Great new video from our friend Seán Eckmann at Mythos & Logos, with deep symbolic wisdom. From a McGilchrist perspective; the fighting with the Great Spirit that gives insight might be an internal struggle of the hemispheres, the LH (left hemisphere) refusing new perspectives and strongly defending its current model, the RH (right hemisphere) potentially giving deep new gifts of understanding and broader horizons. But the gift cannot easily be pushed or hunted, it often has to be received, when the time is right.
Similar ideas might also be found in the story of Jacob wrestling with an Angel, or how the Divine Grace is being received on its own premises, not when we ourselves decide. Which brings to mind the opening scene of Dante, when Virgin Mary has seen the Pilgrim from above in the Heavens, and decides to intervene. The same perspective of the internal dynamic of the hemispheres could apply to all of these aspects.
What a read. At times a breath-taking experience as the “Age of Utopia” outlines the consequences of the argument that a humanist secular idea of Utopia gradually replaced an inner search for Paradise and a connection to something beyond us, something Divine. The first half of the 19 hundreds is hard to look at in this context. Also as a fulfilling of the widespread warnings from writers and philosophers in the 18 hundreds.
A strongly recommended book, though it might be important to start with the first volume “The Age of Paradise” to get a deeper sense of the first millennium, and what was later lost after the Great Schism and the Papal Reforms in Western Christendom.
As an aside, it’s also interesting to see how well this aligns with the ideas of McGilchrist and how the culture of Europe gradually started to be more unbalanced and left hemisphere oriented after the Renaissance. It gives pause.
After the Pilgrim has lost his sense of time while being absorbed in a conversation, he and Virgil have the tiny opening in the mountain rock wall pointed out them – symbolic of how hard it could be to find that glimmer of an idea or insight, that starts a bigger process of learning that might greatly enrich you and your future path.
at some point along the way, those souls cried out in one voice: “Here is what you seek.”
A peasant, at the time the grapes grow ripe, with one small forkful of his thorns could seal an opening within his hedge more wide
than was the gap through which my guide and I were forced to climb, the two of us alone, once we had parted company with that flock.
We’re currently reading through the third volume of John Strickland’s history epic “From Paradise to Utopia“, outlining a somewhat different perspective on the changes and forces shaping the centuries from the Italian Humanism towards the early 19 hundreds in Europe.
A central idea is that once the experience of a spiritual, inner Paradise had been dismissed, new dreams gradually replaced this longing – among these a dream of a future, secular and perfect earthly society. And thus came the elevation of broader ideologies that would kindle these dreams as an aspiration to work towards, but often with disruptive and counter-productive means.
And just as a contrast one might look at other major cultures today that are looking back at the past as the ideal and aspiration to draw from instead. And this basic orientation could often influence a culture at a very deep level.
Excellent summary of some of the basics of the theology that underlies so much of St. Thomas Aquinas’ work – and in many ways the over-arching idea and representation of Divinity in Dante’s Divine Comedy. A crucial introduction for understanding the vocabulary of much of the writings from the 12- and 13-hundreds:
Happy to see Mark Vernon launching a new course based on his previous book – which outlines a broader canvas of history and theology in the old Tradition. The argument for reviving the mystics might also be largely congruent with McGilchrist’s latest masterpiece “The Matter with Things”, as a means of searching for ways to re-balance the hemispheres and elevate the right hemisphere’s approach to apprehending the world, and what lies beyond.