We labored through a few pages of the conference where Abba Nesteros lays out the types of Spiritual Knowledge that exist - tropology, allegory and analogy. Of these various types of knowledge the tropological is most necessary early in the spiritual life - that which pertains to correction of life and to practical instruction in the conquering of vice and growth in virtue. One cannot find perfection in the words of others but rather in the virtuousness of their own acts. Our hearts must become sacred tabernacles, cleansed of every contagion of sin and ready to receive the Word of God.
Great care must be taken to remain silent, guarding the teachings of the elders in the heart rather than rushing to teach them to others. Avoid all vainglory in questions and never seek to show off your learning. Don't teach unless you have previously lived the truths you put forward; for Abba Nesteros writes "whoever neglects many great things and dares to teach them is certainly not merely least in the Kingdom of Heaven but should be considered greatest in the punishment of Gehenna."
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