Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Misrepresentation of Love Essay -- Analysis, St. Augustine’s Confessio

â€Å"Our hearts find no peace until they rest in you† (21). The return to God, the means of doing so, and the manners by which man is turned from him in the first place, are central themes in St. Augustine’s Confessions; a historical work serving as confession, praise, and examination of faith. Autobiographical in nature, Augustine’s work retells the story of his life and of his spiritual journey in retrospect, considering each event and its importance to the larger framework of his religious philosophy, a result of the merging of Neo-Platonist thought and Catholic theology. Through this fusion, Augustine is able to reconcile God and â€Å"evil,† make a distinction between the physical and spiritual realms, and lay out his views on how one can come to know and love God the truest sense possible; how one returns to him. One of the main problems Augustine had as he began his examination of spiritual matters was the apparent existence of evil. Augustine was unable to reconcile the notion of God as unchanging and all-powerful with the evil that he saw in the world. If God was indeed omnipotent and the creator of all, how could evil exist if God did not have a hand in its making? Thus in his earlier years, Augustine fell in with the Manicheans, who held that God was not omnipotent, but rather in constant battle with evil and opposite force. Such ideas of evil and of God’s connection to the physical realm drove Augustine further from God. Fortunately, Augustine became dissatisfied with the Manicheans, whose flowery words proved to lack substance, and whose cosmological predictions proved less accurate than science and frequently a product of coincidence. Even after rejecting the dualism of Manichean thought, Augustine struggled to re... ...to be God-like, or even simply closer to God, being grounded in the tangible world, attempts are frequently and inappropriately invested in the physical realm, ultimately driving one further from God. Most sins are really just misdirected attempts to be like God. â€Å"Sloth poses as the love of peace...Extravagance masquerades as fullness and abundance†¦The spendthrift makes a pretence of liberality...The envious struggle for preferment†¦Grief eats away its heart for the loss of things which it took pleasure in desiring, because it wants to be like you, from whom nothing can be taken away† (50). Though introspection, we can pull ourselves from physical matters to spiritual matters, searching the soul for an inner memory of God, and thus better serve God (and the Force). Ultimately, love is not wrong, so long as love is through God. â€Å"Love them, then, in Him† (82).

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