On Being Still

St. Maximus the Confessor ca. 580-662

What is this said in the Psalms, “be still and know that I am God?”

There are six stillnesses by which, if we achieve them, we are able to know God fully: first, from sinful activity; second, from an exciting way of life; third, from a place of mingling with those who live in an unguarded way; fourth, from pursuits unsuitable for the life according to God; fifth, from an existence subject to slander and to many distractions of the nous by many things; sixth, the [state of] not having one’s own will – completely. And this is both a renunciation and a subordination, both true and according to God. (Various Questions and Selections from Various Passages That are Perplexing, Question I, 45)

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