Limited resources


[1 of 2] Hermes Trismegistus (6th century BC - AD 3rd century, Egypt, Greece): primary subject "Body, as enemy" (search under Outer Life/Body)": source "Thrice-Greatest Hermes, vol.2": detail "From the 'Cup [or Monad]'"
Unless you first shall hate your Body, son, you cannot love your Self. But if you love your Self you will have Mind, and having Mind you will share in the Gnosis.
 It is not possible, my son, to give yourself to both—I mean to things that perish and to things divine. For seeing that existing things are two-fold, Body and Bodiless, in which the perishing and the divine are understood, the man who has the will to choose is left the choice of one or other; for it can never be that the two should meet. And in those souls to whom the choice is left, the waning of the one causes the other's growth to show itself.

[2 of 2] St. Neilos the Ascetic (d. 430, Turkey): primary subject "Senses, relation to spirit" (search under Outer Life/Body)": detail "From ‘Ascetic Discourse’"
If we want to make a river-bed dry, perhaps to investigate something of interest, it is no use drawing off the water in the particular place where we imagine the thing to be, since more water keeps flowing down. But if we cut off the flow from above, the river-bed becomes dry without any further effort on our part: the water automatically runs away, and so we can examine what interests us. Likewise, as soon as the senses are no longer supplying material from outside, it becomes easy to empty our mind of the impressions that produce the passions. But when the senses keep conveying a constant stream of impressions, it is not just difficult but completely impossible to free the intellect from this inundation.