The Philokalia (300 – 1400), which translates from Ancient Greek to “love of the beautiful, love of the good,” is a collection of Greek Christian monastic texts written between the 4th and 15th centuries. It is the foundational text on hesychasm (quietness), an inner spiritual tradition with a long history dating back to the Desert Fathers. The Philokalia has been popular in the Slavic countries, especially Russia, and is a principal spiritual text for Eastern Orthodox Churches. It carries through it themes of inner asceticism, watchfulness, and ceaseless prayer.
Quotes from The Philokalia…
Peter of Damascus assures us that “nothing is better than to realize one’s weakness and ignorance, and nothing is worse than not to be aware of them.”
Because every thought enters the heart in the form of a mental image of some sensible object, the blessed light of the Divinity will illumine the heart only when it is completely empty of everything, and so free from all form. Indeed, this light reveals itself to the pure intellect in the measure to which the intellect is purged of all concepts.