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Truth and Communion

Introduction

The Truth is also
History

The Eucharistic perspective

The triadologic perspective

Negative perspective

The Christological perspective

The perspective of the "image" (icon)

Truth and Salvation -
the existential importance of the synthesis of the Greek Fathers

Truth and person

Truth and the
Redeemer

Truth and the Church - Ecclesiastical consequences
emerging from the synthesis of the Greek Fathers

The Eucharist as a place of the
truth

III. Truth and Salvation -the existential importance
of the synthesis of the Greek Fathers
 

1. Truth and the situation of the fallen existence 

The importance of sin for the understanding of the truth can be summarized in the following general observations.

By considering the self as the ultimate being, that is, having the demand to be God, man created a circle of existence, whose center is he. Thus, every being refers ultimately to man, who perceives it, surrounds it and understands it with his own mind, his own will and desire. In this way the creation becomes incompetent to get out of itself because it has to be self-confirmed in man and through man, that is, in a created being and through it. The relation of man and nature is overridden and the entire creation grieves and aches (suffers along with him) to this day, waiting its salvation through the salvation of mankind (Romans 8,22). This overthrow of the relationship of man with nature, leads man to moments of weakness, when he admits the excellence of nature over him and identify existentially the truth to the existence of nature (idololatry). If he chooses to be released from that, then he has no other choice than return into himself and accept as the ultimate truth his ability to perceive and understand reality. This is how truth identifies itself to this, to which human reasoning cannot doubt: the adequatio rei et intellectus becomes the basic definition of knowledge and the truth has to be adapted to it[i].

The term nature in the sense of the substance or the thing appears in this way as the utmost form of truth[ii]. Because the human viewing of things becomes the key to knowledge, should the truth be objective to be understood or at least for man to be able to meet it[iii]. This meeting creates a correlation between the subject and object of knowledge and the truth then relies on the mutual proximity of the two contracting parties[iv]. This meeting or correlation between the subject and the object of knowledge has important results on gnoseology.

Another consequence can be discerned in the relation of truth and love. If the truth is connected to nature or the nature of things and therefore to the relevant understanding of this individualization of the being, then man can inevitably end up into a relation of communion with love under the presupposition, that he acquired the knowledge of the object of his love. The other -either it is a person or a thing, it is presented as an object of knowledge, before a relationship of communion takes place. One can love only what he knows, because love comes from knowledge, according to Thomas of Aquinas[v]; of this is valid just on our own situation of fall and should not become an element in our own metaphysical anthropology and even less in our occupation with the theology regarding the Triad, as it happened with the Aquinate. The bisection of love and knowledge includes a distance not just between person and nature, but also between thought and action in the internal of the very human existence.

If now the ability of knowledge precedes the action of communion (love) and is independent of it, then man can separate his thought from his action and falsify the validity of truth. Man then becomes a hypocrite and, honestly, only human nature is capable of hypocrisy.

In the question on the relationship of truth with action, the practical, the consequences are clear. To act the truth is a biblical point. But this is exactly what for man is impossible, because in his fallen existence faith and action can only coincide for "one moment" and this "moment of existence" is no other than the revelation of that, which existence should basically be, but isn't. Kierkegaard revealed the authentic moment of existence and added in this way, into the relationship of subject-object of the truth the greatest strike in the West; but this led only to the identification of the truth with doubt[vi].

To the fallen man thus remains open as an only alternative, the identification of the truth with action, as it happened to Marxism; in this way the truth identifies with the activity of man in society[vii]. The problem of Greek ontology reappears in this way in its Aristotle form of dynamism and relevant evolution of the being (a "historical Darwinism", as one can characterize Marxism). This is rather encountered in the Judean perception of history as a development towards the future; through the new-testament understanding of the truth, however, it cannot harmonize itself. The inevitable collectivism in the Marxist understanding of the truth as action indicates clearly, that the whole problem concludes in this, which in this chapter we characterized as individualization of being. This happens because the being is cut into pieces and individualized, before it refers to the truth. The connection and the gathering of people is used as a form of an altered community and the truth effuses from this collectivistic confrontation of the being.

We can enumerate a lot more consequences on the truth coming from the individualization of the being in our fallen nature; the most tragic between them is the understanding of death. In the ontological level of the truth there is no more obvious falsification than the word concerning a dying being. It is an exceptionally irrational contradiction of terms. The problem of death is connected to the truth in existence particularly through the identification of the truth to nature itself and at the same time with individualization and subdivision of this nature. If this means, that Adam had to die, because he had fallen with divinate himself, then this means exactly, that "self-divination", meaning the utmost reference point of being is not just a psychological thing, but something ontological. Death does not come as a resulting punishment on disobedience, but as a result if this individualization of nature, to which the whole world subordinates. In other words: there is an internal relationship between death and individualization. In this relationship we were all born through our current form of reproduction and this is exactly what means, that we have a life, which is not real life.

Attaining salvation from fall actually means, that the truth is fully connected to being and in this way leads life to being real, meaning not to die.

This is why in the fourth Gospel eternal life, that is, a life without end and death is identified to the truth and knowledge. But this can only be done, if the individualization of nature is transferred to the community, if, in other words, community is identified to being. Therefore, community has to be the truth, in order to be life.


[i] The cartesian philosophy gives a very good example on this subject. When Kant defines the adaequatio as an agreement to the laws of the mind (Kritik der reinen Vernuft, B 350) inserts the exceeding dimension of the truth. This, of course, does not eliminate the sense of truth from it, which we characterize as a situation of the fallen existence, because according to Kant the synthetic unity of the human experience at a final analysis defines that which truth is (as above, B 197).

[ii] See above, footnote 13.

[iii] E. Brunner, as above, wants to surpass the structure subject-object, inserting the term meeting. The problem certainly wants to exist for as long as the sense communion is not used decisively. The same observation can one make in the matter of the structure I-You, which M. Buber processed.

[iv] See the extended use of the theory of correlation in modern day gnoseologies.

[v] See Thomas of Aquinas, Summ. Theol. I, II, 4. This returns to Augustine (De Trin. 10,1).

[vi] According to Kierkengaard the truth is the action of a person and its base is the being, but acting the truth is an existential paradoxology, which makes faith and Christianity a sum incompatible to the word.

[vii] According to Marx (see for example, the second position on Feuerbach) the truth emerges from action to its evolution along with society.

 

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