Father Maximos then went on to elaborate on additional illnesses of the heart that afflict human existence. "The holy elders talk about blindness and contamination as two related illnesses of the heart. When the heart suffers from hardness it is incapable of distinguishing between good and evil and is consequently rendered unable to recognize the presence of God. It is blind."
Kyriacos Markides, The Mountain Of Silence, p.63
Does a person have an open heart or a closed heart? Closed hearted people don't see what is going on around them. They have put up a wall. There is so much evil in our contemporary world and people go along whistling in the dark protecting their own interests and seem impervious and oblivious to the suffering around them.
This blindness happens at an individual level, in families, in communities, and in nations.
Contamination occurs when evil things seem normal. Anyone who watches cable news shows or listens to hate talk radio and has any sense of decency at all will know what I am talking about. In the psychological field contamination might be thought of as co-dependence. My definition of co-dependence is when a person organizes his/her life around someone else's symptoms. We make allowances, we overlook hurtful things, and before long these dysfunctional patterns seem normal to us.
Evil is usually not a special event. Usually it takes repeated occurrences before evil becomes fully manifest. Is it moral for us to degrade the climate of our planet and yet I just met a man the other day who just bought a Hummer to drive back and forth to work which gets 15 miles per gallon. 1 in 4 kids in Orleans County where I work is on food stamps while we sent more troops to Afghanistan which will cost billion of dollars per month.
We look at the world and say "Where is God in all this!!??" "How can God let these things happen!!??"
God helps those who help themselves and we are blind and live in a world contaminated with evil which seems normal. Until we honor the spark of divine in ourselves and others we will continue to live alienated from God and we will get sicker and sicker.