One observation regarding this thread:
St. Paul distinguishes between the the written law and the law of love or of the spirit. The Orthodox view of theosis is more compatible with the second view of course. But the law of love and the path of theosis work best under the direction of a spiritual father.
the problem for Orthodoxy today is that there are very few real staretzs, real spiritual fathers. I think part of the eventual difference between the West and East may have been in the rapidly changing west under seige by barbarians, they found themselves in such social upheaval to have also lost the presence of spiritual fathers in sufficient numbers to impact the Church, so they became more written law oriented and legalistic (a natural propensity for Romans to begin with, to concentrate on law - as opposed to the more philosophical Greeks).
In the stable East such crisis didn't exist. And even under the severe persecutions the Eastern Church has endured, such problems don't tend to exist because persecuted Christians are not generally slouching toward immorality.
But in a rapidly changing social climate, even one where suffering exists (by conquest from barbarian invaders) but not necessarily suffering for the faith, the flock lose their inner moral compass and the
Church had to give them firmer footing or standards to guide them. Whether the actual practices given were the wisest or best is another matter. Historically we saw the bitter fruit of their abuse (the reformation).
In our rapidly changing culture and sub-cultures and multi-cultures of the 21st century, plus its extreme materialism, sensuality and personal autonomy and secularism, the question is, for Joe Orthodox in the pew, who really doesn't "get" much about this talk of theosis, and who has largely assimilated to western culture, how do we give him and his wife and kids some firm standards and convictions and still remain Orthodox? How do we not create layers of mortal and venial sins, strict and highly standardized guidelines for attending confession ala the Latin Church or making people just feel guilty ala conservative protestantism. Especially in the absence of many real spiritual fathers, or staretzky?
That's one thought of mine after reading this thread.
The other is that if you want to make any progress in theosis, getting your libido under control, along with your carnal thoughts and desires is square one, along with prayer, reading the Bible and the Fathers and attending liturgy. If you can't/don't/won't do that, then forget about theosis.
If pride becomes a problem, God can deal with your pride. But it's ridiculous to think I can't worry about my lust, or my sleeping around because it might make me spiritually proud. That would be the ultimate LOL if it weren't so pathetic!
Spiritual Pride can only become a sin of someone already living a moral life. It's deadly serious and could cost one one's salvation but circumventing it by living in immorality is ludicrous.
I know it is very difficult for young people and when they are in committed relationships they may think they will eventually get married, so they take liberties with one another. All I can say is don't be too quick to make such rationalizations because the truth is you will probably be making the same rationalization several times with several different partners over the years. And when you do marry, you will regret it.
Also, if Orthodox young people want to be truly counter-cultural and stand up for their faith over against
western culture, what could be more counter-cultural than making a stand against the sensuality of current society?
And against the sex-as-the-god-we-worship attitude of western popular culture that proliferates in songs, commercials, movies and enteretainment? What could be more counter-cultural than living chaste and virtuous lives.?
Finally, any attempt to try to justify hooking up, sleeping around etc. for an Orthodox Christian is just looking for loopholes or excuses. And the attempt to do so does begin to look (and smell) suspiciously like liberal, mainline protestantism.