The mind naturally clings to its own thoughts

Just as parents have a special affection for the children who are the fruit of their own bodies, so the mind naturally clings to its own thoughts.

And just as to passionately fond parents their own children seem the most capable and most beautiful of all – though they may be quite the most ridiculous in every way – so to a foolish mind its own thoughts appear the most intelligent of all, though they may be utterly degraded.

The wise man does not regard his own thoughts in this way. It is precisely when he feels convinced that they are true and good that he most distrusts his own judgment. He makes other wise men the judges of his thoughts and arguments – lest he should run, or may have run, in vain (cf. Gal. 2:2) – and from them receives assurance.

Based on Saint Maximos the Confessor

A candid shot from the Vatopedi’s courtyard, Mount Athos.

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