“He who yokes the practice of the virtues to spiritual knowledge is a skillful farmer, watering the fields of his soul from two pure springs. For the spring of spiritual knowledge raises the immature soul to the contemplation of higher realities; while the spring of ascetic practice mortifies our earthly members: ‘unchastity, uncleanliness, passion, evil desire’. Once these are dead, the virtues come into flower and bear the fruit of the Spirit: ‘love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control’. …
“Take note, too, that you who are a good friend of Christ, that if one passion finds a place in you and takes root there, it will introduce other passions also into the same shrine. For even though the passions, as well as their instigators the demons, are opposed to each other, yet they are all at one seeking our perdition.” ~The Philokalia
Gaining Spiritual Knowledge
Increasing our spiritual knowledge, and reaching higher levels of consciousness by doing so, is what real spirituality is all about. I’m not sure the metaphor of a farmer of spirituality is a great one, but the idea of such a farmer watering his soul from two springs does create an inviting image.
The first spring mentioned is that of Spiritual knowledge, and that is as it should be because you can make little progress without it. This does not mean that ultimate level of spiritual knowledge called “Gnosis,” although that is the goal. Some minimal spiritual knowledge is necessary to make any progress at all. Continue reading “Spring that Feeds and Waters the Soul”