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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain - The Lord Did Not Have Imagination


The new Adam, our Lord, did not have imaginations, according to the theologians. One of them, Georgios Koresios, wrote in his theological treatise on the Incarnation: "The Lord deserved merit not for his blessed vision and knowledge and the love that flowed from it, but for the knowledge that was poured upon him from God, and which was always active in Christ voluntarily and never interrupted by sleep or any other cause, as it happens in the mind of other men. 

The mind of Christ was completely independent of the imaginations which become a wall blocking our penetration into the immaterial realities of the spirit." Not only Adam but most persons who have ever fallen into sin and deceptions, into irrational superstitions and heresies and evil and corrupt doctrines, have all been deceived through the imagination. This is the reason why the holy Fathers call the devil a pantomime and an ancient painter, as we have seen especially in St. Chrysostom. St. Maximos has noted that the devils deceive men not only when awake but also when they are sleeping, but inciting them with the passions of the body through the imagination. This imagination is considered by the Fathers to be a bridge of the devils. 

St. Kallistos has written: "Imagination is like a multiform and many-head monster similar to the mythical Daedalos and Hydra, which the devil utilizes as a sort of bridge, as the saints have previously noted. These murderous villains communicate and unite themselves with the soul , making it into a hive of parasites, a place of passionate and fruitless thoughts." St. Gregory the Theologian said that imagination is the cause of both the consent and the act of sin. Do you see now, dear friend, how many evil things imagination brings about? I beseech you therefore, to guard your imagination as much as you possibly can so that no images harmful to the soul are impressed upon it, as they seek to enter through the senses.

 And if they have already entered, seek not to compromise with them or to give your consent in your heart, but run directly to God through prayer of the heart, which we are going to discuss in the following chapter. St. Syngletike has noted: "It is important not to give your consent to the imaginations. For it is written that if the spirit of the devil arises in you, do not leave the place of your heart, for such a consent is tantamount to wordly fornication" (cf. Eccl 10:4).

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