Lenten Desert: Myth Monsters Logosmoi/ Lessons from Logosmoi

Logosmoi Picture

Logosmoi

Hope you enjoyed the Geordie story. I created it from a mix of sayings from the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Although it is light hearted it has a serious theme.
Logosmoi means ‘thoughts’ and the desert monks list a series of thoughts that constantly preoccupied them with the intention to lead them away from their vocation.
For the first desert monks that vocation was to live out the new creation/new humanity that had been gifted to them through Jesus the Christ. If you would like to get to know the Desert Fathers a little more you could cut and paste this link to the browser to go to our archives:

http://www.northumbriacommunity.com/2011/04/05/internal-emigre-series-1991desert-fathersjohn-t-skinner/

So, let’s exercise our imagination again…you are down the desert with this new movement of men and women. You have given away all your possessions, left your friends and family, left your Ekklesia, and you have moved to be with a group of people who mostly live alone. There are a few folk who have been down the desert for sometime and you have been advised to hang out with them whenever you can. You have to find or make shelter, and away to support yourself to get by. You have discovered that the world you left, its passions and appetites has followed you down the desert, these passions and appetites are what lie between you and the new humanity that Christ has won for all people in his birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and reign from heaven. That truth is constantly being undone in your heart and soul by Logosmoi thoughts that inflame your passions, excite your appetites and preoccupy your very being, enticing you to give up, turn back to your old life.

Down the desert alone in your hut or cave what kind of Logosmoi (thoughts) do you think you might find yourself preoccupied?

Here are the Logosmoi the Desert folk encountered. Although these Logosmoi were considered to be specific to the desert vocation, they have a lot to say about the wider world and the preoccupations that keep from being more human more like Christ.
Please meditate on each Logosmoi and the way it is described. Think about why this would be a preoccupation for the DFM. In what ways are these Logosmoi a preoccupation in everyday life, and how much distraction do they cause to individuals, communities and society at large.

Abba Evagrius lists 8 of these Logosmoi:

Gluttony

Gluttony is not regarded simply as over eating, or the desire for fancy foods, which
were regarded as harmful. The ‘thought’ of gluttony is the constant preoccupation with the way we eat: Are we getting enough? Are we eating the right things? Gluttony is the preoccupation with food, and an over anxiety about one’s health.

Meditate on it…

Lust

For the Fathers, lust was simply a matter of allowing our sexual fantasies to run away with us. Lust “fills our mind with a desire for a variety of people, in a variety of places and in a variety of positions.”
For the DFM Real relationships that go wrong do less damage than corrupted imaginary ones. Lust is the exact opposite of a real relationship between real people and as a result it creates problems in all our relationships.

Meditate on ….

Love of Money

The love of money leads to hoarding, putting away as much as you can, giving away as little as you can, in order to save for the future. We imagine ourselves being out of work, and worry about being too sick or old to work. We worry about our future if we will still be able to enjoy the ‘little luxuries of life’ or, even worse, no longer have any security. We see money as our security not faith in God.

Meditate on….

Sorrow

Is seen to be preoccupation with the past, the good old days, better times when things were done well, done differently. When we had everything we needed to live a proper life. These thoughts lead us out of the present and leave us in the past. Often the memories we treasure are distorted, altered, and untrue.

Meditate on it…

Anger
Anger is the preoccupation with the way people have slighted us, overlooked us, spoke badly about us. This is the type of anger that consciously or unconsciously looks to pay back, to take revenge, to make sure the other persons receives their just rewards.
For the DFM, to continue in this state leads to all kinds ill health, nightmares and even hallucinations.

Meditate on it…

Listlessness

This is a condition where we cannot settle to anything: we wander around aimlessly, waiting for time to pass us by, or wondering what will come next. We spend our time daydreaming about being somewhere else, doing something else, anything else or are just bored to death. At the heart of this Logosmoi is the temptation for us to abandon our course – and if we do run away, we will take all our problems with us.

Meditate on it…

Vanity

These thoughts get us to see ourselves in good situations, the complete centre of attention. One of the Fathers describes a recurring daydream about his own importance. Hundreds of people come to seek his spiritual advice. He sees himself as a great preacher, admired by the crowds for his wisdom and insight. He longs to leave the cell to be known, to be admired, to be affirmed.
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Meditate on it….

Pride

Is the ultimate failing, it consists of thoughts that we can achieve anything we want without a mature dependence on God. In the desert that goal was spiritual maturity. Pride leads to spiritual madness. In the desert it led to many strange practices, including putting oneself in chains and eating grass.

Meditate on it….

You can check out more about the DFM on the link we have put on this page to our archives. We just wanted to give you a taste of the rawness of the encounter with the Logosmoi and an introduction that lets you chew stuff over your self without much comment. Hope it worked….Monsters coming next!

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