Dismissing Platonic Ideals


Gnostic sentiments around the first century spread a belief that adherence to and indulgence in the physical realm was inherently evil. The ideal was to separate as thoroughly from the physical realm as possible in order to exist in the spiritual, which was inherently good. Such thought gave rise to Docetism, Christian gnostics who held that Jesus simply appeared to be human, but was not really. They outright dismissed the idea that a good man could be made of flesh and bones. Dismissing his corporeality was also helpful in dealing with claims of his resurrection, because he could not have truly died.

Such distinctions between flesh and spiritual seem to me, oversimplified. I am intensely mesmerized by the mystery of dialectical opposition that seems to hang, throughout the universe, balanced in perfect tension, and uncompromising.

Humans are not merely phenomenal, they are noumenal. I do not believe it is divided half and half, but that humans are completely both at the same time. I believe Jesus is fully human and fully God. I believe I am fully a sinner and fully made righteous by God. I believe art is fully subjective and fully objective. These things are possible because the phenomenal and noumenal are not so distinct as we imagine.

Perhaps this too is an oversimplification. I’m sure many would argue such. It is not something I have explored enough to truly hash out in apologetic form (but plan to explore it here). I admit (perhaps I will regret this) that I simply like it. I like the mystery of the inexplicable and the possibility that the human desire for exclusive definition is not an accurate or complete representation of reality.

How much of philosophy is empirically verifiable anyway? As much as I’m not a Gnostic, I’m not a Logical Positivist either.

3 thoughts on “Dismissing Platonic Ideals

  1. Merciful goodness, Annie–your new blog is fantastic! Well done. I loved this piece. It beautifully expresses some of my own feelings about the false dichotomies we post-Enlightenment Westerners have created for ourselves.

    Keep posting. I think I’ll learn a lot. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Beauty and Order | AnnieKO'Connor

  3. Pingback: Beauty and Order | AnnieKO'Connor

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