Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 45

92.  Our intellect lies between angel and demon, each of which works for its own ends, the one encouraging virtue and the other vice. The intellect has both the authority and the power to follow or resist whichever it wishes to.

As I’ve pointed out before, I believe the word they’ve chosen to translate “intellect” in these texts is nous, which is not an easy word to translate into English. Our nous is often disordered. It’s our receptive and experiential mind and it’s often like a radio receiver, tuning into to anything that’s broadcast. But we do have an ability to tune it and to choose what it receives. That does not imply it’s an easy task, but it is a possible task, which is something else entirely. And the fact that it is possible gives meaning to our struggle.

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