Early Christianity, like Proverbs, the Stoics, and the Greek philosophers, was sure that the wise and virtuous person (man or woman) didn’t let himself get too worked up about stuff. Being a geek, I immediately thought about the Vulcans.🙂 And indeed, there’s been some interesting food for thought in comparing the Christian concept with the science fictional one.
But now, an even more direct counterpoise!
Via the Anchoress, a quote from the sayings of the Desert Fathers in By Way of the Desert:
John the Dwarf asked God to mitigate his passions. He became calm and imperturbable. He told a hermit, “I now rest in peace. There is no struggle between my flesh and my spirit.”
The hermit replied, “Pray that the Lord will start a new war in you. Struggle is good for the soul.”
When the old conflicts returned John did not pray that God would take them away. Instead, he prayed, “Lord, give me the strength to survive this battle.”
So clearly, the Desert Fathers didn’t mean for people to do a Christian version of kolinahr and totally disconnect their emotions and passions and desires. The goal is to have continual spiritual challenge. (Which goes along with their concept of monasticism as a spiritual training camp for spiritual athletes.)