Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hey, Im half late or half early........

.......from last or next Friday.

In my musings on philosophy of late, I came across something interesting regarding Greek thought. Im looking for other sources on this, but it appears that the Hellenistic kingdoms of Alexander the Great in Northern India had a great deal of longevity, absorbed in the end by the expansion of Islam. Using rounded numbers of 300Bc - 650 AD gives us almost a millenium, not too far off of the time of the English monarchy from Hastings until the present. The author in question is making the point that the ancient world was very "diverse" in what we would consider the modern sense, and that much of our thinking about diversity is a reaction to perceived abuses of colonial times.

What does this have to do with Chesterton?

I think it shows us that the search for truth is universal, and that the human race truly is a large family. With the possibility that the Greek Stoics had influenced Hindu and Buddhist scholarship, the world suddenly becomes much smaller, and Chesterton's brilliant image of The God in the Cave becomes that much more powerful. Human reason can only go so far before it reaches a point where it encounters a moment of anticipation of transcendence. The Greek Stoics, unlike there more cerebral Roman inheritors, did practice what we would today call meditation....realizing that intellect could only penetrate so far. I have written around this point for several weeks now, but I think that in dealing with contemporary culture this is the starting point. The discussion of Faith and Reason is a deep and rich dialogue that has spanned centuries. Our culture does not even see them as opposites, but defines Reason as logic, but dresses it up in leftist political utopianism, and likewise defines Faith not as an inner act of the person and an intimate expression of the soul, but rather as fundamentalist adherence to a denomination. How did we get to this point?

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