Friday, September 21, 2007

Readings: If You're So Smart...

Here, from the same source, are some additional ideas relating to those posted on Wednesday, September 19th:

"By using the expression 'the good' when he refers to God, Plato expresses as strongly as it is possible to do that for men God is the object to which loves directs itself."


"Further, it is only in so far as the soul orients itself towards what ought to be loved, that is to say in so far as it loves God, that it is qualified to know and understand. Man cannot exert his intelligence to the full without charity, because the only source of light is God. Therefore the faculty of supernatural love is higher than the intelligence and is its condition. The love of God is the unique source of all certainties. (Plato's philosophy is nothing else but an act of love towards God.)

"That being (reality) which proceeds from the good is not the material world, for the material world is not being but is a perpetual interchange of becoming and perishing. It is change. Nor does the being which proceeds from the good consist of those conceptions which our intelligence is able to manipulate and define; because later on Plato compares the most precise of these notions to shadows, to images reflected in water."
--Simone Weil, "God in Plato" from On Science, Necessity, and the Love of God [all emphases in the original]

In terms of dualism, as we considered it below, Weil points out in this piece that Plato characterized the body as the prison of the soul. Also, she says that in Plato, as in the Hindu concept of karma, "The reward for good consists in the fact that one is good and the punishment for evil in the fact that one is evil; and the reward and punishment are automatic (I do not judge; they condemn themselves)."

Conclusion: all fact is temporary. And, in so far as we are empiricists, we see in our rigorously gathered data--as though through a glass darkly--only imperfectly reflected images of real being. Our only means of direct relationship with the Real, that is, with the Good, that is, with God, is love.