Syllabus Listicalis

Today, I feel a need to make an arbitrary list of consequential reconceptions. These are some of the core ideas I want to put in one of the several pamphlets I have planned. I’ve named two of them: Geometric Parables and The Ten-Thousand Everythings. Maybe this is the start of a third pamphlet, Syllabus Listicalis.

  • Blindness is like rippling mercury that nullifies sight with glare and camouflage. The equation of blindness with darkness is profoundly misleading. Anyone who expects blindness to be highlighted with shadows is blind to blindness and consequently to sight. The disperception of blindness sees precisely where it doesn’t.
  • A soul is an everything among myriad everythings. It is natural to imagine a person’s soul as a body-shaped ghost, but this is an intellectually and morally corrupting confusion. Souls are better imagined as radiating into the world from a person’s physical being. The soul’s radiance continues to travel after it leaves its source and it illuminates those aspects of the world the soul finds important. Everywhere I look I see the souls of people I love: this is the root of my compulsion to give gifts. I could continue on to the subject of immortality, but let’s not.
  • Objectivity is a type of subjectivity. The idea that subjectivity is a distorted reflection of some all-encompassing objective world has catastrophic consequences. The best way to understand a person’s subjectivity is to examine its objectivity. When we speak of human “subjects” and school “subjects”, in both cases we ought to mean the word “subject” in the same sense.
  • Transcendence is entirely about the relationship between I and Other. This idea that transcendence refers to a supernatural reality behind or beyond the mundane world, is an elaborate failure to recognize otherness beyond one’s own I. Many, if not most — (and possibly all!) — notions of magic are the splatterings of souls on the walls of solipsism.
  • Tacit knowledge is not articulated, it articulates. Everything explicit, everything formed, emerges from implicit being. That which is least sayable is not passive silence, but an active capacity to say. Here speech is a metaphor for all making, all poiesis.
  • Love and dread together signal transcendence. Only dread reveals the reality of the beloved. These are not “choices”, they must be taken together, always.
  • Love is not only a matter of heart, but also of soul and of might — not separately, but always all at once. Love is done with the entirety of our being. To love God is to love the entirety of reality with the entirety of one’s being.
  • Pluralism means that even when we avoid being wrong, we are never as right as we hope.
  • Religion does not have to be conceived as it often is: the activity of an individual communing with God. Religion can, and in fact must be, broadened to comprise the continuous struggle of finite beings to relate vitally to infinite being without suppressing its infinitude. By this definition, sciences are religious activity and fundamentalisms are anti-religion.
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