Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Write about contemplation

Write about contemplation

I've noticed a trend here and there of students who are fatigued by classes and study, who consequently come to despise the intellectual life to some degree and then want to turn elsewhere in order to find meaning. There could be many factors involved, but one seems to be the confusion of contemplation and study. They suggest active works, such as farming or making music, in lieu of what they consider the act of the contemplative life, but this seems due to a poor understanding of contemplation.

To write a decent on this subject will take some more time and study on my part, but I am confident that it is worth it. Contemplation is the highest operation of man and in it man comes closest to the beatitude that awaits him. The texts I want to draw on are mostly that from the end of Summa II-II, on the contemplative and active lives, also on religious life. After showing how awesome contemplation is (and the evidence is overwhelming), there is an article on whether religious orders can have study as their end. In that article he shows how study can be ordered to end of any religious life. This is helpful. Again, the beginning of his commentary on De Hebdomadibus compares contemplating to play. This is on account of its delight and ease, neither of which necessarily goes with study. Then I want to look at the Ethics, making sure of the Greek which I take to be erroneously translated as study. Perhaps it is worth spending time on the etymology of contemplate and study. Seeing how contemplation relates to the commandments and how it is more meritorious than the works of the active life is also to be considered.

The spiritual/intellectual life of the next generation may depend on this.

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