OTT (Text) -- 6
17 The Lord bestowed on man the mental representations of this Age as sheep of a sort to the good shepherd. For he says: ‘He likewise gave the Age into his heart,’ [Eccl. 3, 11] yoking temper and the desiring part to him to help him so that, on the one hand, through temper he drive away the mental representations of the wolves, and, on the other hand, through the desiring part, he cherish the sheep even when he many times is smitten by the rains and the winds. In addition to these things, he also gave a pasture so that he might pasture the sheep, and a place of freshness and a water of repose, and a harp and a lyre, and a rod and a staff, so that from this very flock he both be fed and clothed and collect alpine fodder. For he says: ‘Who tends a flock and does not drink from its milk?’ [1 Cor. 9, 7.] It is therefore necessary that he who is living the life of solitude guard this very flock night and day lest one of the mental representations become the food of beasts or fall into the hands of robbers, and, if therefore such a thing should happen in the wooded vale, then that he snatch it out of the mouth of the lion and the bear.
The mental representation concerning the brother becomes the prey of wild beasts if with hatred it is pastured in us and concerning the woman if with shameful desire it is nourished in us, and the mental representation of silver and gold if with avarice it lies in the courtyard, and the mental representations of the holy charisms if with vainglory they are tended in the intellect—and in regard to all the other mental representations, it happens in the same way when they have been stolen by the passions.
It is necessary not only to keep the mental representations by day, but also to guard them at night in keeping vigil. For it occurs that one loses one’s proper possession imagining shamefully and wickedly, and this is what is said by the holy Jacob: ‘I did not bring to you sheep that had become the prey of wild beasts; I restored that which had been stolen by day and that which had been stolen by night and I became burned together with the heat of the day and the frost of the night, and sleep departed from my eyes.’ [Gen. 31, 39–40.] If, then, something happens to us on account of the toil and the accidie, running back for a bit to the rock of gnosis, let us hold intercourse with the harp, striking with the virtues the harp strings of gnosis. Let us then again graze the sheep below