What is dispassion: a definition
Dispassion is the total cure of the soul, the experience of the heavenly state of total liberty, power and happiness. The correct way to be.
It is the aim of this medical science which is Orthodoxy.
The firmament has the stars for its beauty, and dispassion has the virtues for its adornments; for by dispassion I mean no other than the interior heaven of the mind, which regards the tricks of the demons as mere toys.
And so he is truly dispassionate, and is recognized as dispassionate, who has made his flesh incorruptible, who has raised his mind above creatures and has subdued all his senses to it, and who keeps his soul in the presence of the Lord, ever reaching out to Him even beyond his strength. Some say, moreover, that dispassion is the resurrection of the soul before the body; but others, that it is the perfect knowledge of God, second only to that of the angels.
If it is the acme of gluttony to force oneself to eat even when one has no appetite, then it is certainly the acme of temperance for a hungry man to overcome nature when it is blameless. If it is extreme sensuality to rave over irrational and even inanimate creatures, then it is extreme purity to hold all persons in the same regard as inanimate things. If it is the height of cupidity to go on collecting and never be satisfied, it is the height of poverty not to spare even one’s own body. If it is the height of despondency, while living in complete peace, not to acquire patience, then it is the height of patience to think of oneself even in affliction as being at rest. If it is called a sea of wrath for a person to be savage even when no one is about, then it will be a sea of long-suffering to be as calm in the presence of your slanderer as in his absence. If it is the height of vainglory when a person, seeing no one near him to praise him, puts on affected behavior, it is certainly a mark of its absence, not to let your thought be beguiled in the presence of those who praise you. If it is a sign of perdition (that is to say, pride) to be arrogant even in poor clothing, then it is a mark of saving humility to have humble thoughts in the midst of high undertakings and achievements.
If it is a sign of complete enslavement to the passions to yield readily to everything the demons sow in us, then I take it as a mark of holy dispassion to be able to say honestly: The evil one who dodges me, I have not known; nor how he came, nor why, nor how he went; but I am completely unaware of everything of this kind, because I am wholly united with God, and always will be.
Based on Saint John of the Ladder
A monk praying outside of the Chapel of Saint Evdokimos, Vatopedi Monastery, Mount Athos
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