Hesychasts

(pron. He'-se-kasts). The “Quietists” of the East in the fourteenth century. The placed perfection in contemplation. (Greek, hesuchia, quiet.) (See Gibbon, Roman Empire, lxiii.) Milton well expresses their belief in his Comus:

Till oft converse with heavenly habitants
Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape,
And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,
Till all be made immortal.

(470-474.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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