Pious Paissios the Athonite
The more people estrange themselves from the simple, natural way of life and advance towards luxury, the more it intensifies their anxiety. And the more they estrange themselves from God, it is obvious that they won’t find rest anywhere.
That is why they go all over restlessly, even around the moon, like the the car belt around the mad wheel – in the old factories the mad wheel was the wheel which didn’t produce anything, they used it only for taking out the belt from another wheel when they wanted to stop it – because their restlessness does not have enough room on our whole planet.
Worldly stress comes out of the good worldly living, from the worldly happiness. The exterior education with stress leads hundreds of people (even small children) to psychoanalysts and psychiatrists and creates all the time mental hospitals and trains psychiatrists and many of them don’t even believe in God and don’t accept the existence of the soul.
Thus how can such people help other souls when they are themselves full of anxiety? How can the man truly comfort others if he doesn’t believe in God and in the true life, the afterlife, the eternal one?
When the man understands the deepest meaning of the true life he gets rid of all anxieties and receives divine comfort and thus he is healed. If someone had gone to the mental hospital or to the clinics of psychiatry and had read to the sick from abba Isaac, all of those who believed in God would have been healed because they would have understood the deepest meaning of life. People try to calm themselves with sedatives or yoga theories and they don’t want the true peace which comes when the man humbles himself and which brings divine comfort inside themselves.
The tourists who come from foreign countries and walk on the streets in heat and dust think how much pain they suffer! What a disgust, what a burden they have in their soul to consider relaxation this exterior torments. How estranged they are from themselves to consider this torment as rest!
When we see a man with a great anxiety, with grief and anguish, although he has everything he needs, then we should know that he is missing God and ultimately men are tormented by fortune, because worldly fortunes don’t fulfill them spiritually. They suffer doubly.
I know some rich men who have everything and they don’t even have children but they still suffer. They get bored of sleep, of walks, are tormented by everything. OK, I said to one, if you have spare time, get busy with the spiritual ones. Read an Hour, read a little from the Gospel. I can’t! he said. Do something good, go to a hospital and comfort a sick man. How to go there? he answers. And why? Go and help a poor neighbor. This doesn’t suit me either, he says.
To have spare time, to own many houses, to have all goodies and still feel tormented. Do you know how many people like this are there? They are tormented until they go crazy. It is terrible. And if they don’t work, if they have their incomes only from their fortunes, then they are the most tormented men. If at least they had had a job it would have been better.