Anselm classically defined theology as fides quarens intellectum–“faith seeking understanding.” Not faith that already understands and so no longer needs to seek. That would by definition no longer be theology. Theology is not itself the faith but its quest. If we stop seeking, we are no longer on the way. Faith seeking understanding has then turned into “belief that understands.” It then closes the very root of quarens, from which come both question and quest.
Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves.
Link to Aaron Cheak’s article is here. I would like to thank Aaron Cheak for this wonderful translation from Henry Corbin. The selections get to the heart of Corbin’s understanding of alchemy. It resonates with the process of concrescence in Alfred North Whitehead. It breaks from any materialism and from any spiritualism. It seeks what Roland Faber writes as the intermezzo, the in-between. It is wholistic, in each different, with resonances when we relate with one another.
“Appetition can also mean construction, the process of prehending a datum for feeling, taking things in, digesting. The reason for this is that to construct something one needs materials and to build what is being expressed. It is more than a postmodern shifting of objects and makes something new; we digest it in our senses, our mind does something with it, we construct.” I was trying to describe Alfred North Whitehead’s term “Appetition” and how it resonates with George Steiner’s understanding of Digestion vs.
violence does not participate in any order of reasons…it denatures, wrecks, massacres that which it assaults…it is not the stupidity that comes from a lack of intelligence, but much worse: it is the stupidity of le con. It is the calculated absence of thought willed by rigid intelligence. In the moments of peaceful protest due to the murder of George Floyd, among the many more African Americans that have died due to police violence, I reflect on the above quote as poignant and reveals to us the problem.
This cry for freedom seems at times to sleep for ages, like the fire in a volcano. When it wakes, the day of God’s judgment has arrived, and the worth of human societies is being weighted in His scales. Those societies perish which exhibit mainly selfishness and cowardice. Courage and hope are your best armour with which to meet a revolution–and, above all, mutual sympathy.
I am in the middle of writing my chapter on Imagination and the space of multiplicity, when I found this wonderful piece of translation and interpretation by Corbin, and had to add it here for rememberance. Here it goes: “Seek Me in the Mystical Abode of Love " But, whoever dares to carry out this search will find himself obliged to defy the norms and forms of thought in the common, socialized forms of religion, and his proposals will sound like paradoxes (the shath of which Ruzbehan was so fond).
Reading Amy Kind and Peter Kung’s magnificent edited work Knowledge Through Imagination, and am thinking through it’s implications. For Kind/Kung, their goal in the text is to lift up the instructive implications of the imagination over and beyond the transcendent capabilities. The problem with the transcendent capabilities of the imagination is its ability to disengage with the limitations of this worldly experience. That is, there are no constraints in the transcendent imagination (fantasy).
I haven’t written a blog post in a bit, and wanted to at least throw out there what I am studying on, writing on. Currently, I am reading Derrida, mainly two texts, The Insistence of God by Caputo, and Derrida and Theology by Shakespeare. They have been fascinating so far. I am amazed at the dillemma’s that Derrida is writing on, what he is trying to achieve, and how theologians are using it in their own work.
One of my main interests throughout my education has been trying to answer the question, “What is truth? What is ultimately true?” Now any reader may brush this off as not important, since we live in a postmodern/postcolonial world, but I would argue against that for various reasons. For simplicity I will hold to religion as my focal point; However, this can be used in any area: science, anthropology, sociology. All of these fields as well as many others can take hold of a primary position, making everything else subservient to it.
In describing his Speculative Philosophy, Alfred North Whitehead shapes two categories; a rational side and empirical side. The rational is that of analysis: the empirical, that of value, importance. The rational side in his metaphysics, or speculative philosophy, is found in the terms coherence and logic (consistency), “a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted.” Working with Michel Weber’s text, Whitehead’s Pancreativism: The Basics, I hope to better understand what Whitehead is trying to do in his formation of Speculative Philosophy of Process.
Dr. Roland Faber’s article titled ”God in the Making,” from the journal Aletheia is by far one of the best accounts of understanding Whitehead’s work in describing God on the basis of religious experience. I will try and do it some justice in this writing, but I would highly suggest you read it and come up with some creative responses. My interest in particular is how one is able to see the ubiquitousness of religion, to say that they one can be christian, and at another moment in the event of experiencing an Sikh service, they one can also say ”I am a sikh.
When we think we think in bifurcations. Up/down. Left/right. Right/wrong. This way of thinking causes either/or mentality. It indicates that one is right, and the other is wrong. But what would happen if we flatten it out? We make what is vertical thinking horizontal? What if we said that in order to have one, you need the other? That it is relationally intertwined so that if one does not exist, the other does not?
In an essay entitled “Treatise on Nomadology—The War Machine” in A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze’ critiques the notion of the state by not its opposite, but rather exterior from it; he develops the concept of the nomad/war machine. I call it exterior from the State, because its opposite can still exist within it. He wants to break from the transcendental nature of the State by deriving a set of principles rather than a framework to lift up difference rather than unification by assimilation and classification.