August 16th, 1983, Serial No. 00702

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Monastic Spirituality Set 12 of 12

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He was a scripture scholar, a student, that's what he had his training in, because he wanted
a professor of scripture back in his monastery, and it gave him a point of view that not many
other monastic writers have.
He's very deep, and he is fanatic about the Word, which is good.
Okay, we got as far as page 28 last time, in that article, Lectio Divina and the Experience
of Don Andreluc, which remembers his own account of his spiritual journey, or his journey in
Lectio, which is his understanding of the Word and how to read it.
We went through several phases with him there, the last one being the discovery of Karl Barth,
and you might say the Word as event, or the spirit in the Word, or the Word as history,
the power of the Word.
It's just got this living quality about it, which is actually, in a sense, bigger than
life, more than human size.
And that's the point at which the Word becomes something very special.
You begin to see how one can base a whole theology, or a whole life on it, not just
in the sense of not only following the Word, but also penetrating it.
And you begin to see why the fathers were obsessed with the Logos, why they made from
that their theology.
In fact, they tried to create their theology not only around and about the Logos, but within
it.
People like Justin and Irenaeus in the first two or three centuries.
Clement and the Paragon.
Okay, now he talked about his brainwashing.
Brainwashing sounds a little different in French, where in Italian it doesn't use.
L'avage des chevaux, or something like that.
Not quite as harsh a phrase.
And they use the phrase much more freely.
It has a very negative sound to it.
Anyway, his head was cleaned by Barth.
A new mind.
He didn't read much of Barth, but you can understand why he saw the size of that book, if he read
those two first ones.
Then he was out for studies.
First he was at the Gregorian, which is the Jesuit university in Rome.
The way that they were doing theology there was what is called positive scholastic theology,
which means that you read the Scripture in order to find justifications for what you
already want to say.
So you've got an argument, you want to prove point B, and therefore you look for Scripture
text A to support it.
That's called positive scholastic theology.
And he's a little negative about it, so I take the liberty of being negative about it.
There was a time when it was necessary, but the trouble is that...
See, that's what happens when you get in a fight, when you get in an argument, a theological
argument, for instance, between the Catholics and Protestants, and you have to start defending
the doctrine of the Church.
You're apt to read the Scripture only in the defense of spirit.
Now, even if it has to be done, if that's the only theology to do it, if that's your only
understanding of the Scripture, then it's going to become impoverished and thin.
And what happens is that you get progressively pulled further away from the true meaning
or the full meaning of the Scripture, at least.
Vagagini, I may have referred to this before, Father Vagagini is a big masterpiece of theological
dimensions of the liturgy.
He talks about three kinds of theology.
Did I touch that last time?
First of all, there's moving backwards now.
He's writing, say, from 1960s, around the time of the Council, when this positive scholastic
theology was still pretty prevalent, that was still the most common thing, the textbook
theology, where you have a bunch of theological theses and then you go to the Scripture to
prove them.
And that happened, actually, since the 16th century.
Then, before that, there was another kind of theology which we can simply call scholastic
theology, and which is typified by St. Thomas Aquinas.
Where, or Ponte Venti, you can say also, what you're trying to do is really find out what
something is.
You're interested, as they say, in the entitated work.
In a sense, it's a philosophical theology.
You're not much interested in history, or in Scripture as history, or in sacred history,
but you're interested in the picture of God, of man, of life, of the world, that the Scripture
gives you.
And so, that can be a systematic kind of theology.
And typically, it will go on Aristotle, somewhere on Plato, too.
But before that, there was another kind of theology.
Okay, that was the late Middle Ages when we have that.
Before that, there was another kind of theology, the theology of the fathers, which Agogini
speaks of as Gnosis, G-N-O-S-I-S.
And that's what we've been talking about in the other class, the one on the monastic
theology class.
And that is rather very close to the Scripture itself.
It doesn't...
He's very careful about introducing something else, like introducing another philosophy
in there, in understanding the Scripture.
He tries to read the Scripture according to the Scripture, or by using the Scripture,
or in the light of the Scripture.
And that's what Luthier is trying, actually, to get back to.
And that's when those four senses of Scripture that he's going to be talking about, that's
when they thrive.
If anybody wants to read about those three kinds of theology...
I haven't seen anybody else do that before, but Agogini did, that particular...
I'll read a short, just a short passage for you.
This is on page 619 of the Theological Dimension of the Liturgy, talking about the three kinds
of theology.
The theological ideal of St. Thomas was determined by his interest in the entitative order of
things, in other words, by the Aristotelian idea, from Aristotle, the Greek philosopher,
of essences, with the presupposition that the empirical sciences, and in particular
history, are not true and proper sciences.
The positive scholastic ideal, that third or more recent modern kind of theology, added
to the process and heavily accented historical apologetic demonstration from the sources,
argument and proof.
So, the patristic ideal, the first kind of theology in the order in which they occurred,
in the expositive and not directly polemical efforts, because they had plenty of arguments
too, polemics, polemic means argument, was, on the other hand, gnosis, or in Latin, sapientia,
higher knowledge or deeper wisdom.
Now, of course, from a monastic point of view, that's what's most interesting.
The argumentative type of theology, or even the directly philosophical, entitative type
of theology, is not so attractive amongst our knowledge.
And, of course, that's what the Scripture is really most deeply concerned with too,
is that knowledge of God or wisdom.
Okay, he talks about that kind of theology, the positive scholastic theology,
etha Gregoria.
Then he went to the Biblical Institute and he found something else.
It's called the Biblical.
The standards were demanding.
The approach was quite different.
What I found back then was that honest scientific criticism, professionally objective,
rigorous detail, but ten years behind the great German Protestant faculties,
because that was still when Biblical studies were still started on the low burner
in Catholic schools.
Since then, that's changed.
But in a Catholic milieu, and therefore he could absorb it.
But all this concerned only the earthly part of the world.
See, the Biblical Institute in Rome is one of the places where the Catholic Biblical scholars
started using the contemporary methods, the modern methods, the scientific methods
of Biblical criticism.
They had been discouraged from doing it for quite a while,
because those methods were considered to be dangerous.
Now, Luff himself had a strong bent for this scientific kind of thing.
And on the other hand, now he had this sense of the power of the word
and the unity of the word.
The thing about the scientific exegesis that he's talking about is,
and I mentioned this last time, is it tends to atomize the word.
It tends to break it down.
So, in the end, you're not quite sure what you've got.
It's not so easy to approach it with faith,
because it'll take away part of it, for instance.
It'll give part of it only a lesser relative value.
Now, I'm talking very crudely in general.
And Luff's thesis, of course, is that the scientific kind of Scripture study is necessary.
In the end, it's a help.
But before you get to the end, and if wrongly applied,
it can seem pretty threatening to faith.
So, on one hand, he's got the scientific thing,
and on the other hand, he's got his Bartholomew,
and his Lexio Domini.
And he comes back to his monastery with his two degrees.
And then the crisis...
Crisis isn't crisis exactly, but it's judgment.
The Greek word crisis in St. John, especially, means judgment.
A confrontation.
And the scientific and critical on one side,
and on the other side,
the desire for a spiritual understanding of the Scriptures.
And he couldn't read.
He couldn't do his Lexio in a deep sense for a while,
because he had too much science in him,
because he had too much of this rational exegesis built into him.
So he would be taking the texts apart, I presume,
or putting them in some kind of a context,
saying, well, where did this come from?
He talked about the Formgeschichte up there in the middle of the page.
That's the German word which means form history, or history of forms.
And that's one of the, about four main schools
of this rational criticism we've had in the recent decades.
There's a tradition, Geschichte II,
which is the history of traditions.
And in each case,
what you do is sort of break down the Scripture
into different forms or into different stages.
Okay, so you follow how it was put together.
It's that kind of analysis.
You take a passage in the Gospel.
Take a sermon on the Mount, okay?
And then, up until just a little while ago,
people would say, well, that's the way Jesus spoke it.
Those people were sitting there on the grass,
and he talked it the way you find it in St. Matthew.
But the Formgeschichte, or the Traditiongeschichte,
would say, no, Matthew put that together,
and actually those things were spoken at different times by Jesus, okay?
And they might even say they were said at different times.
And some of them, maybe he didn't even say it in that way,
but the community changed them.
So by the time you get finished, you've got a pretty complicated thing.
And you can feel very insecure.
You don't feel that you know what Jesus actually said,
or what actually happened.
So that kind of thing really shakes you for a while.
While we're on this business of calling it a scientific approach to Jesus,
it seems to me that you're talking about a science,
you're talking about something that is provable.
Yeah.
At least on both levels.
Well...
We can't prove anything.
We can't prove that Jesus didn't say something.
It's illogical.
It's not a possibility.
You can't prove it absolutely.
You can do some...
I think when you talk about science in this respect,
you have to talk about it on different levels, okay?
Because some things you can't prove.
You can prove that a certain thing was the text at a certain point, okay?
You can prove that if you find a manuscript,
you can prove that this was the real text, right?
Say, in the 2nd century, 3rd century.
On other levels, you're quite right, okay?
You get beyond a certain level.
It's risky to call it scientific.
So you have to grade your word science
as you look at the different things that they're doing.
This is true also, like in psychology.
It's true in any science which isn't just a plain material science.
Part of it is scientific.
Part of it is provable and reproducible.
Verifiable, okay?
And then you get to the philosophical part,
or the opinion part.
And very often, you don't know.
The person speaking doesn't tell you when he's passing from one to the other.
So it's really risky there.
Oh, yeah.
I personally don't really accept the term scientific with Jesus.
I think that's almost a contradiction.
You don't have time to...
Unless you're there and have empirical evidence
that Christ said this or did this thing,
you can't say it's scientific,
that he said this or did this,
because you don't have empirical evidence.
To be scientific, you have to have empirical evidence.
Okay, but...
Not science.
Not science.
Well, you may have...
What do you mean by empirical, though?
Because you can have empirical evidence after the fact,
which gives you a kind of probability.
It won't give you certainty, but it will give you probability.
Now, can you call it a science if it...
I would say no.
Okay.
Well, that's up to you what you want to call science, okay?
But they do commonly speak of it as a scientific...
Scientists refer to it as exegesis.
I think they call themselves scientists,
but the average scientist would like to be a scientist.
If you accept the contemporary definition of what a scientist is,
it has to be measurable.
Are you saying...
Are you saying that exegesis isn't a science at all?
I would tend to say...
Okay.
I don't think, for instance,
the official documents of the church was a poor factor,
because I think they speak of scientific exegesis.
So...
But in any event,
I don't think it was stood to speak of.
I don't think...
You can't consider exegesis to be a science,
because it's not measurable to that country.
It's not tangible.
Yeah, I think you're using a narrow definition of science.
And you can if you want to,
but I don't think anybody's forced to.
Science doesn't necessarily mean chemistry or physics,
and it doesn't mean empirical necessarily
in one univocal sense, I don't think.
But it has to be...
The science has to be measurable,
has to be methodical and systematic.
Well, that's one use for the word science.
But lots of people insist that theology is a science,
whether it has to be a science.
That's what Vagachini says,
that theology is a science.
But nobody's going to tell you
except your definition of science.
So, he's got this conflict here.
And yet he wasn't very troubled about it.
Somehow he had an inner confidence
that it would all fit together for him.
He talks on page 30 about two options
which we have to avoid.
One is to take refuge in mere biblical criticism,
and the other is fundamentalism.
Now, I presume it's clear to you
what those two would be.
A fundamentalist kind of spiritual exegesis
is to make one interpretation and absolutize it.
And so that tends to turn the scripture
into a kind of rock.
The only trouble is it's not the rock
which the word originally was made.
It's your own rock and cement.
You harden it on one interpretation,
which, as he says here, is the spiritual one.
The other end of the spectrum,
to take refuge in mere biblical criticism,
has the opposite effect of atomizing the scripture,
of eroding it, of destroying its unity.
So, instead of rock, you end up with dust or sand.
Now, the equally perverse.
Then he had a change in his job.
And I only follow this.
It's a personal history,
but I only follow it with this detail.
It's all kind of archetypal history,
because these stages are also significant for us.
Can I back up to a point?
Yeah.
Jesus is speaking today on page 200.
Okay.
And he isn't speaking Arabic.
Right.
So, is that kind of article too much important?
On the, say, the, you know,
the Greek and the Hebrew?
Yeah, he's putting those words into Barth's mouth, okay?
Okay, so Barth would say that.
Yeah, Barth would say that.
Now, Luft doesn't say it, okay?
I think you can say it.
But when you do say it,
then you're not saying everything, okay?
Because to say simply that Jesus is speaking today
and he isn't speaking Aramaic
would mean that you can be almost independent
of the word that's been written,
of the biblical word, okay?
So why do I really even have to have a good translation
if he's speaking today, all right,
and not speaking Aramaic?
So,
to carry that to the radical,
that would mean you wouldn't have to be
really careful about your translation.
I mean, you're going to get it directed by some kind of hotline.
Yeah, it seems like almost nonsense.
And yet it's true at the same time, okay?
Because that's the power of Barth's position for him,
is that God is speaking.
The word is being spoken today.
But even though it is,
you can't disconnect it from the word that was spoken then
because that's the word that's been given to us.
That's our anchor.
And somehow everything has to flow out of that,
through that, and has to relate to that.
So, it's good to bring these things up
because you see how very often we're moving between
two poles, each of which goes too far.
And we've got to find the place in between.
Sure, yeah.
Yeah, the scripture is supposed to be that.
And here we're talking in the context of scriptural interpretation.
So, we've got to be able to have a word that we can be sure of.
What would be the reason for studying Aramaic?
So you understand better the written word
in its relation to what Jesus probably would have said
if he spoke Aramaic.
Because the written words that we have are Greek.
So, in some case you may be able to know,
understand better the meaning of a given phrase
if you know the Aramaic that's probably behind it.
Take the word Abba, okay?
Abba comes through in Aramaic, it's in the New Testament.
But if we just had the Greek, for instance,
it wouldn't be nearly as rich.
And there are other words which are not in the Aramaic
in our New Testament, which are also enriched, I think,
by knowing what Aramaic is behind.
There have been people who have tried to
turn the whole New Testament back into Aramaic.
They do that kind of thing.
You've got no idea.
I have a question about Hebrew.
Because there are those who say,
well, Christ was Hebrew as well as Aramaic.
And people who probably spoke Aramaic
would be accurate.
But those who were the Arish people, perhaps,
and to the doctors and parents,
they could have said Hebrew.
But most probably they wouldn't have taken it.
But he put it in Aramaic, so of course he would have taken it.
The thing is, like, if you just go back to the Greek
and ignore the Aramaic he actually spoke,
you'll miss a lot.
Like when he said,
the King of Heaven is at hand,
that translation is actually a translation
more about the Hebrew word,
which means not only at hand,
but within and near to.
And you would miss that meaning
if you didn't know the Aramaic and Hebrew.
That's right.
So again, it's very important
if you're going to communicate with other people,
you can sense this meaning in yourself personally,
about this particular language, I think.
But if you're going to communicate that to other people,
say if you're a priest or something, or a teacher,
then you would have to have an objective reference
to the original language to communicate that.
Plus, again, the Gospels originally were played
in Hebrew and in Aramaic.
So if you want to go back to the original Gospel,
you have to go back past the Greek
to the Hebrew and the Aramaic.
That's the ultimate goal of what you do.
Because the common frame of reference, of course,
for us is the Greek, basically.
Yeah, but the Greek is just an intermediate.
Christ didn't speak Greek to the people
he spoke to in Aramaic and Hebrew.
He was translating the Greek to the Scythian and Gentile.
I would say that's symbolic, actually,
because you don't know.
But he spoke the words, the original words,
and his thinking, and the thinking of the Gospels
in Hebrew and Aramaic, and that's important.
He really does speak in Hebrew.
But couldn't you take that too far
and lose the context
that he does speak today?
Sure.
Some people do.
It's a reference of today, also.
You could get into archaeology
where you're completely unconcerned
with the world today.
And then it just dries up.
So you can see something in his conflict there.
Then he got a change in his job.
He didn't have to teach Scripture anymore.
And he started using, as he says,
his scientific abilities
on the old monastic text.
He produced a book, by the way,
called, what is it?
Something about sources.
He doesn't have very many books.
One of them is a collection of things
from the Peloponnese.
We have Cistercian Studies,
and that's the French version of that,
which is older than the English one.
He was one of the editors. He still is.
And he edited
a collection of reviews and texts
with some comment of his own,
which is the only other book we have
besides
besides Teachers to Pray.
And he discovered gradually he was recovering
his unity.
He didn't have to let go of either end,
the spiritual or, as he says,
the scientific.
In some way they were forming part of a synthesis.
It's interesting that this is the time
when he was studying ancient monastic texts
because that's where you find a synthesis.
So, at the same time, indirectly,
he may have been absorbing
that from the fathers
and from the monastocrats
of the Middle Ages.
So, for me, Barthes,
as well as Scientific Studies,
was one of the keys for the reading of Sacred Scripture.
They have a couple of poles.
And the Barthes pole becomes developed
in other ways
because you can't stop there.
Barthes, as he pointed out already,
Barthes has some of the limitations
of where he's coming from.
A kind of Calvinist bent.
He doesn't integrate
the natural and the created
sufficiently into his theology.
Okay, now another phase dawns
as he discovers de Lubac.
Henri de Lubac was one of the,
he's sort of the grandfather of the present
patristic movement,
or the father of it,
who was one of the founders of
the Source Chr├ętien,
the great French patristic series.
He and Daniel Roux
and a couple of others
were the engines
behind that movement
before Vatican II and around that time.
He speaks of two books
of his here, L'Histoire
et l'Esprit, which is
on the exegesis
of origin. That's out of print,
we don't have it. The other one we do have,
Exegesis et Medievale.
This is a book also
which was an epic-making thing for
our quarter-journal for Don Benedetto.
He used to be
an assistant chancellor at de Lubac.
He's kind of a disciple of his
even though
he didn't study directly under him.
That's a big work too.
There's nothing like Barth,
but it's in four volumes. These are two of the volumes.
It's a study
of the four senses of Scripture
from the beginning, that is,
from the 2nd and 3rd century
up to the
about 1500s.
You might ask, well, why
do such a detailed
exhaustive study of the four
senses of Scripture? Well, we'll get into that.
The point is, how are people reading
the Bible? How are they reading Scripture?
What's the structure of their reading?
What structure do they find in the Word?
That's what it's about.
I haven't read a whole bunch of it.
I dip into it here and there.
There's a book which is a translation
of some chapters of that
book of de Lubac, and that's called
Sources of Revelation. The title
is curious because that's not really what's in it.
The title is not faithful to the content.
It's just
maybe
a dozen chapters.
About 16 chapters
from Exegesis.
Some of the key chapters.
And I think these are
all from the first part,
that is, the first two volumes.
You'll find it's monotonous
reading, and then at a certain point
something opens up for you.
And you'll see that even though it seems to be
harping on the same thing all the time,
just as the Fathers did, that that is the center
of our God. It's the point
where the Old Testament turns over
into the New Testament. That's the
hinge, the pivot
that
determines the dynamism
of those four senses of Scripture.
And as a matter of fact, the movement of Scripture as a whole.
Okay, so now we want to get a little bit into
these four senses of Scripture.
Let's take this
opportunity,
reading Luke's account here,
to do that.
The four senses, as he says on page
31...
Oops, I took the wrong position.
Now, first of all,
the literal sense, the allegorical sense,
the moral sense, and the anagogic sense.
Now, every one of those words, practically,
has some difficulties about it.
There can be some problems with understanding it.
The literal
sense is the sense which
is supposed to have been
in the mind of the writer.
Say, Moses
or
Isaiah
or St. Paul.
The allegorical
sense,
and the word allegorical doesn't exactly
thrill us because
we have learned to think of allegorical
as being some kind of ornamental
interpretation, you know,
where you draw flourished
inner meanings out of things
that don't have any substance to them.
But that's not what it is. The allegorical,
actually, is the central
one of these spiritual senses. See, the first
sense is the literal or historical one.
Then the other three senses
are really one, and they can be called the
spiritual sense, or the spiritual senses.
They split into three.
But the key of them
is this allegorical sense, which you could
also call the Christological sense.
And the terms in that allegorical
sense are either Christ or the Church.
One or the other.
Christ or the Church.
The moral sense,
and we have to be careful with that one too,
it's not just what it sounds like.
You'll find that Loof talks about
the moral sense and the
anagogic sense at some length,
because they're not what they seem at face value.
The moral sense is not simply
the moral meaning of Scripture.
There are lots of passages in Scripture where
you can get a
moral meaning out of the literal sense,
but where the literal sense is moral.
When St. Paul is telling Christians how to
behave, when he says,
well, children, obey your parents
and parents be kind to your children, and so on.
That's not the moral sense
in this sense here.
First of all,
you can't apply the four senses to the
New Testament in the same way that you do
to the Old Testament. They don't immediately and necessarily
apply to the New Testament.
In many cases
there are not four senses
in the New Testament.
This applies to the Old Testament, basically.
Because the allegorical sense
is the New Testament
within the Old Testament.
To find the allegorical sense of an
Old Testament passage is to find Christ in it
or to find the Church in it.
Or to find something
about Christ or the Church in it.
And there's an infinite number
of examples that we could draw.
I'll just take one.
Take the Exodus.
So the Exodus,
the Passover, is
in the allegorical sense
the Passover of Jesus, which is
his death and resurrection.
Or take the sign of Jonas.
Same thing. See, the sign
of Jonas, in its allegorical sense,
is the death and resurrection
of Jesus, when he, as he
says, goes into the
belly of the earth for three days
and three nights, and so on
and on and on. And that's also called
typology, the typological
sense. You have type and
antitype.
A type of something is a kind of
foreshadowing of it, or a symbol,
an image of it. So
an antitype is a reality.
So Moses is a type
of Christ. David is a type of
Christ. Many, many figures in the Old
Testament are taken to be types of Christ.
In fact, in some sense,
every just man, see, in the Old Testament
is a type of Christ in some way.
And we'll find out why,
why that's so.
Okay, now the moral sense, then, is not simply
morality. It's
not simply
what you should do, ethics,
or conduct. Because
very often that's the literal sense,
whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament.
If, for instance, if you read the Law
of Moses and he's saying, well,
it then commands,
you shall not kill, you shall not kill an adultery,
and so on.
That's not the moral sense.
That's the literal sense.
It's already moral, sure. But that's the same
in the New Testament as it would be in the Old Testament, basically.
Except,
insofar as we have a new law.
That's another sense. That's the old allegorical sense.
Okay, so the moral sense, according to
Luth, he really finds
a dynamism in this.
The moral sense, he could call the new
historical sense, or the contextual
sense, or
the personal sense,
or the sense
in which the word applies to you
or speaks to you right now.
In terms of history,
in terms of what's going on
in the world, what's going on in your life,
what's going on around you.
The movement of the spirit today.
So, that would be the
level on which the word interprets
your own life to you,
or interprets to you the life around
you, in terms
of the word. So you find
your own life in the word
on that level.
And the
anagogic sense.
Now, anagogic means to lead up.
It can also mean
to lead back, but in this case it means to lead up.
Now, it would be
better, perhaps, if it said lead forward,
because you can also call that the eschatological
sense. Or sometimes
it's called the mystical sense, but we have to be
careful there, because that's sometimes
used for the moral sense, for the third sense.
The anagogical sense
is the word carried
into the end time, carried
into
the last things, the
final state, or
into heaven, into the
kingdom.
Now, the typical example that's
used is Jerusalem, and
we'll bring that up with some
criticism. Jerusalem
in the literal sense is a city in
Palestine, okay? The city of David
and so on. So it's where events
of the Old Testament take place in the literal
level, historically.
On the allegorical sense,
Jerusalem is the church.
On the moral sense,
now,
the moral sense, or the third sense,
which is called the new historical sense, or the personal
sense, whatever you want to call it,
it
can split into several different
applications.
Jerusalem there can be
your
heart.
It's something that's
real for you.
And very often
the
fathers or the monks
would interpret it in an interior sense
in that way.
Jerusalem
can also be the reality of the church today
in some way, but basically it's
the sense that applies to you, to the individual.
Jerusalem
in the
anagogical sense is the heaven of
Jerusalem, okay? Of
chapter 21 of the book of Revelation.
The Jerusalem that comes down from on high.
In its final state,
the bride of the Lamb.
Okay, now with that
basis we'll go on and
see how he deepens
the meaning of these four senses.
Any questions about that?
Before we do that.
There's a fluctuation among the writers...
See, this goes on for 11-12 hundred
years, this use of the four senses.
So you can imagine that there's a fluctuation
among the different writers.
And de Hubart spends a lot of time talking about the
variations in the use of the
four senses.
There's a little verse there in that
other article.
So...
In the other article which we received
this morning,
he starts talking
about the four senses of scripture in de Hubart's
book on the bottom of page
52.
And there's a little verse of this
as he says...
That means the letter
teaches you things that...
tells you things that have been done.
Gesta.
Allegory tells you what you should believe.
The moral sense tells you what you should do.
And there we have to be careful, because Luke
interprets this in a different way.
Anagogy teaches you
where you're going.
Okay, the final point, the final state.
So what has been done,
what you are to believe, the essentials of
the faith, which means the faith in Christ and in the church.
The moral sense, what you are to do,
and anagogy,
where you are going.
It's what you are to do that we have to be careful of,
because it's not simply,
not simple monogamy.
There's one place there
where she seems to have jumbled up
Luke's
writing,
or at least it gets rather confusing.
On the top of page 54,
when she's talking about the literal sense,
you have to be a little careful.
The way that she speaks
of the literal sense there,
it brings loose words and tends to confuse it with
the moral sense.
And down on the bottom of page 31,
in the article that we're reading,
he had a kind of contempt
for this
theory of the four senses,
because it seemed artificial,
except for certain essential symbols.
Israel.
He uses Israel here,
we were talking about Jerusalem before.
Basically, it's the same thing.
But fundamentally, he says,
that's not what it is at all.
So,
senses, for him,
does not mean sense in the term
of simply a meaning.
However, I think it has a spectrum of meanings,
this word senses.
All the way from,
I don't know actually what it means,
but I think it's all the way from
meaning to experience.
There's a kind of spectrum
of personalization and interiorization.
There's an experience of the letter,
an experience of the allegory,
an experience of the morality,
and another experience,
which we'd say is eschatological,
or anagogical, or mystical.
So, we also talk about
four levels of experience.
I think the danger of pulling it over
to that side of experience the way he does,
he says senses doesn't mean
meaning at all.
But sense,
he pulls it too far.
The rug slides all the way over.
To say there's an experience of the letter,
an experience of the allegory, can be a little
stretching about the experience of the letter,
but he's mixing it up with another sense.
Because it seems to me that we start out
with the literal meaning of the text,
and then we can move on to something
which is more experiential.
And even an allegorical
meaning, and yet
whenever we discover a meaning
actually, whenever something
clicks, whenever the word lights up
within us, it is an experience.
There's meaning and there's experience.
And in a way,
the two of them are always there whenever we learn something.
But it would be wrong
to cross off
one term, one end,
and stress experience
at the expense of meaning.
Is there some period with grace?
Oh yeah, sure. The whole thing is
a movement of the spirit,
of grace.
This kind of reading
he's talking about is completely under the
influence of grace.
As distinguished from the
merely scholarly
or merely scientific reading
he's talking about before.
It varies. As we go
from term to term, it varies. In other words, you start out
on the side of meaning, which is trying to
understand what's being said, and then you
gradually move towards experience, as
the spirit gives you.
No, it's a new reading
of the word, which means a new experience.
It's an experience in the present.
That's what he's talking about.
Okay.
Let's think about that just for a second.
...
...
...
...
...
...
What about this, though?
As you're reading the word, aren't you necessarily
making use of meaning?
In other words, when you
have a written word, if the Bible is in front of you,
it's necessarily being mediated
by meaning, right? In some way.
What is the experience exactly?
Well,
that's a question of...
I keep going back to that aspect.
From simplicity to me,
it's a place of opening up.
Well, okay.
The risk would be that that would shut out
anything else happening,
okay? But one always returns to the same
experience. So, really you can't
receive anything more.
You are receiving something you know all the time,
I mean, you can practice being open.
Well, to be open, I think, means to be willing to accept the meaning that's coming to you.
Exactly.
If there's a meaning offered in a word, then to be open means to really to try to understand it.
And perhaps that will bring a new experience or modify one's experience.
Perhaps it hasn't been.
I said, perhaps it hasn't been, but you really have to give it as the same experience.
Maybe it puts it in the right light, but it's not a good experience.
It's more...
I see it in the national aspect of performance.
Yes, yeah.
It grows.
Yeah.
It's just like the seed of the tree.
You harvest it each day and it seems to grow.
It's not a good tree.
Yeah, it's partly...
See, it's partly the way we're thinking about this.
Because the word experience is...
It's difficult to arrive at common meaning with the word experience.
And you can speak of an experience of your own being, for instance, okay?
Which basically remains the same no matter what you experience.
And whatever your experience, you're always experiencing your own being.
So, it can become brighter, it can receive new lights or new aspects or phases or facets or whatever.
But it's always the same experience.
Now, that's the kind of language I hear you saying, I think.
That's not the language that he's speaking, but it can be related to it.
The risk would be, though, that a person would fundamentally close the book,
or fundamentally close the story, after a certain experience,
with the belief that you can't really experience anything further or different from that,
or that anything can be added to it, okay?
That would be a danger, I think.
In other words...
That's true, I agree with that, because having experienced it,
that is exactly what is happening in the present time.
Close the book.
Start from the moment you're talking about it.
Close the book after a particular time.
And to digest what has gone on, what has happened.
Because, again, it's been an experience of your own.
Yeah.
So, you're speaking of a very personal thing, I don't think.
And...
Yeah, yeah.
And here he's talking about...
The way he's talking, this experience really comes out of the word.
In other words, it really comes from the interaction of the word
with your own heart, with your own interior, and also with your mind.
Because there is a dimension of meaning, there is a dimension of understanding.
Now, the dialogue is one thing, okay?
The dialogue in which I express a meaning, or I analyze, or I translate into words, is one thing.
But the experience itself, I think, contains meaning.
Usually, when we have an experience, because we are intellect and will,
because we are heart, because we're consciousness, okay?
When we have a significant experience, it's loaded with meaning.
We haven't yet taken the meaning out.
We haven't yet dialogued with the experience, and drawn out the meaning, and expressed it in words.
But it's full of meaning.
Ordinarily, an experience is full of meaning, I think.
If it's a significant experience, to the extent that it is significant.
Meaning at all, you know, is what you have.
You may never be able to draw out all that meaning and put it into words, you know?
The meaning that's in a kind of very basic experience of life,
say, some experience of God that happens to you.
It's full of meaning, so full of it, that you can't draw it all out.
It's like having the sun light up inside of you, or something like that.
Well, it's full of meaning.
In fact, it gives light to everything else, it explains everything else, it illuminates everything else.
But in the end, you can't translate it into words, okay?
So, you can't really dialogue with it and draw it all out. It just stays there.
Now...
Okay, fine. Let's go on.
He talks here about that other article which you have a copy of,
which Sister Agnes resumed.
Now, what she did was, she took out what she felt to be the key parts of this article,
which is 20 years earlier than this one,
and stuffed it with a good deal of her own commentary,
not all of which is of the same value.
So, it's a good deal thinner than the original.
As regards the anagogic sense, this has to do with the mystical experience.
It means an affectus, a gustus.
Now, those are words of affectivity, those are words of feeling.
Interior touching, he says.
And this is the final sense, the highest or deepest sense.
At this point, he says, I don't know if you can see it, but he says,
According to Karl Barth, that word which creates history, creates history.
The letter becomes spirit, the letter becomes allegory.
And this allegory, within the context of my own personal history,
has got to become what one calls morality, or behavior.
There's a change in life, in other words,
that happens because of the word, in some way.
And then he's going to say more about that.
And then finally,
If that so wills, I shall be taken up and away from my earthly condition.
But this is what anagogic means.
And I shall be mystically and mysteriously transported into the beyond.
So, you got the idea of the four levels there.
The letter is the word...
Let's consider it for a moment to be the word as it is on the page,
but actually, it'd be better to say it's the fundamental...