The Philokalia: The Complete Text by [compiled by] St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain & St.

By [compiled by] St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain & St. Markarios of Corinth; G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware (transl., ed.)

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For, so he says, a man who examines his thoughts strictly is one who also truly loves the com­ mandments. 7 1 . He who is battling to repulse what harasses and wars against him must enlist the help of other allies - I mean humility of soul, bodily toil and every other kind of ascetic hardship , together with prayer that sp rings from an afflicted heart and is accompanied by many tears. He must be like David who says : 'Look on m y humility and m y toil, and forgive all m y sins' (Ps. 2 5" : 1 8); 'Do not pass m y tears over in silence' (Ps.

Further, that aspect of natural knowledge concerned with the virtues and with the habits opposing them also seems to be of two kinds. One kind is theoretical knowledge, when a man sp eculates about these matters but lacks exp erience of them, and is sometimes unsure about what he says. The other is practical and, so to sp eak, alive, since the knowledge in question is confirmed by exp erience, and so is clear and trustworthy, and in no way uncertain or doubtful . In view of all this, there app ear to be four obstacles which hinder the intellect in the acquisition of virtue.

Knowledge here on earth is of two kinds : natural and sup ranatural . The second can be understood by reference to the first. Natural knowledge is that which the soul can acquire through the use of its natural faculties and powers when investigating crea­ tion and the cause of creation - in so far, of course, as this is p ossible for a soul bound to matter. For, when speaking of the senses, the imagination and the intellect, it has to be said that the energy of the intellect is blunted by being joined and mingled with the body .

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