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In the numerous writings of Evagrios there may be discerned two tendencies, the one 'speculative' and the other

'practical'. On the speculative side he relies heavily on Origen (c. 185254), borrowing from him, in particular, certain theories about the pre-existence of human souls and the apokastasis or final restoration of all things in Christ. These theories were condemned at the fifth Ecumenical Council (553). On the practical side he draws upon the living experience of the Desert Fathers of Egypt, mainly Copts, among whom he spent the last years of his life. He possessed to an exceptional degree the gifts of psychological insight and vivid description, together with the ability to analyse and define with remarkable precision the various stages of the spiritual way. Here his teachings, so far from being condemned, have exercised a decisive influence upon subsequent writers. His disciple St. John Cassian while abandoning the suspect theories that Evagrios derived from Origen, transmitted the practical aspect of Evagrios' teachings to the Latin West. In the Greek East the technical vocabulary devised by Evagrios remained thereafter standard: It can be found, for example, in the writings of St. Diadochos of Photiki, St. John Klimakos, and St. Maximos the Confessor, as also within the Syriac tradition, in the Mystic Treatises of St. Isaac of Nineveh. The works included by St. Nikodimos in the Philokalia all belong to the practical side of Evagrios, and contain little if any trace of suspect speculations.