Pic: St. Thomas Aquinas, Stained Glass Window - Mechelen (Belgium), Cathedral of Saint-Rombouts
"You 'Kant' get out of Being!" That was a phrase I coined to tease the late Fr. Harold Cooper, S.J., my "Philosophy of Knowledge" Professor at Loyola University in 1978. Fr. Cooper stressed to us in class the Thomistic emphasis on the Natural Law that leads one to understanding Objective Truths.
This column will focus on the simplicity of grasping transcendent truths based upon the objective reality that we all can experience in our everyday lives per our senses. The illusions of extreme subjectivism, relativism and sin, the metaphorical "black holes," keep us from the readily available clarity of the Ultimate Way, Truth and the Life.
Immanuel Kant and others like Rene Descartes (who is noted for "Cogito, ergo sum," - "I think, therefore, I am."), while certainly contributing vastly to the overall study of metaphysics, ultimately became encumbered in the "black hole of their mind." In other words, they got trapped in their heads, as was noted not long ago by Dr. Anthony Rizzi, a local renowned physicist in his book, The Science Before Science: A Guide to Thinking in the 21st Century.
Eventually, as Dr. Rizzi concluded, "If one starts in one's head, one can only end there ... Kant ends by showing that we couldn't really know anything."
Yet we are able to grasp the reality of life per what we learn through our individual and collective experiences. From this, per the unique human ability to reasoning, we are able to understand the source of all revealed knowledge: Our Creator. The Sacred Scriptures and Traditions that have been passed on to us by the Early Church Fathers are replete with this.
Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have identified the unfortunate current popular trend of man to put a heavy reliance on relativism, which leads to more sin. This has created what I believe to be an over emphasis on trying to apply the scientific method to everything, including our souls. The result has been what I call "The Black Holes in Our Spiritual Solar System.'
Haven't we learned anything from Copernicus - we (the earth) are not the center of the universe - the sun (Son of God) is! There are so many ways that God enlightens us to eternal truths through our simple and direct contact with the laws of nature that He has given to us to learn.
As nothing can escape the pull (gravitational) of a black hole - even the light, so are we (even our reflection of the The Light of Christ) pulled more and more into the error of sin when we become self-centered and can't even face the all pervasive truth that surrounds us.
Who would have ever thought that human beings, supposedly with sophisticated reasoning abilities, could look at a clearly distinct unborn child per a high resolution ultrasound and conclude that the "fetus" object who they are looking at is not actually life? Have we removed ourselves that far from the obvious truth, so as to allow falsehood to blind us to that degree?
The Singularity of the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) also defies all explanations, including E=mc2. How can Three Be One? He can even pull us out of the general relativity of subjectivism, relativism and sin. Usually, he has to "Big Bang" us, like he did St. Paul, to get get our heads, hearts and free wills in the right orbits. Frank J. Tipler, in his just released book, The Physics of Christianity, even has noted this.
So may we open our hearts, minds and souls to the intrinsic truths that God reveals to us everyday through our senses. We were created in His own image and likeness. And He is the God of the living not of the dead. No matter how much of a "New Age" we think that we're living in, Jesus is still speaking "crystal" clear to us in the following passage as He did to the Pharisees: "You are badly misled because you fail to understand the Scriptures and the power of God." Mt. 22:29.
Keith John Paul Horcasitas, LCSW, MHA