Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Against the swirling materialism of Thales, Anaxagoras, and Anaximander, against the frozen murk of Parmenides and Melissus, arose first Plato’s Socrates, who aimed higher to identify being and who sought reason, not matter, as the means of knowing the world. Wedding Heaven and Earth, he revealed to Timaeus the pattern of the soul, the unity between matter and form. To solve the mystery of knowing—the recognition of the Truth when one heard it—he named the recognition ‘recollection’ of what the soul’s little form remember of the great Forms before its birth in the flesh of man.

All knowing, all being, then descended from that form living within us. And saw without ever seeing a particular dog, without ever defining beauty, one would know it the very first time he saw it. At worst, man’s reasoning but required a little prompting to rise upwards.

Yet, there was a sundering! With his palm toward earth, Aristotle uttered, ‘Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas - Plato is my friend, but truth is a better friend.’ Forms do make materical creatures to be what they are, but only as one cause amongst four. The matter is just as much a cause, the agent is the other, and the agent’s reason is the ultimate. ‘Forms without matter are nonsense.’ With mind more piercing than adamantine stone, he proceeds to define where Socrates pleaded faith-inspired agnosticism. Recollection becomes the amalgamation of experience.

Yet, if Aristotle has constructed the skeleton at least of this world’s essence, if his rule has projected every point on the line of time, what of the endpoints? What of that which is beyond this world? The great logician can only imbibe the logos, and the logos is what is, not what was or will be. Before the world and after? Aristotle cannot say.


About Me

My Photo
Warsaw, Poland
Domine, spero quia mundum vicisti. Lord, I trust that Thou hast overcome the world. Panie, ufam, żeś pokonał świat.
View my complete profile