I descend deep into my mind

I descend deep into my mind

I descend deep into my mind, and I find within it the Jews, who prevent You from entering, my Light-bearing King, and who have filled the whole world with stories about their flight from the kingdom of Pharaoh, a kingdom which has not fled from them.

And after I looked around at everything that was swelling in my mind, I exclaimed: All this is neither myself, nor my God, nor the Kingdom of my God.

All these things are echoes and images of the world, which my overly assiduous senses have brought in from outside and have amassed in my mind.

So where am I? Where is my King and my Lord? Where is the Kingdom of my King? Have you actually dragged the entire realm of Egypt into the promised land? And have you brought all the mud of the Nile into the city of my King?

Wretched is the nourishment of my mind, as long as it is nourished only with what the senses offer it. External vestiges and notions, shadows of shadows, magnified to monstrous proportions (for shadows always grow monstrously huge where there is little light) -- is this in fact my mind? I have discovered that all the cogitation of my mind amounts to nothing more than constructing frail structures out of frail shadows.

Yet again I surveyed the vast field of my mind, where with the speed of many spiders entire cities, more fragile than cob­webs, had been constructed from shadows and demolished --and I became sad, and I reasoned with my inner self:

Where can shadows dance except in light? Is this light not my mind? Would the shadows not gradually grow smaller to the degree that the light of the mind grows stronger? Yet is not even my mind nothing more than a frail shadow of the mind of God?

Alas for me if my mind--after it is separated from the body, which is bequeathing it such an inheritance--is to be left alone in eternity with such a terrifying tapestry!

And in solitude I repeat to my mind: now, while I am seeing nothing, while I am hearing nothing, while I am smelling nothing, while I am tasting nothing, while I am touching nothing -- what is filling you now, if not merely the shadowy images and memories of what you have heard, seen, smelled, tasted and touched? All this has disappeared into the past, has changed, become disfigured, disintegrated, and died. Why do you not bury the dead once and then leave the dead to the dead and flee, instead of standing there like a graveyard, in which the shadows of the dead dance while waiting for new corpses?1

How the Jerusalem on high, the city of my King, has trans­formed itself into a kingdom of the dead and into the trash dump of the world.

O my King, I hear Your mysterious whisper, and I understand; I see Your light, and I comprehend.2

And when I understand and comprehend, joy brings tears to my eyes, and I cry: "My salvation is in my Lord!"

He is the light of my mind, for which I have been a sleepy sentry, and as a result strangers have crept in and have darkened the royal light.

My Lord will help me -- once I admit that there is no other helper in all realms -- to expel the darkness and the dark strangers from my mind.

Let the groom of gloom hover around my mind, but let him not enter into the city of the King of Light.

1. "But Jesus said... 'Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.'" (Matt. 8:22).

2. "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'" (John 8:12).


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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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