Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 26

Posted: March 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , | Comments Off on Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 26

56.  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 spiral starts with self-love which can lead down multiple paths to bondage to the passions. I’ll note, though, that the passions work by reorienting our nous or receptive mind. It is our organ for knowing God, but is easily distracted and bound to other things. I find that description matches my own observations and experience.


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