Monday, December 27, 2021

Logos shapes belief. (Logos is the form of belief.)
Pathos hones desire. (Pathos is the edge of desire.)

Keep your beliefs strong and your desires sharp.

We are inclined to think that history is either dialectical or diabolical, that it is either the ongoing resolution of tensions between impersonal forces or an occult conspiracy of highly motivated people. Given the evidence, we are not able to decide among these theories. It is even possible that there is some truth in both. What does not occur to us, however, is the possibility that history is divine, providential: that it expresses perfectly God's vision of his creation, his curiosity about what he has made. He, too, is waiting to see what happens next.

It is important, afterall,
that knowledge isn't merely
of accidental facts,
and power isn't just
for necessary acts.

Science tells us what is
actually the case, what
must be so. And politics
transforms the possible,
nowhere to otherwise.

No heart is left untouched
nor is the mind unchanged.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Nothing hinges on the philosopher's wisdom,
just as nothing hinges on the poet's love.

Beliefs are states of mind,
                            of the heart,
and the body is a place
in which to find a moment
wherein this wherewithal
we call the self compounds
whatever we already are
with what we can become.

Monday, December 20, 2021

In intuition, a belief forms immediately,
in institution, a desire. Science shapes
our intuitions, as politics, our institutions.
Philosophy and poetry give them presence,
as concepts in thought, emotions in feeling,
each remark, each strophe, on the imagination.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Let us imagine the sage, whose concepts
are clear, the lover, whose emotions are
always taut. Let us imagine a mind
stilled by wisdom, and a heart moved
by love. Let us imagine a body
whose flesh and bones are strong,
a soul whose suffering is pure.
Let us imagine a passion that is
general, and one specific reason
to believe that all that we desire
can be made small and (imagine this!)
put within the nutshell of a dream.
Imagination backs thought with feeling,
brings appearance to the surfaces.

Friday, December 10, 2021

We can no more tell someone to do something
than we can tell them to see something.

But we can get them to desire something
and we can get them to believe something.

My commands must reach your passions.
My statements must engage your reasons.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021