Cassian and Germanus' discussion with elder Nesteros on Spiritual Knowledge to all appearances is one of the most analytic of all the conferences. The distinction is made between Practical knowledge, which both understands the working of the vices and forms the mind according to the virtues, and Contemplative Knowledge or Theoretical knowledge, which consists of the contemplation of divine things and the understanding of most sacred meanings. Yet, despite its analytic tone, the 14th Conferences is truly about the necessity of simplicity of life, of directing one's thoughts and energies toward the pursuit of God and seeking the knowledge and understanding of things that bring us to that end. Knowledge is not meant to satisfy our curiosity so much as to lead us to God. In fact, we can distract and dissipate our minds through scattering our thoughts too broad and wide upon things of little import. It is holiness that leads us to the deepest knowledge and we must avoid the abuse of learning by treating it merely as a rhetorical skill.
NOTE: The next meeting will be July 22nd.
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