Diadochos of Photiki
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On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination (480 AD)
- Spiritual discourse always keeps the soul free from self-esteem, for it gives every part of the soul a sense of light, so that it no longer needs the praise of men.
- § 11
- Whoever loves himself cannot love God.
- § 12
- No one can love God consciously in his heart unless he has first feared Him with all his heart. Through the action of fear the soul is purified and, as it were, made malleable and so it becomes awakened to the action of love.
- § 16
- The perceptive faculty natural to our soul is single, but it is split into two distinct modes of operation as a result of Adam's disobedience.
- § 25
- If the soul, through attentiveness, reduces the blindness caused by the love of this world, it will consider its slightest faults to be very grave and will continually shed tears. ... But if the soul persists in its worldly disposition, even though it commits a murder or some other act deserving severe punishment, it takes little notice; and it is quite unable to discern its other faults, often considering them to be signs of progress, and in its wretchedness it is not ashamed to defend them heatedly.
- § 27
- One side of the soul is carried away by the passionate part in man, and we are then captivated by the good things of this life, but the other side of the soul frequently delights in the activity of the intellect and, as a result, when we practice self-restraint, the intellect longs to pursue heavenly beauty.
- § 28
- If, therefore, we learn persistently to be detached from the good things of this world, we shall be able to unite the earthly appetite of the soul to its spiritual and intellectual aspiration, through the communion of the Holy Spirit who brings this about within us. For unless His divinity actively illumines the inner shrine of our heart, we shall not be able to taste God's goodness with the perceptive faculty undivided, that is, with unified aspiration.
- § 28
- Timely silence, then, is precious, for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts.
- § 70
- The eye of the soul cannot be led astray when its veil, by which I mean the body, is refined to near-transparency through self-control.
- § 71
- With tears we sow seeds of prayer in the earth of the heart, hoping to reap the harvest in joy.
- § 73