1 John 4 1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. My recent bout with righteous indignation has be pondering once again the question of apatheia which means freedom from emotions. It is important to Stoicism that believes such freedom allows reason to dominate as it should leading to an orderly individual and societal life. However, Christianity and in this case Evagrius ponticus, apatheia takes on an additional dimension. Evagrius Ponticus lived and wrote during the fourth century Simone Weil illuminates this observation: What profound insights! It is obvious how far we are from them since we so often glorify this demonic form of emotional expression as "justified." John says to test the spirits. How do we acknowledge Jesus coming in the flesh? We do it by allowing the Spirit to enter. These lower emotion cannot remain dominant while in such a state of conscious attention. However it invites the higher forms or sacred impulses of faith hope and love to replace these lower emotional forms. What wonderful psychology! Instead of the normal suppression and guilt, we are invited to name these emotions within us by shining the light of attention on them, to witness them from above. I'll stop here for now since I don't know if anyone cares about such things. Apatheia also exists in the Eastern traditions as detachment. It is typically human that even though all the great traditions caution us on emotions, we insist on glorifying them as with righteous indignation. It makes me wonder if Evagrius was ahead of his time or we are behind the times but it does seem as a whole we don't know how to deal with these "demons" or even being aware of the benefit in doing so.