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13.07.2017 - 07: 14

The root of all evil: the interaction of the passion of pride with other passions

Pride enters the heart of a person, opening the door to all other sins. It, like the root of a large tree, gives power and strength to all human sinful passions ... 


The expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise.

Monastery High Decani, SerbiaGordost focuses on the life force of any passion. Therefore, it is true that, having defeated pride, you overcome all passions. Any passion is a consequence of pride. The Monk Makarii the Great says: "Virtues are tied with one another and are held together, like a sacred chain, in which one link hangs on the other. And the vices opposite to them are related to each other, for example, hatred with irritability, irritability with pride, pride with vanity, vanity with unbelief "[1].

Pride has the property of "living" not so much at the expense of interrelation with other passions, but at the expense of acquired virtues.

It has been noted more than once that all passions have a certain dialectical connection and are inconceivable without one another. However, unlike other passions, vanity is a consequence not so much of rooting a person in a vicious life, but of seducing his life with a virtuous, connected with a relatively successful struggle. Holy fathers call vanity a true companion of pride. The Monk Nile of Sinai writes: "Of course, behind pride of vanity is pride, arrogance and all shameless demonic passion" [2].

The reason lies in the fact that pride has the property of "living" not so much at the expense of interrelation with other passions, but at the expense of acquired virtues. "This passion tries to hurt somebody else, as by its own virtues, believing disastrous obstacles in that, in what they seek means for life" [3]. In this connection, it is obvious that the struggle of the ascetic is two-way: it is aimed at gaining virtues and protecting them from the harmful influence of the spirit of vanity and pride. This is the cunning of the enemy (the devil) - to impute nothing gained. Moreover: the more the ascetic counteracts, the stronger the passion rises and grows stronger: "The demon of vanity ... Shamelessly becomes on the corpses of those who persecute him and flaunts the monk the greatness of his virtue "[4]. The consequence of all this is the deprivation of virtue. That is why "The Lord often hides from our eyes the virtues that we have acquired; A man who praises us, or rather, misleads us, praises our eyes with praise; But as soon as they opened, then the wealth of virtue disappears "[5].

Under the influence of this passion, a phenomenon such as charm (self-delusion) becomes meaningful.

The manifestations of this illness are different, "for other passions are called monotonous and simple; But this is polysyllabic, diverse, diverse - everywhere, on all sides meets the warrior and the victor. For in everything: in dress, gait, voice, deed, vigil, fasting, prayer, solitude, reading, knowledge, silence, obedience, humility, long-suffering - tries to hurt the warrior of Christ "[6]. Everything can become the basis for it: "I am vain when I fast, but when I allow fasting, to hide my abstinence from people, again I am vain, considering myself wise. I win over vanity, dressed in good clothes, but also dressed in thin clothes, I am also vain. I will talk, I win vanity, I will shut up, and again I won it "[7].

Thus, it is evident that the main purpose of this passion is the desire to perceive human glory, and since vanity arises from a virtuous life, then for it and arouse the desire to perceive (as it seems) worthy of praise. Thus, the goal of the whole feat is no longer the desire to unite with God, to become the temple of the Holy Spirit, the vessel of the grace of God and to enjoy His goodness, but the earthly, human glory: "Many in our kind are those who have not received the power that delivers to the soul sweetness, And it fulfills it day by day with greater and greater joy and gladness, and ignites Divine warmth in it. They are deceived by the evil spirit because they are doing their work in front of people "[8].

It is also important that under the influence of this passion, a phenomenon such as charm (self-delusion) becomes meaningful: "Such people think that they are enriched with fruits, whereas they do not have them at all" [9]. The consequence of such a dreaminess can be like pride ("the frenzy of the mind," that is, its extreme obscuration and inability to accept any criticism and correction from a person), and fall into any low passion.

The demons of fornication are bound up with the demon of pride.

Having fallen into any of the passions, the vanished vanity of the ascetic is forced to start anew his feat, cleansing himself by repentance and collecting the stolen treasure of his heart in pieces. "He who through praise has fallen from the heights of his merit, he has again ascended the lost height only by the same degrees of humility" [10]. If you take a separate passion, you can see how pride is manifested in it and how closely associated with it.

Avarice


St. martyr. Marina beats the devil

Since the proud wants to be in the center of attention, he must correspond to that standard of living that allows him to rise above others. Hence the love of money, and the whole meaning of life relies on serving the golden calf. Ambition weakens the Christian soul, teaches theft, offends people and keeps the hand from giving alms. The Monk Mark the Ascetic writes: "The substance of vanity and bodily pleasure is avarice, which, according to Divine Scripture, is also the root of all evil (cf. Tim. 6, 10) »[11]. By gaining wealth for the purpose of exaltation, one begins to sink into the darkness of all passions. Money gives him the opportunity to satisfy the lusts of the body - gluttony, embrace, fornication, which, as the Monk Varsonofy of Optina says, goes for pride, as if in the footsteps [12].

Fornication

The demons of fornication are bound up with the demon of pride. A particularly strong prodigal battle is tolerated to a proud proprietor, in order to heal the greater by the lesser sin, the weakest disease - the strongest. But if a person himself will humble himself in time, then he will not need this cruel treatment. A good example is Paisius the Sacred. He tells that at some point he was attacked by a strong temptation of fornication. He decided to cope with this temptation at all costs. He began to climb the mountain, reading prayers. But the battle did not stop, but only intensified. At some point, he suddenly remembered that he had recently condemned a woman for her prodigal passion. And he condemned sternly. At that moment he did not suspect about the possible strength of this passion, apparently, in the depths of himself, he was over-lauded over her. As soon as he remembered this episode, he repented of his condemnation, passion left him [13].

Excessive eating can become the foundation for other passions, and hence pride.

Thus, sometimes the prodigal passion acts as a means, which must stop a person in the development of pride. Holy fathers believe that the demon of fornication is involved in us to act just to humble pride, because this passion is so disgusting that everyone tries to conceal it, hide it, feel ashamed of it, does not stick it out. But even here our time is different in that fornication in its most varied manifestations is proud and exalted.

Gluttony

Gluttony is one of the most natural passions, as it arises from the physiological needs of man. Every living organism feels hungry and thirsty, but if it is excessive in this need, the natural becomes unnatural and even vicious. So, the Monk John of Sinai (Ladder) asserts that immoderation in food can become the foundation for other passions [14], and consequently, pride. Rev. John Cassian The Roman notes that gluttony is of three kinds: "Or it begets the desire to eat before the hour is fixed, or seeks a lot of food before eating, without analyzing the qualities of food, or requires delicious food" [15]. All this gives rise to the ailment of impatience, which conceals selfishness. And selfishness is one of the characteristics of pride.

He is discouraged because he does nothing to correct his condition, and does not do it because he is depressed.

Obviously, carnal passions are not limited only to the disease of the womb, but are associated with the relaxation of the whole body, the paralysis of volitional efforts, laziness, drowsiness, disobedience, "From here comes the heaviness in the head, the great burden in the body and the relaxation in the muscles, and from this - the need to leave the service of God, because come and indolence create on it a throwing (bows), and neglecting the obeisances of the ordinary, obscuration and coldness of thought ..." [16]. The above mentioned remarks of St. Isaac the Syrian are characteristic features of the state of a proud person; This indicates the connection of pride and gluttony.


Gluttony.

Gloom

Discouragement is fueled by pride, because any discontent is evidence of an unwillingness to accept the circumstance as it is. Here begins all sorts of searches for the means to satisfy their own desires. "And thus, little by little, a man becomes so entangled in harmful occupations as in serpentine convolutions that he can never again be able to unleash himself to achieve perfection ... For no one can be restless or enter into other people's affairs, except those who do not want Engage in the work of their hands "[17].

Being in this state, a person can not be successful in any of his affairs; He is as if in a closed circle: he is discouraged because he does nothing to correct his condition, and does not do it because he is depressed, laments for life, at God Himself, in that he shows even more irrationality. The position of such a person becomes worse from day to day. You can compare it with a creditor, who has fallen into the debtor's hole, whose debt is growing, without the possibility of paying it. Drinking wine from despair, he further exacerbates his situation. But even if we draw a less tragic picture, the life of the despondent does not promise any acquisitions, for "he who pursues idleness, will be poor (Proverb 12,11), i.e. Or visible, or spiritual, according to which every celebrant is necessarily entangled in different vices and will always be alien to the contemplation of God, or spiritual wealth "[18].

Passions interact with each other like a well-organized criminal group.

As already mentioned, one of the features of despondency is disbelief in God's providence, and as a consequence, the lack of hope for Him and the future retribution, since the cause of despondency is unjustified arrogance.


The Last Judgment. Fresco. Ryzhenko P.V. Pecal

Sadness is closely connected with despondency. "In almost all cases, this passion exposes attachment to oneself and is connected with vanity and pride, as well as anger that caused sadness. It manifests the reaction of the human "I", unsatisfied in its desire to assert itself ... and reduced to a lesser value than he himself values ​​... "[19].

Anger

In an attempt to rehabilitate their disadvantaged dignity, the source of self-affirmation is the passion of anger. "Anger expresses the desire to rise again, to give confidence to one's self, both to oneself and to others" [20].

In summary, one can conclude that passions interact with each other like a well-organized criminal group. Multisyllabic moves, uncomplicated combinations, dead-end situations - all this is done in order to leave a person in captivity of passions. Some passions induce a violent activity, others on the contrary take away vital forces. Nourishment for all passions gives pride, which connects all passions around them.


[1] Macarius of Egypt, pr. Spiritual conversations about the perfection to which Christians ought to and should try. - M .: The Rule of Faith, 2001. - S. 76.

[2] Neil of Sinai, prp.O eight evil spirits // His own. Creations. - M., 2000. - S. 121-132.

[3] John Cassian Roman, pr. The Scriptures. - Zagorsk, 1993. - S. 91.

[4] Macarius of Corinth, St. Philokalia: augmented. In 5 t. / In the Russian translation of Saint Theophanes, the Recluse of Vyshensky. T. 1. - M .: Siberian blagozvonnitsa, 2010. - S. 293.

[5] John Climacus, pr. Ladder. - S. 183.

[6] John Cassian Roman, pr. The Scriptures. - Zagorsk, 1993. - S. 90.

[7] John Climacus, pr. Ladder. - S. 181.

[8] Macarius of Corinth, St. Philokalia: augmented. In 5 t. / In the Russian translation of Saint Theophanes, the Recluse of Vyshensky. T. 1. - M .: Siberian blagozvonnitsa, 2010. - S. 24.

[9] Ibid.

[10] John Cassian Roman, pr. The Scriptures. Zagorsk, 1993. S. 92.

[11] Mark the Devotee, pr. The instructions of St. Mark, extracted from his other words / / Philokalia. T. 1. 3 ed. - M., 1895. - S. 485-519.

[12] Soulful teachings of the Reverend Optina elders. - Kaluga: Ed. Vvedenska Optina Desert, 2000. - S. 91.

[13] Paisius of the Holy Trinity, pr. Spiritual struggle. The words. T. 3. - M., 2003. - S. 65.

[14] John Climacus, pr. Ladder. - S. 142, 144.

[15] Macarius of Corinth, St. Philokalia: augmented. In 5 t. / In the Russian translation of Saint Theophanes, the Recluse of Vyshensky. T. 2. - M .: Siberian blagozvonnitsa, 2010. - S. 12.

[16] Asceticism. T. 1. - M .: Siberian Blagozvonnitsa, 2008. - S. 519.

[17] Ibid. S. 82-83.

[18] John Cassian Roman, pr. The Scriptures. - Zagorsk, 1993. - S. 88.

[19] Larshe JK. Healing of mental illnesses. - M .: Sretensky Monastery, 2007. - S. 126.

[20] Ibid.

A source: Sretensky Theological Seminary

Author: Monk Cyril (Popov)

Tags: Religion, Christianity