In a certain sense, metaphysics is difficult because its subject matter is too well known, and too obvious. We cannot describe being because any description presupposes that we already know it. Said another way, we can’t describe being because we know it too well.

In a certain sense, metaphysics is difficult because its subject matter is too well known, and too obvious. We cannot describe being because any description presupposes that we already know it. Said another way, we can’t describe being because we know it too well.

Idealism as Shamanism

It’s no more rational to avoid thomism for fear of an evil deceiver than it is to avoid walking through a forest for fear of an evil deceiver.

Descartes’ ridiculous navel-gazing, and the whole vast ediface of idealist thought that came out of it, proceeds from exactly the same technique by which druid priests conjured fairies and voodoo shamen cast hexes- the power of suggestion which numbs the awareness of self- evidence and proof. Did you think we moderns could not be duped by shamen and witch doctors? It is an indispensible principle of voodoo magic that one must talk people into thinking that something is possible if it can be imagined- which isn’t hard to do. This delusion is one human beings easily fall into.

A modern philosopher trapped in a burning building

Help us, philosopher, we’re trapped in this room and we can’t get out!

Quick! Imagine a door!

A root premise of modern idealism and empiricism

One of the foundational premises of the modern philosophy is the claim that something is possible because it is imaginable or conceivable. Ever since this principle has been assumed, philosophy has become something like a vast support group for morbid neuroses: an evil deceiver is possible- how do we know he’s not real? I think I might be a brain in a vat- what should I do? Whoever accepts the root premise, will suffer under the same idealist arguments over and over again.

The premise, however, is a self evident lie. Just as I cannot imagine a puppy and make it appear in real truth, neither can I imagine a possibility and make it appear in real truth. To imagine something is no criterion for its possibility. The only criterion for possibility is evidence; both evidence from another, and evidence from itself.

A note on the difference between contemplatives and intellectuals

Contemplatives are satisfied with truth, intellectuals are satisfied by understanding what an author said.

Contemplatives primarily want to live in heaven, with God; intellectuals primarily want to live in a university, with tenure.

The myth of higher consciousness

It is meaningless to take drugs to get to a higher consciousness. The only actual divine consciousness is the one God actually created, which by nature is ordered to understanding the world as it is. The only thing that actually makes it higher are the virtues: charity, hope, faith, prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, wisdom (the habit of contemplation and penetration of the highest things), intelligence (the habit of the principles of wisdom and prudence).

The definition of anything, say, a rose.

If I define a material thing, the same thing is in the soul as spiritual, in the thing as material, in God as most perfectly and intimately caused.

Protestantism and Intellectuals

One of the greatest defects of the Protestant reformers was that they were intellectuals. Because of this, they suffered from the common defect of intellectuals: overconfidence in private judgement. A cop, or a seventh-grade teacher, or a warden, or a store manager, or a mom can all immediately see the folly in saying “just give them the book, they’ll figure it out” or “Let all believers follow their own inspirations”.

Two Notes on the Angels

-Man proves both that God exists, and that man’s own intelligence is the lowest possible intelligence. This reveals a very apparent infinite gap above man, a gap which contains an entire angelic universe. The creatures in that gap have received existence and no matter.

-St Thomas’ first demonstration for the existence of the angels is in On Being and Essence:

1.) What causes can exist without its effect
2.) Form causes matter. (so a purely matterless form is possible)
3.) The cause of matter is distance from pure act. (Matter is never found without non-being, and for this reason it is as far from pure act in the order of being as something can be.)
4.) So the beings near God are pure form, intelligence without any relation to body. (Implied here is that the universe is a Plenum, because God omits no possible grade of being.)

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