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on philosophy

14 September 2010

Little idols lined up on a shelf
books full of (sometimes dangerous) ideas
and each one a little Leuctra
for the good-hearted common-sense
of the soul;
and we grow cold, especially in modernity
where the fires of Wisdom have died
and are replaced by rarefacted cleverness
punctuated with sophomoric sophistry
masquerading as intelligent (and intelligible) critique.

What good is any philosophy, when the soul is so vexed?
The Preacher spelled an answer to Aristotle long ago;
if man is truly the measure of all things, then
vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas
and there is no more need for living

But if Sophia is not to be an end in herself
where do we look for meaning?
rather, friend, look for her in the hallowed domes
and golden halls of Christendom,
serving in the halls of priests and patriarchs,
poets and proud knights,
the Emperor’s daughter, the dancing delight
of earthly and heavenly patrons;
look for her in the quiet gardens
where prayer and meditation provide
the gaps where reason cannot reach your metaphysic;
look for her in the tolling of the bells
that call the faithful to the mass
where the angels and saints there array
in glorious, triumphant displays
of the apophatic glory of the transcendental God;
look through her to find Him if you must,
but placing her upon the pedestal
will leave you crawling upon your belly
eating the dust.

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