In this chapter Molinos contrasts “head knowledge” with “heart knowledge” and those that love mental knowledge more than God versus those that love God more than mental knowledge.

His claim is that those that only have head knowledge will have corrupted motives and will be more interested in self promotion than in God’s will. We could sum it up by saying that we must be doers of the word, not hearers only.

Well and good. But Molinos also claims that the inward person is a doer of the word, whereas an outward person is not doing God’s will. That is, to learn about God through study, even when it leads to obedience, cannot result in a person who reflects the glory of God. Only the inward path can do that.

I think that is unfair. It may be true that everyone who wants to really know God will have to hear Him internally. It may be that suffering, and gaining a personal revelation by faithfully going through trials, is also necessary. But does a person have to be dedicated to a life of contemplation to gain purity?

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