A concept derived from the writings of Greek philosopher Plotinus (ca. 204-270). For the Fathers of the Desert, nous, intellect, is the highest faculty of man through which he knows God or the inner essences or principles of created things by means of direct apprehension or spiritual perception. Unlike diamoia or reason, from which it must be carefully distinguished, the intellect of the Heart does not function by formulating abstract concepts and then arguing on this basis to a conclusion reached through deductive reasoning but it understands divine truth by means of immediate experience, intuition or simple cognition (the term used by St. Isaac the Syrian). The intellect, nous, dwells in the depths of the soul it constitutes the innermost aspect of the heart. The intellect is the organ of contemplation, the eye of the heart.
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