Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More on Attentiveness by Saint Basil

Saint Basil advises us that attentiveness will help us gain mastery of anger, temper and an uncontrolled tongue. This benefit comes when we combine attentiveness with a remembrance that all the desires for earthly pleasure that go unchecked will only bring us to a bitter end. He writes,

“Therefore be attentive to yourself, and know that the rational part of the soul is also intelligent, but the passionate part is also irrational. And the one exists by nature to rule, while the other exists to obey reason and be persuaded by it. So do not ever allow your mind, reduced to utter slavery, to become a slave of the passions; moreover, do not yield to the passions struggling against reason and let them transfer to themselves the rule of the soul.”

Quotes from On the Human Condition, trans. by Nonna Vera Harrison, pp 93-105

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