On Healing The Soul

How Particular Passions are healed


Healing the Passions (Part 2)
Study # 7


1. Healing

"Healing lies in spiritual poverty, which the Lord blessed. "Let us too be ‘poor in spirit' after humbling ourselves, suffering in the flesh and having no possessions", so that we may inherit the kingdom of heaven." Orthodox Psychotherapy, Met. Nafpaktos, Hierotheos, p. 279.)

I. On Healing the Three powers of the Soul

     A. Appetitive (epithymitikon) - the soul's desiring power
          a.) Longing for virtue/ Self-control / Struggling to attain God
          b.) Fallen- dominated by perversions of the flesh/ Self-love

*According to Gregory of Palamas- Cured By: "We will heal our appetitive part, where the passions of love and possessions and avarice rage, by shedding all possessions. Met. Nafpaktos, p. 281."

*According to St. John of Damaskos - Cured By: "...fasting, self-control, hardship, a total shedding of possessions and their distribution to the poor, desire for the imperishable blessings held in store, longing for the kingdom of God, and aspirations for divine sonship. Met. Nafpaktos, p. 281."

Purified by : Love

     B. Incensive (thymikon) - a force provoking vehement feelings
        a.) Striving for Virtue/ Love / Desiring God
        b.) Fallen- dominated by hatred, anger & rancor = bitter, deep-seated ill will. -Tyranny

* According to Gregory of Palamas- Cured By: "We will heal our incensive part, in which the carnal passions rage, by asceticism and self-control.

*According to St. John of Damaskos - Cured By: "...deep sympathy for one's fellow men, love, gentleness, brotherly affection, compassion, forbearance and kindness."

Purified By: Self-Control

     C. Intelligent (logistikon) - a devotion, a movement toward knowing God
       a.) Contemplation of Virtue - To know God completely
       b.) Fallen - dominated by pride / spiritual ignorance

*According to Gregory of Palamas- Cured By: "With humility we will heal our intelligence, in which the passions of ambition rage. Met. Nafpaktos, p. 281."

*According to St. John of Damaskos - Cured By: "...unwavering faith in God and in true, undeviating and Orthodox teachings, through the continual study of the inspired utterances of the Spirit, through pure and ceaseless prayer, and through the offering of thanks to God. Met. Nafpaktos, p. 281."

Purified By: Spiritual reading and prayer


II. General Therapeutic Methods of Healing: Met. Nafpaktos

A.) Remain free from agitation when struggling with a passion- be patient, wrestle and call upon God.
B.) Do not become overly self-confident - not trusting in one's ability
C.) Fight a passion when it is small - so that it does not spread
D.) Cut off the provocations and causes which evoke the passions
E.) Opposing thoughts and rejecting the proposals of the evil one
F.) He who hates the passions gets rid of the causes
G.) Any time a passion attacks you - cut it away at once
H.) Obedience
I.) Having the Word of God always before us

"We are cleansed from the defilements of sin either through the voluntary sufferings of asceticism or through involuntary trials. When voluntary sufferings of repentance precede, then involuntary one, that is great trials do not follow. God has arranged so that if voluntary asceticism does not affect purification, then involuntary causes, ‘more sharply activate our restoration towards the original beauty. This means that trials which come into our life are there because we have not willingly repented. Taking up the cross of repentance voluntarily and willingly results in our avoiding the involuntary and unwilled cross of temptations and trials. Met. Nafpaktos, p. 289."


III. Acquiring the Virtues
A.) Strive to love everyone equally and you will expel all the passions
B.) Pray unceasingly calling upon the name of God (Jesus Prayer) - Prayer removes the passions without our knowing how and why.
C.) St. John of the ladder: Humility is a remedy for all the passions
D.) Submitting to Spiritual Direction