Digression -- 2
Let us now turn to the remaining transformations, those that correspond to the second natural contemplation, the first natural contemplation and the contemplation of the Holy Trinity. We will go through the transformations one by one, but let us first present some of Evagrius’ more general comments on contemplation.
The principal contemplations are five, under which every contemplation is contained. It is said that the first is the contemplation of the Holy and Adorable Trinity; the second and the third, the contemplation of those who are bodiless and of bodies; the fourth and fifth, the contemplations of judgement and providence (I, 27). The first three contemplations correspond in reverse order to the three transformations that we are about to look at. The first contemplation corresponds to the fourth transformation. It is the contemplation of the Holy Trinity, Theology. It corresponds to pure prayer. The second contemplation corresponds to the third transformation. It is the contemplation of the bodiless powers, first natural contemplation. The third contemplation corresponds to the second transformation. It is the contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of objects of sense, second natural contemplation. The remaining two contemplations are the contemplations of the judgement and of the providence of God. This chapter is important as a formal statement of the five principal contemplations that Evagrius recognizes. Note that when Evagrius speaks of the contemplation of bodies, we must understand the contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of those bodies. The actual contemplation of sensible bodies by means of the physical organs of sense is not considered by Evagrius to be at all spiritual, except to the extent that the physical presence of the object whose reason (logos) is being contemplated is necessary on account of the imperfection of the mind (nous) which is at the stage of second natural contemplation.
Every contemplation appears with an underlying object, with the exception of the Holy Trinity (IV, 87). This is an important statement that every contemplation is a contemplation of something. Evagrius excepts the Holy Trinity, evidently because the distinction between subject and object is lost in the contemplation of the Holy Trinity. Moreover, given the doctrine that the Holy Trinity is essential gnosis, there can be no distinction between the gnosis of the Holy Trinity taken as a condition or state of a mind (nous), and the gnosis (i.e. the substance, knowable) of the Holy Trinity taken as an object of contemplation.
Every contemplation by the sign of its mental representation is immaterial and incorporeal; but material or immaterial, it is said that it is that which possesses or does not possess the objects which fall under it (IV, 81). This is difficult to interpret. The first part states that since every contemplation is the reception of a mental representation, and since every mental representation received in a contemplation is immaterial, then, in this light, every contemplation is immaterial and incorporeal. This is an important statement for our commentary, after the Digression, on the remaining chapters of OTT, since Evagrius will occupy himself in those chapters precisely with the types of mental representations that the mind can receive in contemplation. However, the passage seems to go on to say that when viewed in terms of the underlying object of contemplation, the contemplation can be said to possess or not to possess that underlying object of contemplation. We are not sure which underlying objects can be possessed and which not on this reading.
Contemplation is the spiritual gnosis of things which have been and which will be, which contemplation makes the mind (nous) ascend to its first rank (III, 42). This passage is particularly useful for its formal statement of the relation between contemplation and gnosis. Of course, in Evagrius the ‘first rank’ is the condition that the mind (nous) had before the Movement and is equivalent to the gnosis of the Holy Trinity. Hence, the passage also gives us the basis of the homology that we have observed between Evagrius’ doctrine of contemplation and his eschatology: in Evagrius, contemplation is the means of anticipating by ascesis the eschatological return of the Restoration of All Things. In an Orthodox interpretation, the mystical ascent through contemplation and gnosis is a return to the ‘according to the likeness’ (kath’ homoiosin)’ that man lost in the Fall of Adam. Hence, in the Orthodox understanding, the ‘first rank’ is that of Adam and Eve in
The life of man is the holy gnosis and the abundant compassion of God is the contemplation of beings. Many sages of this world have promised gnosis, but ‘Better than life is the mercy of the Lord.’ (Ps. 62, 4.) (I, 73.) We have placed this passage here to provide a context for the Evagrian doctrine of contemplation: contemplation is inserted into a soteriological framework in Evagrius—certainly, a heterodox framework. The holy gnosis, which corresponds to the contemplation of Holy Trinity, is the ‘life of man’; it is what truly gives man life. Moreover, the contemplation of the angelic powers—perhaps Evagrius also means the contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of created things—is a gift of the compassion of God. This passage certainly can be interpreted in an Orthodox way.
Such is the contemplation of all that has been produced and will be produced that the nature which is susceptible of it will also be able to receive the gnosis of the Trinity (II, 16). This clearly refers to natural contemplation, to what stage is somewhat ambiguous. The sense of the passage is that any being which can engage in natural contemplation is also capable of the gnosis of the Holy Trinity. We have learned elsewhere that only beings that possess mind (nous) are capable of participating in natural contemplation. Hence, the passage is saying that all beings that possess mind (nous) are capable of receiving the gnosis of the Holy Trinity. This, as far as it goes, is sound, but it is based on Evagrius’ heterodox cosmology and cannot be accepted without reinterpretation: men who turn to God and angels which are not fallen are capable of receiving the gnosis of the Holy Trinity, each according to his or its capacity. Moreover, demons, being fallen angels, are by nature capable of receiving the gnosis of God, which they once had even though they are now completely estranged from God.
Let us now leave these chapters of a more general import concerning the nature of contemplation and turn to the second of the four transformations: ‘that from dispassion to the second natural contemplation’.
The mind (nous) which is imperfect is the one which still has need of the contemplation that is known by means of the corporeal nature (III, 10). This is a statement that we have often referred to, that the second natural contemplation is characteristic of the imperfect mind (nous). It is a contemplation for beginners in the contemplative life, beginners who nonetheless have attained to dispassion (apatheia).
Just as those who teach letters to infants trace them on tablets, so also the Christ, in teaching his wisdom to the reasonable beings (logikoi), has traced it in the corporeal nature (III, 57). This is easy. The wisdom that is the object of second natural contemplation is the wisdom of Christ that is ‘traced’ in material objects. The second natural contemplation is a contemplation for the imperfect mind (nous), here called by implication an infant. This chapter gives us an insight into how the mind (nous) apprehends the wisdom of God, the reasons (logoi) of created beings, in those created beings: it sees the wisdom or reason (logos) ‘traced’ in the sensible object. Nonetheless, in the second natural contemplation, the mind (nous) apprehends not the object of sense but the intelligible reason (logos) of the object of sense. However, the object of sense must be sensibly present to the mind (nous) to support the mind’s (nous’) apprehension of the intelligible reason (logos) of that object of sense, on account of the imperfection of that infant-like mind (nous). This seems also to be the import of the next passage:
At all the times when we consider materials, we come to the remembrance of their contemplation, and, when we have received that contemplation, we remove ourselves anew from the materials. But that does not occur to us in relation to the Holy Trinity, for it is only essential contemplation (V, 61). This seems to explain how the second natural contemplation, and indeed, all the other natural contemplations proceed. One commences with the object—one has it before him sensibly—and, ‘remembering the contemplation’, one raises his mind (nous) to the reason (logos) of the object, apprehending that reason (logos) spiritually by a means to be discussed below. That raising of the mind (nous) to the reason (logos) of the object detaches the mind (nous) from the actual physical object.
The passage does not seem to restrict this to second natural contemplation. However, in the case of first natural contemplation, the object, an angel, is not sensible, so the necessary adjustments must be made in our understanding of the presence of the object of contemplation in the contemplation: the object, the angel, must be present, but we can never perceive it sensibly.
The passage, however, does state that the contemplation of the Holy Trinity proceeds differently.
Let us make some remarks here. First, we have discussed a passage of St Isaac the Syrian which explains the divestiture of the senses by the mind (nous) in the transition from the second natural to the first natural contemplation. It is noteworthy that in that passage, St Isaac alludes to KG III, 67, where Evagrius compares the second natural contemplation to milk, and also to KG III, 57, quoted just above, where Evagrius compares the second natural contemplation to the letters inscribed on a tablet for an infant.
Next, we have discussed the differences between
You see each of the arts in him who presides there, but you will find in all these things the gnosis of him who is, if our Lord ‘has made all things with wisdom’ (Ps. 103, 24) (I, 14). This clarifies further the nature of the second natural contemplation: the ascetic beginning the second natural contemplation begins to discern the reasons (logoi) of objects of sense in the way that he might discern the art of an artisan in an object made by that artisan.
God is in the corporeal nature just as the architect is in the things which he has made; and he is in the statue just as the architect is, if he should happen to make for himself a statue of wood (VI, 82). The import of this chapter is that God is present in his material creation in the same way that an architect is present in the architect’s own creations. Hence, the second natural contemplation is the contemplation of the wisdom of God expressed in his material creation.
How is the second natural contemplation accomplished?
If sensible words also make known objects in the world to come, it is evident that the sages of this world also will receive the Kingdom of the Heavens. But if it is the purity of the mind (nous) which sees, and the word (logos = reason?) appropriate to that purity which makes known, then the sages of this world are kept at a distance from the gnosis of God (VI, 22). This was the import of TPL 94, Anthony. Recall from TPL 2 that ‘The Kingdom of the Heavens is dispassion of soul with true gnosis of existent things.’ The present chapter also echoes Gnostic 40, to which we will refer below.
In order to understand how the second natural contemplation is practised, we have to learn the connection between sense-perception and contemplation.
The things which draw near to us by the senses are desirable, but more desirable than they is their contemplation. But because the sense-perception does not attain to gnosis on account of our weakness, we consider the sense-perception superior to the gnosis that we have not yet attained (II, 10). Here, Evagrius acknowledges that when we sense them, objects of sense convey a pleasure. However, he says, the second natural contemplation, the contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of the objects, is more pleasurable. That is how one must understand the contemplation of objects to which Evagrius is here referring: as the second natural contemplation of their reasons (logoi). However, says Evagrius, because the ascetic cannot attain to the second natural contemplation, since he has not yet reached that stage, he prefers the pleasure granted by his sense-perceptions of objects of sense.
The further import of this passage is that when we have not yet reached the stage of the second natural contemplation, that of the reasons (logoi) of sensible objects, we prefer the use of, the impassioned attachment to, the sensible object itself. As Evagrius will discuss in OTT 40, this prevents us from ascending to pure prayer.
Implicit in what Evagrius is saying is that second natural contemplation is something different from sense-perception: it is not an enhanced sense-perception, even tinged with awe. What is required for second natural contemplation if it is not an enhanced sense-perception?
Just as each of the arts has need of a sharpened sense which is suitable to its matter, so the mind (nous) has need of a spiritual sense to distinguish the spiritual things (I, 33). This idea of a spiritual sense is very important for Evagrius’ psychology of contemplation. We will now clarify this concept of a spiritual sense:
The spiritual sense is the dispassion of the reasonable soul, which is produced by the grace of God (I, 37). ‘Spiritual sense’ could very well have had ‘noera aisthesis’ as the underlying Greek of the lost Greek text of the Kephalaia Gnostica. It might very well be equivalent to the ‘spiritual perception (noera aisthesis)’ of St Diadochos of Photike in his Gnostic Chapters, and St Diadochos may very well have been influenced not only by St Makarios in the Spiritual Homilies in his adoption of the term but even by Evagrius in the Kephalaia Gnostica. The term seems to be equivalent to discernment in the sense of St John of Sinai.
What is important here is Evagrius’ statement that the spiritual sense is dispassion (apatheia). We do not think that he means that the spiritual sense literally is dispassion (apatheia), but that it is a fruit of dispassion (apatheia). This might be compared to St John of Sinai’s statement in the Ladder of Divine Ascent that discernment is begotten of humility. In both cases there is a sense that attainment to the ‘spiritual sense’, or discernment, requires moral perfection.
Note the necessity of grace for the attainment to the spiritual sense.
What are the characteristics of this spiritual sense?
The sensible eye, when it regards something visible, does not see the whole of it; but the intelligible eye either has not seen, or, when it sees, it immediately surrounds from all sides that which it sees (II, 28). This chapter clearly conveys the nature of the spiritual sense: ‘the intelligible eye either has not seen, or, when it sees, it immediately surrounds from all sides that which it sees.’ The spiritual sense either grasps the object of spiritual perception or not. In philosophical language, this is an intuitive apprehension of the intelligible object of spiritual perception, by the spiritual eye. This apprehension is neither sense-perception nor ratiocination. Evidently, there is a sensible eye, with which we perceive a sensible object in the usual way; and there is reason; and there is an intelligible eye. What might that be?
The mind (nous) also possesses five spiritual senses through which it apprehends its familiar materials: sight presents to it bare the intelligible objects themselves; the hearing receives the reasons (logoi) concerning those intelligible objects; the sense of smell enjoys the aroma which is unmixed with any lie; and the mouth partakes of the pleasure which is from those intelligible objects; by means of the sense of touch, then, the nous is confirmed with the exact proof of the objects received (II, 35—Greek fragment). We have reached an important aspect of the Evagrian psychology of contemplation: the mind (nous) certainly has operations which involve bodily sense organs, but it also has intuitive cognitive operations which are independent of the bodily sense organs.
The idea of spiritual senses of the mind (nous) analogous but not identical to the bodily sense organs is fundamental to Evagrian contemplative psychology. It is with these spiritual or mental ‘organs’ or faculties that the ascetic will contemplate. This has nothing to do with the visualization of angels, Heaven, the Passion, Resurrection or Ascension of Christ and so on, in the sense of directed fantasy or imagination. Something else is involved, and that something else is expressed by the formula: ‘…but the intelligible eye either has not seen, or, when it sees, it immediately surrounds from all sides that which it sees.’ This ‘surrounding from all sides’ conveys the complete cognition of the object being contemplated at whatever stage of contemplation the ascetic is; that is the import of this chapter concerning the five spiritual senses. They should not be considered to be ‘shadow’ bodily sense organs superimposed on the body. Evagrius is describing metaphorically certain operations of intuitive apprehension or cognition by the mind (nous). However, it is well to bear in mind the qualification introduced by Evagrius in Gnostic 40, that the gnostic apprehends the reasons (logoi) of objects of sense in proportion to his measure and that only the Christ possesses the first reason (logos) of any object. Hence, this surrounding from all sides is in proportion to the spiritual measure of the ascetic.
Although Evagrius here refers to five spiritual senses, we really think that he is referring to the same thing that he has referred to with the notion of the spiritual sense: the faculty of intuitive cognition which requires dispassion (apatheia) and the grace of God for its proper operation.
It should be noted, although Evagrius does not address the point directly, that the demons also can give us a ‘spiritual sense’: with their demonic operations (energeies), they can ‘enlighten’ our faculty of spiritual intuitive cognition: this leads to demonic intuitive apprehensions of spiritual realities, demonic gnosis; this is the nature both of delusion (plane) and of soothsaying.
The reader should now consider again, in the light of the above discussion, our remarks on St Thomas Aquinas’ theory of cognition, which excludes the natural possibility of intuitive cognition such as is being discussed here, and our remarks on St Augustine’s own theory of mystical cognition, which, despite differences, retains the same notion as Evagrius of spiritual cognition by a faculty of the soul capable of the intuitive apprehension of spiritual realities, which faculty St Augustine calls the ‘intellect’, ‘intelligence’ or ‘superior reason’. It is in this sense that the ‘spiritual perception (noera aisthesis)’ that St Gregory Palamas discusses in Huper ton Hieros Hesuchazonton (In Defence of Those Keeping Stillness in a Holy Manner) is to be understood: not as the sense-perception of a supposedly Messalian sensible light, but as the philosophically intuitive spiritual apprehension of a spiritual reality by a faculty of the mind (nous) that is capable of such apprehensions.
Now, as we shall see, the mystical ascent from second natural contemplation through first natural contemplation to Theology, the contemplation of the Holy Trinity, involves the progressive purification of the mind (nous). But that is equivalent to the sharpening of the spiritual sense of the mind (nous): as the spiritual measure of the gnostic grows, he sees in more depth the reasons (logoi) of the objects of sense, and, mutatis mutandis, all the objects of contemplation in all the stages of natural contemplation. We can see this in the following passage:
The more the nous divests itself of the passions, the more it approaches the objects and according to the degree of its order it also receives the gnosis; and it knows the contemplation of each order in which it stands as its very own (V, 75).
Let us now return to the matter of the relation of sense-perception to contemplation :
The sense and the mind (nous) divide among themselves the sensible things, but the mind (nous) alone has the intelligible things (noeta), for the mind (nous) becomes a seer both of the objects and of the reasons (logoi) (II, 45—Greek fragment). In the case of a sensible object, the ordinary sense-perception of the object requires both the bodily organ of sense and the mind (nous). However, in the case of the intelligible mental representation that the mind (nous) receives in contemplation, for example, the reason (logos) of an object of sense, then only the mind (nous) participates in the reception of the mental representation. For the mental representations received in contemplation are of intelligibles and have no connection to sense-perception. However, in the second natural contemplation, on account of the weakness of the mind (nous), the sensible object must itself be present to support the mind (nous) during the contemplation, although the mental representation of the reason (logos) of the object of sense is itself intelligible and not susceptible of sense-perception. This chapter will be important for us when we return to the commentary on OTT, especially OTT 40.
In the lower stage of natural contemplation, the second, the mind (nous) has not yet reached a stage of purification in which it can contemplate intelligibles easily; that is, it still has need of the sense-perception of the sensible object to support its use of the spiritual sense. This is the import of the passages quoted above which state that in the second natural contemplation we see the wisdom of God traced in his material creation. Moreover, in the case of the second natural contemplation, it is how we understand the concept of ‘object’ in KG IV, 87, quoted above, wherein Evagrius states that every contemplation is the contemplation of an object with the exception of the contemplation of the Holy Trinity: in the second natural contemplation, the object of contemplation is primarily the reason (logos) of the object of sense, but the sensible object itself is the object of contemplation in the secondary sense that its physical presence supports the contemplation. Moreover, KG V, 61, also quoted above, indicates that the mind (nous) of the ascetic apprehends the object sensibly, is ‘reminded of the contemplation’ and thus raises itself to the contemplation of the reason (logos) of the object. It certainly is the case, however, that a contemplative in first natural contemplation would be able to engage in contemplation without the support of a sensible object. This is implicit in the fact that in the first natural contemplation, the contemplations are of intelligible objects such as angels which have no sensible object associated with them. It is also the import of the passage of St Isaac the Syrian referred to above: the ascetic divests himself of the senses in passing from the second to the first natural contemplation.
Blessed is he who by the objects receives the demonstration of the grace of God; and blessed also is he who by gnosis can make an examination of them (III, 82). This should now be clear. The grace of God referred to is his wisdom expressed in creation: sensible objects manifest the wisdom of God. The gnosis referred to is second natural contemplation. Hence, by contemplating their reasons (logoi) with the spiritual sense spoken of above, the ascetic can make a spiritual examination of objects of sense that demonstrates the grace of God. This passage can be taken in a parallel way for all the other stages of natural contemplation.
One is a number of quantity, and quantity is bound to the corporeal nature; therefore number pertains to the second natural contemplation (IV, 19). This is important, for it indicates that the second natural contemplation is not construed by Evagrius to be a raw confrontation with sense-perception: number, a quite intellectual thing, enters into the second natural contemplation in a quite natural way. The second natural contemplation is quite verbal in Evagrius, although, as we have seen, its apprehension is not by means of words but by means of an intuitive or spiritual faculty of the mind (nous).
The next chapters discuss the progressive purification of the mind (nous) of the ascetic who enters into second natural contemplation.
Just as, when the sun rises, even the things which are but little elevated above the earth make a shadow, so also, to the mind (nous) which begins to draw near to the mental representations of beings, the objects appear obscurely (V, 14). Here, Evagrius is saying that at the beginning of the second natural contemplation, the contemplation is quite obscure, until the ascetic gains experience and greater purity of mind (nous). ‘Beings’ here is somewhat ambiguous, and the chapter might actually be referring to the contemplation of angels, first natural contemplation. However, we think that the principle stated applies to all the stages of natural contemplation: there is a progressive purification in each stage of contemplation, a progressive development in each stage, of the power of the mind (nous) to apprehend the intelligible object of contemplation. This chapter should be read in conjunction with Gnostic 40:
40 Take care to the fact that, for each created thing, there is not just one reason, but a great number, and according to the measure of each person. The holy powers alone attain to the true reasons of objects, but not the first, that which is known only by the Christ.
As the man progresses in any one stage of contemplation, his spiritual measure increases, and, of course, he eventually passes to the next higher stage of contemplation.
Just as the waves, when they rise, make a shadow, and once again forthwith appear without shadow, so, when the mental representations of beings will flee far from the pure mind (nous), once again forthwith they will be known (V, 17). Here we see that in the early stages of the second natural contemplation, the instability of the mind (nous) makes it lose the contemplation. However, Evagrius says, it once again finds the contemplation. (This is how we take the passage; the term ‘beings’ is ambiguous and could refer to the angels.)
Evagrius introduces another important nuance:
One thing is the mental representation of the matter; another is that mental representation of the attribute which can make the matter known; another is that mental representation of the sensible object’s internal part near to the elements; another is that mental representation of the sensible elements; another is the contemplation of the body; and another is that contemplation of the human organon or body (VI, 72). Here, Evagrius is using some concepts from Aristotelian metaphysics (matter, quality, the actual substance or object) and adapting them to his contemplative psychology. The contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of sensible objects can be quite varied. For we do not think that Evagrius here wishes to describe the varieties of bodily sense-perception of objects of sense.
All of the second natural contemplation bears the sign of the stars; and the stars are those to whom it has been entrusted to illumine those who are in the night (III, 84). This, of course, is based on the Evagrian doctrine, condemned in Anathema 3 of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod, that the stars are angelic powers. What Evagrius seems to want to say, as concerns the psychology of contemplation, is that the second natural contemplation is the condition of those who in the night-time see only the stars: the second natural contemplation is a contemplation of an imperfect mind (nous).
He who is going to see the things that are written has need of the light; and he who is going to learn the wisdom of beings has need of spiritual love (III, 58). This chapter is important for the importance it assigns to spiritual love as a precondition for the practice of the second natural contemplation: this spiritual love acts as a light for the mind (nous). This seems similar to
At the end, the Creator reveals the second natural contemplation, which in the beginning was immaterial, to the nature of the reasonable beings (logikoi) by means of matter (II, 20). It is not clear to us why the second natural contemplation, the contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of created objects, was, for Evagrius, in the beginning immaterial, unless he means that it was equivalent to the contemplation of the reasonable beings, the minds (noes). The significance of the revelation by means of matter is that the second natural contemplation is used, according to Evagrius, by the Christ to create the worlds and the bodies, and so the second natural contemplation reveals the wisdom with which the worlds and bodies have been made. We Orthodox can accept the second natural contemplation by discarding the heterodox element that the Christ used the second natural contemplation to create the world, or worlds, and by treating the second natural contemplation as the contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of created objects, with the qualification, of course, that the ascetic attains to the intuitive knowledge of these reasons (logoi) in an imperfect way based on his spiritual measure, on his measure as created man and on the measure of grace that God grants him to make the contemplation.
In the second natural contemplation we see the ‘greatly various wisdom’ (Eph. 3, 10) of Christ, that of which he made use to create the worlds; but in the gnosis which concerns the reasonable beings (logikoi), we have been instructed on the subject of his substance (II, 2). This is straightforward, if heterodox. The first part, about the second natural contemplation being the contemplation of the wisdom of God in creation, seems Orthodox with the qualifications given just above. The last sentence, which states that the gnosis of the reasons (logoi) of the reasonable beings—that is how we interpret ‘concerning’—is a means of our being instructed on the substance of Christ, is also heterodox, depending as it does on the identification by Evagrius of the Christ as one of the minds (noes). That is, this instruction is possible, in Evagrius’ view, simply because the Christ is one more reasonable being or logikos; hence, the contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of the reasonable beings would, according to Evagrius, reveal the substance of the Christ: these reasons (logoi) would as it were be an exhaustive explanation of the nature of the minds (noes) (with the qualifications we have seen in regard to the second natural contemplation concerning the measure of the contemplator).
Ignorance is not the opposite of the gnosis which is hidden in objects but of the gnosis of the intelligibles of objects; ignorance, in fact, is not naturally made to be in a corporeal nature (I, 76). This somewhat difficult passage has this sense: Wisdom is contained in natural objects the way the art of the artisan is contained in the artisan’s creation. This is the gnosis which is hidden in objects. But ignorance pertains to minds (noes) and not to objects of sense, which do not have mind (nous). In the case of the human body, say, the body itself does not have mind (nous); it is a tool or organon of the intelligible mind (nous). Hence, we cannot, Evagrius is asserting, say that an object of sense can have ignorance. Ignorance therefore cannot be the opposite of the gnosis—the wisdom—which is found in objects of sense. Ignorance is something that minds (noes) have and it is the opposite, therefore, of the gnosis of the intelligibles of objects—the gnosis of the reasons (logoi) of the objects—, since the gnosis of the intelligibles of objects is something that a mind (nous) might have. What Evagrius wants to say is that ignorance belongs to the minds (noes), that it is an intellectual vice, and that it therefore is the opposite of an intellectual virtue, here identified with the gnosis of the intelligibles, the reasons (logoi), of objects of sense.
 KG II, 4, discussed above.
 Isaac p. 23, fn. 29. See Section 5, ‘The Evagrian Doctrine of the Minds (Noes)’, Chapter III, of Volume I for the full quotation and discussion.
 See Chapter IV of Volume I.
 It should be understood that the second natural contemplation is the contemplation of the reasons (logoi) of natural objects of sense, those which are not made by man, although, we suppose, an accomplished gnostic might focus his spiritual sense on a man-made object.
 Recall our discussion in Chapter V of Volume I.
 See the commentary on TPL 83.
 Evagrius follows the Aristotelian formula: ‘Mind (nous) sees and mind (nous) hears.’
 See Chapter IV of Volume I.
 ‘Mind (nous) sees and mind (nous) hears.’
 Loc. cit.
 See Section 11, Chapter III, of Volume I.
 See Chapter IV of Volume I.
 See Anathema 6 of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod, discussed in Section 11, Chapter III, of Volume I.
 We have already seen that Anathema 6 of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod condemns the Evagrian doctrine of the use by the Evagrian Christ of the second natural contemplation in the creation of the world.
 See Chapter III of Volume II, especially Section 3. See also Anathemas 6, 8 and 13 of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod (Section 11, Chapter III, of Volume I).