Monday, August 07, 2017

Acedia and its Cure

The acedic man, the one turned in on himself so that he is incapable of love, pulls all of reality out of its place as expansive and open, instead forcing it to live only within his evermore limited vision.

The acedic man, then, is necessarily controlling and often outright abusive. Anything that departs from the world created within must be brought into submission, so that that world will not be shattered -- the only thing more terrifying than the hellish sub-world constructed by the spiritually despairing is the void, the nothingness, the utter confusion and chaos that he has convinced himself exists outside of his tunneled vision. Within, where he has become a helpful and impotent god, there is no love, nor can there be, even if he seeks it with tears. What hope does he have for the outside? This gives the abuse that he subjects everyone to, especially those closest to him, a feeling of panic: the only way to keep his private hell going is to make sure that others burn with him.

He straddles, then, a world that he feels compelled by fear of death to continue, and so abuse and mistreat everyone and everything -- it is a world where there can be no sacred -- and a world where he holds ultimate moral responsibility for the iconoclasm of every living thing. While he feels that there is no other way to treat others, as if it is a necessity, he also knows that he is morally responsible for his choice to continue the lie, the lie that eventually chokes the whole world and murders everyone.

His nature is to love, but he has become unnatural.

A marvel has occurred, though: He whose nature is our pattern, the One who is simply Love unbounding, infinite, uncircumscribable, has taken on our bound, finite, circumscription -- without losing what is His. By grace, through His great love, He became what we are, so that we might become what He is. He rebukes the acedic man, and bears the terror, and goes to where the man fears most: the void. And that void, terrible and infinite, cannot contain this One. It is undone and burst. And the dying One is revealed as the Ever-Living One. In this One, the one who hates himself through self-love (philautia), can love the entire world and so find Christ in himself, the hope of glory. No more abuse, no more need to control to stave off death, but only the abounding overflow of Love.

Pascha is the only cure for acedia.

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