The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 30 May 2020 - Page 13

but the constituting mechanism was not a moral vision given in symbolic pictures but rather an idea of the Good arrived at and defended via various methods of reasoning. The constituting mechanism of spiritual conversion or salvation via symbolic pictures appears to lack the power or capacity to universalise the object of the pictures and this ensures that the writings of Paul at best are dedicated to achieving individual salvation, ie. they contain recipes for individual action and judgment tied to individual revelation or vision in a spiritual mode. This mechanism would have been obscure for those living at the time of Aristotle who were beginning to become suspicious of those that experienced visions”. Symbolic pictures and the process of the individualisation of our imago of man are however reflected upon philosophically by Paul Ricoeur: “Paul Ricoeur has analysed, for example, the confessions the religious soul makes of his own defilement, sin, and guilt and the analysis reveals that this use of language concerns what man considers sacred: symbolic confessions of evil denotes, according to Ricoeur the experienced disruption, fault, or breach in mans relation to what he regards as sacred. Ricoeur, in the context of a discussion of the symbolism also refers to Hegel's teleologically oriented philosophy of religion, and claims that symbols reach out to the future destiny of man that will be revealed by a world spiritual meaning. Ricoeur also discusses how symbols reveal an archeological dimension that takes us back to the origin of mankind and the origin of meaning. Was the origin connected to acts of creation of the universe and man by a supernatural being? Was there a first man, like Adam who after receiving the breath of the creator failed to follow his law thus accounting for all future evil in the world? This is one message of the OT which with this myth of what happened to the first man lays the groundwork for an individualistic interpretation of the spiritual life of man. This, of course, is a very different spiritual outlook to that of the Greeks for whom mankind began not with an individual but with a race of men, that, in order to live successfully together required laws of their own making emanating from the rational part of their mind (the only effective means of controlling the spiritual and appetitive aspects of mans mind). The New Testament(NT) Gospels testify to a continued individualisation of man and the continued absence of reason in their accounts of the psychology of man. The NT, however, appeals to something new and unique in its words: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"(John 1:1)” Language together with imagination and emotion usurp the role that rationality and logical understanding once played in our theorising about the human condition: “Language, the medium of communicative action, is brought into the discussion but the above words, whilst being assertive and expressive of a kind of truth that is spiritual, are not argumentative. John continues at 8:32: "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." Jesus avoids any confusion by clarifying that what is being referred to here is not truth in any sense suggestive of academic truths about the external world but rather truth in relation to the individual salvation of all of his listeners. His was a message urging his audience to heed and obey the word of God if they desired to be free of the bondage of their own personal sins. It should be pointed out, however, that whether or not there is an academic argument for the idea of the Good in relation to the idea of Freedom, the rational investigation of these terms is