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KGN -- VIb

46 The lyre is the praktike soul which is plucked by the commandments of Christ.

47 The judgement of God will make whoever will have followed Joshua, to enter into the Promised land [cf. Num. 32, 1–5; Josh. 1, 14–15], in giving him a spiritual body and a world appropriate to him; but he will install those who on account of the abundance of their possessions will not be able to obtain it,[1] on the bank of the Jordan according to their rank.

48 The harp is the nous which is plucked by the spiritual gnosis.

49 Egypt signifies vice; the desert, praktike; the land of Judah, the contemplation of bodies; Jerusalem, that of incorporeals, and Zion is the symbol of the Trinity.

50 All that is a part of this world pertains to the corporeal nature; and all that which pertains to the corporeal nature is a part of this world.

51 If the intelligent part is the most precious of all the powers of the soul, because it only is united to wisdom, then the first of all the virtues is gnosis; indeed, our wise teacher has also called this ‘the spirit of adoptive sonship’ [Rom. 8, 15].[2]

52 Many passions are hidden in our souls which, although they escape us, lively temptations reveal to us; and we must ‘guard our hearts in all vigilance’ [Prov. 4, 23], for fear lest when the object for which we have a passion arrives unexpectedly, we suddenly be swept away by the demons and do something of the things which are abominable to God.

53 The intelligible arrow is the bad logismos[3] which is constituted by the passionate part of the soul.

54 If the nous discerns the words and if the names and the words make known the objects, then the nous discerns the objects.

55 It is then that the nous approaches the intelligibles, when it does not unite itself any more to the logismos which comes from the passionate part of the soul.[4]

56 If vision is said (to be)† in sense-perception and (to be)† in thought and if the Christ should come in the same fashion that the disciples have seen him ascend to Heaven [cf. Acts 1, 11], may one say how they have seen him. May one know, however, that it is in every time that the Christ ascends truly in the saints, even though he is considered to descend towards others.

57 The retribution which the reasonable nature will receive before the tribunal of Christ is the spiritual or dark bodies and the contemplation or ignorance appropriate to these; and, on account of that, it is said that the Christ, whom we await, will come for the ones like this[5] and the others like that.[6]

58 Among the bodies, those which will have been given after the change will be, it is said, spiritual bodies. But if that will happen, in the end, from the matter or from the organa which they will have, examine this, you also, truly.

59 The providence of God is double; one part is said to preserve the systasis of the bodies and incorporeals, and the other, to push the logikoi from vice and from ignorance towards virtue and gnosis.

60 That nous is sterile which is deprived of the spiritual doctrine or which lacks the seeds sown by the Holy Spirit.

61 If ‘God is the God of the living and not of the dead’ [Matt. 22, 32; etc.], and if, according to the holy Moses, the necromancers ‘interrogate the dead’ [Deut. 18, 11], it is not Samuel whom the necromancer made ascend from among the dead [cf. 1 Kgs. 28, 7–20], if he is not dead, but living.

62 That reasonable soul is sterile which is always learning and which cannot arrive at true gnosis.[7]

63 Just as those whose sight is ill and who regard the sun are constrained by their tears and see phantasms in the air, so also the pure nous, when it is troubled by anger, cannot receive the spiritual contemplation, but it sees (something)† like a haze which settles over the objects.

64 Just as our Saviour, by the sensible healing of the paralytic [cf. Matt. 9, 2–7; etc.], has illumined us concerning the intelligible healing, and by that which is manifest has confirmed that which is hidden, so also by the sensible departure of the sons of Israel, he has shown us the departure from vice and ignorance.

65 The mystery is the spiritual contemplation which is not accessible to just anybody.

66 The ‘knife of stone’ [Josh. 5, 2–3] is the doctrine of Christ our Saviour which circumcises with gnosis the nous which is covered over by the passions.

67 The more the worlds increase, the more also the names and mental representations which are appropriate to them will make us know the Holy Trinity.

68 Submission is the assent of the will of the reasonable nature, with a view to the gnosis of God.

69 The angels see men and the demons; men are deprived of the sight of the angels and demons; and the demons see men only.

70 Submission is the weakness of the reasonable nature which cannot overstep the limits of its rank; thus, really, ‘He has put all (things)† under his feet,’ [1 Cor. 15, 27] according to the word of Paul.

71 Just as to the sensible Israel are opposed the sensible nations, so to the intelligible Israel are opposed intelligible nations.

72 One thing is the mental representation of the matter; another is that (mental representation)† of the quality which can make (the matter)† known; another is that (mental representation)† of their 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)†[8] of the human organon.

73 It is not because the nous is incorporeal that it is the likeness of God, but because it has been made receptive of him. If it were because it were incorporeal that it were the likeness of God, it would therefore be essential gnosis and it would not be by receptivity that it had been made the image of God. But examine if it is the same thing, the fact that it should be incorporeal and the fact that it is receptive of gnosis, or else otherwise, as in the case of the subject of a statue and his statue.[9]

74 Christ will come before the judgement to judge the living and the dead, and he will be known after the judgement, if ‘The Lord is known by the judgement which he makes.’

75 The first gnosis which is in the logikoi is that of the Holy Trinity; then there was the movement of liberty, the providence helping and not abandoning, and then the judgement and, anew, the movement of liberty, the providence, the judgement and that up to the Holy Trinity. Thus a judgement is interposed between the movement of liberty and the providence of God.

76 If ‘He who has ascended above all the Heavens’ has ‘accomplished all’, it is evident that each of the battalions[10] of the celestial powers has truly learned the mental representations which concern providence, by which they push rapidly towards virtue and the gnosis of God those who are their inferiors.

77 Is it that Gabriel has announced to Mary the going out of the Christ from the Father, or his coming from the world of angels to the world of men? Search also on the subject of the disciples who have lived with him in his corporeity, if they have come with him from the world which is seen by us or from another (world)* or from other (worlds)*, and if it is some of them, or else all. Moreover, search again if it is from the soul state that they had that they happened to become disciples of Christ.

78 The equivalent of a body is that which is equal to it in quality.

79 The body of Christ is connatural with our body, and his soul is of the (same)† nature of our souls; but the Word which essentially is in him is coessential with the Father.

80 The equivalent of a reasonable substance is that which is equal to it in gnosis.

81 Just as it is not possible that a reasonable nature might with the body be outside the world, so it is not possible that it might outside the body be in the world.

82 It is said that God is in the corporeal nature as the architect (is)† in the things which have been made by him, and it is said that, like him (the architect)†, he (God)† is as in the statue, if he should happen to make for himself a statue of wood.

83 It is said that the nous sees the things that it knows and that it does not see the things that it does not know; on account of this, it is not all the thoughts which for it prohibit the gnosis of God, but those which assail the thumos and the epithumia and which are contrary to nature.

84 The irascible part of the soul is joined with the heart where its nous[11] is also; and its desiring part is joined with flesh and blood, if it is necessary for us ‘to remove from the heart anger and from the flesh, vice’ [Eccl. 11, 10].

85 If all the powers which we and the beasts have in common pertain to the corporeal nature, then it is evident that the thumos and the epithumia do not appear to have been created with the reasonable nature before the Movement.

86 The holy angels instruct certain men by word; in this, they recall others by means of dreams; they render others chaste by the nocturnal terrors, and they make others return to virtue by blows.

87 The nous, according to the word of Solomon, is joined with the heart; and the light which appears to[12] it is considered to come from the sensible head.

88 It is not only the holy angels who work with us on our salvation, but also the stars themselves, if in the days of Barak, from Heaven they made war with Sisara [cf. Judg. 5, 20].

89 Just as our Saviour has been ‘the first-born from among the dead’ [cf. Col. 1, 18; Rev. 1, 5], so in the world to come, he will be ‘the first-born of many brothers’ [Rom. 8, 29].

90 Whoever will obtain the spiritual gnosis will assist the angels and will recall the reasonable souls from vice to virtue and from ignorance to gnosis.

—Examine my words, O our brothers, and explicate with zeal the symbols of the centuries in the number of the six days of creation.

The Six Centuries of the blessed Evagrius are completed.

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[1] The promised land.

[2] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 156) quotes from Hausherr a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘If the rational part is the most honourable of all the powers of the soul—only this is conformed (poioutai) by wisdom—then superior to all the virtues should be wisdom, for our wise teacher also called it “the spirit of adoptive sonship” [Rom. 8, 15].’

[3] Logismos means ‘thought’.

[4] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 177) provides from Hausherr a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘The mind (nous) applies itself to the intelligible things at that very time, when it should no longer be conformed (poiotai) by the thoughts (logismoi) from the passionate part of the soul.’

[5] That is, with a spiritual body.

[6] That is, with a dark, demonic body.

[7] For this chapter, O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 174) quotes from Hausherr a Greek fragment which reads (our translation): ‘That reasonable soul is sterile which is always learning and never wishing to come into a deep knowledge (epignosis) of the truth.’

[8] Thus also O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 141)

[9] Literally, ‘bronze’.

[10] The word ‘battalions’ we think, is based on the presumed underlying Greek word tagmata, which could well be translated ‘orders’. Cf. Anathemas 2 and 5 of the Fifth Ecumenical Synod, where the Greek is tagma or (pl.) tagmata.

[11] French: intelligence.

[12] O’Laughlin (O’Laughlin p. 156) reads ‘from’.


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