Thursday, November 7, 2013

Monastic Intellect

This idea comes from the introduction, "Talking Back" Brakke's translation of Evagrius.

The goal of the Evagrian monk is not simply to avoid evil deeds, remarkably he seeks not to experience the first movements (initial thought impressions) that incite to sin at all...a "monastic intellect" is someone who is free even from the thoughts...The ultimate goal is to eliminate the thoughts themselves and to pray and contemplate God purely....A persistent representation of a corporeal object can 'imprint' the intellect, distorting the intellect in a way that prevents the clarity of vision required for knowledge of God and pure prayer."... Persistent bad thoughts causing impassioned representations to persist in the intellect damage the intellect, preventing the monk from becoming the 'monastic intellect' ...Talking Back applies also to the more advanced stage of the monastic gnostic, in which the monk contemplates the material world and rational beings on his path to knowledge of God. ... practices of biblical refutation and short prayers to God help to clear his intellect of evil thoughts and distorting representations and thus prepare him for the vision of the Trinity's light..."

So really, I do want to know God. But I need something simple in my head that can be playing all the time or grasped habitually and quickly. If yes, proceed to 'monastic intellect.' I can.

Today I drove to work in relative calm. The radio off and a hokey prayer: In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The monastery was invented to take the place of the desert; where people were more urban and living in the desert no longer feasible. But from my monastic experience, I'd say that it is not really much more of a desert than the life I have chosen as a 'monk in the world.'

This morning, I also read in A Course in Miracles about my choice: "It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside of him. It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice. His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident. No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it, outside of which is nothing. Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal. Be happy, and you gave the power of decision to Him Who must decide for God for you." (21.II)

I choose to the the Holy Spirit decide for me. I don't decide I want to find sin. I don't decide what I see is sin. I merely talk back.

3 days since my left foot became free of the boot worn for 5 weeks. Today, I can almost walk normally and the incision area is not tremendously painful. Wow!

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