Acedia and the Path of Dreams


 (From )


Today I was browsing though some articles for a project I’m working on along with some colleagues, when the word “acedia” found me.

The word is derived from Greek and means: “spiritual torpor and apathy; ennui.”

When we want to walk the Path of Dreams we will, at some point of the road, have to face Acedia. Acedia is usually translated as sloth, one of the seven deadly sins.

In the early Christian era, it was identified as a peculiar affliction of monks. Evagrius Ponticus—ie, Evagrius from the province of Pont—was a monk who was permanently installed in the Egyptian deserts in 383. As a monk, his duties were of course to spend his time in solitude and prayer, the latter beginning at 4 am. Evagrius worried that he sometimes did not feel like carrying out his sacred duties. Indeed, feelings of lassitude might continue throughout the day, bringing with them dissatisfaction with his place, his way of life, and his fellow monks.”  – Bill Bynum, THE LANCET • Vol 357 • June 16, 2001

Within the fog of acedia lies the very sun that can dispell it. Acedia is a place within the soul that we come upon when we need to learn. Because when a sense of dissatisfaction, of ennui and spiritual “dead waters” persists – it was placed there for one reason and one reason only: we must change everything and move forward. We must go in search of that which makes our hearts rejoice, of the adventure of being alive.



(Own photo, The Road To Santiago, 2009)




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