How to Get Rid of Delusion?

Question from a viewer of the Soyuz TV channel.

“Received a call from Voronezh: “Your Grace, how to get rid of delusion? Is it possible to get rid of it? And what is needed to be done for this? ”

Archbishop Vikenty (Morar')

The questions are answered by Vikenty, the Archbishop of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye.

“It is better not to fall into delusion than to get rid of it. Of course, getting rid of delusion is very difficult. This is a serious spiritual illness. And we know that some ascetics in monasteries, who fell into a state of delusion were engaged in prayer and abstinence, strict fasting. They fell into delusion, and to get themselves out of this state, they needed a very big work of prayer of the whole monastery, of all the monastery dwellers, so that the Lord would help to get out of the delusion. Therefore, the holy fathers warn us that we should be attentive to ourselves, so as not to get into this serious spiritual illness. What is delusion? This is flattery, a deception of the highest degree - when we are deceived by our consciousness or demonic obsessions that we are on the right path, that we are going the right way of life and leading the right spiritual life. Therefore, we need to always be self-critical, always acknowledge and see our mistakes. There are words of some holy fathers that we should see, notice our sins, like sand on the seashore. Now, when we recognize ourselves as sinners and see our sins, we constantly notice - this is a sign that we are on the right path, not deluded. And when we do not notice this, but only praise ourselves that we are great ascetics, do the right things and do everything right, that’s pride. And pride is the cause of all our spiritual illnesses; and the most terrible disease is deceit, a grand deceit, which brings us to the spiritual death. Therefore, one must be very careful in one’s spiritual life so as not to fall into enemy nets.”

April 2009