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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
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). 
First it makes the sun seem to slow down or stop moving , so that the day
appears to be fifty hours long.  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.  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.  If anyone
has upset the monk recently, the demon throws this in too to increase his
hatred.  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.  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
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;  it raises up a fantasy of demons shouting, 
and women being healed,  and a crowd of people wanting to touch the monk’s
clothes.  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:  not to
admit God’s help,  and to believe that the soul is responsible for its own
achievements,  and to disdain the brethren as fools because they do not all
see this about it. This demon is followed by:  anger and  sadness and the
final evil,  utter insanity and madness, and visions of mobs of demons in the
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