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TPL (Text) -- 8

On the Condition Which Approaches Dispassion

57 There are two peaceful conditions of the soul, the one given forth from the natural seeds, the other, however, coming to pass on account of the withdrawal of the demons. And humility with compunction, tears, limitless yearning after the Divine and measureless zeal towards the work [of monasticism, ascesis, etc.] follow upon the first. Vainglory with pride, dragging the monk down in the elimination of the remaining demons, follows upon the second. Therefore, he who keeps the borders of the first condition will detect more quickly the raids of the demons.

58 The demon of vainglory is opposed to the demon of fornication and one of the things that are not possible is that these should assault the soul at the same time, if indeed the first proclaims honours, while the second becomes the purveyor of dishonours. Therefore, whichever of these two, if it has approached, oppresses you, weave in supposition in yourself the thoughts of the opposing demon. If you are able, as they say, to drive out one nail by another, then know yourself to be near to the borders of dispassion, for your mind had the strength to destroy with human thoughts the thoughts of demons. To repel, however, the thought of vainglory by means of humility or the thought of fornication by means of chastity would be a very deep token of dispassion. And try to do this concerning all the demons which are opposed the one to the other, for you will also know at the same time by what passion you have been conformed the more. However, with whatever strength you have, ask from God that the enemy be warded off in the second way.

59 In whatever degree the soul makes progress, to that same degree greater opponents succeed to it. For I am not persuaded that the same demons ever stand by the soul; and this those know who more quickly give their attention to the temptations and see the dispassion which lies before them being levered out by the demons which succeed.

60 Perfect dispassion in the soul occurs after the victory over all the demons which are opposed to the practical life. Imperfect dispassion, however, is spoken of in regard to the strength up to this time of the demon that is wrestling with the soul.

61 The mind will not advance nor depart that good departure and come to be in the land of the bodiless [powers] if it has not corrected what is within. For the disturbance of the familiar [parts of the soul] is accustomed to return it to those things from which it has departed.

62 Both the virtues and the vices blind the mind. The virtues, so that it does not see the vices. The vices, again, so that it does not see the virtues.

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