Then, all spiritual things are overlooked, the heart gets gradually colder and the sense of the spiritual stops. The heart has no more feelings. When this happens, sadness and carefree appear.
Spiritual regress starts with oblivion. Man forgets God’s blessings, God Himself and salvation. He forgets about the danger of being without God and the remembrance of death vanishes. In one word, our entire spiritual side disappears. This is caused both by enemies and the spreading of thoughts caused by the vain deeds and especially the fellowship with the world. Then, all the spiritual things are overlooked, the heart gets gradually colder and the spiritual sense stops. The heart feels no more.
When this happens, sadness and carefree appear. Following this, spiritual occupations are postponed for another time, or even disappear completely. Thus, the previous chaos is being reinstalled and the person starts a sorrow life, forgetting God and satisfying his pleasures.
Such a life is like a desert! If you do not want to fall into such an abyss, beware of the first step: oblivion. For this, always remember God and his works.
(Translated from Arhimandritul Serafim Alexiev, Călăuza rugătorului ortodox, traducere de Gheorghiță Ciocioi, Editura Sophia, București, 2015, pp. 5-6)