There are two basic ways of a cure. The first is for a person to abandon “wealth” of the mind. In speaking of poverty, Saint Niketas Stethatos maintains that poverty is not only the renunciation of material goods, but is also the denial of the “wealth” of the mind.
Moreover, I can add that “spiritual poverty” is the renunciation of all the knowledge which man formerly obtained while living in the way of the flesh. Saint Thalassios claims that “noetic poverty” is perfect dispassion. It is when the dispassionate nous [mind] is freed from the prison of the senses and sensorial things.
When a person possesses such philosophical or psychological knowledge and approaches the Church, while still retaining all this within him—at moments of great inner concentration, he may take this foreknowledge as a state of mystical contemplation, and mistakenly think that this state is the revelation of God. And in this way, he deﬁles the undeﬁled and pure teaching of Christ.
The second way of a cure is for man to pass through deep repentance. Profound repentance is the entrance for the uncreated grace of God to enter man’s heart; profound repentance burns away passions and makes man a bearer of Revelation. For this reason, when we read patristic works, we must disassociate ourselves from the knowledge and ideas of the past, in order to acquire a clear sense of Orthodoxy. I lay emphasis on these things so that you do not make parallels with psychological knowledge, which prevails today.
There is a great danger of seeing spiritual life from within psychological interpretations of contemporary, anthropocentric, psychological systems.
Based on Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
In this photo: Monks gathering watermelons
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