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Natura speaks 2018

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07-03-2018 1 comments Print!

'I am she who have fashioned the form and eminence of man into the likeness of the original mundane mechanism, that in him, as in a mirror of the world itself, combined nature may appear. For just as, of the four elements, the concordant discord, the single plurality, the dissonant consonance, the dissenting agreement, produce the structures of the palace of earth, so, of four ingredients, the similar unsimilarity, the unequal equality, the unformed conformity, the separate identity, firmly erect the building of the human body. And those qualities which come together as mediators among the elements -these establish a firm peace among the four humors.


And just as the army of the planets opposes with contrary motion the fixed rolling of the firmament, so in man is found a continual hostility between lust and reason. For the activity of reason, taking its rise from a celestial source, passes through the low levels of earth, and, watchful of heavenly things, turns again to heaven. The activities of lust, on the other hand, wandering waywardly and contrary to the firmament of reason, turn and slip down into the decline of things of earth. Now the latter, lust, leads the human mind into the ruin of vices, so that it perishes ; the former, reason, bids it, as it rises, to ascend to the serenity of virtue. The one dishonors man, and changes him to a beast; the other mightily transfigures him into a god. Reason illuminates the darkness of the brain by the light of contemplation; lust extinguishes the radiance of the mind by the night of desire. Reason makes man to talk with angels; lust forces him to wanton with brutes. Reason teaches man to find in exile a home; lust forces him in his home to be an exile.

(Alain of Lille [Alanus de lnsulis]: The Complaint of Nature, https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/alain-deplanctu.asp)

Natura speaks
View from Beatenberg, Switzerland

 

 

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  • From Robert Michael Burnside @
    Hi Mieke, thank you for posting this except from Alanus de Insulis. I commented on it on Facebook, and include that here, as a way of thanking you. The Complaint of Nature – Alain of Lille
    “And just as the army of the planets opposes with contrary motion the fixed rolling of the firmament, so in man is found a continual hostility between lust and reason. For the activity of reason, taking its rise from a celestial source, passes through the low levels of earth, and, watchful of heavenly things, turns again to heaven. The activities of lust, on the other hand, wandering waywardly and contrary to the firmament of reason, turn and slip down into the decline of things of earth. Now the latter, lust, leads the human mind into the ruin of vices, so that it perishes; the former, reason, bids it, as it rises, to ascend to the serenity of virtue.”
    The Complaint of Nature - Alain of Lille ( Alanus de Insulis)

    Our friend Alain nicely juxtaposes our quandary as humans: we live within the struggle of reason versus lust; the tension between them threatens to pull us apart. To try and resolve the tension, we can think: oh, the hell with earth and this animal body of mine, I’ll refute it and enter into the celestial realm… but doing so, we become inhuman, a ghost, with no body, and no ego – just a thought, not a reality, welcomed by Lucifer as one of his ghosts to control. On the other hand, we can think: oh, to hell with the spiritual world, that’s a lot of bunk, I’ll just refute it and enter completely into my animal nature and enjoy life… but doing so, we become only a beast… welcomed by the dark lord of the earth, who gladly receives our body under his control, to enslave us.
    What to do? Let’s find the middle way, a Third Way, refuting neither our spiritual self nor our bodily self, instead acknowledging both and using the tension between them as a source for our development, a force that gives us the strength to persevere toward our future. In the ongoing interplay between them it’s “three steps forward, two steps back”, back and forth we go -- but that one resulting step forward of development is real – it is human – we become more fully ourselves as a human being, neither a ghost nor a beast. After all, it’s that’s a reasonable thing to do.