The Scale of Perfection, Book 2, Part 1 – Chapter 4

dohpeterchina's picture

That through the Sacrament of Baptism (which is grounded in the Passion of Christ) this Image is reformed from Original Sin

This is chapter 6 of The Scale of Perfection – Book 2 in Middle English:
That thorugh the sacrament of baptym that is groundid in the passioun of Crist this image is reformed fro the original synne.

jnwarren's picture

Love is just a word

The problem with "going backwards in time" is just that, that you're undercutting the millenia of progress and development (small 'd') that have allowed us to go much further, technologically, linguistically, scientifically, etc., than our forbears, who were arguably (still) enshrouded in the "cloud of unknowing". So, I understand that when Jesus said "forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do", (whether he was a real, historical person is not significant to the discussion) that he was essentially ushering in a "tyranny" of logos by sweeping away the millenia of mythos that had, again, enshrouded human beings in quaint, dogmatical universes entirely devoid of contact with anything real. (Arguably, you can say that the Homeric cosmogonies were and are "truer" to the human "spirit" or psyche, but again, that's tenuous ground to walk upon, and requires some philosophical or theological "leaps" [a priori convictions] to arrive at)

What's important to remember in reading anyone (whether they are writing in an Internet cafe in 2010, or from Mount Athos in 900AD/CE whatever) is that individuals, their language (vocabulary), thoughts, ideas, convictions (religious or otherwise) are shaped by (and likewise impress their stamp upon) the world in which they live. Therefore, it is arguable (and again, this is no dogmatical asserition but merely an observation based on inductive reasoning) that the very idea of a "sacred dream time" (which is arguably not so important in the Judaeo-Protestant tradition, but it's there nonetheless) is inessential and superfluous in an age which has surpassed a need for such devices or artifice. Whether we are in such an age is for the individual to ponder and speculate over--not a choice I can make for you.

A big misunderstanding I think I get in all the Christian authors is the reification of ideas. This means, one places the ideal, the spiritual, the metaphysical above and "over" the reality which it reflects, "inverting" (so to speak) the relationship, whereby the reflection takes on its own life and "chases one around the room", as Marx humorously observes in one of his critical (I think it's the seventh) These on Feuerbach. What's interesting to me is that we are at present experiencing a revival in such beliefs, which says to me (at a distance) that many are dissatisfied with and fed up with the present system, and, however, instead of manipulating the various social strata involved in that dissatisfaction in order to bring about something which is not (but which very well could be, they resort to these sorts of metaphysical speculations that amount to little else than a search for something that isn't there (point to a soul; does a dog have a soul? etc.). My problem with this is that it undermines opportunities to envisage a different world and, by extension, "props up" the current one. By placing things in the hands of a Messiah or a redeemer, one "raises a white flag" and says one can't do it "by one's self" (even though there are many of us 'discontented' folk out here, and an auditorium full of clapping hands is louder than a single individual! ;) ), that one is "tired", that one's "feet hurt", etc. etc., all culminating in what Nietzsche poignantly called "ressentement"[sic], a "dread" or "fear" of the present system and the accompanying eschatological/theological/etc. canon accompanying it. Where does that bring us?

I ask you, then, are "heretics" and "sinners" (take the Marquis de Sade, for instance) ever more than people expressing a certain will that, though it be their own, may not be popular in their particular social context? Do we have any need for "heresy" (the term, not the activity, hence the scare quotes) in a world which is as multifaceted and diverse as today's, where the reigning organizations are the UN and the World Bank? Are our "heretics" not merely the rich, overly-satiated "Pharisees" who run the corporations and trusts and investment firms here and now? Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors, for Christ's sake (no pun intended)! The subsequent church hierarchy is merely an appendage to state control and subversion of innate human needs and desires (like sexual freedom, open-mindedness and racial and cultural diversity[!]). The need for these theological & philosophical shackles is beyond me! But, hey, have at them, if you will!

I've spoken quite enough for awhile. But, again, thanks for provoking a rant! I enjoy a good agitator! That means you've got some *kick* in you, though I'm not so sure the theoretical portions wash!