What’s Involved in Throwing Papers Away

Every (Many times) time I’m about to throw a paper away, I glance at it and discover a truth that needs to be aired and understood, as a matter of fact, downright essential. For example: Ratzinger’s offering of “theological epistemology.”

“…. Threfore a participation in the mind of Jesus, i.e., in his prayer, which (as we have seen)  is an act of love, of self-giving and self-appropriation to men, is not some kind of pious supplement to reading the Gospels, adding noothing to knowledge of him or even being an obstacle to the rigorour purity of critical knowing. On the contrary, it is the basic precondition if real understanidng, in the sense of modern hermeneutics – i.e., the enteringf-in to the same time and the same meaning – is to take place…. The person who prays begins to see; praying and seeing go together because … ‘Love is the faculty of seeing.’ Real advances in Christology, therefore, can never come merely as the result of the theology of the schools, and that includes the modern theology as we find it in critical exegesis, in the history of doctrine and in an anthroology oriented toward the human sciences, etc. All this is important, as important as schools are. But it is insuficient. It must be complemented by the theology of the saints, which is theology from experience. All real progress in theological understaadning has its origin in the eye of love and in its faculty of beholding”  (Behold the Pierced One,  Ignatius (1986) 26-27.

The depths of this epistemology of Ratzinger involves the phenomenology of “exper ience” which involves the phenomenology of the “I.” What makes this such an important point is the alternative of the entrance into “modernity.” “Modernity” has meant the transition of thought from the ancient world where reality was always the object of thought. To be real was to be objective. to be true thinking of the real meant to be “objective.” The turn to the subject “I” in Descartes was the entrance of the subject into thought, but it meant “subjectivism” and loss of realism, and with it the loss of “the true.”

With the introduction of Husserl and phenomenology, sense perception ceased to be the only access to the real, but “experience” also entered, and experience always involved the “I” as subject or protagonist of accessing the object, and “the real.” The “I” not only experiences objective things as real, but also experiences itself experiencing things as real. That is, the “I” is also real  And so, the theological epistemology of assessing Jesus Christ as “the Son of the living God” is to experience in oneself what Jesus Christ does with the Father by what we call “prayer,” and when one experiences oneself as a real acting person, praying, one experiences in onself what it feels like to be Christ  Himself. And since we are the only “I” that we experience, since we know the real self as praying,we know the real self as “another Christ,” and therefore know Christ, and are able to say: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And as we have learned, Jesus turned Simon’s name to “Petros” as He (Christ) was “cornerstone:” rock is known by rock The Theological Epistemolgy: like is known by like.

Two days later:

Snippets of thought as I breeze along. The only way I can sense that I am in contact with The Lord is through my conscious self. I can really speak with Him as I move along – especially driving. And so, the important thing in my mind all the time is my immateriality in the most obvious matriality: driving, and keeping one eye on the clouds—-

The most immediate experience of the immateriality of the “I:” The  declarative sentence: I thank the Creator for the gorgeous clouds driving West at 5.30 p.m. on August 11, 2020. The sun is powerful on them. And I thank the Father for creating the clouds. It is evident to me that the clouds are in the world, and I am observing and declaring about them as not a being in the world.

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