Thank you for the reference/reminder. I am remembering now that Andreas recommended this book to me last year ('The Heart of Salvation') and I think I am more motivated now to read The Heart, after reading The Path.
When you say:
The three stages are distinct but dynamic, as I have been taught. The perfect still undergo purification. Sometimes those who have not even ever struggled against any passion are caught up in theoria.
as usual, you say so much in so few words. I plan to keep working on an outline here of the 'general principles' that St. Theophan lays down in this work, but as you say these are dynamic stages and principles. And, as we consider the truth of your concluding statement, it becomes apparent at once that there is more than one way even though there is only one path, and again we are reminded that no one person or no group of people can confine the Grace of God as it relates to the path of salvation. And, especially in you concluding statement, I think we see that we need to be careful when we charge/judge others with seeming delusion based our own personal experience. As we consider these dynamic principles of the saint and your remark how can we not be at once humbled, and feel the need to speak less dogmatically as it relates to other travelers on the path. To speak from the seat of the self-righteous or to speak from on high as it relates to our fellow pilgrims is to advertise/broadcast our ignorance and our pitiful state for all to plainly see.
Yes, distinct but dynamic. Well put.