Friday, June 18, 2010

Illumination: How to Discern the Truth (logoi) in Things

After a prolonged period of purification with much spiritual exercise to subdue the passions, we can focus our mind on the contemplation of God's creation to discern the truth that lies in them, the logoi.

This truth is not grasped by our reason alone.  

Fr. Dimitru Staniloae writes,
It is reason which is exercised by the choice of rational things required by divine commands and by gradual rationalization of man gained by virtue."
This is a reason purified from the influence of all our passions and self-centeredness and informed by a selfless virtuous life.  This provides the basis for an act of "intuitive knowledge" in which reason is implicated through exercise over prolonged periods of time.  We must be aware that we can make personal judgments about things, their logoi, their purpose.  In our normal state these judgments vary from time to time but this does not change the truth about them.  It only reflects our imperfect judgment about them.  Once we realize, based on humility, that all that happens takes place by God's will, we can begin to have revealed to us the "true line" of His development of creation.

This truth of things is not something obtained with intellectual dialogue.  This is not necessary to extract their truth. We must prepare ourselves so it is revealed to us.  

There exists an objective logos––pure reason.
Fr. Dimitru says,
It imposes itself by its fully convincing and evident rationality and at the same time by its supra-rationality as a reflex of a harmonious and immutable order of the existence of a thing of fact with the framework of the whole of reality.
We can arrive at these truths only after proper preparation and the development of a high moral character.  Only then is the truth revealed to us uncluttered by our personal opinions.

Next we will address why prolonged preparation is necessary.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.