While this allows the possibility of an increased sense of the holistic, it also reflects a desire for the elimination of the sensual. “The icon therefore shows Christian life aiming at absolute inward peace and freedom from all passion and emotion.”35 This does appear to be in some contradiction with the teaching of John of Damascus that “…matter is the creation of God and a good thing.”36

33 St. John of Damascus. On The Divine Images: Three Apologies Against Those Who Attack Divine Images. Trans. By David Anderson. (Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1980), p. 8.
34 M. J. Le Guillou, O.P., Trans. By Donald Attwater, The Spirit of Eastern Orthodoxy. (New York, NY: Hawthorn Books, 1965), p. 53.
35 Ibid, p. 55)
36 St. John of Damascus, 1980, p. 62.