Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 4

9. ‘No man has ever hated his own flesh’, says the Apostle (Eph. 5:29), but he disciplines it and makes it his servant (cf. 1 Cor. 9:27), allowing it nothing but food and clothing (cf. 1 Tim. 6:8), and then only what is necessary for life. In this way a man loves his flesh dispassionately and nourishes it and cares for it as a servant of divine things, supplying it only with what meets its basic needs.

If self-love as described the day before yesterday is a passion that opens the door for all passions, then this describes a dispassionate love for ourselves. Of course, I don’t live that way and I’m not sure I know many people who do. If there’s a spectrum, then I’m pretty sure I fall closer to the self-love St. Maximos described in the prior texts rather than the dispassionate love he describes above.

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