Just Human - A Confession
“Look upwards, then! Contemplate this place which is a habitation for eternity! Then you will not need any longer to be at the mercy of what the multitude says about you: then you will not have to put your trust in whatever human rewards your achievements may earn.”
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I have come to the conclusion that nearly everything I write I will eventually discard as trash. I’ll say something like, “how foolish I must have been to even write such rubbish.” Probably something more like, “man, I was stupid!” I am, of course, growing. I do not know now, nor will I ever know in this life, everything I want to know (and probably, when I am finally capable of knowing, I won’t care anymore). I like to think that, at least most of the time, I am moving in the right direction. Sometimes I wonder, though. I try to go with the flow of the universal stream. The last thing I want to be is the rock obstructing the flow of the stream. It will eventually be weakened and then subdued. Until then, it will be in misery. To flow with the stream means submitting to the will of God, to obey His commandments, His law, and to be what I was created to be. I know what that means, but sometimes I do not know how to do it.
Perhaps I should stick to politics. My views there haven’t changed much. The only change has been, I was once in favor of the death penalty, now I am not. My views on faith, however, have changed quite a lot. I’m one of the few people I know who actually came to Christ through apologetics. I then turned to “rational Christianity.” Finally I adopted Anselmian Scholasticism, believing that only faith brings understanding, peace, happiness. Human rationalism alone is unreliable at best and deceiving at worst. Reason alone will send you in circles. There must be faith to point you in the right direction. As I grow, I may even drop that opinion.
I once thought that the existence of God cannot be proven because that would be a violation of our free will. If an argument could be constructed that conclusively proved the existence of God, then we would have no real choice but to believe in God, and therefore no free will on the most important question of life. But, now I am beginning to believe that it is possible to prove His existence and that would not be a violation of free will because we can still choose to ignore the argument. I have seen plenty of atheists do just that.
Through it all, I hear Cicero’s command, “Look upwards!” Even the great Scipio found that hard to do. So, I am not weaker than other humans, I am just human. I firmly believe that if you believe in God and live your life according to His Will and His Law then nothing bad will ever happen to you. Now, I’m not saying that everything will be roses, but you will be able to step over whatever gets in your way because you are looking upwards to Heaven, not down on the earth.
Look upwards! This is probably the most important lesson in life. I say probably because I learned this lesson rather early in life and I don’t know if there are bigger lessons to come.
For everything we experience in our physical world (objects, emotions, love, truth, beauty) there is a Perfect Form. If I draw a circle on a piece of paper, I can understand the quality of that circle because there is a Perfect Circle that I can compare it to. Everything in the physical world is a reflection of a Perfect Form. We can come to know something in our physical world through our reason and logic. However, our reason and logic are useless to understand that object because we can only understand it if we understand the Perfect Form that the object reflects. We can only understand the Perfect Form through faith because the Perfect Form exists beyond our physical world and our logic and reason are chained to the physical world. I cannot prove that the Perfect Circle exists. I can only say that it must exist, otherwise it would not be perfect. But that is not proof, that is faith.
So, it is possible to know something, but not understand it. It is possible to live your life by knowing, but never understanding. Anyone who lives such a life, however, will find that life to be incomplete, misguided, and frustrating. For example, it is possible to know how to use a computer. You can know how to type, you can know how to point and click. But you will never use that computer to its full potential unless you understand how it works. Until then it is merely an appliance, not a tool.
The most important things we will experience in our lives are beauty, truth, and love. These things can only be understood by understanding Perfect Beauty, Truth, and Love, and that is God. God is Perfect Beauty. God is Perfect Truth. God is Perfect Love. It is in our best interest to not only understand Beauty, Truth, and Love, but also to live with it: to have Beauty, Truth, and Love in our hearts. Therefore, we come to the fullness of life only through reconciliation with God. We only achieve this reconciliation through faith.
Look up, and you will see perfection. Look up, and you will see your goal. Look up, and you will be saved. Through all our philosophy, strife, and arguments Cicero remains: a pagan stoic who caught a glimpse of the most important lesson in life and shouts it from the rooftops, nails it to the door, and posts it on the web.
Quotations from “The Dream of Scipio”