Sunday, October 13, 2013

A glimpse of Illumination






I am in the midst of studying Augustine and his philosophy, and I am beginning to understand his theory of understanding or illumination.

With any philosopher, it takes time reading and thinking about their views until you begin to grasp what it is they are trying to teach.
Augustine was the first philosopher to begin a theory of mind near to our modern standards, with his theory of illumination, or understanding.

I believe that you can think of  understanding or illumination by this analogy:
We learn to travel, (I am thinking of traveling by bus or train) by following instructions given to us by the trip-planner. This trip planner gives us complete station by station directions that we follow exactly to reach our destination.

If this is a regular trip for us, we will one day look at the map of the area we travel with an overlay of our bus and train routs over the grid of the streets and landmarks and it now makes sense; we are illuminated—we get a 4 dimensional (time and space) grasp of where we are, where we are going and were we have been.

Illumination is the grand “A-ha” moment when the light has now come on for us, and we see and understand the picture, a picture which started out as a pencil sketch with stick figures, then color is added, then we stand back delighted with the flat panel of stretched canvas on which we see the illusion of depth; yet when the moment comes of  illumination, we enter in to a depth of understanding beyond a representation but to something that becomes real for us, and we can touch and see a rich, full and complete experience.

That, I believe is illumination, when by a gift from God, faith becomes understanding. 

3 comments:

Arthur said...

This is great, Lisa. I loved your analogies!

Arthur said...

Excellent post, Lisa. I loved your analogies!

Lisa Guinther said...

Thanks Arthur.