1.     Diadoque de Photicé, Œuvres Spirituelles
Édouard des Places, s.j.
Source chrétiennes 5 bis
Les Éditions du Cerf, Paris, France, 1955.
2.    One Hundred Practical Texts of Perception and Spiritual Discernment From Diadochos of Photiki
Text, Translation and Commentary: Janet Elaine Rutherford
Belfast Byzantine Texts and Translations, 8
Belfast Byzantine Enterprises, Institute of Byzantine Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast
Belfast 2000.
Translator’s Note: The anonymous blogger ‘Orthodox Monk’ passed on to us his unfinished translation of the Gnostic Chapters along with all the rights to it.  He had previously published his translation and commentary on his blog.  We have thoroughly reviewed the translation against the two texts cited above.  The difference between the two texts is that in determining his critical edition des Places was unaware of a manuscript at Lavra on Mt Athos which appears to be the most archaic manuscript extant.  Rutherford reviewed des Places’ critical text in the light of that manuscript, called by her R, and made several changes to des Places’ text.  It should be understood that Rutherford’s text is not simply des Places’ text emended for the readings of Manuscript R but reflects Rutherford’s judgements on a number of issues.  Orthodox Monk had done his translation only against des Places’ text and had only begun to review his translation against Rutherford’s text when he passed it on to us.
In thoroughly reviewing the translation against des Places’ text and Rutherford’s text we came to the conclusion that des Places’ text is in general the more satisfactory of the two, although the differences are relatively few and minor.   Apart from the issue of Rutherford's other changes, Manuscript R offers a reading which significantly improves the text in only one or two places.  Most if not all of the differences are noted in the footnotes.
The complete translated text has been posted here but it will be necessary to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘older posts’ to find the rest of the work.

Manuscript Introduction

Diadochos, Bishop of Photiki in Old Epirus of Illyrikon
100 Ascetical Chapters of Gnosis and Discernment
Definition 1: Faith.  Dispassionate[1] thought[2] of God.
Definition 2: Hope.  Departure of the mind in love towards the things hoped for.
Definition 3: Patience.  To persevere unceasingly, seeing with the eyes of the intellect the invisible as visible.
Definition 4: Freedom from avarice.  To want not to have just as someone wants to have.
Definition 5: Knowledge[3] of divine things.  To forget one’s self in being outside of oneself in God.
Definition 6: Humility.  Forgetfulness of things accomplished with care.
Definition 7: Lack of Anger.  Great desire not to get angry.
Definition 8: Purity.  The [spiritual] sense ever having adhered to God.
Definition 9: Love[4].  Increase of friendship towards those who are insulting [us].
Definition 10: Perfect transformation.  In delight in God, to consider the gloominess of death as joy.
Words of judgement and spiritual discernment of Diadochos, Bishop of Photiki in Epirus.  Through what quality of gnosis we must arrive at the previously declared perfection, the Lord guiding us, so that each of us who are in accord with the sense of the liberating parable bring to fruition the seed of the word.

[1] Greek: apathes.
[2] Greek: ennoia.  This word means ‘thought, idea or concept’ (Lampe).  We have preferred to translate it consistently as ‘thought’ because of the other occasions of its use in the text, but clearly the sense here is of ‘conception’ or ‘idea’ of God. 
[3] Greek: epignosis.  The sense is of a deep mystical knowledge of divine things.
[4] Greek: agape.

Chapters 1 - 10

Brothers, let faith, hope and love guide every spiritual contemplation, above all love.  The first two teach us to despise those goods which are seen; love, however, joins the soul to the very virtues of God, tracking out with a spiritual sense[1] that which is invisible.
Only God is by nature good[2].  By the care a man bestows on his ways he also becomes good[3] through him who is in reality good[4], the man changed into the very thing he is not.  This happens when through the care bestowed on the good[5] the soul becomes as much in God as the power of the soul, set into motion, wishes.  For it says: ‘Become good[6] and merciful as your Father who is in the Heavens.’
Neither does evil exist in nature nor is anyone evil by nature.  For God did not make an evil thing.  But when in the desire of the heart one brings into appearance[7] that which does not exist in essence, then there begins to exist the very thing that the person making it might wish.  One must therefore ever neglect the habit of evil by means of the care bestowed on the memory of God.  For the nature of the good[8] is stronger than the habit of evil—since the former exists while the latter does not exist except in being practised.
We are all of us men in the image of God; however, to be in the likeness[9] of God is only of those who through much love have enslaved their personal freedom to God.  When we are not of ourselves then we are like him who reconciled us to himself through love, which very thing one will not attain unless he has prevailed upon his soul not to be shaken by the easy glory of this life.
Freedom of choice is the will of a rational soul readily set into motion towards that very thing it [the soul] might wish.  Let us persuade the soul to be by habit readily disposed[10] only towards the good[11] so that we ever consume the memory of evil in good thoughts.[12]
The light of true gnosis[13] is to discern good from evil faultlessly.  For then the road of justice, leading the mind[14] towards the Sun of Justice, introduces the mind into the infinite illumination of gnosis, the mind thenceforth seeking love with boldness.  We must therefore seize with wrathless anger that which is just[15] from those who dare to insult it; for piety’s zeal, not hating but rebuking, shows the victory.
Spiritual discourse gives inner assurance to the spiritual[16] sense for it is brought forth from God by an activity of love, for which very reason also our mind sojourns untormented in the movements of theology[17].  For the mind does not then suffer poverty, which brings care, because the mind is broadened in contemplations as much as the activity of love wishes.  Therefore it is good ever to await in faith set into motion by means of love the illumination of what to say; for there is nothing poorer than an intellect[18] outside of God philosophizing the things of God.
One must neither throw oneself unilluminated into spiritual speculations[19] nor come to speak when shone upon richly by the goodness of the Holy Spirit.  For wherever poverty is, it brings ignorance; but wherever wealth is, it does not permit speech.  In the latter case, the soul drunk with the love of God wishes utterly to delight in the glory of the Lord with silent voice.  Guarding therefore the mean of this activity [of the Holy Spirit][20] one must come to words speaking of God, for this measure grants a certain sort of glorious words.  But the extravagance of enlightenment nourishes the faith of him who speaks in faith, so that he who teaches first tastes the fruits of gnosis by means of love.  For it says: ‘The farmer who toils should first partake of the fruit.’
Wisdom and gnosis are charisms of the one Holy Spirit just as all the divine charisms are; however, each has its proper activity[21] just as each of the others has.  For the Apostle bears witness that to one is given wisdom and to another gnosis according to the same Spirit.  For gnosis joins a man to God by experience, not moving the soul to words about the things experienced.  Therefore some of those who lead the life of monastic asceticism are illuminated by gnosis in conscious perception but do not come to divine words.  If indeed wisdom is given in fear[22] to someone with gnosis (this is rare), it manifests the very activities of gnosis, since gnosis is accustomed to illuminate in activity but wisdom in word.  But prayer[23] and much stillness in complete freedom from care bring gnosis, whereas meditation free of vainglory on the sayings of God—and above all the Grace of God who gives—bring wisdom.
When the irascible part of the soul is stirred against the passions, it must be known that it is time for silence, for it is the hour of battle.  When one sees that confusion coming to serenity either through prayer or through acts of mercy[24] let him be stirred in ardent love[25] of the divine sayings, securing the wings of the mind with the bond of humility.  For if one does not humble oneself greatly[26] one cannot discourse concerning the grandeur of God.

[1] Greek: aisthesei noera.  This could be translated ‘mental sense’.  The ‘spiritual sense’ or ‘mental sense’ is a faculty of the mind or nous by means of which one perceives spiritual things.
[2] Greek: agathos.  In this chapter the author alternates between ‘agathos’ and ‘kalos’.  Agathos is often used of God as the highest good, or even philosophically.  It often conveys a nuance of ‘morally good’.  Kalos corresponds to the English ‘good’ in all its range of meaning.
[3] Greek: agathos. 
[4] Greek: agathos.
[5] Greek: kalon. 
[6] Greek: agathos.
[7] Greek: eidos.  This is an indication, if one is needed, of Diadochos’ erudition.  He is contrasting ousia, ‘essence’, with eidos, ‘form, appearance’.  Eidos applies to the multiplicity of actual objects that exist in the world.  Hence, what Diadochos is saying is that the object that the technician wishes to make does not exist in essence, but the technician conceives it in his heart and then brings it into being through his art as eidos, as one of the manifold objects existing in the world.  Similarly evil has no essential existence, since all that God made is good.  Evil exists only as the consequence of the exercise of free will; that is the significance of ‘habit (Greek: exis)’ and ‘practised’.  Habit is a pattern of acts of the free will; ‘practised’ means ‘done intentionally by the will’.
[8] Greek: kalos.
[9] Greek: omoiosin.
[10] ‘To be by habit … disposed’: echein.  We are using this phrase to convey the deeper sense of echein as a habitual mental disposition.
[11] Greek:  kalos.
[12] It is not entirely clear syntactically whether the author intends the reading we give, or intends ‘it [the soul]’ to read ‘it [the will]’ and ‘ persuade the soul’ to read ‘persuade the will’.  Our reading seems sounder psychologically.
[13] The Greek word gnosis means knowledge.  In this work there is a clear distinction between intuitive knowledge and knowledge arrived at through reasoning or books.  In this and similar passages, by ‘gnosis’ the author is referring to intuitive spiritual knowledge conveyed by spiritual illumination.
[14] Greek: nous.  This is the created spirit of man, his innermost being.
[15] I.e. it is necessary to be zealous for what is true and just.
[16] Greek: noeran.
[17] Greek: theologia.  In this epoch (mid-5th Century), theologia is used to refer not to academic theology but to words spoken about God based on experience of God.  It is also used in the Evagrian school of mysticism for mystical union with God.
[18] Greek: dianoia.  This is the conscious aspect of the human mind, including its ability to reason.
[19] The Greek word literally means ‘contemplations’, but in the sense of words spoken in academic theology, not in the sense of visions of God.
[20] I.e. neither in ignorance of God nor when full of divine illumination.  In classical Greek philosophy virtue is a mean between two extremes.
[21] Greek: energeia.  Similarly for the plural.  This word energeia here refers to the activity or grace of the Holy Spirit (implicitly uncreated for the author’s thought to make any sense) that manifests itself in a particular charism.  Below, the author will refer to the illumination in activity provided by gnosis.  This is the illumination given by the grace of the Holy Spirit to him to whom the charism of gnosis is granted.  The author’s point is that even though illuminated by the Holy Spirit, the ascetic who has the charism of gnosis without the charism of wisdom will not speak of his experience; if, however, both charisms are given to the ascetic then the ascetic will speak (and perhaps write) to explain the movements of gnosis.
[22] ‘In fear’.  The phrase seems to mean that in cases where an ascetic has gnosis, he should receive the charism of wisdom in ‘fear and trembling’.
[23] Greek: euche.  It will be clear that St Diadochos means the Prayer of Jesus, which he will proceed to discuss.
[24] ‘Acts of mercy’.  Greek: eleemosyne.  This word means both ‘mercy’ and ‘alms-giving’.  In context ‘mercy’ would seem to be better since the treatise is directed to monks who are counselled to give everything away in the beginning so as to attain to a complete poverty.  Moreover, in Logos Praktikos 91 Evagrius states: ‘…The same one freed of apparitions one of the brothers who was disturbed at night, ordering him to minister to the sick with fasting. Having been asked, he said: ‘For by nothing thus as by [acts of] mercy are such passions extinguished.’
[25] Greek: eros.  Eros is marital love.
[26] Following the reading of des Places.  The difference with Rutherford is stylistic.

Chapters 11 - 20

Spiritual discourse ever preserves the soul free from vainglory; for benefiting all the parts of the soul in a [spiritual] perception[1] of light it makes the soul not to have need of the honour which comes from men.  And for that very reason spiritual discourse ever preserves the intellect free from fantasy, as transforming it wholly into the love of God.  The discourse of the wisdom of the world, however, ever provokes a man to ambition.  Because this discourse is not able to benefit through experience of the [spiritual] sense[2], it grants to its familiars the love of praises, as being the counterfeit of vainglorious men.  Therefore, we will know without deception the disposition of divine discourse if in a silence without care we consume the hours of not speaking in the warm remembrance of God.
He who loves himself is not able to love God.  He who does not love himself on account of the surpassing wealth of the love of God, this one loves God.  Wherefore such a person does not ever seek his own glory but the glory of God, for he who loves himself seeks his own glory.  He who loves God loves the glory of him who made him.  The characteristic[3] of the soul which has the spiritual sense[4] and which loves God is ever to seek the glory of God in all the commandments that it fulfils but to delight in its own humility, because glory for the sake of grandeur is proper to God whereas humility is proper to man, so that through it we become intimate with God.  If we do this very thing, then rejoicing unceasingly in the glory of the Lord we too will begin to say according to St John the Baptist: ‘He must be raised up but we must be decreased.’[5]

I know someone who loves God so much, and who still mourns that he does not love as he wishes, that unceasingly his soul is in a certain sort of warm desire that God be glorified in him and his own self be as not existing.  This man does not know just what he is, not even in the midst of the very praises borne by words.  In a great desire for humility he does not conceive his own rank; but on the one hand he serves[6] God according to the law for priests and on the other hand in a certain great disposition of love for God he steals the memory of his rank, in a spirit of humility concealing the boast that comes from this rank somewhere in the depth of the love of God so that in his intellect he always appear to himself some unworthy servant, as being estranged from his own rank in the desire for humility.  And doing this very same thing we must avoid every honour and glory for the sake of the excess of wealth of the love of the Lord who loves us thus.
He who loves God in [spiritual] perception of heart[7] has been known by him.  For as much as someone accepts the love of God in [spiritual] perception of heart, that much he comes to be in the love of God.  Therefore, henceforth such a person will not cease reaching out for the illumination of gnosis in a certain intense Eros[8] until he might perceive the very [spiritual] sense of his bones,[9] no longer knowing himself but wholly transformed by the love of God.[10]  Such a person is both present in this life and not present; still sojourning in his body, in the movement of the soul he departs unceasingly towards God by means of love.  For he has henceforth adhered to God unwaveringly, burning the heart by means of the fire of love in a certain necessity of desire, once and for all having stood outside of friendship for himself in the love of God.  For it says: ‘Whether we are beside ourselves, for God; whether we are of sound mind, for you.’
When a person begins to perceive [spiritually] the love of God richly then he also begins to love his neighbour in [spiritual] perception of spirit.[11]  This is the love concerning which all the Scriptures speak.  For friendship according to the flesh is dissolved extremely easily some slight cause having been found; it has not been bound by [spiritual] perception of spirit.  For this reason, therefore, even if it should happen that some exasperation should occur to a soul set into activity by God, the bond of love is not loosed by the soul.  For again setting fire to itself by the warmth of the love of God, it is quickly recalled to the good and seeks the love of the neighbour with great joy even if it has been greatly insulted or damaged by him.[12]  For in the sweetness of God it completely consumes the bitterness of the quarrel.
No one is able to love God in [spiritual] perception of heart not having first feared him in all his heart;[13] for being purified and as it were softened through the activity of fear, the soul comes to a love that is set into activity.[14]  A person would not come wholly to the fear of God in the way spoken of unless he came to be outside all the cares of this life.  For when the mind comes to be in much stillness and freedom from care, then does the fear of God trouble it, purifying it from every earthly grossness in much [spiritual] perception, so that this fear thus leads the mind to much love of the goodness of God.  So the fear of those who are yet being purified is with a middle degree of love; but perfect love is of those who have been completely purified, in whom there is no fear.  For it says: ‘Perfect love casts out fear.’  Both degrees are of the righteous only, those who assiduously work the virtues by the activity of the Holy Spirit.  And for this reason, in one place Divine Scripture says, ‘Fear you the Lord, all his saints;’ but in another place, ‘Love you the Lord, all his holy ones.’  This is so that we learn clearly that the fear of the righteous who are still being purified is with a middle degree of love, as was said, whereas perfect love is of those who have been purified, those in whom there is no longer a thought of any kind of fear, but ceaseless burning and adherence of the soul to God through the activity of the Holy Spirit, according to him who says: ‘My soul has adhered behind you; your right hand has helped me.’
Just as the wounds occurring to the body, when they are as it were unirrigated land[15] or even neglected, do not perceive[16] the medicine brought forth to them by the physician but, having been cleansed, they then perceive the activity of the medicine and come to rapid healing on account of it, thus also as long as it is neglected and wholly covered with the leprosy of the love of pleasure the soul is not able to perceive [spiritually] the fear of God even if someone should unceasingly announce to it the frightful and powerful court of judgement of God.  But when the soul begins to be cleansed through great attention, then it [spiritually] perceives the divine fear as being a certain medicine of life burning it, as it were, by the activity of reproaches in the fire of dispassion[17].  Whence, henceforth being purified part by part, the soul arrives at the perfection of purification, having been so much increased in love as it is decreased in fear, so that it should finally arrive at perfect love, in which there is no fear, as has been said, but all dispassion set into activity by the glory of God.  Therefore first let the fear of God be for us as the boast of ceaseless boasts; then, however, love, the fullness of the law of perfection in Christ.
The soul which has not been freed from worldly cares will neither love God genuinely nor loathe the Devil duly, for it has once and for all an oppressive veil, the care of worldly affairs.  Whence, among these sorts of people the mind is unable to know the tribunal of itself so that before itself it might without deception try the votes of the judgement.[18]  Therefore solitude is always useful.
The characteristic of a pure soul: abundant word, guileless zeal, unceasing Eros for the Lord of Glory.  Then, indeed, the mind sets its own scales exactly, appearing in its own intellect as in a most pure tribunal.[19]
Faith without works and works without faith will be rejected in the same way.  For the believer must offer to the Lord faith that demonstrates realities.  For faith would not have been reckoned as righteousness to Abraham our father if he had not brought forth its fruit, his son.

[1] This would be with the spiritual sense.
[2] What St Diadochos means is that the wisdom of the world is not able to benefit through real spiritual experience consciously experienced with the spiritual sense.
[3] Greek: idion.  This is a philosophical term.  It means the characteristic that belongs to something as part of its nature.
[4] The author treats attainment to the spiritual sense as a certain level of spiritual attainment.  Given that the author is considered to be of the school of Evagrius, we would treat this as dispassion.  See Kephalaia Gnostica I, 37: ‘The spiritual sense is the dispassion of the reasonable soul, which is produced by the grace of God.’  However, in common with the subsequent Orthodox tradition, Diadochos later in this treatise clearly uses the term ‘dispassion’ for the end of the ascetical journey, not as Evagrius uses it.
[5] This is a very free paraphrase of John 3, 30.
[6] Greek: leitourgei.  I.e. serves as a priest.  It appears that the author is speaking of himself, so, here, ‘serves as a bishop’.  We are not persuaded by Rutherford’s assertion (Rutherford, p. 2) that the text was written before St Diadochos was ordained bishop, especially since there is no evidence adduced.  The ‘law for priests’ is not dispositive since it could very well apply to the priestly rank of bishop.
[7] See our remarks on the spiritual sense.  The same thing is intended.
[8] Greek: eros.  This is the word used of marital love.  What the author is saying is that the person who has reached this stage henceforth has a burning, ardent desire for the illumination of gnosis.
[9] It seems to us that the author’s sense would be better conveyed if the phrase ‘the [spiritual] sense of his bones’ were to be taken to be in the dative, not the genitive the texts give, so that the sentence would read: ‘... until he might perceive with the very [spiritual] sense of his bones’.  The author seems to us to intend that this burning, ardent desire for the illumination of gnosis is such that the person wishes to know God spiritually even in his bones.
[10] Following the text of Rutherford.  De Places’ Greek text reads: Therefore, henceforth such a person exists in a certain intense Eros for the illumination of gnosis until he might perceive the very [spiritual] sense of his bones, no longer knowing himself but wholly transformed by the love of God.
[11] This would be yet another aspect of the spiritual sense.  What is important is that St Diadochos means that these things happen as conscious spiritual phenomena and not emotionally or by means of the bodily senses.
[12] Preferring des Places to Rutherford for this sentence.
[13] Preferring des Places to Rutherford for this clause.
[14] Greek: energoumenen.  There is a danger that this might be understood to be ‘active’ as opposed to ‘infused’ love in the Western sense, but within that terminology it is actually ‘infused’.  What the author means is an active love that is given directly to the person by the Holy Spirit once that person has been purified completely through the fear of God.
[15] The Greek is not very clear.
[16] Thus the text.  We would say, medically, ‘respond to’.  The author is using ‘perceive’ to tie his medical metaphor to the spiritual sense.
[17] Greek: apatheia.
[18] I.e. so that by itself the conscience might provide a true judgement of the person’s condition.
[19] I.e. having been completely purified, the conscience gives a true witness to the soul’s condition.

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.

Chapters 31 - 40

When our mind begins to perceive [spiritually] the consolation of the Holy Spirit, then Satan also consoles the soul in a certain sweet-seeming sense[1] when in the nocturnal times of stillness one comes as it were to the edge of a very light sleep.  If at that time the mind be found to be keeping the holy name of the Lord Jesus in extremely warm remembrance and if it make use of that holy and glorious name as a weapon against the deception,[2] then the deceiver departs from his ruse and henceforth is inflamed towards a substantial war of the soul.[3]  Whence, knowing the deception of the Evil One exactly, the mind progresses further in the experience of discernment.
The good consolation occurs while the body is alert or even at the hint of a sleep which is going to come, when in the warm remembrance of God one has as it were adhered to his love;[4] but the consolation of deception ever occurs when the contender has come, as I said, into a certain light sleep with a moderate remembrance of God.[5]  The first, as clearly being from God, wishes to console the souls of the contenders for piety in a great outpouring of the soul towards love; the second, since it is accustomed to fan the soul in a certain wind of deception, attempts to steal by means of the sleep of the body the experience of the healthy mind concerning the memory of God.  Therefore, if the mind be found, as I said, to have been remembering the Lord Jesus[6] attentively, it disperses that sweet-seeming breeze of the Enemy and rejoicing it is stirred to war against the Enemy,[7] having as a second weapon after Grace the boast that comes from experience.
If while he who is set into activity by Divine Grace is alert or coming into sleep in the way that I have said[8] the soul is kindled by a movement without doubt and without fantasy towards the love of God, drawing as it were the body towards the depth of that unspeakable love, the soul conceiving nothing else at all except that only towards which it is being stirred, it must be known that the activity is of the Holy Spirit.  For being completely seasoned by that inexpressible sweetness, the soul is then able to conceive nothing else at all since it rejoices with a steadfast joy.  If, then, there is any doubt at all or if the mind conceives some sordid thought when it is set into activity or even if it makes use of the holy name towards defence from evil and not only towards the love of God now,[9] one must deem that the consolation is from the Deceiver in an outward appearance of joy; and that joy is without attribute and completely disordered,[10] the Enemy wishing the soul to commit adultery.  For when the Enemy sees the mind boasting exactly of its own [spiritual] sense[11] then with certain good-seeming consolations, as I have said, it provokes the soul so that the soul being dispersed by that empty and very wet sweetness [and the Enemy being] unrecognized,[12] there occur the intercourse of the Treacherous One [with the soul].[13]  Therefore from this we will know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.  Nevertheless, it is impossible for one to taste the divine goodness in [spiritual] perception or to make trial perceptibly of the bitterness of the demons unless one gives assurance to oneself that Grace has come to dwell in the depths of the mind whereas the evil spirits linger around the limbs[14] of the heart,[15] which very thing the demons do not at all ever wish to be believed by men, lest the mind, having learned this exactly, arm itself against them with the remembrance of God.
One thing is the love which is natural to the soul and another thing is the love which is added to it by the Holy Spirit.  For when we wish, the love from our own will is stirred proportionately, and for that reason it is easily plundered by the demons whenever we do not control our own inclination with violence[16].  The other love, however, so much enkindles the soul towards the love of God that in a certain limitless simplicity of disposition all the parts of soul then fasten on in an unutterable way to the goodness of the divine longing.  For having then become as it were pregnant by the spiritual activity,[17] the mind gushes out a sort of fountain of love and joy.
Just as when it is agitated the sea has the nature to give way to the oil poured upon it, the storm being defeated by the nature of the oil, thus also our soul gladly becomes serene when it is fattened by the goodness of the Holy Spirit.  Rejoicing, it is defeated according to the saint who says: ‘Yet be submissive to God, O my soul,’ in that dispassionate and unutterable goodness overshadowing it.  On account of this, therefore, as many irritations as are then contrived by the demons against the soul it remains without anger and full of every joy.  One comes to this very thing or remains in it if one unceasingly sweetens his soul in the fear of God.  For the fear of the Lord Jesus bears a certain kind of purification to those who are engaged in ascetical struggles: ‘For the fear of the Lord is pure, remaining to the Ages of Ages.’
Let no one hearing ‘sense of the mind’ hope that the glory of God will be seen by him visibly.  For we say that it is sensed, when one might have purified the soul, in a certain unspeakable taste of divine consolation, not that one of the invisible things physically appears[18] to it, for now we walk by faith and not by visible form[19], as says the blessed Paul.  Therefore, if there should appear to one of the contenders in asceticism a light, or some figure[20] having the form of fire, let him by no means accept the vision of this sort.  For it is a clear deception of the Enemy, which very thing having suffered from ignorance many have departed from the road of truth.  We know that insofar as we sojourn in this corruptible body we are abroad from God, that is to say, we are not able to see visibly either him or one of his Heavenly wonders.
The dreams that appear to the soul in the love of God are undeceiving accusers[21] of the soul that is in any way healthy.  Wherefore they[22] are neither transformed from one shape to another,[23] nor do they suddenly shake the [spiritual] sense, nor do they laugh or suddenly take on a gloomy air, but they approach the soul with every clemency, completely filling it with every spiritual gladness.  Whence, once the body has awoken the soul seeks the joy of the dream with great longing.  But the fantasies of the demons are the opposite in every respect.  For they[24] neither remain in the same shape nor show for very long an undisturbed form.  For what they do not have from their free will but make use of only from their own deception is unable to suffice them for very long; moreover, they also say grandiose things and very often threaten, often shaping themselves into the appearance of soldiers; occasionally they chant to the soul with shouting.  Whence, once it has been purified, recognizing them clearly the soul that has been subjected to the fantasy wakes the body; and there is also the case where it even rejoices at having been able clearly to recognize the ruse of the demons.  For which reason, having rebuked the demons in the very dream, the soul moves them to a great anger.[25]  Yet there is also the case where the good dreams do not bear joy to the soul but create in it a sweet sorrow and painless weeping.  This occurs to those who make great progress in humility.
We ourselves have said what we have heard from those who have come to experience:[26] the discernment of good from bad dreams.  For the sake of great virtue, however, let it be sufficient for us not to be in any way persuaded by any fantasy at all.  For dreams are for the most part nothing other than the mental phantoms of deluded thoughts or again, as I said, the mockeries of demons.  So if there would sometime be sent to us a vision from the goodness of God and we did not accept it, our most longed-for Lord Jesus would not grow angry with us on account of this.  For he knows that we come to this on account of the ruses of the demons.  For the aforesaid discernment is exact but it happens that through the plundering of something imperceptible the soul which has been made filthy—no one is found to be exempt from this, I think—loses the trace of exact discernment and believes in things which are not good as if they were good.
As an example for us of this thing, let there be the servant hailed by night by his master from in front of the enclosing walls of the house after a long absence abroad.  To whom the servant absolutely refused the opening of the doors.  He was frightened lest the similarity of voice, plundering him, prepare him to become the betrayer of those very things that were entrusted by the master.  With whom his lord did not get angry once it had become day but found him worthy of many praises, for the servant thought that even the voice of the master was a deception, not wanting to lose any of his master’s goods.
It must not be doubted that when the mind begins to be set constantly into activity by the divine light it becomes somewhat transparent so that it richly sees its own light; and [one must not doubt that] that this word will come to pass when the power of the soul has subjugated the passions.[27]  That everything appearing to the mind with visible shape[28], either as light or as fire, occurs through the evil art of the Enemy, the divine Paul teaches us clearly, saying that he[29] is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore one must not undertake the ascetical life with this hope, so that Satan not find the soul ready for plunder on account of it, but [we must undertake the ascetical life] only so that we arrive at loving God in every [spiritual] perception and inner spiritual assurance[30] of heart, which very thing is the ‘with the whole heart and with the whole soul and with the whole intellect’.  For he who is set by divine Grace into activity towards this departs from the world even if he should be present in the world.

[1] I.e. a false spiritual sense.
[2] This appears to be the first explicit reference to the Jesus Prayer in history.
[3] Because the Devil cannot accomplish his goal indirectly with a false consolation he engages in direct combat with the soul.
[4] I.e. adhered to the love of God.  It is not clear to us whether or not the author is drawing a parallel with someone on the verge of sleep embracing his loved one in the marriage bed.
[5] This is a remark on the intensity of the practice of the Jesus Prayer at the time of the consolation.  In the case of a genuine consolation, the practice is intense, but in the case of a demonic consolation it is only moderate.
[6] Rutherford drops ‘Jesus’ based on two early manuscripts.
[7] In this case, the Jesus Prayer as it were ‘picks up speed’ to attack the Devil with a zeal born both of Grace and personal experience while at the same time becoming focused as a weapon on the temptation.
[8] The grammar is tortuous here, this clause (in the Greek, phrase) having an inexplicable change of grammatical gender which prevents it from referring to the soul.
[9] The soul praying the Jesus Prayer turns automatically and without conscious intervention from a love directed solely to God in the Prayer, to an attack focused on the interloper—still by means of the Jesus Prayer.  There is no conscious intervention of the ascetic in this movement, it being a spiritual movement of the soul beyond his conscious intervention.  When it happens, it is a sure sign that the consolation is demonic in origin.
[10] Recall that the author has just discussed the sure taste of things spiritual by the spiritual sense.  Here he gives the taste of the false consolation as discerned by the spiritual sense.
[11] I.e. when the Devil sees that the mind possesses exact spiritual discernment.
[12] There is another grammatical problem here since ‘unrecognized’ is dangling.  To convey what seems to be the sense of the passage we have been obliged to supply ‘[and the Enemy being]’, also changing the case of ‘unrecognized’.
[13] This is a spiritual intercourse of the Devil or demon with the soul—a spiritual mixing of the two.  However the phrase ‘very wet sweetness’ might hint at a nocturnal emission.
[14] As the author will develop later, he means the more external parts of the heart taken as both a physical and spiritual organ.
[15] As the author develops later, this occurs only in Baptism.
[16] This is the violence of the Gospel not violence actionable in law.  This sentence is interesting for its psychology of natural affection: the author states that natural affection is closely related to our intention: we choose to love someone or at least acquiesce in our inclination to love them.  Moreover, the author teaches, rather than encouraging such natural affection, which is easily subverted by the demons, we must forcibly restrain the inclination with a view to attaining to the Gospel love added to us by the Holy Spirit.  Recall that ‘particular friendships’ are forbidden in the monastery.  They are an example of natural rather than Gospel affection; they are by their very nature relationships exclusive of others that can lead to all manner of evil—the plundering by the demons the author speaks of.
[17] I.e. the activity of the Holy Spirit.  This is a metaphor: ‘as it were’.
[18] I.e. with the bodily senses.
[19] ‘Visible form’: Greek: eidous.
[20] Greek: schema.
[21] Greek: kategoros.  ‘Accuser’ is the denotation of this Greek word but the context makes the reading difficult.
[22] I.e. the personalities in the dream.
[23] The author is clearly paraphrasing Evagrius here.
[24] I.e. the demons.
[25] I.e. in the dream itself the mind converses with the demons—fallen angels with actual personality—and by reproaching them provokes them to great anger.
[26] The author’s discussion of dreams seems to draw heavily on Evagrius.
[27] Cf. Evagrius: Logos Praktikos, 64 and Peri Logismon, 40.
[28] ‘Visible shape’.  Greek: schema.  Schema means ‘shape, form or figure’.
[29] I.e. Satan.
[30] ‘Inner spiritual assurance’.  Greek: plerophoria.  So elsewhere.