How Not to Lose Your Mind

Metropolitan Luke’s wartime notes

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Christ is in our midst, my dear readers!

Today in our country we see a stable growth in psychiatric illnesses. The main cause provoking these illnesses is the media. It is precisely thanks to their efforts that people are going out of their minds in the direct sense of the word. The media destroys the psyche, kills the soul, and destroys the health of entire populations. During the Second World War there wasn’t such a growth in psychiatric illnesses as we can observe today in our society. Some people are on antidepressants, others having taken to drink, and yet others just go out of their minds by themselves.

During the blockade in Leningrad, cinemas were open in the city where they showed for free, as a rule comedies, or gave concerts of symphony music. People related that one session of such psychotherapy plus a cup of hot water worked miracles. A person would be revived, rise out his depression, and try to go on living. The authorities understood how important it is to take care of their fellow citizens’ psyches.

But now different times have come; not only does no one feel sorry for our mental health—they are deliberately destroying it. Now, as people say, the salvation of the drowning is the job of the ones who are drowning. What should we do in order not to drown in that darkness that the media is now bringing into our souls?

Although not about this, St. Isaac the Syrian gave one of his disciples very important advice. He said that only God’s grace can stop our thoughts and make our minds stop thinking; a person cannot achieve this by his own efforts. But he is capable of building a wall around his mind and watching that the mind not go outside of it. Into this enclosure we have to put food for the mind, because the mind will be looking for it everywhere. This food should be varied, because the mind has the tendency to go from one thought to another. Let this food be the books of the holy fathers, the Word of God, contemplation on the nature of God, on His good Providence, and the Lives of the Saints. That is, the essence of St. Isaac’s thought is understandable—we have to encompass our minds within specific activities, no matter where it might find positive food for itself, and watch that the mind not break out of this enclosure and gorge itself on harmful material—from which begins its toxification.

Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) of Zaporozhye and Melitopol
Translation by



Paul Stillman3/14/2023 10:11 pm
Couldn't agree more. Got rid of the TV summer before last, same with smart phone and computer. Frankly, sunshine and a long walk in nature are unbelievable elixirs. So is a healthy diet.
Benjamin2/18/2023 4:20 am
Yes, "the media" is indeed very harmful. However, certain forms of media are more harmful than others. Viewing of pornography, which basically 100% of young men in the West do on a regular basis, is by-far the most harmful of any media form. The effects on the brain, specifically the dopamine system (which also heavily affects testosterone levels) has been well established-- it will even show up on brain scans. Gary Wilson's 2014 book "Your Brain On Porn" goes into this topic from a secular-medical POV. Highly recommend, especially for older people (read: Boomers) who are, by-in-large, totally unaware that its even an issue. I have commented on the issue a lot here in the past, but it really can't be commented on enough given its ubiquity
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