Back to Home

God & Science Forum Message

Forums: Atm · Astrophotography · Blackholes · Blackholes2 · CCD · Celestron · Domes · Education
Eyepieces · Meade · Misc. · God and Science · SETI · Software · UFO · XEphem
RSS Button

Home | Discussion Forums | God and Science | Post
Login

Be the first pioneers to continue the Astronomy Discussions at our new Astronomy meeting place...
The Space and Astronomy Agora
A Fish In The Sea

Forum List | Follow Ups | Post Message | Back to Thread Topics
Posted by bzrd [from Free Republic] on March 30, 2000 12:33:28 UTC

FreeRepublic.com "A Conservative News Forum"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[ Last | Latest Posts | Latest Articles | Self Search | Add Bookmark | Post | Abuse | Help! ]


Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.


The Seeing Eye

Philosophy Opinion (Published) Keywords: C.S. LEWIS; THEOLOGY; PERCEPTIONS
Source: The Collected Works of C.S. Lewis
Published: 1967; 1996 Author: C.S. Lewis
Posted on 03/27/2000 18:14:24 PST by logos
A recent dialogue between two fellow FReepers, both of whom express viewpoints I very much appreciate, brought to mind this snippet of another Lewis essay which, I think, speaks directly to the underlying problem with many of the raging debates here on our wonderful forum; e.g., the evolutionist vs. creationist threads. One side or the other, or sometimes both sides, because of their opposing worldviews are simply unable to “see” the other’s point of view. It just doesn’t “compute.” And for that reason, these kinds of arguments, as Lewis points out herein, will never be resolved until and unless there is something cataclysmically new introduced into the world that changes the viewpoints of us all.

THE SEEING EYE
The Russians, I am told, report that they have not found God in outer space. On the other hand, a good many people in many different times and countries claim to have found God, or been found by God, here on earth.

The conclusion some want us to draw from these data is that God does not exist. As a corollary, those who think they have met Him on earth were suffering from a delusion.

But other conclusions might be drawn:
1. We have not yet gone far enough in space. There had been ships on the Atlantic for a good time before America was discovered.
2. God does exist but is locally confined to this planet.
3. The Russians did find God in space without knowing it, because they lacked the requisite apparatus for detecting Him.
4. God does exist but is not an object either located in a particular part of space nor diffused, as we once thought ‘ether’ was, throughout space.

The first two conclusions do not interest me. The sort of religion for which they could be a defense would be a religion for savages: the belief in a local deity who can be contained in a particular temple, island or grove. That, in fact, seems to be the sort of religion about which the Russians - or some Russians, and a good many people in the West - are being irreligious. It is not in the least disquieting that no astronauts have discovered a god of that sort. The really disquieting thing would be if they had.

The third and fourth conclusions are the ones for my money.

Looking for God - or Heaven - by exploring space is like reading or seeing all Shakespeare’s plays in the hope that you will find Shakespeare as one of the characters or Stratford as one of the places. Shakespeare is in one sense present at every moment in every play. But he is never present in the same way as Falstaff or Lady Macbeth. Nor is he diffused through the play like a gas.

If there were an idiot who thought plays existed on their own, without an author (not to mention actors, producer, manager, stagehands and what not), our belief in Shakespeare would not be much affected by his saying, quite truly, that he had studied all the plays and never found Shakespeare in them.

The rest of us, in varying degrees according to our perceptiveness, ‘found Shakespeare’ in the plays. But it is a quite different sort of ‘finding’ from anything our poor friend has in mind.

Even he has in reality been in some way affected by Shakespeare, but without knowing it. He lacked the necessary apparatus for detecting Shakespeare.

Now of course this is only an analogy. I am not suggesting at all that the existence of God is as easily established as the existence of Shakespeare. My point is that, if God does exist, He is related to the universe more as an author is related to a play than as one object in the universe is related to another.

If God created the universe, He created space-time, which is to the universe as the metre is to a poem or the key is to music. To look for Him as one item within the framework which He Himself invented is nonsensical.

If God - such a God as any adult religion believes in - exists, mere movement in space will never bring you any nearer to Him or any farther from Him than you are at this very moment. You can neither reach him nor avoid Him by traveling to Alpha Centauri or even to other galaxies. A fish is no more, and no less, in the sea after is has swum a thousand miles than it was when it set out.

How, then, it may be asked, can we either reach or avoid Him?

The avoiding, in many times and places, has proved so difficult that a very large part of the human race failed to achieve it. But in our own time and place it is extremely easy. Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio [TV, computer, CD player, etc] on. Live in a crowd. Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them very carefully. But you’d be safer to stick to the papers. You’ll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or a snobbish appeal.

About the reaching, I am a far less reliable guide. That is because I never had the experience of looking for God. It was the other way round; He was the hunter (or so it seemed to me) and I was the deer. He stalked me like a redskin, took unerring aim, and fired. And I am very thankful that that is how the first (conscious) meeting occurred. It forearms one against subsequent fears that the whole thing was only wish fulfilment. Something one didn’t wish for can hardly be that.

But it is significant that this long-evaded encounter happened at a time when I was making a serious effort to obey my conscience. No doubt it was far less serious than I supposed, but it was the most serious I had made for a long time.

One of the first results of such an effort is to bring your picture of yourself down to something nearer life-size. And presently you begin to wonder whether you are yet, in any full sense, a person at all; whether you are entitled to call yourself ‘I’ (it is a sacred name). In that way, the process is like being psycho-analyzed, only cheaper - I mean, in dollars; in some other ways it may be more costly. You find that what you called yourself is only a thin film on the surface of an unsounded and dangerous sea. But not merely dangerous. Radiant things, delights and inspirations, come to the surface as well as snarling resentments and nagging lusts.

One’s ordinary self is, then, a mere facade. There’s a huge area out of sight behind it.

And then, if one listens to the physicists, one discovers that the same is true of all the things around us. These tables and chairs, this magazine, the trees, clouds and mountains are facades. Poke (scientifically) into them and you find the unimaginable structure of the atom. That is, in the long run, you find mathematical formulas.

There you are (whatever YOU means) sitting reading. Out there (whatever THERE means) is a white page with black marks on it. And both are facades. Behind both lies - well, Whatever-it-is. The psychologists, and the theologians, though they use different symbols, equally use symbols when they try to probe the depth behind the facade called YOU. That is, they can’t really say ‘It is this’, but they can say ‘It is in some way like this.’ And the physicists, trying to probe behind the other facade, can give you only mathematics. And the mathematics may be true about the reality, but it can hardly be the reality itself, any more than contour lines are real mountains.

I am not in the least blaming either set of experts for this state of affairs. They make progress. They are always discovering things. If governments make a bad use of the physicists’ discoveries, or if novelists and biographers make a bad use of the psychologists’ discoveries, the experts are not to blame. The point, however, is that every fresh discovery, far from dissipating, deepens the mystery.

Presently, if you are a person of a certain sort, if you are one who has to believe that all things which exist must have unity it will seem to you irresistibly probable that what lies ultimately behind the one facade also lies ultimately behind the other. And then - again, if you are that sort of person - you may come to be convinced that your contact with that mystery in the area you call yourself is a good deal closer than your contact through what you call matter. For in the one case I, the ordinary, conscious I, am continuous with the unknown depth.

And after that, you may come (some do) to believe that that voice - like all the rest, I must speak symbolically - that voice which speaks to your conscience and in some of your intensest joys, which is sometimes so obstinately silent, sometimes so easily silenced, and then at other times so loud and emphatic, is in fact the closest contact you have with the mystery, and therefore finally to be trusted, obeyed, feared and desired more than all other things. But still, if you are a different sort of person, you will not come to this conclusion.

I hope everyone sees how this is related to the astronautical question from which we started. The process I have been sketching may equally well occur, or fail to occur, wherever you happen to be. I don’t mean that all religious and all irreligious people have either taken this step or refused to take it. Once religion and its opposite are in the world - and they have both been in it for a very long time - the majority in both camps will be simply conformists. Their belief or disbelief will result from their upbringing and from the prevailing tone of the circles they live in. They will have done no hunting for God and no flying for God on their own. But if no minorities who did these things on their own existed I presume that the comforming majorities would not exist either. (Don’t imagine I’m despising these majorities. I am sure the one contains better Christians than I am; the other, nobler atheists than I was.)

Space-travel really has nothing to do with the matter. To some, God is discoverable everywhere; to others, nowhere. Those who do not find Him on earth are unlikely to find Him in space. (Hang it all, we’re in space already; every year we go a huge circular tour in space.) But send a saint up in a spaceship and he’ll find God in space as he found God on earth. Much depends on the seeing eye.

And this is especially confirmed by my own religion, which is Christianity. When I said a while ago that it was nonsensical to look for God as one item within His own work, the universe, some readers may have wanted to protest. They wanted to say, “But surely, according to Christianity, that is just what did once happen? Surely the central doctrine is that God became man and walked around among other men in Palestine? If that is not appearing as an item in His own work, what is it?”

The objection is much to the point. To meet it, I must readjust my old analogy of the play. One might imagine a play in which the dramatist introduced himself as a character into his own play and was pelted off the stage as an impudent impostor by the other characters. It might be a rather good play; if I had any talent for the theater I’d try my hand at writing it. But since (as far as I know) such a play doesn’t exist, we had better change to a narrative work; a story into which the author puts himself as one of the characters.

We have a real instance of this in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Dante is (1) the muse outside the poem who is inventing the whole thing, and (2) a character inside the poem, whom the other characters meet and with whom they hold conversations. Where the analogy breaks down is that everything the poem contains is merely imaginary, in that the characters have no free will. They (the characters) can say to Dante only what Dante (the poet) has decided to put into their mouths. I do not think we humans are related to God in that way. I think God can make things which no only - like a poet’s or novelist’s characters - seem to have a partially independent life, but really have it. But the analogy furnishes a crude model of the Incarnation in two respects: (1) Dante the poet and Dante the character are in a sense one, but in another sense two. This is a faint and far-off suggestion of what theologians mean by the ‘union of two natures’ (divine and human) in Christ. (2) The other people in the poem meet and see and hear Dante; but they have not even the faintest suspicion that he is making the whole world in which they exist and has a life of his own, outside it, independent of it.

It is the second point which is most relevant. For the Christian story is that Christ was perceived to be God by very few people indeed; perhaps, for a time only by St. Peter, who would also, and for the same reason, have found God in space. For Christ said to Peter, ‘Flesh and blood have not taught you this.’ The methods of science do not discover facts of that order.

Indeed the expectation of finding God by astronautics would be very like trying to verify or falsify the divinity of Christ by taking specimens of His blood or dissecting Him. And in their own way they did both. But they were no wiser than before. What is required is a certain faculty of recognition.

If you do not at all know God, of course you will not recognize Him, either in Jesus or in outer space.


[snip]
The essay continues with a further discussion of space travel, and the possible existence of other rational life forms, but is not germane to the point of this post.]


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dissension, confusion, obfuscation, bad tempers and lack of understanding - all because most of us look at the same objects and see different visions. The problem is as often in me as it is in Thee.
1 Posted on 03/27/2000 18:14:24 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
betty, per our conversation.

Askel, just because Lewis uses Dante to make his point.

2 Posted on 03/27/2000 18:42:24 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Buggman; cornelis; Dumb_Ox; Either/Or
Bringing you gentlemen (or ladies, who can tell from screen names) in early on this one.

3 Posted on 03/27/2000 18:44:02 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: OWK; Storm Orphan
For your perusal.

4 Posted on 03/27/2000 18:44:53 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Cajun Against Carville; Physicist
In case you`re interested.

5 Posted on 03/27/2000 18:45:55 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
Since the world is made of of more voices and eyes than those of Lewis, by your leave I`ll add this from Ortega:


If the reader turns his eyes to the surface of a table, or to the wall that is now perhaps in front of him, or even to this page, and if he persists a while in this ocular inspection, he will notice something both trivial and strange. He will note that what he actually observed of the wall during the second interval does not coincide exactly with what was seen initially. This is not because the wall itself has changed during this brief period. But speck, shapes, little cracks, slight spots, shadings of color, at first unseen, are at second glance revealed ("revealed" being employed here in its photographic sense). In fact these appear abruptly, though one has the impression that they were there all along, though unperceived. . . .
A clearer example is perhaps offered us in looking at an orange. At first we see only one of its faces, one hemisphere (approximately), and then we must move in order to see successive hemispheres. At each step, the appearance of the orange is different, but connected to its predecessor, which has already disappeared; with the result that we never see the orange all at once, but must be content with successive views. In this instance, the thing so vehemently demands to be seen in its entirety that we are impelled and literally forced to revolve around it.

Our shifting motion around the orange in order to keep seing it would present, if the process were not silent, a perfect analogy to the dialectical series. The quality of our thinking, generally known as "discursive," that is, moving by fits and starts, compels us to traverse reality, step by step, making stops. At each step, we obtain one "view" of it and these views are, on the one hand, the intellectual sensu stricto, the "concepts" or "notions" or "ideas"; and on the other, the intuitive, the correlative, "aspects" of the thing. This perusal assumes that one has time, whereas each individual has but little, and up to now mankind has had only one million years at its disposal. Hence "views" of Reality have not been extremely abundant to date.

In short, one must take into account not only historical time, but its divergent tempo, its ritardando and its accelerando, its adagio and its allegro cantabile, etc.

Now under discussion is the fact that at any given moment we are in possession of only a limited number of cumulative views of reality. These views are simultaneous "aspects of the thing. . . . "

The most exact rendering of the term Idea, as Plato used it, would be "aspect." And he was not concered with psychology but with ontology. For in fact, it is in the nature of Reality to possess "aspects," "respects," and, in general, "perspective," since inherent in Reality is man standing before it and looking at it. The terms perspective and knowledge are almost equivalent. However, the former is, in addition, and admonishment that knowledge is not only a "modus cognoscentis," but a positive modification of that which is known--something Saint Thomas would not accept--that it is the thing transformed into mere "aspects" and only "aspects," the essence of which is to be constructed into a perspective. Knowledge--and I allude to it here only obliquely--is perspective, hence it is not a mere presentation of the thing itself in the mind, as the ancients held, nor is it the "thing itself" in the mind per modum cognescentis, as the scholastics maintained, nor is it a copy of the thing, nor a construction of the thing as supposed by Kant, the positivists, and Marburg`s school. But it is an "interpretation" of the thing itself, subjecting it to translation as though from one language to another--one might say from the language of being, a silent one, to the language of knowing, an articulate one. This language into which being is translated, is no more nor less than the language, the logos. Knowledge, in its ultimate and radical concretion, is dialectics--dialegesqai--to be talking precisely about things. The word enunciates the views in which he aspects of Reality appear before us.

--Ortega y Gasset, The Origin of Philosophy

This also could develop into The Origins of Prayer.

6 Posted on 03/27/2000 19:41:19 PST by cornelis
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: cornelis
This also could develop into The Origins of Prayer.

Or, perhaps, it could be a helpful way to think of the Trinity, as three (are there more - why not?) aspects, or perspectives, of God.

I do know there are more voices than Lewis - :) - but he`s the one most handy to me at the moment. If he works to bring forth selections like this from Ortega, then he serves a dual purpose. Thank you.

7 Posted on 03/27/2000 20:02:25 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
But to be an individual human being is not a pure idea-existence either. Only humanity in general exists in this way, that is, does not exist. Existence is always the particular; the abstract does not exist. To conclude from this that the abstract does not have reality is a misunderstanding....

Philosophy explains: Thinking and being are one...but thinking and being are one in relation to that whose existence is essentially a matter of indifference because it is so abstract that it has only thought-existence. God does not think, he creates; God does not exist, he is eternal.

A human being thinks and exists, and existence separates thinking and being, holds them apart from each other in succession. What is thinking? It is thinking where there is no thinker. It ignores everything but thought, and in its own medium only thought is.

Existence is not thoughtless, but in existence thought is in an alien medium. What does it mean, then, in the language of abstract thinking to ask about actuality in the sense of existence when abstraction expressly ignores it?

What is concrete thinking? It is thinking where there are a thinker and a specific something (in the sense of particularity) that is being thought, where existence gives the existing thinker thought, time, and space.... Instead of having the task of understanding the concrete abstractly, as abstract thinking has, the subjective thinker has the opposite task of understanding the abstract concretely.

Abstract thinking turns from concrete human beings to humankind in general; the subjective thinker understands the abstract concept to be the concrete human being, to be this individual existing human being....

Indeed, what is an existing human being? Our age knows all too well how little it is, but therein lies the specific immorality of our age. Every age has its own; the immorality of our age is perhaps not lust and pleasure and sensuality, but rather a pantheistic, debauched contempt for individual human beings.... Just as in the desert individuals must travel in large caravans out of fear of robbers and wild animals, so individuals today have a horror of existence because it is godforsaken; they dare to live only in great herds and cling together en masse in order to be at least something. ...and every human being who has passion is always somewhat solitary; it is only drivelers who are swallowed up in social life... (p. 330, 332, 352, 355f., 428).

- from Concluding Unscientific Postscripts by S. Kierkegaard

Thanks for the heads up. I really do look forward to your C.S. Lewis posts.

8 Posted on 03/27/2000 23:41:00 PST by Either/Or
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
Perelandran Bump!!

9 Posted on 03/27/2000 23:45:38 PST by Ticonderoga
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Ticonderoga
Out of the Silent Planet Bump!

10 Posted on 03/27/2000 23:59:18 PST by Either/Or
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Either/Or
Great quote, Either/Or. Allow me a modern application:

Just as in the desert individuals must travel in large caravans out of fear of robbers and wild animals, so individuals today have a horror of existence because it is godforsaken; they dare to live only in great herds and cling together en masse in order to be at least something ...it is only drivelers who are swallowed up in social life...

drivelers = Bushies and Gorephiles

...and every human being who has passion is always somewhat solitary;

passionate individualists = Brigadiers

11 Posted on 03/28/2000 00:06:28 PST by Arator
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Either/Or
Indeed, what is an existing human being? Our age knows all too well how little it is, but therein lies the specific immorality of our age. Every age has its own; the immorality of our age is perhaps not lust and pleasure and sensuality, but rather a pantheistic, debauched contempt for individual human beings....

As a rule I`m not always that fond of Kierkegaard, but in this case he has certainly described our Western post-modern world. Everything "for the children," but the imbroglio over Elian tells us what we think of the individual child. Create and perpetuate entire institutions (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) to respond to the needs of "old people," but seldom does anyone visit the residents of the nearest "old folks home." Or, even more ludicrous, "reparations for slavery," with nary a thought about where we might find someone who suffered being a slave, or more importantly as the source of the monies involved, someone who actually "owned" a slave.

The malady of the post-modern, post-Christian world: put everyone into one group or another so we don`t have to think about individualities such as dignity, or honor, or - heaven forfend - the soul.

Thanks for your offering to the thread.

12 Posted on 03/28/2000 03:08:36 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Either/Or
Would you like to see a current treatment of Kierkegaard`s lament?

Take a look at Victim-choosing in the old media.

13 Posted on 03/28/2000 04:00:42 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Arator
Ahhh, Arator, friend...

It never fails but that after posting a philosophical thoght, someone comes along and offers himself up as an object example. Thanks. [grin]

14 Posted on 03/28/2000 08:10:26 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
As a rule I`m not always that fond of Kierkegaard

I know. Why do you think I always try to stick some on your threads? :-)

bttt

15 Posted on 03/28/2000 09:12:59 PST by Either/Or
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
These kinds of arguments, as Lewis points out herein, will never be resolved until and unless there is something cataclysmically new introduced into the world that changes the viewpoints of us all.

The early Church sensed this in its emphasis on the epiphany. The image of the Child, enthroned in the lap of his mother, receiving the worship of the wise men, is one of the most ancient images of Christian art.

16 Posted on 03/28/2000 09:14:27 PST by Romulus
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Either/Or
For some strange reason I am reminded that while "Christianity is existential, not all existentialism is Christian."

I can`t remember to whom I should attribute that quote - can you help me out?

17 Posted on 03/28/2000 09:20:13 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Romulus
The early Church sensed this in its emphasis on the epiphany.

There...you see just how truly orthodox I really am. :)

18 Posted on 03/28/2000 09:22:04 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos Betty Boop
Hey logos. Glad you flagged the man who fell to earth as well. First thing I wanted to do when I read it.

19 Posted on 03/29/2000 11:49:54 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
Three distinct Persons in one God ... each of whom have their own aspects, I think.

20 Posted on 03/29/2000 11:58:27 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: OWK
You`re him, by the way. I haven`t forgotten your favorite scheme with regard to man`s origins. Perelandra and Out of the Silent Planet (along with That Hideous Strength) being the science fiction trilogy which I`ve recommended to you and others are noting above.

21 Posted on 03/29/2000 12:01:44 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
Excellent Logos.

Live and let live.

22 Posted on 03/29/2000 12:23:38 PST by heavyd
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Askel5
About those Three Persons. Here is how the term "person" is best understood:

persôna, ae, f [acc. to Gabius Bassus ap. Gell. 5, 7, 1 sq., from per-sono, to sound through, with the second syllable lengthened].

I. A mask, esp. that used by players, which covered the whole head, and was varied according to the different characters to be represented (syn. larva), Gell. 5, 7, 1: personam tragicam forte vulpis viderat, Phaedr. 1, 7, 1: personam capiti detrahere, Mart. 3, 43, 4: persona adicitur capiti, Plin. 12, 14, 32, § 59.

The masks were usually made of clay: cretea persona, Lucr. 4, 297, cf. Mart. 14, 176, 1.

And sometimes of the bark of wood: oraque corticibus sumunt horrenda cavatis, Verg. G. 2.387: ut tragicus cantor ligno tegit ora cavato, Prud. adv Symm. 2, 646.

The opening for the mouth was very large: personae pallentis hiatum formidat infans, Juv. 3, 175: personis uti primus coepit Roscius Gallus praecipuus histrio, quod oculis obversis erat, nec satis decorus in personis nisi parasitus pronunciabat, Diom. p. 486 P.

Heads with such masks were used as ornaments for water-spouts, fountains, etc.: Butades figulus primus personas tegularum extremis imbricibus imposuit, quae inter initia prostypa vocavit, Plin. 35, 12, 43, § 152: personae, e quarum rostris aqua salire solet, Dig. 19, 1, 17 fin.: mulier nempe ipsa videtur, non personâ loqui, a mask, a masked person, Juv 3, 96.

II. Transf., a personage, character, part, represented by an actor: parasiti persona, Ter. Eun. prol. 26 sq.: sub personâ militis, Gell. 13, 22, 11: (tragici) nihil ex personâ poëtae dixerunt, Vell. 1, 3, 2.--Hence,

B. Also, transf. beyond the scenic lang., in gen., the part or character which any one sustains in the world (class.): (ego), qui non heroum veteres casus fictosque luctus velim imitari atque adumbrare dicendo, neque actor sim alienae personae, sed auctor meae, Cic. de Or. 2, 47, 194: quam magnum est personam in re publicâ tueri principis, id. Phil. 8.10.29: personam sustinere, id. Pis. 11.24: personam, quam mihi tempus et res publica imposuit, imposed upon me, id. Sull. 3.8; cf.: agenda est persona quam mihi miles imposuit, Vop. Prob. 10, 7; Macr. S. 2, 7, 17: partes lenitatis et misericordiae semper egi libenter: illam vero gravitatis severitatisque personam non appetivi, sed a re publicâ mihi impositam sustinui, Cic. Mur. 3.6: petitoris personam capere, accusatoris deponere, id. Quint. 13.46: personam suscipere, id. de Or. 1, 37, 169: gravissimam personam sustinere, id. Pis. 29.71: personam tenere, id. de Or. 3, 14, 54: personam gerere, id. Off. 1, 32, 115: abjectâ quaestoriâ personâ comitisque assumptâ, id. Planc. 41.100: fateantur in Maeandrii personâ esse expressam speciem civitatis, id. Fl. 22.53: id Cicero suâ ipsâ personâ frequentissime praecipit, in his own name, Quint. 10, 5, 2: cetera quae sunt a me in secundo libro de Oratore per Antonii personam disputata, Cic. Fam 7, 32, 2 B. and K. (dub.; al. ex personâ): ex tuâ personâ enumerare possis, ut, etc., id. Inv. 1, 52, 99: nihil ex personâ poëtae disserunt, Vell. 1, 3, 2; 1, 3, 3; so Col. 12, 3, 5; Gell. 10, 22, 1; Lact. Epit. 48, 7: sub personâ Paridis, Suet. Dom. 10: so Gell. 10, 22, 24; 13, 22, 11: alienam personam ferre, Liv. 3.36: non hominibus tantum, sed et rebus persona demenda est et reddenda facies sua, Sen. Ep. 24, 13: hanc personam induisti: agenda est, Sen. Ben. 2, 17, 2.--Hence,

2.A human being who performs any function, plays any part, a person, personage: ut mea persona semper aliquid videretur habere populare, Cic. Att. 8, 11, D, § 7: ecquae pacifica persona desideretur, id. ib. 8, 12, 4: hujus Staleni persona, populo jam nota atque perspecta, id. Clu. 29.78; id. Fam. 6, 6, 10: induxi senem disputantem, quia nulla videbatur aptior persona, id. Lael. 1, 4: Laelii persona, id. ib. 1, 4: certis personis et aetatibus, to people of a certain standing and of a certain age, Suet. Caes. 43: minoribus quoque et personis et rebus, to persons and things of less importance, id. Tib. 32; id. Aug. 27: nulla distantia personarum, Vulg. Deut. 1, 17: personarum acceptio, id. 2 Par. 19, 7; cf. id. Gal. 2, 6 al.: ipse suâ lege damnatus, cum, substituta filii personâ, amplius quingentorum jugerum possideret, Plin. 18, 3, 4, § 17: denique haec fuit altera persona Thebis, sed tamen secunda, ita ut proxima esset Epaminondae, the second chief personage, Nep. Pelop. 4, 3.--

(b). So of persons, opp. to things and actions: ut rerum, ut personarum dignitates ferunt, Cic. de Or. 3, 14, 53.--

(g). Law t. t., a being having legal rights and obligations (including the state, etc.; not including slaves; cf. Sandars ad Just. Inst. introd. § 37; 1, 3 prooem.): omne jus quo utimur, vel ad/ personas pertinet vel ad res vel ad actiones, Dig. 1, 5, 1; Just. Inst./ 1, 3 prooem.--

(d). A human being in gen., a person (post-Aug. and rare): continuantes unum quodque (praenomen) per trinas personas, Suet. Ner. 1: cum dira et foedior omni Crimine persona est, Juv. 4, 15.--

3. In the grammarians, a person: quom item personarum natura triplex esset, qui loqueretur, ad quem, de quo, Varr. L. L. 8, § 20 Müll.; so id. ib. 9, 24, § 32 et saep.

23 Posted on 03/29/2000 12:26:41 PST by Romulus
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Romulus
Um, best understood by whom? =)

24 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:00:43 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Romulus
Monsignor Reynolds used a pie chart, btw. (Illustrating the fallacious understanding, of course.)

25 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:01:40 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Askel5
You mean Reynolds used a pie chart the way St. Paddy used a shamrock? "All God is divided into three parts"? Please tell me I`ve misunderstood you.

The theatrical image is easiest for me to understand. God is a single Actor, with three Masks at his disposal. The fact that there are exactly three Masks reveals something deep and wonderful about the Single Actor who uses Them. What is revealed to us as dialogue among the Three Persons is perhaps analogous to you having a conversation with yourself.

26 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:39:41 PST by Romulus
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Askel5
Never mind my wisecrack about Msgr. Reynolds. On re-reading, I see that I did misunderstand you.

27 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:41:45 PST by Romulus
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Romulus
I wish I understood Latin.

I speak fluently in Russian, and a tiny bit of spanish, but I also envy you Неприятные маленькие латинские люди.

28 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:45:01 PST by Lazamataz
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Romulus
That DOES ring a bell. (I`m strafing and was bemused by the bits I had no hope of understanding without a dictionary ... )

29 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:47:47 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Askel5
That DOES ring a bell. (I`m strafing and was bemused by the bits I had no hope of understanding without a dictionary ... )

Bells ringing, planes strafing, bemusing bits..... my, your posts are colorful.

As opposed to mine, żnon? ;^)

30 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:50:21 PST by Lazamataz
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Lazamataz
That was Latin? 8-)

31 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:50:51 PST by Romulus
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Lazamataz
I wish I had some Russian. I own two Russian icons, and I`ve been trying to puzzle out the inscriptions, but so far no progress.

32 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:55:01 PST by Romulus
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Lazamataz
Opposed to? JAMIS!


33 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:56:08 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Romulus
I wish I had some Russian. I own two Russian icons, and I`ve been trying to puzzle out the inscriptions, but so far no progress.

Can you photo them or scan them? I will gladly translate. If you cannot, I will print out a russian alphabet, and you indicate by number which letters they represent. It may also be in cursive, which is a little harder. But I will try.

34 Posted on 03/29/2000 13:57:45 PST by Lazamataz
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Askel5
Я не понимаю то, что Вы говорите. (I don`t understand what you say). What is a Jamis?

35 Posted on 03/29/2000 14:00:09 PST by Lazamataz
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Lazamataz
It`s kind of you to offer. I did send some photos to a friend of mine in DC, to show to an old Ukranian archimandrite who`d done hard time in Stalin`s gulags. Unfortunately the old boy died before my friend could get ahold of him.

If I can figure out how to use the office scanner, I`ll shoot you a picture.

36 Posted on 03/29/2000 14:04:31 PST by Romulus
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Lazamataz
[NEVER!]

37 Posted on 03/29/2000 14:15:42 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Askel5
Never?!?

You poor thing, you.

38 Posted on 03/29/2000 14:28:48 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
Hey ... cut it out. If I fog up my coffin in the forest it`ll ruin the gig.

39 Posted on 03/29/2000 15:37:32 PST by Askel5
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: logos
If there were an idiot who thought plays existed on their own, without an author (not to mention actors, producer, manager, stagehands and what not), our belief in Shakespeare would not be much affected by his saying, quite truly, that he had studied all the plays and never found Shakespeare in them.

Great and prowerful Thinking. But even if there is a god, what makes you think he wants to be worshiped? Religion if for those afraid of going to Hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there,grin.

40 Posted on 03/29/2000 20:34:13 PST by Phuong Hoang
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: Phuong Hoang
Great and prowerful Thinking. But even if there is a god, what makes you think he wants to be worshiped? Religion is for those afraid of going to Hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there...

Friend, you have an amazing talent for missing the point right in front of your nose. :)

Re the underlined portion, and to paraphrase George C. Scott, speaking as Patton to Rommel, "I read your *&%)* book! (In this case, "your" is a pronoun for God.)

If you are separating religion and spirituality, then religion may be practiced by any number of people for any number of reasons, some of which may be purely material in a strictly earthly sense. Spirituality, on the other hand, is what is practiced by those in a relationship with God. The two, religion and spirituality, may of course be practiced simultaneously by the same person, but most often are not.

41 Posted on 03/29/2000 20:54:59 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | Top | Last ]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To: heavyd
Live and let live.

Couldn`t agree more. However, I don`t think it is even possible until we all learn to speak the same language, and, insofar as we are capable, to see with the same eye.

And by that I do not mean that we`re all in agreement on all things; only that we understand each other in our differences. As of now, meaning "we" generically, that is not the case.

42 Posted on 03/29/2000 22:43:26 PST by logos
[ Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | Top | Last ]


Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.


[ Top | Latest Posts | Latest Articles | Self Search | Add Bookmark | Post | Abuse | Help! ]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FreeRepublic , LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
Forum Version 2.0a Copyright © 1999 Free Republic, LLC

Follow Ups:

Login to Post
Additional Information
Google
 
Web www.astronomy.net
DayNightLine
About Astronomy Net | Advertise on Astronomy Net | Contact & Comments | Privacy Policy
Unless otherwise specified, web site content Copyright 1994-2022 John Huggins All Rights Reserved
Forum posts are Copyright their authors as specified in the heading above the post.
"dbHTML," "AstroGuide," "ASTRONOMY.NET" & "VA.NET"
are trademarks of John Huggins