#ThursdayTheology: Henry James Sr. & the Three Realms

Henry James Sr.: A passage found in the “Appendix” to his July 4th, 1861, address in Newport, R.I.

“There are three realms of life in man, one exterior or physical, one interior or psychical, one inmost or spiritual; or one realm of body, one of mind or soul, and one of spirit; and each of these realms claims its proper unity or organization, the first being sensibly organized, the second being scientifically organized, the third being philosophically organized. Now each of these organizations or unities demands of course its own appropriate light. The sun is the light of sense. Reason is the light of science. Revelation is the light of philosophy. Each of these lights is absolute in its own sphere, and good for nothing out of it. The light of the sun is essential to my bodily health, the light of reason to my mental health, the light of Revelation to my spiritual health. But if I attempt to make one light do another’s duty, I infallibly reduce my intelligence to fatuity on the one hand, or exalt it to madness on the other. For these various realms of life in man agree not directly, but by inversion; their accord is not one of continuity, but of correspondence; and if, accordingly, I use the light of one realm to illumine the objects of another one, I shall only be able to see things upside down, and hence hopelessly falsify my own understanding. Thus our senses make us acquainted with finite existence, and demand only the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars; science makes us acquainted with relative existence, and demands, therefore, a purer light than that of sense, the light of reason; but philosophy alone makes us acquainted with infinite and absolute existence, and it demands, consequently, not merely a subtler light than that of nature, but a more penetrating and less flickering one than that of reason, even the serene and steadfast ray of Revelation.”

Black and White photograph of Henry James Sr.

#PsalmOfTheDay: Psalm 121

Please leave your reflections in the comment section.

Psalm 121, New Living Translation

The sun will not harm you by day,

    nor the moon at night.

Psalm 121, Line 6, New Living Translation

Psalm 121, Science of Correspondences

6, By the sun is here understood the love of self, and by the moon the false thence derived. Since all evil is from that love, and from evil what is false, therefore it is said — see verse 7. E. 401.

Sunset outside Waynesville, OH

#PrettyPicMonday Sun Worship

Via https://swedenborgstudy.com/books/H.Lj.Odhner_Creation/Odhner-creat2.html

The angels, whose idea Swedenborg here records, also said that “from that Sun as a great center, there proceed circles, one after another and one from the other even to the last, where there is an end of them (ubi finis illorum) and they subsist at rest; and that these circles – of which one is from another and one after the other, appearing as extended far and wide – are spiritual atmospheres, which are full of the heat and light from their Sun, and through which [this Sun] propagates itself even to the ultimate circle; and that in the ultimate, by means of those atmospheres and afterwards by means of natural atmospheres which are from the sun of the world, there takes place the creation of the earth and of all things on it which are of use; which creation is afterwards continued through generations from seeds, in wombs or in eggs. . . .”