Sunday, April 29, 2018
The look of flowers that are looked at
Thomism 101: you have a mind precisely in order to know things outside of it.
As your mind feeds on things outside of it - namely, reality - the mind becomes more mind-like, though that is just a happy byproduct, and not the end purpose of this bee activity.
Miracle of sanity. Bilbo's doorstep in the evening: the understanding that the reality of the world is shaped to be understood by the mind. It is actually shaped for us to comprehend it, to engage it. Far from producing a narrow analytical view, this steeps us in wonder. One could argue that this is the first instance of perception: not first the seeing of the material of creation, but first that it was made for us to comprehend it. I believe this constitutes a child's first perceptions.
This knowing of reality is not remotely a consumption of information. It is not data registering on a blank screen. The first wakes to the world in childhood still have yet to come to full fruit; for those moments were not mere passive perceptions, but self-knowing as self going out to what is perceived.
Because reality is shaped to be understood by us - and indeed, named by us - this leads one to see that our minds are made, not as reality-comprehension mechanisms, but as the outflow of the dignity in which we are made: sharers in the works of the Author of creation who looked at what He made and saw that it was very good.
Thank God we are inadequate to ourselves. This is a major mark of the one who encounters Christ: that person exalts in his own inadequacy, in his own powerlessness, in his own weakness. St. Paul will back that up.
Who could have foreseen it - the great treasure lying beneath that fallow field?
If Christianity is about self-improvement, then to hell with it.
Meaning is not enough. You can talk to infinity about meaning; and it becomes meaningless. You think those heathens of old who made human sacrifice did so because they had no meaning in their lives? On the contrary, they set about at full tilt to insure that every inch of their lives was chock with meaning.
One of the greatest myths is that tired old sack about religion being something that people turn to in order to 'make sense out of their lives', or some variation of that phrase: a noble and useful, but ultimately very pat buttressing against inevitable chaos. Yawn. I don't believe it for a second. Not of those who say and think that's why they seek what they seek, nor of anyone. And if you think that's what Christianity is, then, well, to hell with it.
The thing that remains when all words fall silent. The thing that remains after sense and explanation is made of all things, or not. We have religion for one reason: we are religious creatures, and we were made in the image and likeness of God. The image remains, but the likeness was lost.
The restoration of the likeness, in Jesus, the only Son of God, revealed on the cross, from which all things are made new and saved from death, is Eucatastrophe in our lives.
What door did the birth-control pill and abortion and euthanasia and divorce et alia come through?
They came through the door of individualism.
Individualism as bred in western civilization.