For the next few weeks, I will reflect on Evagrius’ Eight Bad Thoughts and Paul’s list of the action (karpos) of the Spirit. The writings will alternate between the fruit of the Spirit and the Eight Bad Thoughts.
The Eight Bad Thoughts
Evagrius Ponticus (345-399AD) was a monk, an ascetic, and a writer. In his work, Praktikos, he names eight bad thoughts (logismoi) that tempted monks to abandon the monastic life: gluttony, sexual immorality, love of money, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory, and pride. (early church texts, earlychurchtexts.com/public. For extensive research, readers may subscribe to this site.) These eight thoughts draw the believer away from a holy life and lead to a diminished awareness of God and self. These thoughts were later adapted and renamed the Seven Deadly Sins.
The fruit of the Spirit
By contrast, the action of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
Karpos is usually translated as fruit, but the intent is more active than a still life subject. The word can also be translated as result, outcome, deed, gain, grain, and advantage.