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mersch
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« on: July 19, 2009, 01:37:54 PM »

Did the original "teaching" on the 7  deadly sins come about before or after the schism?  And how does orthodoxy view them?  This came up yesterday with a group of friends, and we had some interesting friendly discussions regarding this.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 01:39:49 PM by mersch » Logged
Jimmy
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2009, 03:38:58 PM »

Did the original "teaching" on the 7  deadly sins come about before or after the schism?  And how does orthodoxy view them?  This came up yesterday with a group of friends, and we had some interesting friendly discussions regarding this.

The 7 deadly sins originated in the writings of Evagrius in the 4th century as the eight deadly thoughts.  They are Gluttony, lust, avarice, dejection, anger, acedia, vainglory, and pride.  In the sixth century St. Gregory the Great spoke of the seven deadly sins combining vainglory and pride into one and he considered dejection as the same thing as acedia and he includes envy.  His list is gluttony, lust, avarice, anger, acedia, pride, and envy. 

The eight deadly thoughts are spoken of in the Philokalia so I would guess the Orthodox wouldn't have much problems with the seven deadly sins.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 03:44:16 PM by Jimmy » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2009, 05:11:35 PM »

Right.  Philokalia or no philokalia, St. Gregory the Great is a prominant Orthodox Saint.   Seven deadly sins and "corresponding" substantive virtues have been printed in many Orthodox prayer books over the centuries.   One that that is found, however, that may be a difference is that in Orthodox writings, the virtues are always emphasized above the sin.  The sin is the absence of the virtue and if you are doing what is good and thinking what is good, there is no need to emphasize "not doing what is bad" but only to identify it so that we might again engage in the practice of the virtues (humility instead of pride, sophrosyne instead of lust, etc.).   
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2009, 10:59:54 PM »

The 7 deadly sins originated in the writings of Evagrius in the 4th century as the eight deadly thoughts.  They are Gluttony, lust, avarice, dejection, anger, acedia, vainglory, and pride.  In the sixth century St. Gregory the Great spoke of the seven deadly sins combining vainglory and pride into one and he considered dejection as the same thing as acedia and he includes envy.  His list is gluttony, lust, avarice, anger, acedia, pride, and envy. 

The eight deadly thoughts are spoken of in the Philokalia so I would guess the Orthodox wouldn't have much problems with the seven deadly sins.

The saying of Evagrius (St. Evagrius in my Church  Smiley ) with the eight thoughts is posted in reply 2 of this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12005.msg163049.html#msg163049

Does anyone have a link to the passage where St. Gregory writes of the seven deadly sins?
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 11:23:20 AM »

First described by Evagrius Ponticus (345-399) in his work Logismoi:

Quote
There are eight generic [tempting-] thoughts (logismoi), that contain within themselves every [tempting-]thought: first is that of gluttony; and with it, sexual immorality; third, love of money; fourth, sadness; fifth, anger; sixth acedia; seventh, vainglory; eighth, pride. Whether these thoughts are able to disturb the soul or not is not up to us; but whether they linger or not, and whether they arouse passions or not; that is up to us.
The [tempting]-thought of gluttony suggests to the monk the quick abandonment of his asceticism. The stomach, liver, spleen, and [resultant] congestive heart failure are depicted, along with long sickness, lack of necessities, and unavailability of physicians. It often leads him to recall those of the brethren who have suffered these things. Sometimes it even deceives those who have suffered from this kind of thing to go and visit [others] who are practicing self-control, to tell them all about their misfortunes and how this resulted from their asceticism.

The demon of sexual immorality compels desiring for different bodies. Especially violently does it attack those who practice self-control, so that they will cease, as if achieving nothing. Contaminating the soul, it bends it down towards these sorts of deeds: it makes it speak certain words and then hear them, as if the thing were actually there to be seen.

Love of money suggests: a long old age; hands powerless to work; hunger and disease yet to come; the bitterness of poverty; and the disgrace of receiving the necessities [of life] from others.
Sadness sometimes arises from frustrated desires; but sometimes it is the result of anger. When desires are frustrated it arises thus: certain [tempting-]thoughts first seize the soul and remind it of home and parents and its former course of life. When they see the soul following them without resistance, and dissipating itself in mental pleasures, they take and dunk [lit baptize] it in sadness, since it is the case that these earlier things are gone and cannot be recovered due to the [monk's] present way of life Then the miserable soul, having been dissipated by the first [tempting-]thought, is humiliated all the more by the second.

Anger is the sharpest passion. It is said to be a boiling up and movement of indignation (thumos) against a wrongdoer or a presumed wrongdoer: it causes the soul to be savage all day long, but especially in prayers it seizes the nous, reflecting back the face of the distressing person. Then sometimes it is lingering and is changed into rancor: [thus] it causes disturbances at night; bodily weakness and pallor; and attacks from poisonous beasts. These four things associated with rancor may be found to have been summoned up by many other tempting- thoughts.

The demon of acedia, which is also called the noonday demon, is the most burdensome of all the demons. It besets the monk at about the fourth hour (10 am) of the morning, encircling his soul until about the eighth hour (2 pm). [1] First it makes the sun seem to slow down or stop moving , so that the day appears to be fifty hours long. [2] Then it makes the monk keep looking out of his window and forces him to go bounding out of his cell to examine the sun to see how much longer it is to 3 o’clock, and to look round in all directions in case any of the brethren is there. [3] Then it makes him hate the place and his way of life and his manual work. It makes him think that there is no charity left among the brethren; no one is going to come and visit him. [4] If anyone has upset the monk recently, the demon throws this in too to increase his hatred. [5] It makes him desire other places where he can easily find all that he needs and practice an easier, more convenient craft. After all, pleasing the Lord is not dependent on geography, the demon adds; God is to be worshipped everywhere. [6] It joins to this the remembrance of the monk’s family and his previous way of life, and suggests to him that he still has a long time to live, raising up before his eyes a vision of how burdensome the ascetic life is. So, it employs, as they say, every [possible] means to move the monk to abandon his cell and give up the race. No other demon follows on immediately after this one but after its struggle the soul is taken over by a peaceful condition and by unspeakable joy.

The thought of vainglory is especially subtle and it easily infiltrates those whose lives are going well, [A] wanting to publish their efforts, [B.] and go hunting for glory among men; [1] it raises up a fantasy of demons shouting, [2] and women being healed, [3] and a crowd of people wanting to touch the monk’s clothes. [4] It prophesies priesthood for him, and sets the stage with people thronging at his door, calling for him, and even though he resists he will be carried off under constraint. Then, having raised him up with empty hopes like this, it suddenly leaps away and leaves him, abandoning him to be tempted either by the demon of pride or by the demon of gloominess, which brings on thoughts contrary to the previous hopes. Sometimes it also hands over to the demon of sexual immorality the man who, a moment before, was being carried off forcibly to be made a holy priest.

The demon of pride conducts the soul to its worst fall. It urges it: [1] not to admit God’s help, [2] and to believe that the soul is responsible for its own achievements, [3] and to disdain the brethren as fools because they do not all see this about it. This demon is followed by: [1] anger and [2] sadness and the final evil, [3] utter insanity and madness, and visions of mobs of demons in the air.
http://earlychurchtexts.com/public/evagrius_of_pontus_eight_logismoi.htm

And then expounded upon by Saint Pope Gregory the Great in Moralia in Job:
Quote
[xlv]

87. For the tempting vices, which fight against us in invisible contest in behalf of the pride which reigns over them, some of them go first, like captains, others follow, after the manner of an army. For all faults do not occupy the heart with equal access. But while the greater and the few surprise a neglected mind, the smaller and the numberless pour themselves upon it in a whole body. For when pride, the queen of sins, has fully possessed a conquered heart, she surrenders it immediately to seven principal sins, as if to some of her generals, to lay it waste. And an army in truth follows these generals, because, doubtless, there spring up from them importunate hosts of sins. Which we set forth the better, if we specially bring forward in enumeration, as we are able, the leaders themselves and their army. For pride is the root of all evil, of which it is said, as Scripture bears witness; Pride is the beginning of all sin. [Ecclus. 10, 1] But seven principal vices, as its first progeny, spring doubtless from this poisonous root, namely, vain glory, envy, anger, melancholy, avarice, gluttony, lust. For, because He grieved that we were held captive by these seven sins of pride, therefore our Redeemer came to the spiritual battle of our liberation, full of the spirit of sevenfold grace.

 

88. But these several sins have each their army against us. For from vain glory there arise disobedience, boasting, hypocrisy, contentions, obstinacies, discords, and the presumptions of novelties. From envy there spring hatred, whispering, detraction, exultation at the misfortunes of a neighbour, and affliction at his prosperity. From anger are produced strifes, swelling of mind, insults, clamour, indignation, blasphemies. From melancholy there arise malice, rancour, cowardice, despair, slothfulness in fulfilling the commands, and a wandering of the mind on unlawful objects. From avarice there spring treachery, fraud, deceit, perjury, restlessness, violence, and hardnesses of heart against compassion. From gluttony are propagated foolish mirth, scurrility, uncleanness, babbling, dulness of sense in understanding. From lust are generated blindness of mind, inconsiderateness, inconstancy, precipitation, self-love, hatred of God, affection for this present world, but dread or despair of that which is to come. Because, therefore, seven principal vices produce from themselves so great a multitude of vices, when they reach the heart, they bring, as it were, the bands of an army after them. But of these seven, five namely are spiritual, and two are carnal.

 

89. But they are, each of them, so closely connected with other, that they spring only the one from the other. For the first offspring of pride is vain glory, and this, when it hath corrupted the oppressed mind, presently begets envy. Because doubtless while it is seeking the power of an empty name, it feels envy against any one else being able to obtain it. Envy also generates anger; because the more the mind is pierced by the inward wound of envy, the more also is the gentleness of tranquillity lost. And because a suffering member, as it were, is touched, the hand of opposition is therefore felt as if more heavily impressed. Melancholy also arises from anger, because the more extravagantly the agitated mind strikes itself, the more it confounds itself by condemnation; and when it has lost the sweetness of tranquillity, nothing supports it but the grief resulting from agitation. Melancholy also runs down into avarice; because, when the disturbed heart has lost the satisfaction of joy within, it seeks for sources of consolation without, and is more anxious to possess external goods, the more it has no joy on which to fall back within. But after these, there remain behind two carnal vices, gluttony and lust. But it is plain to all that lust springs from gluttony, when in the very distribution of the members, the genitals appear placed beneath the belly. And hence when the one is inordinately pampered, the other is doubtless excited to wantonness.

...
Moralia in Job, Book XXXI
http://www.lectionarycentral.com/GregoryMoralia/Book31.html
or
http://www.archive.org/stream/moralsonbookofjo31greg#page/490/mode/2up/search/pride
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2010, 12:49:46 PM »

Right.  Philokalia or no philokalia, St. Gregory the Great is a prominant Orthodox Saint.   Seven deadly sins and "corresponding" substantive virtues have been printed in many Orthodox prayer books over the centuries.   One that that is found, however, that may be a difference is that in Orthodox writings, the virtues are always emphasized above the sin.  The sin is the absence of the virtue and if you are doing what is good and thinking what is good, there is no need to emphasize "not doing what is bad" but only to identify it so that we might again engage in the practice of the virtues (humility instead of pride, sophrosyne instead of lust, etc.).   


One of the things that I find happening in my own life and also in working with others is that human tendency to turn our worst vices into virtues, turning spiritual strengths into human weaknesses, and thoroughly turning all of the wisdom of the ages on its head.

I have found that emphasizing virtues without identifying vice is not a good long-term strategy.

M.
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 04:15:23 PM »

Right.  Philokalia or no philokalia, St. Gregory the Great is a prominant Orthodox Saint.   Seven deadly sins and "corresponding" substantive virtues have been printed in many Orthodox prayer books over the centuries.   One that that is found, however, that may be a difference is that in Orthodox writings, the virtues are always emphasized above the sin.  The sin is the absence of the virtue and if you are doing what is good and thinking what is good, there is no need to emphasize "not doing what is bad" but only to identify it so that we might again engage in the practice of the virtues (humility instead of pride, sophrosyne instead of lust, etc.).   
One of the things that I find happening in my own life and also in working with others is that human tendency to turn our worst vices into virtues, turning spiritual strengths into human weaknesses, and thoroughly turning all of the wisdom of the ages on its head.
I have found that emphasizing virtues without identifying vice is not a good long-term strategy.  M. 
Who is emphasizing virtues without identifying vice?   I said very clearly in the post that we need "to identify it."   Not sure where you post is coming from.   
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2010, 04:23:31 AM »

A hét főbűnnel kapcsolatban sok megközelítés született már, legutóbb Eva Menasse dolgozta fel a témát és vetítette a hét fő bűnt a párkapcsolatokra. Különleges könyv!
http://konyv-konyvek.hu/bocsanatos_fobunok
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010, 04:54:28 PM »

Hmm, a post in Hungarian... Can you translate..
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