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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Un(s)even: Light

(by Selkis; a detail)

A topic that engaged thinkers from the Middle Ages (see Robert Grosseteste, Dante) to the Renaissance (see Milton): When we speak of God's "spiritual light," is it simply meant as a metaphor, or is there any ontological relationship between it and the physical light? Usually, the answers are not very clear in their turn, but this makes the question all the more fascinating. Tasso for example, almost surely in the wake of ancient authors, defines God as "the Sun of the sun."

The complete separation between the two types of light would only be brought about in the 18th century, when the once holistic cosmology split in two: one-sided scientism on the one side, and intimist, weepy devotion on the other.

And speaking of spiritual light: today is All Saint's Day, as well as my beloved wife's birthday. All the best!