the presence of the invisible within the visible

In Greek philosophy, …the highest kind of knowledge, and therefore the highest moment of earthly life, …connected the visible with the invisible. [This] was noetic: the unencumbered exercise of that highest faculty of alertness and heedfulness and comprehension for which they reserved the name, “nous,” a noun that we can render variously as intellectual intuition,Continue reading “the presence of the invisible within the visible”

The stars, inasmuch as they are visible, do not embody exact knowledge, which can only be grasped by the mind and thought.

Summary of Plato’s understanding of the stars from Origen and the Life of the Stars: A History of an Idea by Alan Scott (Oxford Early Christian Studies, Clarendon Press, 1994): Plato is less concerned with how things happen than with why they happen, and for this reason he regards astronomy as only of secondary importance.Continue reading “The stars, inasmuch as they are visible, do not embody exact knowledge, which can only be grasped by the mind and thought.”

we are in a world of invisible people

E. F. Schumacher in A Guide for the Perplexed: Inner space is created by the [combined] powers of life, consciousness, and self-awareness; but we have direct and personal experience only of our own “inner space” and the freedom it affords us. The human …in his inner space …can develop a center of strength so thatContinue reading “we are in a world of invisible people”

pleasures to which a man had to be acutely and intricately attentive

Wendell Berry in The Hidden Wound. First, about his childhood caretaker and companion, Nick: Within the confines of those acknowledged facts, he was a man rich in pleasures. They were not large pleasures, they cost little or nothing, often they could not be anticipated, and yet they surrounded him; they were possible at almost anyContinue reading “pleasures to which a man had to be acutely and intricately attentive”

to be united with the beauty we see

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is whyContinue reading “to be united with the beauty we see”

not in the head but in the chest

The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology, edited by E. Kadloubovsky and E. M. Palmer (London: Faber and Faber, 1966), pp. 190 to 194: To stand guard over the heart, to stand with the mind in the heart, to descend from the head to the heart—all these are one and the same thing. The coreContinue reading “not in the head but in the chest”

teaching long of rest and waiting

These are thoughts that I put down as I sat with my Grandma and other family members near the end of my Grandma’s life. She was in her own bedroom and surrounded by loved ones: My body holds me closer hourly It will have me know it fully before I’m fully known Jacob wrestled theContinue reading “teaching long of rest and waiting”

sees the world rightly

Ludwig Wittgenstein in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (ending with the significant number seven and calling for silence regarding things that can only be seen): 6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speakContinue reading “sees the world rightly”

he came softly, unobserved

He came softly, unobserved, and yet, strange to say, every one recognized Him. That might be one of the best passages in the poem. I mean, why they recognized Him. The people are irresistibly drawn to Him, they surround Him, they flock about Him, follow Him. He moves silently in their midst with a gentleContinue reading “he came softly, unobserved”