Self-love is the cause of all impassioned thoughts

Self-love, as has often been said, is the cause of all impassioned thoughts. For from it are produced the three principal thoughts of desire; those of gluttony, avarice and self-esteem. From gluttony is born the thought of unchastity; from avarice, the thought of greed; from self-esteem, the thought of pride.

All the rest – the thoughts of anger, resentment, rancor, listlessness, envy, backbiting and so on – are consequent upon one or other of these three. These passions, then, tie the intellect to material things and drag it down to earth, pressing on it like a massive stone, although by nature it is lighter and swifter than fire.

The origin of all the passions is self-love; their consummation is pride. Self-love is a mindless love for the body.

He who cuts this off cuts off at the same time all the passions that come from it.

Based on Saint Maximos the Confessor

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