I am interested in seeing this paragraph from St. Theofan the Recluse discussed. I have a question
which will follow the statement:
"Our self-indulgence has many supports. It is indeed part of our nature; that is, in the body and soul, in our external life and our entire way of life in general. Such indulgence of the flesh comes in various forms. For example, there is sensuality, luxury, lustfulness, love of merrymaking, fondness for pleasure, trouble and care over everyday things, love of honor, love of power, perceptible success in one's affairs, and prosperity. There is a desire to be outwardly attractive, have valuable connections, and be sophisticated in external relations. There is a fondness for the arts, learning, and ventures. All this in the various forms constitutes a firm support for our selfishness, which, with certainty in its reliability and solidity, calmly rests upon it and, being amply nourished, grows from day to day, in one way chiefly in one person, in another way in someone else."
I am a professional artist. I feed my large family from my original paintings which I sell to galleries.
Would I be able to continue in my profession if I was to consider becoming Orthodox? When I visit my galleries to do business I have to be concerned about what I wear. It seems that St. Theofan is saying these activities lead to selfishness.
Thanks in advance for any comments!