Axiom of transcendence

-STA’s axiom that grace does not destroy nature but elevates it is an application of the general axiom that All transcendent things preserve and elevate what they transcend. Life does not destroy the activity of inanimate nature or the laws of physics but elevates them into self-motive and self-subsistent activity; sensation does not destroy life but perfects its logos as self-directed activity (and reason brings this to its fulness). Intelligence perfects sense by apprehending sense objects as beings as opposed to apprehending the melange of object and organ that is the sense object itself, and higher angelic intelligences do not render lower intelligences superfluous but elevate them by illumination.

The same is true of the transcendence of common goods. The unity of friendship does not destroy the distinction and personality of the friends but sharpens it and develops it. The common good of familial life doesn’t destroy the exclusivity of eros but is both brought about by it and serves to strengthen the family in its principle, the parents. The right order and consequent unity of the community doesn’t destroy the individuality of the persons but is a condition for its realization.

The transcendent always preserves the distinction of what it unifies, so much so that the distinction becomes more pronounced in the measure that the unity becomes more perfect. The limit case of this is trinitarian monotheism, where the absolute unity and simplicity of the divine esse remains absolutely one in the subsistent relations that constitute the distinct persons.

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