Chapters 21 - 30

He who loves God both believes genuinely and accomplishes the works of faith in a holy way, but he who only believes and does not abide in love does not even have the faith that he thinks he has.  For with a certain lightness of mind he believes without being set into activity by the weight of the glory of love.  Therefore faith set into activity by love is the greatest of the virtues.
Investigated, the depth of the sea of faith is agitated; viewed with a simple disposition it becomes serene.  Being the water of Lethe (forgetfulness) of evils, the depth of faith does not bear to be seen by curious thoughts.  Therefore let us sail on its waters in simplicity of intellect so that we thus arrive at the harbour of the will of God.
No one is able either to love or to believe genuinely except if he does not have himself as an accuser of himself.  For when our conscience agitates itself in reproaches, the mind is not yet permitted to perceive [spiritually] the odour of the goods above this world, but it is immediately divided in doubt, on the one hand reaching out to faith with a warm movement on account of the experience it has already received, on the other hand not yet being able to attain it in [spiritual] perception of heart by means of love on account of, as I said, the constant[1] prickings of the reproaching conscience.  Still, purifying ourselves with a warmer attention, with greater experience in God we will attain what is desired.
Just as the senses of the body somewhat violently urge us towards things which are good in appearance, thus once it tastes the divine goodness the sense of the mind is accustomed to guide us towards the invisible goods.  For at all costs each has an appetite for its familiar relatives: the soul, as bodiless, for the heavenly goods; but the body, as dust, for earthly food.  Therefore we will without deception come into experience of the immaterial sense if with ascetical efforts we refine the material[2].
The very activity of holy gnosis teaches us that the natural sense of the soul is one but that on account of the disobedience of Adam it thenceforth is divided in two activities: one activity being simple, that coming to occur in the soul from the Holy Spirit, which activity no one is able to know except those who for the sake of the future goods have gladly freed themselves from the good things of this life and who through temperance have dried up all the appetite of the bodily senses.  Only among these persons can the mind, robustly set into motion on account of the freedom from care, sense unspeakably the divine goodness, whence these persons then transfer their own joy to the body according to the measure of their personal progress, exulting in the confession of love with a certain limitless word.  For it says: ‘For my heart has hoped on him and I was helped and my flesh has been made to flourish and I will willingly confess to him.’  For the joy which then really occurs to the soul and to the body is an undeceiving reminder of the incorruptible life of the spirit.[3]
Those who are engaged in ascetical struggles must keep the intellect unwashed by waves so that discerning the thoughts which run to and fro the mind put those that are good and sent from God into the treasury of the memory but cast somewhere outside of the store-rooms of nature those that are ill-omened and demonic.  For, indeed, when it is serene the sea is seen by those who catch fish up to the very movement of the deep, as if almost nothing eluded them of the creatures passing along its paths; but when the sea is agitated by winds, it conceals in the gloominess of the agitation those very things that in the laughter of serenity it has the honour to let be seen.  Whence, we then see the skill to be idle of those who contrive the cunning devices for fishing.  And it also undoubtedly happens that the contemplative mind suffers this very same thing—and certainly when the sea-deep of the soul is agitated by an unjust anger.
It is of the extremely few to know their own faults precisely, and certainly of those whose mind is never snatched away from the memory of God.  For just as when our bodily eyes are healthy they are able to see everything up to the gnats and mosquitoes[4] flying through the air but when they are covered with turbidity or certain humours, then if there should be something great of the things which encounter our eyes, our eyes see it only dimly and do not perceive small things with the sense of sight—thus also with the soul if by attention it refines the blindness which occurs to it from love of the world and if in great thanksgiving it unceasingly brings tear upon tear, treating its most trivial faults as the most serious.  For it says: ‘The just will confess in your name.’  If, however, the soul persists in the disposition of the world, then if it should commit something murderous or worthy of great punishment it senses this tranquilly; it is not at all able to take note of the other faults but often considers them to be achievements of a sort, wherefore the wretched soul is not ashamed as it defends them warmly.
It is of the Holy Spirit alone to purify the mind.  For if the strong man does not enter in and despoil the robber, by no means will the booty be freed.  Therefore we must by all means give repose to the Holy Spirit, especially by the peace of the soul, so that we always have the lamp of gnosis shining before us.  For when the Holy Spirit unceasingly flashes like lightning in the treasure-rooms of the soul, not only do all those bitter and dark assaults of the demons become most obvious to the mind but rebuked by that Holy and Glorious Light they are extremely weakened.  For this reason the Apostle says: ‘Do not extinguish the Spirit;’ in the sense of: ‘Do not sorrow the goodness of the Holy Spirit by doing evil works or speaking evil, so that you not be deprived of that defending lamp.’  For that which is eternal and vivifying is not extinguished, but its sorrow, that is to say its aversion, leaves the mind gloomy and without the light of gnosis.
The Spirit of God, which is holy and loves Mankind, teaches us that there is one, as I said, natural [spiritual] sense of the soul, since the five [bodily senses] differ once and for all according to the needs of our body.  However, on account of the Fall which occurred from disobedience this natural [spiritual] sense of the soul is also divided in the mind by the movements of the very soul.  Wherefore one aspect of it is carried off with the impassioned part of the soul, whence we gladly sense the goods of this world, while the other aspect often sympathizes with the rational and spiritual[5] movement of the soul, whence when we are sober our mind reaches out to run towards the heavenly beauties.  If we therefore come into the habit of despising the goods in the world we will be able to join the earthly appetite of the soul to its rational disposition, the communion of the Holy Spirit dispensing this to us.  For if its Divinity should not actively illuminate the treasure-rooms of our heart, we would not be able to taste the Good in an undivided [spiritual] sense, that is to say, in a whole disposition.[6]
The [spiritual] sense of the mind is the exact taste of the things discerned.[7]  For in the way that in time of health, discerning without deception the good things from the bad things with our bodily sense of taste, we reach out to the good things—so in the same way, when our mind should begin to move robustly and in great freedom from care[8] it is able richly to perceive [spiritually] the divine consolation and never at all to be carried away by the opposed [devilish consolation].  For just as the body has a faultless experience of the sense [of taste] when tasting earthly sauces, thus also when the mind boasts [of being] above the will of the flesh[9] it is able without deception to taste the consolation of the Holy Spirit (for it says: ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good;’) and through the activity of love to have unforgettable the memory of that taste in faultlessly assaying vital matters, according to the saint who says: ‘And I pray for this very thing, that your love be more and more abundant in knowledge and all [spiritual] sense so that you assay the vital matters.’[10]

[1] Accepting Rutherford’s reading of puknous.
[2] Greek: ulen.  I.e. the material body.
[3] I.e. after death.
[4] (deleted).
[5] Greek: noeran.  Literally, ‘mental, pertaining to the mind or nous’.
[6] The author means that in the post-Fall condition of life, part of the spiritual sense runs after the movements of the impassioned part of the soul while the other part desires the heavenly goods.  It is only through the illumination of the innermost chambers of our heart by the divinity of the Holy Spirit that we can return to the pre-Fall condition of tasting the Good with an undivided spiritual sense, that is to say, in a condition of complete personal integration where we no longer are divided between the movements of the impassioned part of the soul and our desire for the heavenly goods.  Moreover, we then have the ability with this undivided spiritual sense to discern the good from the bad.
[7] Cf. Evagrius KG II, 28:The sensible eye, when it regards something visible, does not see the whole of it; but the intelligible eye either has not seen, or, when it sees, immediately surrounds from all sides that which it sees.’  Also KG II, 35: ‘The mind (nous) also possesses five spiritual senses through which it apprehends its familiar materials: sight presents to it bare the intelligible objects themselves; the hearing receives the reasons (logoi) concerning  those intelligible objects; the sense of smell enjoys the aroma which is unmixed with any lie; and the mouth partakes of the pleasure which is from them; by means of the sense of touch, then, the mind (nous) is confirmed with the exact proof of the objects received.’ 
[8] The author means that the mind must have no occupation with worldly affairs.
[9] Here and elsewhere the author uses ‘boasts of’ in the good sense of ‘attains to’.
[10] This is the author’s only reference to the role of the spiritual sense in the so-called charisms of discernment, clairvoyance and even prevoyance, which play such an important role in the Orthodox tradition of spiritual direction.