In Scete a brother went to Abba Mose to ask a word. And the old man said to him: ‘Go and sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you anything’
Sayings of the Fathers
The need for an authority is often the need for a powerful word. It is not expected other’s guidance of life, since the life is essentially our own.
The wordy advice received from an authority guarantees that the life is a matter of words. As such, the life borrows the lack of place of any spoken word. The individual is not any more responsible for his life, but slips along with it in the variety of words that slipper from one man to another.
The ‘cell’ is the ever omitted possibility of living in an unspoken world. It teaches, but enclosed all teaching in the intimate relation between an individual and the unspoken world.
The man has to sit for receiving the movement of the act of teaching, but we know the men always get down from their cells.
The lack of movement in the spoken world is deemed to be a lack of the humanity itself. An unmoved man becomes his cell. But even in such case, he has the privilege of keeping himself together, without pouring himself through the holes of the loose words.
For a mystic, such apparent loss of humanity is divine. It is a feeling that what is worthy can be approached only by a previous abandon of words.