St. John of Damascus on contemplation

I am writing a post on this, but views of the tree of knowledge of good and evil are often complicated and not really reaching to (what I feel is) the proper understanding. Yet, St. John comes pretty close to it.

English: Genesis : God the Father forbids Eve ...
English: Genesis : God the Father forbids Eve to pick the fruit from the tree of good and evil; marble bas-relief on the left pier of the façade of the cathedral; Orvieto, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tree of knowledge of good and evil is the power of discernment by multidimensional vision. This is the complete knowing of one’s own nature. Of itself it manifests the magnificence of the Creator, and it is good for them that are fullgrown and have walked in the contemplation of God—for them that have no fear of changing, because in the course of time they have acquired a certain habit of such contemplation. It is not good, however, for such as are still young and are more greedy in their appetites, who, because of the uncertainty of their perseverance in the true good and because of their not yet being solidly established in their application to the only good, are naturally inclined to be drawn away and distracted by their solicitude for their own bodies. Orthodox Faith 2.11.

What does it mean to be self-knowing, to practice contemplation? I think this gets to the heart of the human experience.

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