The mind (νους) is the finest attention, the human focus, the eye of the soul. If someone is focused on God and His rays – that is on God’s uncreated energy called grace, then the human mind has the property to receive light, to be enlightened like a pure parabolic mirror on which these rays fall.
Then then entire human existence becomes enlightened. It is a similar phenomenon with the natural light, that is the human starts to see what to do, where to go or, generally speaking, how to behave. When the mind is attracted outside by a center of pleasure or pain then the mind wraps (concentrates) around this center and narrows itself – then the human being is out of his mind having as effect the process called the darkening of the mind. Then the mind is in a tar pit trying to fight with that situation in order to regain its light from God. The problem here is that we usually try to deal directly with the dark which, being existential distortion cannot be overthrown through direct fight. The solution is to simply concentrate on Christ by putting “our mind back in our head” through prayer and a contrite heart in order to let the light enter again.
The properties of the mind
The mind doesn’t work in steps, like logic, but it senses. The mind stays above logic and it distinguishes between good and bad.
A high logical work (energy) is called smartness and (alone) doesn’t save our souls. A high noetic work (energy) – that is a high work of the mind – is called wisdom and this saves our souls because wisdom is the cooperation of the mind with God’s grace.
Mind (the noetic part of the soul): the correct behavior
The correct behavior of the enlightened mind is called good sense. The one which is totally out of his mind is insensible because of his addiction which can be momentary, temporary or permanent.
For example, to give flowers to our beloved wife is not logic because these flowers will decay in a few days. However, this gesture is of good sense, is noble, so we must do this.
Let us be wise and concentrate on Christ in order to save our souls.
Based on Saint Gregory Palamas
A moment in Vatopedi’s courtyard, Mount Athos.
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