Tonight we continued with Hypothesis 18 which examines the importance of seeking the guidance of elders; those who have a deep desire for God and have come to know His ways through experience. We can have no conceit of knowledge when it comes to the spiritual life. Natural gifts, talents, and abilities are good in and of themselves but they do not necessarily give us insight into the ways of God or knowledge of divine things. At times we seem to almost have an infinite capacity for self-delusion. The more one progresses along the spiritual path the greater in fact the danger becomes. If we do not guard our hearts, if we do not seek out the counsel of others, we can quickly fall into the pit of self-judgment. The fall then can be great and the damage done terrible. Therefore the Fathers with one voice call us to constantly seek out the wisdom of others, to listen to God at the depths ofour being with a spirit of humility. No matter how wise we become what we understand is infinitesimal in comparison to the wisdom of God and the Spirit that searches the depths of our hearts. In this we can allow ourselves no illusions.