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KGN -- Va

Fifth Century

1 Adam is ‘the figure’ of Christ [Rom. 5, 14], and that of the reasonable nature is Eve, on account of whom the Christ has departed from his Paradise.

2 The hearers of the sensible Church are separated the ones from the others by places only; but those of the intelligible (Church)* which is opposed to the former (are separated)* by places and by bodies.

3 Just as those who inhabit this world receive a very small vision concerning the world to come, so those who are in the last world see certain luminous rays of the Holy Trinity.

4 The archangel is a reasonable essence to which have been entrusted the logoi concerning providence and the judgement, and those (logoi)† of the worlds of angels.

5 Two among the worlds purify the passionate part of the soul, the one of them by praktike and the other by cruel torment.

6 The contemplation of angels is named the celestial Jerusalem and the Mount of Zion, for if those who have believed in Christ draw near to the Mount of Zion and (to)† the City of the Living God, then it is in the contemplation of angels that those who have believed in Christ have been and will be, that contemplation from which their fathers have gone out and descended into Egypt.

7 The angel is a reasonable essence to which have been entrusted the logoi concerning providence and the judgement, and those (logoi)† of the worlds of men.

8 Those who have cultivated their land during the six years of praktike, nourish the orphans and the widows not in the eighth year, but in the ‘seventh’ [cf. Exod. 23, 10–11]; indeed, in the eighth year, there are no orphans or widows.

9 Among men, some will hold festival with the angels, others will be mixed with the flock of demons, and others will be tormented with the defiled men.

10 The ‘first-born’ [Exod. 22, 29] are the reasonable natures which, in each of the worlds, approach the excellent change.

11 From the order of the angels and from the order of archangels comes the order of souls;[1] from that of souls (comes)* that of demons and that of men; and from that of men will come anew angels and demons,[2] if a demon is he who, on account of the abundance of thumos, has fallen from praktike and has been joined with a dark and attenuated body.[3]

12 The nous which has divested itself of the passions and which sees the mental representations of beings does not truly receive any more the eidola[4] which (arrive)* by means of the senses; but it is as if another world has been created by his gnosis, attracted to it his thought, and cast far from him the sensible world.

13 The intelligible ‘cloud’[5] [Exod. 19, 9] is the reasonable nature to which it has been entrusted by God to give to drink those who sleep far from him.

14 Just as, when the sun rises, even the things which are but little elevated above the earth make a shadow, so also, to the nous which begins to draw near to the mental representations of beings, the objects appear obscurely.

15 The nous which has divested itself of the passions becomes wholly like the light, because it is illumined by the contemplation of beings.

16 The intelligible ‘cloud’[6] [Exod. 20, 21] is the spiritual contemplation which contains in it the logoi of the providence and of the judgement (which both pertain to)† those who are on the earth.

17 Just as the waves, when they rise, make a shadow, and anew forthwith appear without shadow, so, when the mental representations of beings will flee far from the pure nous, forthwith anew they will be known.

18 The demons imitate only the colours, the forms and the size; but the holy powers know (how)† to transform also the nature of the body,[7] in disposing it for the services which are necessary. And that occurs among the composite (beings)†; but of the incorporeal nature there are not such mental representations, according to what has been said.

19 The resurrection of the body is the passage from the bad quality to the superior quality.

20 The Life vivifies first the living, then those who live and those who are dead; but at the end it will vivify also the dead.

21 It is not in all the worlds that you will find Egypt; but in the last (worlds)†[8] you will see Jerusalem and the Mount of Zion.

22 The resurrection of the soul is the return from the order of passionateness to the dispassionate state.

23 The multiform Movement and the diverse passions of the logikoi have forced the mental representations which concern providence to appear obscurely, and their diverse orders have rendered hidden the mental representations which concern the judgement.

24 The logoi which concern the judgement are second, from what has been said, in relation to the logoi which concern the Movement and the providence.

25 The resurrection of the nous is the passage from ignorance to true gnosis.

26 Just as it is not the same thing for us to see the light and to speak of the light, so it is not equal to see God and to comprehend something concerning God.

27 The thumos, when it is disturbed, blinds the seer, and the epithumia, when it is moved bestially, hides the visible objects.[9]

28 The intelligible ‘sword’ [Heb. 4, 12; Eph. 6, 17] is the spiritual word which separates the body from the soul, or evil and ignorance (from the soul)†.

29 Just as those who come into the cities to see their beauties are given over to wonder in regarding each of their works, so also the nous, when it draws near to the mental representations of beings, will be filled with spiritual desire and will not give up its wonder.

30 If the Kingdom of the Heavens is the contemplation of beings and if the former, according to the word of our Saviour, ‘is within us’ [cf. Luke 17, 21], and if our interior is occupied by demons, it is proper that it is said that the Philistines occupy the Promised Land.

31 The intelligible ‘buckler’ [Eph. 6, 16] is the practical gnosis which keeps unharmed the passionate part of the soul.

32 That which is contained in the first cup resembles wine, which is the gnosis of incorporeals; and that which (is contained)* in the second cup bears the sign of water, I want to say, the contemplation of bodies. And this is the cup which has been mixed for us by Wisdom from these two (cups)† [cf. Prov. 9, 2].

33 The iniquitous ‘steward’ [Luke 16, 3] cannot work on the earth, for he has abandoned the virtues of his soul; and the wretch, for the other part, is ashamed to beg, he who is the teacher of others. And he teaches with anger those who are henceforth below him, he who has retired himself to rest now among the contentious.[10]

34 The intelligible ‘helmet’ [Eph. 6, 17] is the spiritual gnosis which keeps unharmed the intelligent part of the soul.

35 If the bread of the reasonable nature is the contemplation of beings and if we have received the commandment to eat that ‘in the sweat of our face’ [cf. Gen. 3, 19], then it is evident that it is by praktike that we eat it.

36 Those who have inherited the Promised Land will with all their strength kill the Philistines who are there, for fear lest, when Joshua grows old in them, he should cease to go out with their force [cf. Josh. 13, 1] and lest they again become slaves of the Philistines.

37 The intelligible ‘hook’ [Job 40, 20] is the spiritual doctrine which makes the reasonable soul to ascend from the depths of vice towards virtue.

38 He who battles for dispassion will arm himself with the commandments, and he who (battles)* for the truth will exterminate his enemies with gnosis. (There will be)* the overthrow of the first when he will do that which is reproved by the law, and (the overthrow)* of the second when he will become the head of lying doctrines and opinions.

39 In the pure thought are imprinted a sky splendid to see and a spacious region, in which it appears how the mental representations of beings and the holy angels draw near to those who are worthy. And irritation makes this vision which is imprinted to be seen obscurely, and anger, when it is inflamed, destroys it completely.

40 The intelligible ‘mountain’ [cf. Exod. 19, 3 et seq.] is the spiritual contemplation which is placed on an elevated height to which it is difficult to draw near; when the nous will have come close to it, it will become a seer of all the mental representations of the underlying objects.

41 He in whose soul the intelligible world is completely imprinted abstains from all corruptible covetousness, and henceforth he is ashamed of the things of which he was formerly complacent, his thought making him reproaches concerning his previous insensibility.

42 The world which is erected in the thought is considered as being difficult to see by day because the nous is attracted by the senses and by the sensible light which shines; but it is possible to see it by night, when it is luminously imprinted at the time of prayer.[11]

43 The intelligible ‘way’ [John 14, 6] is the state of the reasonable soul, on which the nous, when it advances on it,[12] will meet the objects and will comprehend their mental representations.

44 If ‘the anger of dragons is of wine’ [Deut. 32, 33], and if the Nazirites abstain from wine, then the Nazirites have received the order to be without anger [cf. Num. 6, 3].

45 The nous is named the head of the soul, and the virtues are the sign of the hair; when he will be deprived of it, the Nazirite will be separated from the gnosis and he will be led away bound by his enemies [cf. Judg. 16, 19–21].

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[1] Applying the correction suggested by the French translator.

[2] For the chapter to this point, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 129) gives a Greek fragment preserved in St Maximos which reads (our translation): ‘From the angelic and archangelic states come the soul state; from the soul state come the demonic and the human states; from the human state again come angels and demons.’

[3] Cf. Anathema 5 of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod, 553, in combination with Chapter II, 78. (Note of the French translator.)

[4] Eidola means ‘likenesses’.

[5] French: nuage. Cf. Chapter V, 16.

[6] French: nuée. Cf. Chapter V, 13.

[7] The French translator suggests a correction so that the phrase read: ‘know (how)† to transform themselves also in (their)† nature’. We disagree: the body in question is the angels’ ‘angelic body’, which they transform according to need whereas the demons, according the Evagrius, transform only the qualities mentioned.

[8] Accepting the correction proposed by the French translator from ‘the other (worlds)†’.

[9] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 170) gives from Hausherr Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘The irascible part (thumos), when it is disturbed, blinds the seer, whereas the desire (epithumia), when it is set in motion irrationally, hides the objects which are seen.’

[10] Cf. Chapter I, 60.

[11] Dysinger (Dysinger fn. 106 ) gives from Hausherr the text of a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘The world which is built in the mind seems during the day to be difficult to discern, the senses distracting the mind and the sensible light shining; by night, however, it is possible to see this world imprinted very brightly during the time of prayer.’

[12] That is, ‘on the way’.


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