. A PERSON cannot drive away impassioned memories unless he watches over his desire and indignation:

[1] destroying the one [i.e. desire] with fasting, vigils and sleeping on the ground; and

[2] taming the other [indignation] by patient endurance, forgetfulness of injury, and almsgiving. 

3. Οὐκ ἄν ἀπόθοιτο τὰς ἐμπαθεῖς μνήμας ὁ ἄνθρωπος, μὴ ἐπιθυμίας, καὶ θυμοϋ ἐπιμέλειαν ποιησάμενος,

τὴν μὲν [p.158] νηστείαις, ἀγρυπνίαις, καὶ χαμευνείαις καταναλώσας,

τὸν δὲ μακροθυμίαις, καὶ ἀμνησικακίαις, καὶ ἐλεημοσύναις καθημερώσας

For with these two passions are connected almost all the demonic [tempting-]thoughts that lead the nous to disaster and destruction(1Tim 6:9)

· ἐκ γὰρ τῶν δύο τούτων παθῶν πάντες σχεδὸν οἱ δαιμονιώδεις συνίστανται λογισμοὶ οἱ τὸν νοῦν ἐμβάλλοντες εὶς ὅλεθρον, καὶ ἀπώλειαν.

 IT is impossible to overcome these passions unless we can rise above attachment to food and possessions, to esteem, and even to our own body, through which the demons often attempt to attack us.

[79.1204A]   Ἀδύνατον δέ τινα τῶν παθῶν τούτων περιγενέσθαι, μὴ παντελῶς βρωμάτων καὶ χρημάτων, καὶ δόξης ὑπεριδόντα, ἔτι δὲ καὶ τοῦ ἰδίου σώματος διὰ τοὺς ῥαπίζειν αὐτὸ πολλάκις ἐπιχειροῦντας·

It is essential, then, to imitate people who are in danger at sea and throw things overboard because of the violence of the winds and the threatening waves. But here we must be very careful in case we cast things overboard just to be seen doing so by men. For then we shall get the reward we want; but we shall suffer another shipwreck, worse than the first, blown off our course by the contrary wind of the demon of self-esteem.

Πᾶσα οὖν ἀνάγκη μιμεῖσθαι τοὺς κινδυνεύοτας, εν θαλάττη, καὶ τῶν σκευῶν ἐκβολὴν ποιουμένους διὰ τὴν βίαν τῶν ἀνεμων καὶ τῶν ἐπανισταμένων κυμάτων.  Ἀλλ’ ἐνταῦθα προσεκτέον ἀκριβῶς, [p.158] μή πως ἐκβολὴν ποιούμενοι τῶν σκευῶν, πρὸς τὸ θεαθεῖναι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ποίσωμεν· ἐπεὶ ἀπέχομεν τὸν μισθὸν ἡμῶν, καὶ ἄλλο τοῦ προτέρου χαλεπώτερον διδέξεται ἡμᾶς ναυάγιον, τοῦ τῆς κενοδοξίας ἡμῖν ἀντιπνεύσαντος δαίμονος. ´.

That is why our Lord, instructing the intellect, our helmsman, says in the Gospels: ‘Take heed that you do not give alms in front of others, to be seen by them; for unless you take heed, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. ‘ Again, He says: `When you pray, you must not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in synagogues and at street- corners, so as to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they get the reward they want […]Moreover when you fast, do not put on a gloomy face, like the hypocrites; for they disfigure their faces, so that they may be seen by men to be  fasting. Truly I say to you, they get the reward they want’ (cf. Mt. 6: 1- 18).

Διὸ καὶ ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν ἐν τοῖς Εὐαγγελίοις, τὸν κυβερνήτην νοῦν παιδεύων, [79.1204b] ̧ προσέχετε, φασὶν, τὴν ἐλημοσύνην ἡμῶν μὴ ποιεῖν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων πρὸς τὸ θεαθεῖναι αὐτοῖς, εἰ δὲ μήγε μισθ̀ον οὐκ ἔχετε παρὰ τῷ Πατὶ ὑμῶν τῷ ἐν τοὶς οὐρανοῖς. ς  Καὶ πάλιν· ̧ Ὅταν προσεύχησθε, φησὶν, οὐκ ἔσεσθε ὥσπερ οἱ ὑποκριταὶ, ὅτι φιλοῦσιν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς, καὶ ἐν ταῖς γωνίαις τῶν πλατειῶν ἑστῶτες προσεύχεσθαι, ὅπως φανῶσι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὅτι ἀπέχουσι τὸν μισθὸν αὐτῶν. ς  Καὶ πάλιν λέγει·̧  Ὅταν νηστεύητε, μὴ γίνεσθε, ὥσπερ οἱ ὑποκριταὶ σκυθρωποὶ· ἀφανίζουσι γὰρ τὰ πρόσωπα αὐτῶν, ὅπως φανῶσι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις νηστεύοντες· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀπέχουσιν τὸν μισθὸν αὐτῶν.ς

BUT observe how the Physician of souls here:

[1] through acts of mercy [medically] treats our irascibility;

[2] through prayer purges the nous;

[3] and through fasting causes desire to atrophy.

  Ἀλλὰ προσεκτέον ἐνταῦθα τῷ ἰατρῷ τῶν ψυχῶν, [79.1204c] πῶς

̈διὰ μὲν τῆς ἐλεημοσύνης τὸν θυμὸν θεραπεύει,

διὰ δὲ τῆς προσευχῆς τὸν νοῦν καθαρίζει, [p.162] 

καὶ πάλιν διὰ τῆς νηστείας τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν καταμαραίνει,̈

FROM these [virtues] the new man is formed, renewed according to the image of his Creator (Gal. 3:28), in whom, thanks to holy apatheia, there is neither male nor female;and, thanks to singleness of faith and love there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all (Col. 3: 10-11).

ἐξ ὧν συνίσταται ὁ νέος ἄνθρωπος, ὁ ἀνακαινούμενος κατ̓ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτὸν, ἐν ᾧ οὐκ ἔστι διὰ τὴν ἀγίαν ἀπάθειαν ἄρσεν, καὶ θῆλυ, οὐδὲ διὰ τὴν μίαν πίστιν, καὶ ἀγάπην,  Ἕλλην, καὶ  Ἰουδαῖος, περιτομὴ, καὶ ἀκροβυστία, Βάρβαρος, Σκύθης, δοῦλος, καὶ ἐλεύθερος, ἀλλὰ τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσι Χριστός



(The Role of the Memory in Dreams)


4. We shall now enquire how, in the fantasies that occur during sleep, the demons imprint shapes and forms on our intellect. Normally the intellect receives these shapes and forms either through the eyes when it is seeing, or through the ears when it is hearing, or through some other sense, or else through the memory, which stirs up and imprints on the intellect things which it has experienced through the body.

4. [79.1204c]  [p.162] Ζητητέον δὲ πῶς ἐν ταῖς καθ ᾿ ὕπνον φαντασίαις τυποῦσιν ἡμων τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν καὶ σχηματίζουσιν οἱ δαίμονες· τὸ γὰρ τοιοῦτον ἔοικε συμβαίνειν τῷ νῷ, ἢ δι○ ὀφθαλμῶν ὀρωντι, ἢ δι○ἀκοῆς ἀκούοντι, ἢ [79.1204d] πάλιν δι○ αἰσθήσεως ποιᾶς, ἢ ἀπὸ τῆς μνήμης ἥτις τυποῖ μὲν τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν, οὐ διὰ τοῦ σώματος, πλὴν ἁπερ διὰ τοῦ σώματος ἔσχε, ταῦτα κινει.

Now it seems to me that in our sleep, when the activity of our bodily senses is suspended, it is by arousing the memory that the demons make this imprint. But, in that case, how do the demons arouse the memory? Is it through the passions Clearly this is so, for those in a state of purity and dispassion no longer experience demonic fantasies in sleep.

Οἱ οὖν δαίμονες ἐοίκασί μοι τὴν μνήμην κινοῦντες, τυποῦν τὸ ἡγεμονικόν· τὸ γὰρ ὅργανον ὑπὸ τοῦ ὔπνου κατέχεται ἀνενέργητον.  Πῶς οὖν πάλιν τὴν μνήμην κινοῦσι ζητητέον, ἢ τάχα ιὰ τῶν παθῶν; καὶ τοῦτο δῆλον ἐκ τοῦ μηκέτι τοὺς καθαροὺς καὶ ἀπαθεις πάσχειν τὶ τοιοῦτον.

There is also an activity of the memory that is not demonic: it is caused by ourselves or by the angelic powers, and through it we may meet with saints and delight in their company. We should notice in addition that during sleep the memory stirs up, without the body’s participation, those very images which the soul has received in association with the body. This is clear from the fact that we often experience such images during sleep, when the body is at rest.

Εστι δὲ καὶ κίνησίς τις ἁπλῆ ὑφ’ ἡμῶν γινομένη, ἢ ὑπὸ ἁγίων δυνάμεων, καθ’ ἣν ἁγίοις τε συντυγχάνομεν ἐν τοῖς ὕπνοις καὶ ὁμιλοῦμεν, καὶ συνεστιώμεθα.  Πλὴν προσεχτέον, ὅτι ἅπερ μετὰ τοῦ σώματος ἡ ψυχὴ εἰσδέχεται εἴδωλα, [79.1205a]ταυτα ᾶνευ τοῦ σώματος ἡ μνήμη κινεῖ καὶ τοῦτο σαφὲς ἐκ τοῦ πολλάκις καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὕπνοις πάσχειν ἡμᾳς τοῦτο ἡρεμοῦντος τοῦ σώματος.

Just as it is possible to think of water both while thirsty and while not thirsty, so it is possible to think of gold with greed and without greed. The same applies to other things. Thus if we can discriminate in this way between one kind of fantasy and another, we can then recognize the artfulness of the demons. We should be aware, too, that the demons also use external things to produce fantasies, such as the sound of waves heard at sea.

 Ὥσπερ ἔστι γὰρ μνημονεῦσαι ὕδατος καὶ μετὰ δίψης, καὶ ἄνευ δίψης· οὕτως ἔστι μνημονεῦσαι χρυσίου μετὰ πλεονεξίας, καὶ ἄνευ πλεονεξίας, καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων πραγμάτων ὡσαύτως.  Τὸ δὲ τοιάσδε ἢ τοιάσδε εὑρίσκειν φαντασιῶν διαφορὰς τὸν τοῦν, τῆς ἐκείνων κακοτεχίας ἐστὶ γνώρισμα.  Ἅμα δὲ καὶ τοῦτο ἰστέον, ὅτι καὶ τοῖς ἔξωθεν πράγμασι κέχρηνται πρὸς τὰς φαντασίας οἱ δαίμονες, ὡς ἐπὶ τῶν πλεόντων τῷ ἤχῳ τῶν κυμάτων.



5. When our incensive power is aroused in a way contrary to nature, it greatly furthers the aim of the demons and is an ally in all their evil designs. Day and night, therefore, they are always trying to provoke it. And when they see it tethered by gentleness, they at once try to set it free on some seemingly just pretext; in this way, when it is violently aroused, they can use it for their shameful purposes. So it must not be aroused either for just or for unjust reasons; and we must not hand a dangerous sword to those too readily incensed to wrath, for it often happens that people become excessively worked up for quite trivial reasons.

[p.166] 5. Σφωδρα τω σκοπω των δαιμονων ὁ θυμος ἡμων συμβαλλεται παρα φυσιν κινουμενος, και προς πασαν αυτων κακομηχανιαν γινεται χρησιμωτατος, ὁθεν νυκτωρ, και μεθ ἡμεραν ταρασσειν [79.1205b]τουτον ουδεις αυτων παραιτειται, αλλ ὁταν ιδωσιν αυτον δεθεντα πραοτητι, το τηνικαυτα επι δικαιαις προφασεσιν ευθυς αυτον απολυουσιν, ἱνα οξυτερος γεγονως, και προς τους θηριωδεις λογισμους αυτων χρησιμευη, διοπερ αναγκη, μητε δικαιοις, μητε επ αδικοις πραγμασιν αυτο ερεθιζειν μητε κακον ξιφος διδοναι τοις ὑποβαλλουσιν.  Οπερ πολλακις πολλους ποιουντας επισταμαι, και πλεον η χρη, επι μικραις αναπτομενους προφασεσιν.

Tell me, why do you rush into battle so quickly, if you are really above caring about food, possessions and glory? Why keep a watchdog if you have renounced everything? If you do, and it barks and attacks other men, it is clear that there are still some possessions for it to guard. But since I know that wrath is destructive of pure prayer, the fact that you cannot control it shows how far you are from such prayer.

                [79.1205b] Υπερ τινος γαρ, ειπε μοι, και προσπιπτεις ταχεως [79.1205c] εις μαχην, ειπερ βρωματων, και δοξης, και χρηματων καταπεφρονηκας τι δε τρεφεις τον κυνα, μηδεν εχειν επαγγελλομενος  Ει δε οὑτος ὑλακτει, και τοις ανθρωποις επερχεται, προδηλος ει ενδον κεκτημενος τινα, και ταυτα φυλασσειν βουλομενος.  Αλλ εγω τον τοιαυτον μαχραν καθαρας προσευχης πειθομαι ειναι λυμενωμα τον θυμον της τοιαυτης επισταμενος.

 I am also surprised that you have forgotten the saints: David who exclaims, `Cease from anger, and put aside your wrath’ (Ps. 37: 8 LXX); and Ecclesiastes who urges us, `Remove wrath from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh’ (Eccl. r x: 1 0. LXX); while the Apostle commands that always and everywhere men should `lift up holy hands, without anger and without quarreling’ ( 1Tim. 2:8). And do we not learn the same from the mysterious and ancient custom of putting dogs out of the house during prayer? This indicates that there should be no wrath in those who pray. `Their wine is the wrath of serpents’ (Deut 32:33. LXX)); that is why the Nazarenes abstained from wine.

Πρὸς δὲ τούτοις θαυμάζω, ὡς καὶ τῶν ἁγίων ἐπιλελησμένων, τοῦ μὲν Δαβὶδ βοῶντος, ̧Παῦσαι ἀπὸ ὁργῆς, καὶ ἐγκατάλιπε θυμόν·ς τοῦ δὲ  Ἐκκλησιαστοῦ παραγγέλλοντος, ̧  Ἀπόστησον θυμὸν ἀπὸ καρδίας σου, καὶ πάραγε πονηρίαν ἀπὸ σαρκός σου· ς τοῦ δὲ  Ἀποστόλου προστάσσοντος, ̧ Χωρὶς ὀργῆς, καὶ διαλογισμῶν ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ ἐπαίρειν οσίας χεῖρας πρὸς Κ́ριον.ς  Τί δὲ οὐ μανθάνομεν απὸ[79.1205d] τῆς τῶν ἀνθρώπων μυστικῆς, καὶ παλαιᾶς συνηθείας διωκούσης ἐκ τῶν οἴκων τοὺς κύνας ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τῆς προσευχῆς, καὶ τοῦτο αἰνιττομένης, ὡς οὐ δεῖ συμπαρῆναι τοῖς προσευχομένοις θυμόν; Καὶ πάλιν· ̧ Θυμὸς δρακόντων ὁ οἴνος αὐτῶν. ς  Οἴνου δὲ οἱ Ναζιραῖοι ἀπείχοντο.

It is needless to insist that we should not worry about clothes or food. The Saviour Himself forbids this in the Gospels: `Do not worry about what to eat or drink, or about what to wear’ (cf. Mt. 6:25).

Χολὴν δὲ καὶ ὀσφὺ ἄβρωτα τοῖς θεοῖς τις τῶν ἔξωθέν σοφῶν ἀπεφήνατο εἶναι, οὐκ εἰδὼς, οἶμαι, [p.170] ὃ ἔλεγεν, ὧν τὸ μὲν ὀργῆς, τὸ δὲ ἀλόγου ἐπιθυμίας ἔγωγε σύμβολον εἶναι νομίζω.



6. Such anxiety is a mark of the Gentiles and unbelievers, who reject the providence of the Lord and deny the Creator. An attitude of this kind is entirely wrong for Christians who believe that even two sparrows which are sold for a farthing are under the care of the holy angels (cf. Mt. 10 29).

6. Περὶ δὲ τοῦ μὴ δεῖν μεριμνᾷν ἐνδυμάτων ἕνεκεν, ἤ βρωμάτων, περιττὸν οἶμαι τὸ γράφειν, αὐτοῦ τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν ἐν τοῖς Εὐαγγελίοις ἀπαγορεύσαντος, ̧Μὴ μεριμνήσητε γὰρ, φησὶ, τῇ ψυχῇ ὑμῶν τί φάγητε, ἢ τί πίητε ἢ τ́ περιβαλεῖσθε.ς  Ἐθνικῶν γὰρ[79.1208a] ἄντικρυς τοῦτο, καὶ ἀπίστων ἀθετούντων τὴν πρόνοιαν τοῦ Δεσπότου, καὶ τὸν Δημιουργὸν ἀρνουμένων· Χριστιανῶν δὲ τὸ τοιοῦτον παντλῶς ἀλλοτριον, ἅπαξ πεπιστευκότων, ὅτι καὶ τὰ πρασσόμενα δύο στρουθία τοῦ ἀσσαρίου ὑπὸ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τῶν ἁγίων ἀγγέλων ἐστί.

The demons, however, after arousing impure thoughts, go on to suggest worries of this kind, so that  ‘Jesus conveys Himself away’. because of the multitude of concerns in our mind (cf. Jn 5: 13).   The divine word can bear no fruit, being choked by our cares.

Πλήν ἐστι καὶ αὔτη συνήθεια τῶν δαιμόνων, μετὰ τοὺς ἀκαθάρτους λογισμοὺς ἐμβλ́λλειν καὶ τοὺς τῆς μερίμνης, ἵνα ἐκνεύσῃ ὁ  Ἰησοῦς ὄχλου ὄντος νοημάτων ἐν τῷ κατὰ διάνοιαν τόπῳ, καὶ ἄκαρπος γένηται ὁ λόγος ὑπὸ τῆς μερίμνης πνιγόμενος τῶν ἀκανθῶν.

Let us, then, renounce these cares, and throw them down before the Lord, being content with what we  have at the moment; and living in poverty and rags, let us day by day rid ourselves of all that fills us with self-esteem.

                [ΚΕΦΑΛ.  ϛʹ. [79.1208.b] Οὐκοῦν τοὺς ἐκ μερίμνης ἀποθέμενοι λογισμοὺς, ἐπιῤῥίψωμεν ἐπὶ Κύριον τὴν μέριμναν ἡμῶν τοῖς παροῦσιν ἀρκούμενοι, καὶ πενιχρᾷ ζωῇ χρησάμενοι, καὶ στολῇ τοὺς πατέρας τῆς κενοδοξόας μεθ’ ἡμέραν ἀποδυσώμεθα.

If anyone thinks it shameful to live in rags, he should remember St. Paul, who `in cold and nakedness’ patiently awaited the `crown of righteousness’ (2 Cor. 11:27; 2 Tim. 4:8). The Apostle likened this world to a contest in an arena (cf. 1Cor 9: 24); how then can someone clothed with anxious thoughts run for `the prize of the high calling of God’ (Phil. 3: 14), or `wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world’ (Eph 6:12) ? I do not see how this is possible; for just as a runner is obstructed and weighed down by clothing, so too is the intellect by anxious thoughts – if indeed the saying is true that the intellect is attached to its own treasure; for it is said, `where your treasure is, there wilt your heart be also ‘ (Mt, 6:21).

Εἰ δέ τις ἀσχημονεῖν ἐπὶ πενιχρᾷ νομίζει στολῇ, βλεπέτω τὸν ἅγιον Παῦλον ἐν ψύχει, καὶ γυμνότητι, τὸν τῆς δικαιοσύνης προσδοκήσαντα στέφανον.  Ἀλλ’ ἐπειδὴ θέατρον, καὶ στάδιον ὁ  Ἀπόστολος τὸν κόσμον τοῦτον ὠνόμασεν, ἴδωμεν, εἰ ἔστι δυνατὸν, μερίμνης ἐνδυσάμενον λογισμοὺς, δραμεῖν ἐπὶ τὸ βραβεῖον τἠς ἄνω κλήσεως, ἢ παλαῖσαι πρὸς τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας, καὶ πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορας τοῦ σκότους τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου· ἐγὼ μὲν οὐκ οἶδα, καὶ ἀπ’ αὐτῆς τῆς αἰσθητῆς παιδευόμενος ἱστορίας.   Ἐμποδισθήσεται γὰρ ἐκεῖνος ὁ[1208C] ἀθλῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ χιτῶνος δηλονότι, καὶ εὐκόλως περιελκυσθήσεται, καθάπερ καὶ ὁ νοῦς ὑπὸ τῶν λογισμῶν τῆς μερίμνης, εἴπερ ἀληθινὸς ὁ λέγων τῷ ἰδίῳ τὸν νοῦν προσκαρτερεῖν θησαυρῷ,  ̧  Ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρός σου, φησὶν, ἐκεῖ ἔσται, καὶ ἡ καρδία δου.ς [Mt 6:21]



7. [Phl6] Sometimes thoughts are cut off, and sometimes they do the cutting off. Evil thoughts cut off good thoughts, and in turn are cut off by good thoughts. The Holy Spirit therefore notes to which thought we give priority and condemns or approves us accordingly. What I mean is something like this: the thought occurs to me to give hospitality and it is for the Lord’s sake; but when the tempter attacks, this thought is cut off and in its place he suggests giving hospitality for the sake of display.

[79.1208c]  [p.174] 7.  Τῶν λογισμῶν οἱ τέμνουσιν, οἱ δὲ τέμνονται· καὶ τέμνουσι μὲν οἱ πονηροὶ τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς, τέμνονται δὲ πάλιν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγαθῶν οἱ πονηροὶ τὸ τοίνυν Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον πρώτως τεθέντι προσέχει λογισμῷ, καὶ πρὸς ἐκεῖνον κρίνει ἡμᾶς, ἢ ἀποδέχεται.  Ὃ δὲ λέγω τοιοῦτόν ἐστιν.  Ἔχω τινὰ φιλοξενίας λογισμὸν, καὶ τοῦτον ἔχω διὰ τὸν Κύριον, ἀλλ’ οὑτος [79.1208d] ἐπελθόντος τοῦ πειράζοντος τέμνεται καὶ δόξης χάριν φιλοξενεῖν ὑποβάλλοντος. 

Again, the thought comes to me of giving hospitality so as to appear hospitable in the eyes of others. But this thought in its turn is cut off when a better thought comes, which leads me to practice this virtue for the Lord’s sake and not so as to gain esteem from men. [In PhK  there follows here PhK 7]

Πάλιν· ἔχω φιλοξενίας λογισμὸν πρὸς τὸ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις φανῆναι, ἀλλὰ καὶ οὗτος ἐπελθοντος κρείττονος λογισμοῦ διατέμνεται, τοῦ πρὸς τὸν Κύριον μᾶλλον ῾ῶν τὴν ἀρετὴν ἀπευθύνοντος. 


8. (Ph 7) We have learnt, after much observation, to recognize the difference between angelic thoughts, human thoughts, and thoughts that come from demons. Angelic thought is concerned with the true nature of things and with searching out their spiritual essence . For example, why was gold created and scattered like sand in the lower regions of the earth, to be found only with much toil and effort? And how, when found, is it washed in water and committed to the fire, and then put into the hands of craftsmen who fashion it into the candlestick of the tabernacle and the censers and the vessels (cf. Ex. 25:22-39) from which, by the grace of our Saviour, the king of Babylon no longer drinks (cf. Dan 5:2, 3)? A man such as Cleopas brings a heart burning with these mysteries (cf. Lk 24:3 2). Demonic thought, on the other hand, neither knows nor can know such things. It can only shamelessly suggest the acquisition of physical gold, looking forward to the wealth and glory that will come from this. Finally, human thought neither seeks to acquire gold nor is concerned to know what it symbolizes, but brings before the mind simply the image of gold, without passion or greed. The same principle applies to other things as well.

[79.1209a] [p.176] 8. Τῶν ἀγγελικων λογισμῶν, καὶ τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων καὶ τῶν ἐκ δαιμόνων ταύτην τὴν διαφορὰν μετὰ πολλῆς τῆς παρατηρήσεως ἐγνώκαμεν εἰναι, ὅτι πρῶτον μὲν οἱ ἀγγελικοὶ τὰς φύσεις τῶν πραγμάτων περιεργάζονται, καὶ τοὺς πνευματικοὺς αὐτῶν ἐξιχνιάζουσι λογισμούς.  Οἷον, τίνος χάριν γεγένηται ὁ χρυσὸς, καὶ διὰ τί ψαμμώδης, καὶ κάτω πυ τοῖς μορίοις τῆς γῆς ἐγκατέσπαρται, καὶ μετὰ πολλοῦ καμάτου, καὶ πόνου εὑρίσκεται; ὅπως τε εὑρωθεὶς ὕδατι πλύνεται, καὶ πυρὶ παραδίδοται, καὶ οὕτως εἰς τεχνιτῶν ἐμβάλλεται χεῖρας, τῶν ποιούντων τῆς σκηνῆς τὴν λυχνίαν, καὶ [79.1209b] τὸ θυμιατήριον, καὶ τὰς θυΐσκας, καὶ τὰς φιάλας, ἐν αἷς οὐκέτι νυν͂ν πίνει διὰ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν ὁ Βαβυλώνιος βασιλεύς, Κλεόπα δὲ φέρει καρδίαν καιομέην ὑπὸ τούτων μυστηρίων.  Ὁ δὲ δαιμονιώδης λογισμὸς, ταῦτα μὲν οὔτε οἶδεν, οὔτε ἐπίσταται· μόνην δὲ τὴν κτῆσιν τοῦ αἰσθητοῦ χρυσίου ὑποβάλλει, καὶ τὴν ἐκ τούτου τρυφή́ν τε καὶ δόξαν ἐσομένην προλέγει· ὁ δὲ ἀνθρώπινος λογισμὸς, οὐδὲ τὴν κτῆσιν ἐπιζητεῖ, οὔτε τίνος περιεργάζεται σύμβολον ο ῾ χρυσὸς, ἀλλὰ μόνο εἰς τὴν διάνοιαν τοῦ χρυσοῦ τὴν μορφὴν εἰσφέρει ψιλὴν, πάθους πλεονεξίας κεχωρισμένην· ὁ δὲ αὐτὸς λόγος, καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων πραγμάτων ῥθήσεται, κατὰ τὸν κακόνα τοῦτον μυστικῶς γυμναζόμενος.



(The Wandering Demon)


9. [] There is a demon known as the one who leads astray, [‘wanderer’] who especially at dawn presents [himself] to the brothers, and leads around the nous of the solitary from city to city, from house to house, from village to village, pretending at first to simply carry on [holy] conversation; [but] then recognizing those it meets and talking at greater length: and in time it happens that, little by little it incurs forgetfulness of the knowledge of God, of virtue, and of its calling.

[79.1209c] [p.180] 9.  Ἔστι δαίμων, πλάνος λεγόμενος, καὶ ὑπὸ τὴν ἕω μάλιστα τοῖς ἀδλφοῖς παρίσταται, ὅστις περιάγει τοῦ ἀναχωρητοῦ τὸν νοῦν ἀπὸ πόλεως εἰς πόλιν, καὶ ἀπὸ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν, καὶ ἀπὸ κώμης εἰς κώμην, ψιλὰς δῆθεν [πρῶτον] τὰς συντυχίας ποιούμενον, καὶ γνωορίμοις τισὶ τυγχάνοντα, [καὶ λαλοῦντα] μακρότερα, καὶ τὴν οἰκείαν πρὸς τοὺς ἀπαντῶντας κατάστασιν διαφθείροντα, καὶ μακρὰν γινόμενον, κατ’ ὀλίγον τῆς γνώσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τῆς ἀρετῆς, καὶ τοῦ ἐπαγγέλματος λήθην λαμβάνοντα.

Therefore the solitary must watch this demon, noting where he comes from and where he ends up; for this demon does not make this long circuit without purpose and at random, but because he wishes to corrupt the state of the solitary, so that his intellect, overexcited by all this wandering, and intoxicated by its many meetings, may immediately fall prey to the demons of unchastity, anger or dejection – the demons that above all others destroy its inherent brightness.

Δεῖ οὖν τὸν ἀναχωροῦντα, τοῦτον τηρεῖν, πόθεν τε α
αρχεται, καὶ ποῦ καταλήγει· οὐ γὰρ εἰκ, οὐδὲ ὡς ἔτυχε μακρὸν ἐκεῖνον κύκλον ἐργάζεται, ἀλλὰ τὴν κατάστασιν τοῦ ἀναχωρητοῦ διαφθείρειν βουλόμενος, ταῦτα ποιεῖ, ἵνα ἐκκαυθεις  [79.1209d] ἐκ τούτων ὁ νοῦς, καὶ ἐκ τῶν πολλῶν συντυχιῶν μεθυσθεὶς εὐθέως τῷ τῆς πορνείας, ἢ τ͂ς ὀργῆς, ἢ τῷ τῆς λύπης δαίμονι περιπέσῃ, οἵτινες μάλιστα λυμαίνονται τῆς καταστάσεως αὐτοῦ τὴν λαμπρότητα.

But if we really want to understand the cunning of this demon, we should not be hasty in speaking to him, or tell others what is taking place, how he is compelling us to make these visits in our mind and how he is gradually driving the intellect to its death -for then he will flee from us, as he cannot bear to be seen doing this; and so we shall not grasp any of the things we are anxious to learn. But, instead, we should allow him one more day, or even two, to play out his role, so that we can learn about his deceitfulness in detail; then, mentally rebuking him, we put him to flight.

̓Αλλ’ ἡμεῖς, εἴπερ ἔχομεν σκοπὸν τοῦ γνῶναι σαφῶς τὴν τούτου πανουργίαν, μὴ ταχέως φθεγξώμεθα πρὸς αὐτὸν, μηδὲ δεικνύωμεν τὰ γινόμενα, πῶς κατὰ τὴν διάνοιαν τὰς συντυχίας ἐργάζεται, καὶ τίνα τρόπον κατ’ ὀλίγον συνελαύνει τὸν νοῦν πρὸς τὸν θάνατον, ἐπεὶ φεύξεται ἀφ’ ἡμῶν· [79.1212a] ὁρᾶσθαι γὰρ ταῦτα πράττων οὐ καταδέχεται· καὶ οὐδὲν λοιπὸν εἰσόμεθα ὧν μαθεῖν ἐσπουδάκαμεν,  Ἀλλὰ καὶ ἄλλην μίαν ἡμέραν, ἢ καὶ δευτέραν συγχωρήσωμεν αὐτοῦ τὸ σκαιώρημα, λόγῳ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐλέγξαντες αὐτὸν φυγαδεύσωμεν.



(Analyze Your Thoughts)

[not Phk]) 

9. But because during temptation the intellect is clouded and does not see exactly what is happening, do as follows after the demon has withdrawn. Sit down and recall in solitude the things that have happened: where you starred and where you went, in what place you were seized by the spirit of unchastity, dejection or anger and how it all happened. Examine these things closely and commit them to memory, so that you will then be ready to expose the demon when he next approaches you. Try to become conscious of the weak spot in yourself which he hid from you, and you will not follow him again.

[79.1212a] [π.182.26] ΚΕΦΑΛ. Θ’. Ἀλλ’ ἐπειδὴ κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τοῦ πειρασμοῦ συμβαίνει, τεθολωμένον ὄντα τὸν μὴ ἀκριβῶς ἰδεῖν τὰ γεγόμενα, μετὰ τὴν ἀναχώρησιν τοῦ δαίμονος τοῦτο γινέσθω· καθεσθεὶς καθ’ ἑαυτὸν, μνημόνευσον τῶν συμβεβηκότων σοι πραγμάτων, πόθεν τε ἤρξω καὶ ποῦ ἐπορεύθης, καὶ ἐν ποίω τόπῳ συνελήφθης ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος τῆς πορνείας, ἢ τῆς ὀργῆς, ἢ τῆς λύπης, καὶ πῶς πάντα γέγονε τὰ γινόμενα, καὶ σαφῶς ταῦτα κατάμαθε, καὶ παράδος τῇ μνήμῇ ἵνα ἐχῃς ἐλέγχειν αὐτὸν προσιόντα, καὶ τὸν κρυπτόμενον ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ τόπον καταμήνυε, καὶ οὐκ ἀκολουθήσεις αὐτὸν λοιπόν.

If you wish to enrage him, expose him at once when he reappears, and tell him just where you went first, and where next, and so on. For he becomes very angry and cannot bear the disgrace. And the proof that you spoke to him effectively is that the thoughts he suggested leave you. For he cannot remain in action when he is openly exposed. The defeat of this demon is followed by heavy sleepiness and deadness, together with a feeling of great coldness in the eyelids, countless yawnings, and heaviness in the shoulders. But if you pray intensely all this is dispersed by the Holy Spirit.

[79.1212b] ‘Εἰ δὲ βούλει ποτὲ καὶ εἰς μανίαν προκαλέσασθαι, ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν εὐθὺς ἐπιστάντα καὶ τὀν πρῶτον τόπον εἰς ὃν εἰσῆλθε φανέρωσον, καὶ τὸν δεύτερον, καὶ τὸν τρίτον, πάνυγἀρ καλεπαίνει μὴ φέρων τὴν αἰσχύνην· ἀπόδειξις δὲ ἔσται τοῦ καιρίως σε φθέγξασθαι πρὸς αὐτὸν, τὸ πεφευγέναι τὸν ογισμὸν ἀπὸ σοῦ· ἀδύνατον γἀρ λοιπὸν στῆναι αὐτὸν φανερῶς ἐλεγχόμενον,  Τοῦτον δὲ ἡττηθέντα τὸν τῆς πλάνης δαίμονα διαδέχεται ὕπνος βαρύτατος, καὶ νέκρωσις μετὰ ψυχρότητος πολλης τῶν βλεφάρων, καὶ κασμοὶ ἄπειροι, καὶ ὦμοι βαρούμενοι, καὶ ναρκῶντες, ἅπερ τῇ συντόνῳ προσευχῇ διαλύσει τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον.



(Hatred of the demons)


10. (Ph  9) Hatred against the demons contributes greatly to our salvation and helps our growth in holiness. But we do not of ourselves have the power to nourish this hatred into a strong plant, because the pleasure – loving spirits restrict it and encourage the soul again to indulge in its old habitual loves. But this indulgence – or rather this gangrene that is so hard to cure – the Physician of souls heals by abandoning us. For He permits us to undergo some fearful suffering night and day, and then the soul returns again to its original hatred, and learns like David to say to the Lord: `I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies’ (Ps.139:22). For a man hates his enemies with perfect hatred when he sins neither in activity nor in mind – which is the first and greatest sign of apatheia.

[79.1212c] [p.184] 10. Πάνυ τὸ μῖσος τὸ κατὰ δαιμόνων ἡμιν πρὸς σωτηρίαν συμβάλλεται καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἐργασίαν τῆς ἀρετῆς ἐστιν ἐπιτήδειον· καὶ̀ τοῦτο ἐκτρέφειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, ὥσπερ τι γέννημα ἀγαθον οὐκ ἰσχύομεν, τῶν φιληδόνων πνευμάτων διαφθειρόντων ἀυτὸ, κὰι πρὸς φιλίαν, καὶ συνήθειαν πάλιν τὴν ψυχὴν εκκαλουμένων· ἀλλὰ ταύτην τὴν φιλ́ιαν, μᾶλλον δὲ την δυσίατον γάγραιναν ὁ ἰατρὸς τῶν ψυχῶν δι’ ἐγκαταλείψεως θεραπεύει· συγχωρεῖ γάρ τι φοβερὸν παθεῖν ἡμᾶς ὑπ’ αὐτῶν  νύκτωρ ἢ μεθ’ ἡμέραν, καὶ πάλιν[79.1212d] ἡ ψυχὴ πρὸς τὸ ἀρχέτυπον μῖσος ἐπανατρέχει διδασκομένη πρὸς τὸν Κύριον λέγειν, κατὰ τὸν Δαβ̀ιδ, το ̧Τέλειον μῖσος ἐμίσουν αὐτοὺς, εἰς ἐχθροὺς ἐγενοντό μοι. ς  Οὗτος γὰρ τέλειον μῖσος μισεῖ τοὺς ἐχθροὺς, ὁ μήτε κατ’ ἐνέργειαν, μήτε κατὰ διάνοιαν ἁμαρτάνων· ὅπερ τῆς πρώτης, καὶ τῆς μεγίστης ἐστὶν ἀπαθείας τεκμήριον.





11. [Phk 10]  Now concerning the demon who makes the soul insensitive, what is it proper to say?  For I am afraid to write about him, how the soul departs from its own habitual state: for at the time of his approach [the soul] strips itself of reverence and the fear of God, no longer regarding sin as sin, or wickedness as wickedness; it looks on judgment and the eternal punishment of hell as mere words; it laughs at the fire which causes the earth to tremble; and, while supposedly confessing God, it has no understanding of His commandments.

[79.1212d] [p.188]  11.  Περὶ δὲ τοῦ δαίμονος, τοῦ τὴν ψυχὴν ἀναισθητεῖν ποιοῦντος, τί δεῖ λέγειν;  ‘Εγὼ γὰρ δέδοικα [καὶ]γράφειν περὶ αὐτοῦ, πῶς ἡ ψυχὴ τῆς οἰκείας ἐξίσταιαι καταστάσεως· παρὰ γὰρ τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ὠπιδημίας αὐτοῦ, καὶ τὸν φόβον τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τὴν εὐλάβειαν [1213a] ἀποδύεται, καὶ τὴν ἁμαρτίαν, οὐχ ἁμαρτίαν εἶναι λογίζεται, καὶ τὴν παρανομίαν οὐ νομίζει παρανομίαν, κολάσεως δὲ καὶ κρίσεως αἰωνίου, ὡς ψιλοῦ ῥήματος μέμνηται, καταγελᾳ δὲ ὄντως σεισμοῦ πυρφόρου, καὶ Θεὸν μὲν δῆθεν ὁμολογεῖ, τί δὲ προσέταξεν οὐκ ἐπίσταται.

You may beat your breast as such a soul draws near to sin, but it takes no notice. You recite from the Scripture, yet it is wholly indifferent and will not hear. You point out its shame and disgrace among men, and it ignores you, like a pig that closes its eyes and charges through a fence. This demon gets into the soul by way of long-continuing thoughts of self-esteem; and unless ‘those days are shortened, no flesh will be saved’ (Mt 24 22).

τύπτεις εἰς τὰ στήθη, κινουμένης αὐτῆς πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν, καὶ αὕτη οὐκ αἰσθάνεται.  Ἀπὸ Γραφῶν διαλέγῃ, και ὅλη πεπώρωται, καὶ οὐκ ἀκούει· ὄνειδος αὐτῇ τὸ παρὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων προσφέρεις, καὶ οὐ λογίζεται τὴν παρὰ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις αἰσχύνην, καὶ αὕτη ὅλως οὐ συνίησι, δίκην χοίρου καμμύσαντος ὀφθαλμοὺς, καὶ τὸν φραγμὸν διακόπτοντος· τοῦτον δὲ τὸν δαίμονα κενοδιξίας χρονίσαντες ἐπάγουσι λογισμοὶ, οὗ εἰ μὴ ἐκολοβώθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι, οὐκ ἂν ἐσώθη πᾶσα σάρξ.

This is one of those demons that seldom approach brethren living in a community. The reason is clear: when people round us fall into misfortune, or are afflicted by illness, or are suffering in prison, or meet sudden death, this demon is driven out; for the soul has only to experience even a little compunction or compassion and the callousness caused by the demon is dissolved. We solitaries lack these things, because we live in the wilderness and sickness is rare among us.

Καὶ γὰρ [79.1213b] τῶν σπανίως παραβαλλόντων τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς, ἐστὶ καὶ ἡ αἰτία πρόδηλος· ἐπὶ συμφοραῖς  γὰρ ἑτέρων ἢ ἐν νόσοις πιεζομένων, ἢ ἐν φυλακαῖς δυστυχούντων, ἢ αἰφνιδίοις περιπιπτόντων θανάτοις, φυγαδεύεται οὗτος, τῆς ψυχῆς κατὰ μικρὸν κατανυσσομένης, καὶ εἰς συμπάθειαν ἐρχομένης, καὶ διαλυομένου τοῦ δαιμονίου πωρώματος, ὧν ἡμεῖς ἀποροῦμεν διὰ τὴν ἔρημον, καὶ τὴν σπάνιν τῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν ἀσθενούντων.

[12. not PhK.] It was to banish this demon especially that the Lord enjoined us in the Gospels to call on the sick and visit those in prison. For `I was sick,’ He says, `and you visited Me’ (Mt 25:36).  But you should know this: if an anchorite falls in with this demon, yet does not admit unchaste thoughts or leave his cell out of listlessness, this means he has received the patience and self-restraint that come from heaven, and is blessed with dispassion. Those, on the other hand, who profess to practise godliness, yet choose to have dealings with people of the world, should be on their guard against this demon. I feel ashamed to say or write more about him.

[79.1213b] ΚΕΦΑΛ. ΙΒ’. Τοῦτον τὸν δαίμονα μάλιατα φυγαδεύων ὁ Κυριος ἐν τοῖς Εὐαγγελίοις προσέταξεν ἀσθενοῦντας ὁρᾷν,[79.1213c] καὶ τοὺς ἐν φυλακῇ ἐπεσκεψασθέ με, καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ ἤλθετε  πρός με. ς  Πλὴν τοῦτο ἰστέον, εἴ τις τῶν ἀναχωρητῶν, περιπεσὼν τούτῳ τῷ δαίμονι, λογισμοὺς οὐκ ἔλαβε πορνικοὺς, ἢ τὸν οἶκον ἀκηδίας οὐ κατέλιπεν, οὗτος σωφροσύνην, καὶ ὑπομονὴν ἀπ’ οὐρανῶν ἐδέξατο κατελθούσας, καὶ μακάριός συναυλίζεσθαι προαιροῦνται, φυλαττέσθωσαν τούτου τοῦ [p.192] δαίμονος. Ἐγὼ γὰρ περὶ αὐτοῦ πλέον τι λέγειν, ἢ γράφειν, καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους αἰσχύνομαι.





12. [POhK 11] All the demons teach the soul to love pleasure; only the demon of dejection refrains from doing this, since he corrupts the thoughts of those he enters by cutting off eve? pleasure of the soul and drying it up through dejection, for `the bones of the dejected are dried up’ (Pr 17:22 LXX). Now if this demon attacks only to a moderate degree, he makes the anchorite more resolute; for he encourages him to seek nothing worldly and to shun all pleasures. But when the demon remains for longer, he encourages the soul to give up, or forces it to run away. Even Job was tormented by this demon, and it was because of this that he said: ‘O that I might lay hands upon myself, or at least ask someone else to do this for me’ (Job 30:24. LXX).

[79.1213d] ΚΕΦΑΛ. ΙΓʹ. [p.192] 12. Πάντες οἱ δαίμονες φιλήδονον διδάσκουσι τὴν ψυχήν· μόνος δὲ ὁ τῆς λύπης δαίμων, τοῦτο πράττειν οὐ καταδέχεται, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν εἰσελθότων τοὺς λογισμοὺς διαφθείρει, πᾶσαν ἡδονὴν περικόπτων καὶ ξηραίνων αὐτὴν διὰ τῆς λύπης.  Εἴπερ ἀνδρὸς λυπηροῦ ξηρίνειαι ὀστᾶ, καὶ μετρίως μὲν πολεμῶν δόκιμον τὸν ἀναχωρητὴν ἀπεργσάζεται· πείθεν γὰρ αὐτὸν μηδὲν τῶν κοσμου τούτου προσίεσθαι, καὶ πᾶσαν ἡδονὴν περιίστασθαι, πλεῖον δὲ προσκαρτερῶν, γεννᾷ λογισμοὺς ὑπεξάγειν ἑαυτὸν τῇ ψυχῇ συμβουλεύοντας, ἢ φευγειν τῶν τόπων μακρὰν [1216a]ἀναγκάζοντας· ὅπερ λελόγισταί ποτε, καὶ πέπονθε καὶ ὁ ἅγιος  Ιὼβὑπὸ ούτου παρενοχλούμενος τοῦ δαίμονος· ̧ Εἴθε γὰρ δυναίμην, φησὶν, ἐμαυτὸν χειρώσασθαι, ἢ δεηθείς γε ἑτέρου, καὶ ποιήσει μοι τοῦτο.ς

The symbol of this demon is the viper. When used in moderation for man’s good, its poison is an antidote against that of other venomous creatures, but when taken in excess it kills whoever takes it. It was to this demon that Paul delivered the man at Corinth who had fallen into sin. That is why he quickly wrote again to the Corinthians saying: ‘Confirm your love towards him… lest perhaps he should be swallowed up with too great dejection’ (2 Cor. 2: 7-8).He knew that this spirit, in troubling men, can also bring about true repentance.

Τούτου τοῦ δαίμονος σύμβολόν ἐστιν ἡ ἐχιδνα, τὸ θηρίον, ἧς ἡ φύσις φιλανθρώπως διδομένη, τοὺς τῶν ἄλλων θηρίων ἰοὺς διαφθείρει τὸ ζῶον.  Τούτῳ τῷ δαίμονι παρέδωκεν ὁ Παῦλος τὸν ἐν Κορίνθῳ παρανομήσαντα, διὸ κὶ γράφει πάλιν σπουδαίως· ̧Κυρώσατε, λέγων τοῖς Κορινθίοις, ἰς αὐτὸν ἀγάπην, ἵνα μή ποτε τῇ περισσοτέρᾳ λύπῃ καταποθῇ ὁ τοιοῦτος. ς  Ἀλλ’ οἶδε τοῦτο θλίβον τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ μετανοίας αὐτοῖς ἀγαθῆς πρόξενον γίνεσθαι·

It was for this reason that St. John the Baptist gave the name `progeny of Vipers’ to those who were goaded by this spirit to seek refuge in God, saying: `Who has warned you to flee from the anger to come? Bring forth fruits, then, that testify to your repentance; and do not think that you can just say within yourselves, We have Abraham as our father’ (Mt. 3:7-9). But if a man imitates Abraham and leaves his country and kindred (cf. Gen. Iz: t), he thereby becomes stronger than this demon.

ὅθεν καὶ ὁ ἅγιος  Ἰωάννης ὁ Βαπτιστὴς, τοὺς [79.1216b] ὑπὸ τούτου κεντουμένους τοῦ δαίμονος, καὶ προσφεύγοντας τῷ Θεῷ·  ̧ Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν, φησὶ, τίς ὑμῖν ὑπέδειξε φυγεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης, καὶ μὴ δόξητε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν  Ἀβραάμ· λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι δύναται ὁ Θεὸς ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ  Ἀβραάμ. ς  Πλὴν ᾶς ὁ τὸν  Ἀβραάμ μιμησάμενος, καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἐκ τῆς γῆς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐκ τῆς συγγενείας, αὐτὸς καὶ τούτου τοῦ δαίμονος γέγονεν ἰσχυρότερος.



13. [PhK 12]  He who has mastery over his incensive power has mastery also over the demons. But anyone who is a slave to it is a stranger to the monastic life and to the ways of our Saviour, for as David said of the Lord: `He will teach the gentle His ways’ (Ps 25:9). The intellect of the solitary is hard for the demon to catch, for it shelters in the land of gentleness. There is scarcely any other virtue which the demons fear as much as gentleness. Moses possessed this virtue, for he was called `very gentle, above all men’ (Num 12:3)  And David showed that it makes men worthy to be remembered by God when he said: ‘Lord, remember David and all his gentleness’ (Ps 132:1 I. LXX).

[79.1216b] [p.196] 14. Εἴ τις θυμοῦ κεκράτηκεν, οὗτος δαιμόνων κεκράτηεν, εἰ δέ τις τούτῳ τῷ πάθει δεδούλωται, οὗτος [79.1216c]μοναδικοῦ βίου ἐστὶ παντελῶς ἀλλότριος, καὶ ξένος τῶν ὁδῶ τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν· εἴπερ αὐτὸς ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν λέγεται διδάσκειν τοῦς πραεῖς τὰς ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ· διὸ καὶ δυσθήρατος γίνεται τῶν ἀναχωρούντων ὁ νοῦς, εἰς τὸ τῆς πραότητος φεύγων πεδίον· οὐδεμίαν γὰρ τῶν ἀρετῶν σχεδὸν οὕτω δεδοίκασιν οἱ δαίμονες, ὡς πραΰτητα· ταύτην γὰρ καὶ Μωϋσῆς ἐκεῖνος ἐκέκτητο, πραῢς παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους κληθείς.  Καὶ ὁ ἅγιος δὲ Δαβὶδ ἀξίαν ταύτην τ͂ς τοῦ Θεοῦ μνήμης ἀπεφθέγξατο εἶναι· ̧ Μνήσθητι Κύριε, λέγων, τοῦ Δαβὶδ, καὶ πάσης τῆς πραότητος αὐτοῦ.ς

And the Saviour Himself also enjoined us to imitate Him in His gentleness, saying: `Learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart: and you will find rest for your souls’(Mt 11:29). Now if a man abstains from food and drink, but becomes incensed to wrath because of evil thoughts, he is like a ship sailing the open sea with a demon for pilot. So we must keep this watchdog under careful control, training him to destroy only the wolves and not to devour the sheep, and to show the greatest gentleness towards all men.

 Ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτὸς ῾ Σωτὴρ μιμητὰς ἡμᾶς ἐκέλευσε γενέσθαι τῆς ἐκείνοου πραότητος· ̧ Μάθετε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ, λέγων, ὅτι πρᾶός εἰμι, καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ, καὶ εὑρήσετε ἀνάπαυσιν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν.ς [79.1216d] Εἰ δέ τις βρωμάτων μὲν, καὶ πομάτων, ἀπέχοιτο, θυμὸν δὲ λογισμοῖς πονηροῖς ἐρεθίζει, οὗτος ἔοικε ποντοπορούσῃ νηῒ, καὶ ἐχούσῃ δαίμονα κυβερνήτην, διὰ προσεκτέον, ὅση δύναμις, τῷ ἡμετέρῳ κυνὶ, καὶ διδακτέον αὐτὸν, τοὺς λύκους μόνους διαφθείρειν, καὶ μὴ τὰ πρόβατα κατεσθίειν, πᾶσαν ἐνδεικνύμενον πραότητα πρὸς πάντας ἀνθρώπους.



14. [PhK 13] In the whole range of evil thoughts, none is richer in resources than self-esteem; for it is to be found almost everywhere, and like some cunning traitor in a city it opens the gates to all the demons. So it greatly debases the intellect of the solitary, filling it with many words and notions, and polluting the prayers through which he is trying to heal all the wounds of his soul. All the other demons, when defeated, combine to increase the strength of this evil thought; and through the gateway of self -esteem they all gain entry into the soul, thus making a man’s last state worse than his first (cf. Mt 12:45).

[79.1216d] [p.198] 14. Μόνος τῶν λογισμῶν ὁ τῆς κενοδοξίας ἐστὶ πολύυλος, ςαὶ ὅλον σχεδὸν περιλαμβάνων τὴν οἰκουμένην, καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς δαίμοσιν ὑπανοίγων τὰς θύρας, ὥσπερ [79.1217a] τις προδότης πονηρὸς ἀγαθῆς γενόμενος πόλεως.  Διὸ καὶ πάνυ ταπεινοῖ τοῦ ἀναχωροῦντος τὸν νοῦν, πολλῶν λόγων αὐτὸν καὶ πραγμάτων πληρῶν, καὶ τὰς προσευχὰς αὐτοῦ λυμαινόμενος δι’ ὧν πάντα τὰ τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ τραύματα θεραπεύειν σπουδάζει.  Τοῦτον τὸν λογισμὸν συναύξουσι πάντες ἡττηθέντες οἱ δαίμονες, καὶ πάλιν δι’ αὐτοῦ πάντες εἰς τὰς ψυχὰς λαμβάνουσιν εἴσοδον, ποιοῦντες ὄντῶς τὰ ἔσχατα, χείρονα τῶν πρώτων. 

Self-esteem gives rise in turn to pride, which cast down from heaven to earth the highest of the angels, the seat of God’s likeness and the crown of all beauty. So turn quickly away from pride and do not dally with it, in case you surrender your life to others and your substance to the merciless (cf. Pr 5:9). This demon is driven away by intense prayer and by not doing or saying anything that contributes to the sense of your own importance.

̓Εκ τούτου δὲ γεννᾶται τοῦ λογισμοῦ, καὶ ὁ τῆς ὑπερηφανίας ἐκεῖνος, ὁ τὸ ἀποσφράγισμα τῆς ὁμοιώσεως, καὶ τὸν στέφανον τοῦ κάλλους ἀπ’ οὐρανῶν εἰς γῆν κατασείσας.  Ἀλλ’ ἀποπήδησον τούτου, καὶ μὴ χρονίσῃς, ἵνα μὴ προδῶμεν ἄλλοις τὴν ζωὴν ἡμῶν, καὶ τὸν ἡμέτερον βίον ἀνελεήμοσι.  Τοῦτον δὲ τὸν δαίμονα φυγαδεύει [p.202] ἐκτενὴς προσευχὴ, [79.1217b] καὶ τὸ μηδὲν ἑκόντα ποιεῖν, τῶν συνελούντων πρὸς τὴν ἐπάρατον δόξαν.



(Apatheia and Vainglory)


15. PhK 14]. When the intellect of the solitary attains some small degree of dispassion, it mounts the horse of self-esteem and immediately rides off into cities, taking its fill of the lavish praise accorded to its repute. But by God’s providence the spirit of unchastity now confronts it and shuts it up in a sty of dissipation. This is to teach it to stay in bed until it is completely recovered and not to act like disobedient patients who, before they are fully cured of their disease, start taking walks and baths and so fall sick again. Let us sit still and keep our attention fixed within ourselves, so that we advance in holiness and resist vice more strongly. Awakened in this way to spiritual knowledge, we shall acquire contemplative insight into many things; and ascending still higher, we shall receive a clearer vision of the light of our Saviour.

[p.202] 15.  Ὅταν ὀλίγης ἀπαθείας τῶν ἀναχωρούντων ὁ νοῦς ἐπιλάβηται, τότε κενοδοξίας ἵππον κτησάμενος, εὐθέως ἐλαύνει κατὰ τὰς πόλεις ἄκρατον ἐκ τῆς δόξης ἐμφορούμενος ἔπαινον, ᾧ, κατ’ οἰκονομίαν, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς πορνείας ἀπαντῆσαν, καὶ εἰς ἕνα τῶν συφεῶν ἀποκλεῖσαν τοῦτον, παιδεύει αὐτὸν μηκέτι πρὸ τῆς τελείας ὑγείας καταλιμπάνειν τὴν κλίνην, μηδὲ τοὺς ἀτάκτους τῶν ἀῤῥώστων μιεῖσθαι, οἵτινες, ἔτι λείψανα τῆς ἀσθενείας ἐν ἑαυτοῖς περιφέροντες, ὁδοῖς ἑαυτοὺς, καὶ λουτροῖς ἀκαίροις ἐπιδιδόασι, καὶ τοῖς ἐξ ὑποστροφῆς νοσήμασι περιπίπτουσι.  Διόπερ καθεζόμενοι μᾶλλον προσέχωμεν ἑαυτοῖς, ὡς, προκόπτοντες μὲν ἐν ἀρετῇ,  [79.1217c] δυσκίνητοι πρὸς κακίαν γινόμεθα, ἀνακαινούμενοι δὲ ἐν τῇ γνώσει, ποικίλων προσλαμβάνομεν πλῆθος θεωρημάτων, ὑψούμενοι δὲ πάλιν κατὰ τὴν προσευχὴν φανερώτερον τὸ τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν ἐποπτεύσομεν φῶς.



(Sexual Immorality)


16. [Ph 15] I cannot write about all the villainies of the demons; and I feel ashamed to speak about them at length and in detail, for fear of harming the more simple- minded among my readers. But let me tell you about the cunning of the demon of unchastity. When a man has acquired dispassion in the appetitive* part of his soul and shameful thoughts cool down within him, this demon at once suggests images of men and women playing with one another, and makes the solitary a spectator of shameful acts and gestures.

[1217C] [p.204] 16.̈           Πάσας μὲν τὰς κακουργίας τῶν δαιμόνων γράφειν οὐ δύναμαι, καὶ τὰς κακοτεχνίας αὐτῶν καταλέγειν αἰσχύνομαι, δεδοικὼς ων ἐντευξομένων τοὺς ἁπλουστέρους.  πλὴν δὲ τοῦ πνεύματος τῆς πορνείας, ἄκουε πανουργίαν.  Ὅταν τις τοῦ ἐπιθυμητικοῦ μέρους κτήσηται ἀπάθειαν, καὶ οἱ αἰσχροὶ λογισμοὶ λοιπὸν ὑπόψυχροι γένωνται, τὸ τηνικαῦτα εἰσάγει[79.1217d] ἄνδρας τε, καὶ γυναῖκας παίζοντας μετ’ ἀλλήλων, καὶ αἰσχρῶν πραγμάτων, καὶ σχημάτων τὸν ἀναχωρητὴν καθίστησι θεατήν.

But this temptation need not be permanent; For intense prayer, a very frugal diet, together with vigils and the development of spiritual contemplation, drive it away like a light cloud. There are times when this cunning demon even touches the flesh, inflaming it to uncontrolled desire; and it devises endless other tricks which need not be described.

̓Αλλ’ οὗτος ὁ πειρασμὸς οὐκ ἔστι τῶν χρονιζόντων· προσευχὴ γὰρ σύντονος, καὶ δίαιτα στενωτάτη μετὰ ἀγρυπνίας καὶ γυμνασίας θεωρημάτων πνευματικῶν ὥσπερ νέφος αὐτὸν ἄνυδρον ἐπελαύνει.  Ἔστι δὲ ὅτε καὶ τῶν σαρκῶν ἐφάπτεται, πρὸς τὴν ἄλογον πύρωσιν αὐτὰς ἐκμοχλεύων, καὶ ἄλλα δέ τινα μυρία προσμηχανᾶται ὁ παμπόνηρος οὗτος, ἅπερ οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον δημοσιεῦσαι, καὶ γραφῇ παραδοῦναι.

Our incensive power is also a good defense against this demon. When it is directed against evil thoughts of this kind, such power fills the demon with fear and destroys his designs.

 Συβάλλεται δὲ σφόδρα πρὸς τοὺς λογισμοὺς καὶ ζέσις θυμου κατὰ τοῦ δαίμονος κινηθεῖσα, ὅνπερ θυμὸν μάλιστα δέδοικεν ἐπὶ τοῖς λογισμοῖς ταρασσόμενον, καὶ διαφθείροντα, αὐτοῦ τὰ [79.1220a] νοήματα·

[LD]And this is [the meaning] of the [text]: `Be angry, and do not sin’ (Ps. 4:5). It is useful to apply to the soul this medicine [of anger] in temptations.

[p.206 l.20] καὶ τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ, ̧ὀργίζεσθε, καὶ μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε ς,[p.208] χρήσιμον φάρμακον ἐν τοῖς πειρασμοῖς τῇ ψυχῆ προσαγόμενον. [l.22]

The demon of anger employs tactics resembling those of the demon of unchastity. For he suggests images of our parents, friends or kinsmen being gratuitously insulted; and in this way he excites our incensive power, making us say or do something vicious to those who appear in our minds. We must be on our guard against these fantasies and expel them quickly from our mind, for if we dally with them, they will prove a blazing firebrand to us during prayer. People prone to anger are specially liable to fall into these temptations; and if they do, then they are far from pure prayer and from the knowledge of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Μιμεῖται δὲ καὶ ὁ τῆς ὀργῆς τοῦτον τὸν δαίμονα, καὶ πλάττει, καὶ αὐτός τινας τῶν γεγεννηκότων, ἢ φίλων, ἢ συγγενῶν, ἢ οἰκείων ὑβριζομένους, καὶ τυπτομένους ὑπο ἀναξίων, καὶ τῶν ἀνχωρούντων ἀναινεῖ τὸν θυμὸν, ὥστε φθέγξασθαί τι πονηρὸν ἢ ποιῆσαι πρὸς τοὺς φαινομένους κατὰ διάνοιαν, οἷς οὐ προσέχειν ἀναγκαῖον, καὶ ταχέως ἐξαρπάζειν ἀπὸ τῶν τοιούτων εἰδώλων τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς, ὥσπερ δαλλὸς καπνιζόμενος.  Τούτοις δὲ τοῖς πειρασμοῖς οἱ θυμώδεις περιπίπτουσι, καὶ μάλιοτα οἱ ῥᾳδίως πρὸς τὰς ὀργὰς ἐξαπτόμενοι, οἵτινες μακράν[79.1220b] ε ἰσι καθαρᾳς προσευχῆς, καὶ τῆς γνῶσεως τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν  Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.


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