Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

imagination

2 Entries

Not to accept some temptation through one sense or another is easily managed; but it is very difficult to control the imagination and memory of it, once it is accepted. For example, to see or not to see some face, or to look at it with passion or without passion, is not very difficult and does not need much effort; but after you have seen it and looked at it with passion, to banish from your memory the image of this face is already not easy, but demands much effort and no small inner struggle. And the enemy can play with your soul as with a ball, tossing your attention from one memory to another, stirring up desires and passions beneath them, and so keeping you always in a passionate state. Therefore I say to you: stay awake and, above all, watch imagination and memory. Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare: Chapter 26)



The devil has a very close relationship and familiarity with the imagination, and of all the power of the soul he has this one as the most appropriate organ to deceive man and to activate his passions and evils. He indeed is very familiar with the nature of the imagination. For he, being created by God originally as a pure and simple mind without form and image, as the other divine angels, later came to love the forms and the imagination. Imagining that he could set his throne above the heavens and become like God, he fell from being an angel of light and became a devil of darkness. St. Dionysios spoke about this devil. "What is the evil in the devils? Irrational anger; unreasonable desire; and reckless imagination. St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain, A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel





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