MONASTICISM IN THE EAST BASIL: GREGORY
AT the heart of monasticism is the vision of an ideal life. The true monk desires to get away from the temptation and distraction of the world, that he may dwell with God.
The belief that such a life could thus be realized was based on arguments derived from psychology and from philosophy.
The psychological reason for monasticism was drawn from the fact that the body affects the soul. Let us shut out all disquieting sounds and disturbing voices, and continue in silence, that we may have a composed spirit. Let us build a wall between us and the pride of the eye, that we may not see the splendor of the world nor be exposed to its solicitations. Especially, let us live in such a state that we may be free to discipline the body, to bring it into bondage that our soul may be at liberty, to minimize it for the magnifying of our spirit. It was discovered by primitive man that fasting induces a certain psychological condition, wherein, the body being abandoned and forgotten,