Hi John, I have appended a site that has the e-text of Steere's
translation of Purity. It may help others to join in without having to
obtain the book.
Ok, to work. I do have a different spin, but it is not located where I
see you as thinking it is. As we move through the chapters here, I
will keep referring to this subject until I see that you see where I
am spinning. I addressed this point in my last post, having to do with
where we see the difference between us lying.
An analogy is perhaps in order. Assume something to be viewed
surrounded by four equally spaced viewing platforms. You occupy one
and I occupy one. I see you as seeing me occupying the one opposite,
while I see you as occupying the one next to me. You have us separated
by 180˚ and I see us separated by 90˚. If you have the wrong view of
my view in respect to your view, we can never get on the same page. I
see you as seeing me as an absolute opposite, defined by the
secular/religious distinction you have just posited:
<I see K by the end of this chapter (p 36-38) warning against a common
"wisdom of life" which temporalizes (or secularizes) the eternal.
Willy, I assume you have a different spin on this clearly negative
view of a worldly un-wisdom dissociated from the Eternal. In these
pages I see K exposing two fatal errors built into this temporalized
view of life:>
I agree with everything you have said except your adding of the
parenthetical reference to the secular, and your assumption, built
upon that reference, that I will spin it differently. Let's set the
notion of the secular aside for the nonce and see where we come out.
In those pages, I too see SK exposing the errors associated with the
temporalized view of life [TVOL]. I would take what you have said
above, and in the rest of your post, and carry it into a general
statement, to wit, the TVOL /is/ the Error, which is to say that I see
the one who occupies that view as being the problem; i.e., the grasp
of oneself in the temporal sense, where the sense of the eternal is
As I see it, our disconnect seems to be located in the way we are
referring to the eternal. I see you saying, essentially, that it is
that necessary ground in which consciousness, and the universe
revealed by that consciousness, must rest. I would not disagree with
that. What I am doing is adding that it, the eternal, is contacted in
the consciousness that remains when the TVOL is negated, when the
temporal sense of self is broken up, resulting in what I see SK
calling the God-relationship. I would say that not only does the
latter make concrete the former, but that the break-up of the TVOL by
'Willing One Thing' is what the book is pushing. What I see added by
that transition is the existential twist SK is giving to all of his
The way I interpret that chapter is that when SK says "only the
eternal is always appropriate and is always present, is always true,"
(p. 53) he is speaking to its actualization, in inwardness, in
transparency, and what he calls later in the book, one's 'eternal
consciousness.' As I see it, he is speaking to bringing that
God-relation into being as the ground of one's sense of self. So my
spin is only different from yours by the fact that I have offered a
different hub around which to spin the same words. Our disagreement
then only resides in our differing views of what inwardness means.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, "John Anngeister"
> Willy, and any other...
> re "Purity of Heart," (Steere trans., Chap. 1).
> I see K by the end of this chapter (p 36-38) warning against
> a common "wisdom of life" which temporalizes (or secularizes)
> the eternal. Willy, I assume you have a different spin on
> this clearly negative view of a worldly un-wisdom dissociated
> from the Eternal. In these pages I see K exposing two fatal
> errors built into this temporalized view of life:
> Fatal Error #1
> Argues that the God-relation is a passing phase of existence
> characteristic of childhood (either of the individual or of
> I am reminded of a discussion I had off-list with someone
> who boasted that he had been an atheist "since the age of 12."
> I saw much irony in his representation of this early
> repudiation of Spirit as a mark of precocity. While I got
> him to agree that there were many life-choices which he would
> certainly not risk to the "wisdom" of a 12-year old boy, he
> could not bring himself to judge this one "eternal" decision
> even in the same light as he viewed those earthly concerns
> (and certainly was very far from viewing anything in the light
> of the Eternal).
> SK (p.37):
> "In relation to the Eternal, age gives no justification for speaking
> absurdly, and youth does not exclude one from being able to grasp
> what is true."
> I think Error #1 likewise offers a view of early religion's
> mythological setting as proof of its evolutionary and "passing"
> nature, as if it were a mere phase characteristic of the "childhood"
> of mankind.
> Whereas, on the contrary, I think we might as easily see religion's
> mythological period as an affirmation of its sponsorship by the
> Eternal, at least with regard to certain "timeless" religious issues
> of mankind. These appear to have strictly "mythological" origins
> simply because they manifest with the "morning dew" of man's earliest
> spiritual life, and take upon themselves the covering which is
> nearest to hand. They are first apprehended in "primal" or
> mythological dress because they are themselves primal and
> irrepressible, representing a relation in which mankind will always
> find a relatedness to the Eternal, and whose development may attain
> to a very high state without having need of waiting upon the advent
> of tardy science. When the human mind finally ushers in its
> scientific method, the augur is not for the end of the religious
> consciousness but rather for its material purification from
> SK (p.36 & 38)
> "If there is, then, something eternal in a man, it must be able to
> exist and to be grasped within every change... It must be said that
> there is something that shall always have its time, something that a
> man shall always do,... for in relation to the Eternal, a man ages
> neither in the sense of time nor in the sense of an accumulation of
> past events."
> Fatal Error #2
> Argues that penitence is a relation of oneself to his past misdeeds
> not in the Eternal but in a relation of a past self to a present time
> of weakness. I liken this to a cynical "wisdom" that views the
> elderly church-goer as one who has "returned" to God only because he
> no longer has the physical "strength to sin." Which to K. is of
> course not penitence but, when it happens, "impiety and folly,"
> and "a horrible thing." (p. 37)