Self knowledge and Negation. Philosophy

Self knowledge and Negation.

Philosophy proves the spiritual nature of the human soul by an analysis of knowledge, but the argument goes from effect to cause, not vice versa. We suffer somewhat from our inability to know ourselves except by a negation. The angels do not understand themselves as “immaterial”, nor even as “spirits” as we understand the term: sc. “a being without a body.”

The arts have been of little help in understanding spirits- most often they are represented as dim outlines of a human body- sometimes they are given wings. The childish nature of this is clear enough- it is something like if a dog were to paint a human as a dog that could walk everywhere on its hind legs. The dim nature of spirits usually leads u to imagine that they are less substantial than us- like floating clouds. The truth is directly opposite. Material things are the clouds and shadows. If we looked at bodies rightly, we might wonder if they even exist at all. After all, when do bodies exist? At what time? They are not in the past, and are not in the future; and the present, that indivisible limit between past and future, isn’t a time “any more than a point is line”.

We are in some paradoxical way higher than ourselves- existing in some world already we have never imagined. We are a thing we cannot understand except by negation, nor understand the community we keep in a world higher than this one. We borrow things from a lower world, and can do no other, all in the attempt to get to even the lowest part of the highest order- where we might be able to see what we have been all along. Perhaps we desire heaven partially, but profoundly, to understand ourselves.


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