Her Quaint Restlessness: (Re)Introducing Beauty in Antiquity, (Post/)Modernity and Theology

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“Restlessness reaffirms beauty evermore, from which beauty itself illuminates back man’s personal divine aesthetics.”

She and Her seduction

When one takes a soft glance at something or someone beautiful, is there an elicitation to a moonstruck paralysis or is there a deeper aesthetic demarche happening? In other words, does beauty evoke rest or restlessness? The concept of ‘beauty’ is not an exclusive reflection solely of art, but also of an existential drama that has gone through even in the history of thought and its underlying desire and pursuit.

Insofar as classical antiquity is concerned, the lecture of the Golden Mean already tempers the drive of desire and the object of desire. It is not that there is virtuous mediocrity in every pursuit,[1] but that its drive force and fiery passion must also maintain an outstanding balance. Goodness, that utter criterion for the perfection of nature, obviously resembles the object, for the drive must lead to something pursuable in itself.[2] In a period where men contemplated the basic stuff of the universe, it was well-agreed that the good, although debated in realist and idealist tendencies, is a universal desire.[3]

However, an object in the realist sense requires a sort of collateral dysfunction; a defect that triggers the pursuer more,[4] a privation and potency of opposites to acquire another form,[5] a reform from everyday comforts,[6] a call to follow an unknown place,[7] and more likely Paul’s thorn in the flesh![8] And so the moment of thriving towards the object endorses the desire that makes the seeker entirely human. Man, then, becomes an imperfect adventurer towards the object. It goes to show in the bigger picture the narrative interplay of man’s unworthiness sided by his restless story of pursuit.

In the Aristotelian and Thomistic premise, the object of the pursuit is said to be the good; for goodness is what defines the first perfection of existence, and the most naturally sought appetite.[9] It is one of the founding dignities in Thomistic ethics to think of whatever that exists as already good – that the life of anyone and anything can never be associated with an original evil constituting it. Such is the substratum of the matter  and with it comes a movement. For Aristotle, nature is the principle of motion because in appetites, there is an assimilation to desire which contains the essence of the pursuit.[10] And this desire reflects on goodness, or existence, not just in its matter but also to its form or essence. While goodness is part of the resemblance of the immanent nature, it opens also a transcendent factor since being qua being is in itself a transcendental property.[11] Goodness further extends this property as the good or end setting as the essential goal of the will in the order of the principle of finality.[12] Nature tends towards an end, a movement that seeks perfection.

In Aristotle’s ethics, the movement of the will is one thing; but there is also another that lies in parallel, that of the intellect. This approach gives rise to the concept of conformity wherein the object assumes another form insofar as the intellect is conformed – that is, the truth.[13] Truth is when the intellect conforms to it as its object, an elevation not just to seek what is good or what exists but also to find intelligibility in it, something that is knowable. The ontic reality of truth expounds goodness to another level. What is true as it were engages from that which is good.

Yet ultimately, this order extends the cognition of the will in the most creative sense to choose its “self-selected criteria” which in a collective transcendent manner coalescing goodness and truth dwells in the name of beauty.[14] Here we see a further elevation that moves the appetite to desire the best. Whereas first the object must exist, then the object must be knowable, another set of criteria directs the lead and adds human creativity to seek what the object of desire must be: it must be clear, proportionate, and integral – or in simple terms for Aristotle, it must be beautiful.

It must not be argued however that these three objects are in the same monistic claim as one substance, for each of their absoluteness is distinct.[15] Rather, their oneness only assumes an elevation that ranks the highest in being, whereby what is good and what is true are both found in a higher stance in beauty, just as the rational soul may perform both the sentient and vegetative powers.[16]

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In this Metaphysics, what can be called beautiful is not bad; there is not a portrayal of moral decay or evil in content. Something beautiful remains good, a desirable object which emits desire for perfection. At the same time, what can be called beautiful is not fake; it is altogether natural and emits verity, devoid of any artificial touch or superficial face. What is beautiful is both an enhanced appreciation of what is good and what is truthful: it reveals a spontaneity of a clear, proportioned, and fair physiognomy. It evokes desire in life, propels it to go on, and remains authentic.

Beauty ergo in transcending itself from immanent desire is the “contemplation of being with delight.”[17] This delight is shared, since beauty is the summating principle of goodness and truth, to these two, respectively as man’s delight with what is good and what is true. In this sense, the contemplative delight of beauty is greater. Portrayed in literary forms, it is depicted as the same beauty in the muse of Apollo’s inspired poets, the shining Juliet of Romeo[18], the Helen of Troy over Hera’s power and Athena’s wisdom.[19]

Given the scenario to choose between power, wisdom and beauty,  Paris’ choice reflects humanity’s inner impulse and proclivity to beauty over power and goodness: even in personified forms, the basic criteria of delight tends towards someone who is fair and beautiful, better, perhaps with a few notch only, than someone who is rich or smart. In the olden days, beauty is already a prize more than gold and prophecy. She is beauty, and this beauty (pulchra) exceeded further the superiority of power and wisdom, the good and the true if it may be analogized, such that, the seduction of beauty is threefold. This in a nutshell is the nature of the transcendent object which she and her seduction makes man wonderfully restless!

He and His story

When in the verge of the dramatic celebrity in restlessness, man’s adventure starts from the world, as if he is ‘thrown’ into it as Heidegger’s first element of the Dasein.[20] It is a world however where stability is reclusive into mere seconds of possibility; classically, a world of flux that knows no rest.[21] The locus of his journey has the surging atmosphere composing the immanent movements conflicting over another. This is not a fanatical detail of the primordial chaos, but the reality in the context of “being-in-the-world”[22] – a world whose operations inaugurate possibilities notwithstanding of corruption and falling apart.

At stake in this unsteady set-up is not only man, but also his muse. Not only can the adventurer utter complications in the surging motions, but also the immanent sense of the object. Insofar as the existential objective contains different multi-angular facades, the various angles themselves determine different natures of approach. The claim that the extent of enthusiasm is the same extent of depression when it falls down is the same movement that happens when the three levels of seduction divert man to three different falls.  It is not impossible, as Aristotle claims, that the same object can be the product of contraries.[23] Projecting the flipped coin, the negative sense appears stronger in temptation, as there are many rails in the changing world that traverse evil than that of the solitary path of goodness.[24]

In the fall of goodness there resides the abuse of power: the adventurer becomes the tyrant, the authoritarian, the feudal lord, and the absolute bourgeoisie. The powerful man exceeds to overlapping goodness and succumbs to the temptation of wanting more and more. The good in the eyes of a powerful man is reduced to mere utilitarian commodity which digs to the bottom line of his defensive rationality in the guise of the history of survival, like Darwin’s evolution of the fittest, or Watkin’s hypothetical wolf-man justification on Hobbes.[25] The scarcity of resources and the animalistic side of man mostly comprise this propensity to be materially selfish. Good in itself, which in the first place is a perfective end of nature, may become a materialistic hoard in the world of decline.

In the fall of truth, that is, in the recluse of wisdom, man seeks truth more consciously that in the end knows nothing other than his very saddening existence and the common generalizations found in an opinionated world. This man may be fittingly called the wisdom companion, not a wise man, for “a friend of wisdom may not be a wise man himself, but only a companion of wisdom.”[26] The only far-reaching vision is limited to the sensible reality, to the knowledge of the times that is deadlocked in the familiar. Like Plato’s anamnesis, or the Socratic ‘wise are those who recognize their unwise-ness’, the fall of truth assumes that form of a cynicism which tends to generalize everything as altogether common. In this sense, eureka moments are but nostalgic experiences recurring again and again. The wise adventurer then is driven, confused, and allured by the colorful insights of a much-clichéd reality, when he can no longer find true wisdom in his betrothed Heraclitarian world.[27]

Finally, the climax of man’s restless story rests in the setting of his fall on beauty as the object’s worst seduction, the background in which the crucial reality projects the lowest of all falls, the synopsis of both truth and goodness: the alluring beauty’s charm! This charm held within its fingers the many great men in the tales, from the beginning in the epic fall in Genesis,[28] the Delilah of Samson,[29] John’s beheading conspiracy,[30] and now today’s neo-romanticism of false freedom. It is simple gravity theory that the fall of the highest is the strongest. When beauty becomes a charm that corrupts, it loses its essence and man is left with an empty gesture of a falling surrender.

In tracing the cause of these, the narrative is not anymore about man and beauty, but the whole restless worldview. The backdrop of an unstable world has become a charming deceit that paradoxically veils and unveils: the entire restless phenomenon made man, not only enticed to power, not only to the quasi-sophistry of opinionated wisdom, but ultimately to the beauty restlessly outshining him. Hapless in this account is man and beauty both vacuumed in the spatio-temporal sphere ordering the causal chains of a restless world.[31]

His Enlightened Silence and its Sublimity

The light is an act that makes the beautiful object visible,[32] for beauty is much more appreciated in the reflection of this act. Light also symbolizes knowledge in recalling the prisoner inside the dark cave of ignorance and his eventual seeing of the light of day.[33] Man may have the instinct to recover from this digression but “whatever happened to beauty?”[34] in the thoughtful words of Danto. The restless worldview has extremely over-emphasized such light, while its theme of change apparently provokes a subsequent denial of the traditional conceptions of what is beautiful.

The rise of the moderns simply discharged the metaphysics of nature where science and religion have overtaken.[35] Antiquity profoundly stressed the balance that harmonizes man and the beautiful but this natural interplay changes when positivistic implications and prolonged exposure to inhumane deifications occur. In effect, “the trivializing of nature leads, then, to a trivializing of beauty, and with it, a loss of the philosophical and theological meaning of desire.”[36]

Need it be proclaimed that this over-shining was called the enlightenment era? – The era that caused further reconstructions in patterns of dissatisfactions emerging after another: the post-enlightenment and post-post enlightenments. World wars, state atrocities, famine, the discontentment of modern day living distracted the contemplation in beauty, ceasing its connection to goodness and truthfulness.[37] Beauty no longer received its grandeur and meaning, it has been reduced as the silence of life, as mere rest. The conception of restlessness in beauty, that ever longing for its transcendental delight, has lost track in contemporary aesthetics.

The idea of beauty has been divided into its immanent and transcendental meaning. It made man realize his abused restlessness that made him desire its other extreme: rest. The enlightenment over-emphasized this division; the focus on beauty’s superficial value becomes overrated, and to another, the notion of its transcendence seems too far-fetched for man. Man’s enlightened silence is man mired at the abyss of absoluteness, an abstraction of beauty which he can no longer derive meaning for his existence.

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The restless man himself becomes divided likewise. What seemed like a threefold resolve to achieve the value of beauty[38] has been deviated. The good, then, as well as the truth, came back to their own respective absoluteness, departing from its analogy and association to beauty. The contemplation of beauty resorted further, as the falls, to the scattering of its core value.

There was silence – enough to warn the impending paralysis of creativity that haunts humanity. As Nietzsche puts it, “he who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”[39] Yet this is a warning with no choice, the post-enlightenment light is so radiant that it reaches beyond the imagination: it dispenses an overkill of rationality that seeks literal clarity and absolutism, conjuring what the moderns fashioned as the sublime as the direct opposition to beauty.

The modern and postmodern traditions view these, in general, as dialectical opposites: if beauty concerns determinate form and therefore finitude, the sublime expresses infinity; if beauty is natural, the sublime does violence, it disrupts and de-centers nature either as spirit or as freedom; if beauty presents pure continuity with desire, the sublime represents discontinuity and so frustrates, thwarts, and commands desire. From within this opposition, we get— contrary both to the classical and the Christian tradition—rest without transcendence or rapture in beauty, and inexorable and inhuman restlessness in the sublime.[40]

This is when the negative mawkishness of restlessness transpires, ‘that of fear, awe and repulsion.’[41] Servais made use of terms as uneasiness as in Locke, congenital restlessness as in Malebranche – since both of which explains the absence of the good, and therefore are always restless because it is brought to seek something that it cannot ever find –  and called it as an existential angst.[42]  Within it contains agitation, nervousness and anxiety. Aquinas clarifies this anxiety as “a passion of the soul that occurs when it faces an unavoidable evil: “anxiety invades a soul to such an extent that it no longer sees whither it can escape.”[43] Lόpez, in a theological term, simply calls this as an abduction of one’s son-ship with the Father. “The human being, seen in this light as ultimately an orphan, seeks either to possess without measure, or to wander in willful ignorance of his own paternal origin.”[44] In his inability to find true beauty in the world of post-modern sublimity, the restless man can only resort to two nihilistic responses: avarice and acedia.

Avarice explicates the immanent disruption of beauty. It is “’a disorder that prevents man from being at rest (quies) in that makes him over-concerned with superfluous matters. Man’s restless heart is excessively anxious over ‘external goods’, taking ‘concupiscent delight in the senses,’ and does not permit his will follow any external order.”[45]

Acedia on the other hand, dispels the transcendent state of beauty, when it makes restlessness as “an existential search for nothing other than sheer novelty for novelty’s sake.”[46] Acedia is manifested as “a curious mixture of depression or inertia on the other hand, and flight or escapism on the other.”[47] Schindler enumerated this restless effect on the postmodern thinkers:

Heidegger’s Abbau of the metaphysics he reads as culminating in technology and the Will to Power, Strauss’s making an ultimate and endlessly problematizing skepticism the prerequisite for magnanimity, Lyotard’s idolizing of the sublime, Derrida’s absolutizing of différance, Lacan’s necessary tragedy of the rejection of the Father(’s law), Levinas’s wholly negative encounter with the wholly other, Marion’s celebration of the essential impossibility of agape, and so forth.

Beauty “no longer has any relation to metaphysical eros, it is reduced to silence about the meaning of life.”[48] It is defeating as Hamsun’s novel Hunger when his unknown hero eventually sailed back because of his frustration to master the brink of death by being hungry.[49] A man with no relation to his experience, without a proper response to what needs attention – that is, a man who has lost his muse – can easily be swayed by sweet nothings. Einstein on the same account describes the loss of wonder as merely death, for the adoration of the highest ideals is no longer there. Here lays then, the over-abundance of one’s fascination with modern and postmodern franchises of beauty paradoxically resulting in a silence – the death of restlessness in man.

Her Quaint Restlessness

Perhaps Hamsun’s hero was not wrong to sail back. Every hero is anticipated for the return to his native place, as the stars in Timaeus, as the return of Gilgamesh, as the re-birth of tragedy, and as the ascension of Jesus Christ!  It is classical – quaint. Thus every quaint-ness must refer therefore to some origin, to some source where a nostalgic presence or a vestige mark guides the hero back: in short, something that fits the exitus-reditus scheme as the perfect motion.[50] Thence the call to missionary adventure because of some lack is not only the rationale of the desire, but on the resemblance of the call itself. Beauty however clearly surpasses this lack, for it transcends even from this immanent absence. The crucial point is to look back to this idealism started by Plato and how this can revisualize beauty in another light other than plain nostalgia.

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The death of the restless man’s drive signals his abandonment of the scientific and physical conflict. If there is a traceable track that can remedy anew his coming back, return must be philosophical.[51] The question of Schindler confronts: ‘does restlessness really want to rest?’ using the maxim of Augustine (“Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.[52]). Perhaps not in a defeatist rest but in a rest that resides in a return. In other words, only in a rest that rests on its true home can there be a true sense of a return. True rest is found in a heart that knows its place. Quaintness offers another meaning of return, back to the unscathed archetypes of antiquity’s philosophical simplicity, and how this could open to an attempt to a Christian resolution.[53]

In ancient beauty as the object of the restless man’s desire, the whole story grounds on the quaint idea of worldly change as Heraclitarian. Yet this only serves as an opening. Aristotle used desire as an implication of nature’s motion, which calls for a privation, a lack, an absence of which is good. Plato generalized motion, change, as only a copy of the world of forms, a resort to some divine element.  Understanding nature, man’s desire implies adoration to divine beauty, since “the movement begins with, is always prompted by, and tends towards beauty.”[54] This very desire is seen both explicitly, as that which realizes man’s actuality, reveals his vocation, and allows him to choose for his true home; and implicitly, as it all leads to the maximum degree of what is most perfect, the most beautiful such as God.[55] When this becomes realized, human existence assumes a moral endeavor.[56] Desire then in itself is a vocation, a calling for an implicit appreciation of divine aesthetics, as Plato opens that the divine desire of love is God’s greatest gift to man.[57]

And this vocation calls for a response.[58] This gift makes love as its driving force to restlessly desire the Highest Love, but which also makes the latter turn to human love.[59] There is no absolutization happening in the love which focuses solely on an immanent aspect in concrete things or in a transcendental one in divine things. Otherwise, religiosity would fail in taking into action its drive to serve.

What draws human love, human agape, is an inner connection to the beauty found within one’s heart, as if it is tied to something perfect. “Love is not, in other words, ultimately defined relative to the lover, but relative to what is absolute, namely, the beautiful in itself.”[60] This is also why beauty is irresistibly seductive, and more so because it is so radiant that it reflects immanent reality: beauty’s transcendence flows even to its immanence – it can be physically seen.[61] Beauty unfailingly unites the gap between immanence and transcendence; it is the object not just of goodness and truth, but of love.[62]

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Restlessness’ desire for beauty is then erotic, like someone who has a sexual desire for the beautiful in a body yet cannot be physically fulfilled because what lies beyond is a metaphysical nature, a transcendence.[63] It is not that the narrative of man reopens the Renaissance that goes back to antiquity. That can no longer happen. What this erotic narrative portrays is an opening to a return that makes available again the beauty that calls for a presence – the same vitality that man regains his character from. “Hence, the paradox, for Plato, of specifically erotic poverty: its lack is not a simple negation, a deficiency, but is a positive presence; it is a window by which one becomes transparent to what lies beyond, and which thereby makes the transcendent reality immanently available.”[64]

Plato’s desire is full, without being static, and it is open, without being empty, without being blind and aimless. The striving is not end-less, in other words, but end-full, insofar as the (transcendent) end is present in every moment to the extent that the moment is lived ecstatically, in erotic poverty, in open desire for the good – and thus as an ever new beginning. The restlessness of Platonic eros is somehow coincident with a contemplative rest, which is itself a reflection of the paradoxical simultaneity of lack and completion.[65]

Quaint beauty therefore opens nature to God and not that nature becomes a direct existence of God. This is so that nature may abide in grace with Him. Yet, as it is both presence and absence, it is still restless in God, since He is a “luminous darkness”; enlightening and yet always ungraspable.[66] Augustine radically goes for this rest that paradoxically remains restless, this absence that is presence at the same time, for he knows that the heart that seeks rest is a heart that seeks a rest that reflects a restlessness – a lovely abode that loves back. Restlessness reaffirms beauty evermore, from which beauty itself illuminates back man’s personal divine aesthetics. Divine beauty encourages its pursuer, as much as its motivation reflects the goodness and truthfulness which man takes his inspiration from in the eyes which see the truly beautiful. Something like this explains why some forms of imminent beauty have a spark of divinity in them: in feelings of inspiration, admiration, and love.

The degree of this divine spark reaches its maximum in the idea of a supreme being: He is God, the ultimate object, the Lord of beauty, the Lord, and therefore glorious.[67] Nonetheless, “however much glory lies beyond the beautiful, it is not its opposite, but its most profound fulfillment. And this means that natural beauty itself already offers a foretaste of the lordliness of God.”[68] Beauty, whether it is seen in creation or in works of art, is a radical argument that goes with endless paradoxes, a design so complex that no human can fathom as truly defining of rest. Instead true beauty illuminates the vast possibilities of a finite human order, able to comprehend and marvel at the same time the genius that lies beyond.


NOTES

[1] St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, trans. C.I, Litzinger, O.P., (USA: Dumb Ox Books: 1993), CM. NE. I.XX. 244. Henceforth, CM. NE.

Majority of cases or the habitus, sustains the path in diverse ways from which they slowly build either virtue or vice. The former resides in the mean (balance). We begin the paper then by first, a warning that our habits may solidify into a virtue or a vice; second, an object (good) that the we should adhere to, and third, that the passions play an important part. [the good mentioned is the moral good]

[2] CM. NE. I.IX, 109; see also CM. NE. I.IX, 112. and CM. NE. III.XI, 500.

[3] NE 1094a2-3;9-11. “For this reason it has correctly been proclaimed that good is what all desire.”

[4] CM. NE. VII.XIV, 1536. “Aristotle adds that this happens because of some evil, or defect of nature, which is not capable of remaining in the same condition.”

[5]. Aquinas, St. Thomas, Principles of Nature, www.fordham.edu/gsas/phil/klima/principles.htm, C.2.  cf. Joseph Bobik, Aquinas on Matter and Form and the Elements, A translation and Interpretation of the De Principiis Naturae and the De Mixtione Elementorum of St. Thomas Aquinas, (Notre Dame, Indiana:University of Notre Dame Press:1998, reprinted 2006), 9. Henceforth, PN (the original text used) or MF (the interpretation of Bobik).

[6] Sertillanges, A.G. O.P The intellectual Life (Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods), Trans. Mary Ryan. (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press: 1987), xviii-xix., “the man of vocation should out away and deliberately forget his everyday man; that he should throw off everything of him: his frivolity, his irresponsibility, his shrinking from work, his material ambitions, his proud and sensual desires, the instability of his will or the disordered impatience of his longings, his over-readiness to please and his antipathies, his acrimonious moods and his acceptance of current standards, the whole complicated entanglement which block the road to the True and hinder its victorious conquest.

[7] Is 55:8–11; Lk 16:22–23; Jn 21:18

[8] 2 Cor. 12:7

[9] Krapiec, Mieczyslaw Albert, O.P., Metaphysics: An Outline of the History of Being, trans. Theresa Sandok, (New York, Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.:1991), 152. In affirming the ordination of being to desire, we isolate the good as the relation of being to the appetitive order. In a more expanded way, we express this as follows: “whatever is in itself concretely determined, proportionally existing, different from nothingness and, as an individual, different from other real beings, and ordered to intellect, is also ordered to desire.” In short, “being is good.”

Vide. Augros, Robert, Nature Acts for an End, The Thomist 66 (2002): 536. “If nature acts for an end then man has a natural purpose.””

Cf. CM. NE VII, XIV, 646. Desire of pleasure is insatiable; indeed the more pleasure is enjoyed, the more it is desired in that pleasure itself is desirable.

[10] Aristotle Physics 2.1.192b10–25. Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, trans. Richard J. Blackwell, Richard J. Spath, and W.Edmund Thirkel, (USA: Dumb Ox Books: 1999 CM. Phy. II. I. 141.henceforth, CM. Phy.

[11] Krapiec, op.cit., 93. “being as being” (as existing), which, in the tradition of classical philosophy, is called the transcendental and analogical concept of being, designates every concrete instance of real be-ing and, at the same time, all instances of be-ing taken together, insofar as “all of them together” are the set

of the individual “bi-dimensional” existing instances of be-ing.”

[12] Ethics of Aquinas, ed. Pope, Stephen, (Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press: 2002), 93., cf. Krapiec, op.cit., 152. [the good here is a transcendental property of being]

[13] Ibidem, Krapiec, 138.

[14] Ibid, 25.

[15] Again and again we find references to absolute beauty as distinct from all other absolutes and, therefore, as distinct from absolute good.’ Cf. Phcedo 65, 78, 100; Symp. 211; Phaedr. 249, 250; Rep. 476, 507. As reference to

Harris, Marjorie, Beauty and the Good, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 39, No. 5 (Sep., 1930), p. 484.

[16] St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle’s De Anima, trans. Kenelm Foster, O.P., Silvester Humphries, O.P. (USA: Dumb Ox Books: 1994). 414b33-415a13; 300-302. Henceforth  CM. De An. “. “For mortal beings which possess reason have also all the other [powers], but reason is not found in all that have any one of the latter.”

[17] Ibid. 105.

[18] Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, act I, scene 5, lines 46-49.

[19] Homer’s Iliad. Ch.1

[20] Guignon, Charles, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, (USA: Cambridge University Press: 1993), 50. In the Heideggerian concept, Dasein has three structural elements. First, it “always finds itself “thrown” into a concrete situation and attuned to a cultural and historical context. Second, Dasein’s interaction is “discursive”. And third, Dasein is “understanding.” i.e vocation, community roles.  Thus, Dasein’s  existence is “being-in-the-world”

Cf. Gadamer, Hans-Georg, Heidegger’s Ways, trans. Stanley, John, (Albany: State University of New York Press: 1994), 22-23.

Cf. Ashley, Benedict, O.P., The Way toward Wisdom, (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press: 2009), 55-60.

[21] Aristotle’s Metaphysics. 987a29-987b14. Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, trans. John P. Rowan., (USA: Dumb Ox Books: 1993), CM.Met, I, X, 151.. Henceforth CM.Met.

[22] Krapiec, op.cit., 86. Born into the world and attaining our consciousness, and also our self-consciousness, in the context of “being-in-the-world,” we originally experience that the world exists. The existence of the world (reality) is first in our cognitive experiences, both in the genetic as well as in the structural respect.

[23] CM. NE. III.XIX, 598. “…because contraries are concerned about the same thing.”

[24] Sertillanges, op.cit.,5, where it says “All roads but one are bad roads for you”.

[25] Lloyd, S.A, Ideals as interests in Hobbes’s Leviathan the power of mind over matter, (New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992). 290. As Watkins puts it, ‘if men were wolves it is sometimes said, a Hobbesian sovereign would be the only remedy; fortunately, men are better than wolves.’

[26] Polin, Raymond, Against Wisdom, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Sep., 1955), pp. 1-17

[27] Kenny, Anthony, A New History of Western Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, vol.1, (NY: Oxford University Press Inc., 2004),  12-16. Cf. Guthrie, W.K.C, The Greek Philosophers: From Thales to Aristotle, (USA: Harper Colophon, 1975). 42-45. The world is an ever-living fire, kindled in measures and in measures going out.

[28] Gen 3: 1-24; the Serpent’s charm passed on to the woman.

[29] Judges 16:1-22

[30] Mt. 14:1-12

[31] Reichenbach, Hans, The Philosophy of Space and Time, trans. Reichenbach, Maria & Freund, John. (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1957), 268. “Time, and through its causality, supplies the measure and the order of space; not time order alone, but the combined space-time order reveals itself as the ordering schema governing causal chains and thus as the expression of the causal structure of the universe

[32]  CM. De An. II, XV, 231.

[33] Republic book VII. Trans. Jowett.

[34] Arthur C. Danto, Beauty and Morality, in Embodied Meanings: Critical Essays and Aesthetic Meditations (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1994), pp. 363-375.

[35] Schindler, Restlessness as an Image of God, Communio: International Catholic Review: 34 (Summer 2007), 275-276. The most decisive moments in the trivializing of nature, made possible by this development in metaphysics, are two events that share a metaphysical kinship, whatever their historical relation may be: the scientific revolution and the Protestant Reformation.

Further he says, “Schelling observed repeatedly in the nineteenth century that the lack of a philosophy of nature was the one thing common to the whole of modern thought.”

[36] Ibid. 277.

[37] Higgins, Kathleen Marie, Whatever Happened to Beauty: A Response to Danto, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Summer, 1996), p. 282. “After the World Wars and the Holocaust, after the many wars and atrocities since, we cannot, like God in Genesis, pronounce the world entirely good.”

[38]Gotshalk, D.W., Beauty and Value, The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 32, No. 22 (Oct. 24, 1935), p. 606.

“Objects with manifolds of values, e.g., the fountain-pen, may be contemplated in various ways. They may be contemplated as promising fruitions to come, the practical way. They may be contemplated as objects whose nature and relations are points for study and generalization, the intellectual way. Or, they may be contemplated as offering something immediate and final, as termini of sympathetic and immediate contemplative enjoyment, the esthetic way.”

[39] Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. Helen Zimmern. (New York: Dover Publications Inc.:1997), 52.

[40] Schindler, op.cit., 283. “Although the first sustained treatise on the sublime is quite old, the concept entered into mainstream philosophical reflection only in the seventeenth century—with Nicholas Boileau’s translation of that ancient treatise into French, and the subsequent use made of it by Edmund Burke and, most significantly perhaps, by Kant. According to Kant, the sublime is distinguished from the beautiful above all by its infinite character: while the beautiful can be grasped

by the imagination (if not by the understanding), the sublime infinitely exceeds that grasp, either by magnitude or by power.” Cf. Kant, Critique of Pure Judgment (=CPJ), trans. Werner Pluhar (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987), 103–106, 119–123.

[41] Ibid., 273.

[42] Jacques Servais, “Restlessness and Anxiety: Toward a Christian Discernment”. Communio: International Catholic Review: 34 (Summer 2007), 228-229.

[43] ST Ia-IIae q.35.a.8

[44] Lόpez, op. cit. 178.

[45] Ibid. Cf. ST, II-II, q.118, a.1; De Malo, q.13, a.3. cf. On Evil,. Trans. Jean Oesterle, (Indiana,: University of Indiana Press: 1995), Cuius point Gregorius XXXI Moralium, [cap. xxxi], septem filias, quae sunt proditio, fraus, fallacia, periuria, inquietudo, violentiae, et contra misericordiam obduratio  To the latter Gregory in Book XXXI of the Moralia assigns seven daughters, which are treachery, fraud, deceit, perjury, restlessness, violence, obduracy in reward to mercy.

[46] Lόpez, op.cit. 179.

[47] De Young, Rebecca Konyndyk , “Resistance to the Demands of Love: Aquinas on the Vice of Acedia” The Thomist 68 (2004): 204.

[48] Schindler, op.cit. 281.

[49] Hamsun, Knut, Hunger, New York, The Noonday Press, revised edition, 1998, introduction, v-xvii.

[50] Aristotle’s physics, 261a12,  cf. CM.Met. I,I,4.

[51] Münsterberg, Hugo, The Problem of Beauty, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Mar., 1909), p. 144. This philosophical behavior is the use of our over-personal will to grasp the ultimate act, the absoluteness of beauty, not just by merely beyond psychological experience. “The aesthetical connected existence is thus equally fulfillment of the over-personal, absolute demand for the self-realization of a world in this chaotic experience.”

[52] Augustine, Confessions, 1.1.

[53] In fact, this paper is even the manifestation of quaintness itself, since the conception of change as negative is very Ancient! We resolve by using this quaintness nonetheless.

[54] Lopez, op.cit., 193

[55] Schindler, op.cit. 264. Cf. Sertillanges, op.cit., 5, “If St. Thomas could say that pleasure characterizes function and may serve to classify men, he must be led to conclude that pleasure can also reveal our vocation.”

[56] Lopez, loc.cit.

[57] Phaedrus 249e.

[58] Sertillanges, op.cit., xxi.

[59] Schindler, op.cit. 288.

[60] Ibid.269., cf. Symposium 211a-b. Italics added for emphasis.

[61] Phaedrus 250d-e.

[62] Symposium 202d-203a.

[63] Schindler, op.cit, 268., cf. Symposium 206c-207a.

[64] Ibid.269. italics added for emphasis.

[65] Ibid. 270-271.

[66] Lopez, op.cit., 195. Cf. Schindler, 274. Even if nature in the ancient world is lived not as

a closed system but as radically open to the transcendent, divine order, and thus as expectant, it still cannot finally comprehend within itself the Creator of this whole.

[67] Schindler, op.cit. 283.

[68] Ibid,  288.

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