Christ, the Eternal Tao.
A good book and address by Abbot Damascene. It lacks however a clarification, and that could cause confusion in us little ones.
In my poor understanding, you need to think to watch over your thoughts. Your thought is necessary not less to get rid of your thoughts. It’s a very dangerous delusion to pursue the absence of thought, because in that case you would attain to a nothingness that is not the divine unselfishness, but the nothingness of non-being. That’s the abyss where lead all Far East spiritual teachings, deprived of God’s salvific personal revelation in Jesus Christ.
In all truth, the holy fathers needed to think to at first get their holy experience and then communicate it for our edification, just like Abbot Damascene in his conferences.
The thought is a movement of the will and it’s an irrepressible constitutive feature of the Person (in the image of the Most High), of all persons, not only of fallen ones. The problem in these last, in us, is that sin darkens that faculty and makes it unable to function correctly; it’s lead astray and shattered in a myriad of false reasonings and calls, it’s weighted down by bodily needs and the search for fugitive fleshly pleasures, all of them magnified with malignant wisdom by the enemy in the supreme imprisonment of this world: the fear of death.
Purity of heart is the only remedy to heal that faculty, but you need to think to heal your thoughts and make them one-pointed again to God. Your thought, as a movement of your will, is absolutely necessary in the slow cleaning of your heart and painful recontruction of your personhood, not less than the salvific Misteries of Christ and His Church: God will not save you in spite of you.
It could not be otherwise. Taking away the thought, you take away the Person.
The Descartes’ axiom is nonsense, because it has the reality upside down: it’s the person the foundation of the thought, not the other way around. However, you cannot correct nonsense with nonsense, taking away the thought from the axiom of our existence.
I AM, THEREFORE I THINK!
(in the image of the Most High)
This necessary understanding can also help us to shine a discerning light upon one of the recurrent fears which the governing bodies of Western demonocracies like to spread in order to better subjugate and destroy men. Father James Guirguis talks about it in this article:
This past week I read about one of the technology billionaires. He was interviewed and said that he was afraid of what artificial intelligence might do in the future. He envisioned that it was possible that one day the computers and robots that we have created would turn on the human race.
Well, machines, computers and robots cannot do that on their own; they cannot turn against men by their own will, for the very simple reason that they have not any will nor will ever have it. They can just execute external will and commands.
You must create a person to create a will, and only God can do that; men will never be able to do that! Man can just transmit life, he cannot create it, as life belongs only to God.
Therefore, behind the machines doing harm to mankind there is and will necessarily be always the will of some men, doing in turn the will of their master, the primordial assassin!
They are already doing it, in fact they have always done it: using machines to entrap, abuse, enslave and kill their kind, their own flesh. It can certainly grow more ruthless, sophisticated and disgusting, but it will always be men’s doing; machines have no will nor will they ever have it.
The will pertains exclusively to the breath of life, and rational will exclusively to persons, made in the image of the Most High God. It cannot be changed!
P.S. – In his article, father James quotes also a saying by St. Silouan:
“Unless you have love for your enemy, you do not know God.”
I wish to sough a saying not less true:
“Unless you discern the enemies of God from your enemy, you do not know God.”