Tertullian sacrificed the intellect, because it was that which most strongly bound him to worldliness. He battled with the Gnosis because for him it represented the side-track into the intellectual, which at the same time involves also sensuality. Parallel with this fact we find that in reality Gnosticism was also divided into two schools: one school striving after a spirituality that exceeded all bounds, the other losing itself in an ethical anarchism, an absolute libertinism that shrank from no lechery however atrocious and perverse.
One must definitely distinguish between the Encratites (continent) and the Antitactes or Antinomians (opposed to order and
law), who in obedience to certain doctrines sinned on principle and purposefully gave themselves to unbridled debauchery. To the latter school belong the Nicolaitans, the Archontici, etc., and the aptly named Borborites.
How closely the apparent antitheses lay side by side is shown by the example of the Archontici, for this same sect divided into an Encratitic and an Antinomian school, both of which remained logical and consistent If anyone wants to know what are the ethical results of a bold intellectualism carried out on a large scale, let him study the history of Gnostic morals. He will thoroughly understand the sacrificium intellectus.
These people were also practically consistent and lived what they had conceived even to absurd lengths. But Origen, in the mutilation of himself, sacrificed the sensual hold upon the world. For him, evidently, the intellect was not so much a specific
danger as feeling and sensation with their enchainment to the object. Through castration he freed himself from the
sensuality that was coupled with Gnosticism; he could then yield himself unafraid to the riches of Gnostic thought, while Tertullian through his sacrifice of intellect turned away from the Gnosis, but thereby reached a depth of religious feeling that we miss in Origen. ”
In one way he was superior to Origen “, says Schultz, ” because in his deepest soul he lived every one of his words ; it was not reason that carried him away, like the other, but the heart. But in another respect he stands far behind him, inasmuch
as he, the most passionate of all thinkers, was on the verge of rejecting knowledge altogether, for his battle against the Gnosis was tantamount to a complete denial of human thought”
We see here how, in the Christian process, the original type has actually become reversed : Tertullian, the acute thinker, becomes the man of feeling, while Origen becomes the scholar and loses himself in the intellect Logically, of course, it is quite easy to reverse the state of affairs and to say that Tertullian had always been the man of feeling and Origen the intellectual. Disregarding the fact that the difference of type is not done away with by this procedure, but exists as before, the reversed point of view has still to be explained ; how comes it that Tertullian saw his most dangerous enemy in the intellect, while Origen in sexuality?
One could say they were both deceived, and one could advance the fatal result of both lives by way of argument. One must assume, if that were the case, that both had sacrificed the less important thing, and thus to a certain extent both had made a bargain with fate. That is also a view which contains a principle of recognizable validity. Are there not just such sly-boots among the primitives who approach their fetish with a black hen under the arm. saying: “See, here is thy sacrifice, a beautiful black pig.”
I am, however, of opinion that the depreciatory method of explanation, notwithstanding the unmistakable relief which the ordinary human being feels in dragging down something great, is not under all circumstances the correct one, even though it may appear to be very ‘ biological. But from what we can personally know of these two great ones in the realm of the mind, we must say that their whole nature and quality had such sincerity that their Christian conversion was neither a fraudulent
enterprise nor mere deceit, but had both reality and truthfulness. ~Carl Jung, Psychological Types.
The sacrifice that Tertullian and Origen carried out is drastic too drastic for our taste but it corresponded with the spirit of that time, which was thoroughly concretistic. In harmony with this spirit the Gnosis simply took its visions as real, or at least as bearing directly upon reality, hence for Tertullian there was an objective validity in the realities of his feeling. Gnosticism projected the subjective inner perception of the attitude changing process into the form of a cosmogonic system, and believed in the reality of its psychological figures. ~Carl Jung, Psychological Types.
Origen [Left]: Origen or Origen Adamantius (184/185 – 253/254), was a scholar, early Christian theologian and Church Father, who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. He was a prolific writer in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, philosophical theology, preaching, and spirituality. Some of his reputed teachings, such as the pre-existence of souls, the final reconciliation of all creatures, including perhaps even the devil (the apokatastasis), and the subordination of the Son of God to God the Father, later became controversial among Christian theologians. Origen was declared anathema in 553 AD by the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople and by three subsequent ecumenical councils. For this reason Origen was and is not called a saint in either the Catholic or Orthodox churches. ~Wikipedia
Tertullian [Right]: Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225 AD), was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy. Tertullian has been called “the father of Latin Christianity” and “the founder of Western theology.” Though conservative, he did originate and advance new theology to the early Church. He is perhaps most famous for being the oldest extant Latin writer to use the term Trinity (Latin, trinitas), and giving the oldest extant formal exposition of a Trinitarian theology. Other Latin formulations that first appear in his work are “three Persons, one Substance” as the Latin “tres Personae, una Substantia” (itself from the Koine Greek “treis Hypostases, Homoousios”). He wrote his trinitarian formula after becoming a Montanist.However, unlike many Church fathers, he was never canonized by the Catholic Church, as several of his later teachings directly contradicted the actions and teachings of the apostles. ~Wikipedia