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The Philosophical Foundations of Le Royaume
Process Part Two: Actualizing the Spirit of Genuine Philosophy with Joan of Arc.
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“But philosophia perennis also means something else: the spirit of genuine philosophy alive in every true philosopher, in anyone who cannot resist an inner need to search out the [logos, mind, reason] of this world, its ratio (as Thomas translated the word). The born philosopher brings this spirit with him into the world—as potency, in Thomistic terminology. The potency becomes actualized when he meets a mature philosopher, a “teacher.” This is the way true philosophers reach out to one another over the bounds of space and time.”
~ Stein, Edith. Knowledge and Faith (The Collected Works of Edith Stein, vol. 8) . ICS Publications. Kindle Edition.
Part Two in the Phenomenological step-by-step devotion to St. Joan is the movement in our interior life of the philosophia perennis. This is the “group of universal philosophical problems, principles, and ideas (as concepts of God, freedom, and immortality) that perennially constitutes the primary subject matter of philosophical thought” (Webster). At the core of our newly combined heart, now joined by grace with St. Joan, is a pent-up latency, a potency, awaiting an act of our will to actualize. The form of this potency is the Kingdom Blessed of St. Joan and St. Thérèse. We now need a bridge between the natural spiritual world and that of the supernatural where this Kingdom reigns.
This bridge is the “spirit of genuine philosophy alive in every true philosopher.” It is the will begging the intellect to understand the “ratio,” that is, the systematic order of this Kingdom we seek. It is the logos “making straight the way of the Lord.” We call this systematic order The Trail of the Dogmatic Creed.
Ratio is the substance underlying natural laws, mathematics, geometry, a priori forms, and our spirituality and being. It is the foundation for all that God called “good” in the first chapter of Genesis. Through the rhythmic flow of creation’s ratio, “on the first day…on the second day…,” we understand intuitively that music is mathematics and a priori truths lay hidden in geometric order. We know that we are part of the score and formula. The search for an ever more full understanding of this ratio is what Edith Stein calls “spirituality.” Thus, our cooperative search for ratio under St. Joan’s sisterly guidance is also our shared spirituality with her.
We need not worry about our formal natural philosophical training. We “are” spiritual philosophers of the combined hearts, trained or not. It is an essential point of distinction that formal academic education does not define our substantive “being” as spiritual brothers and sisters with St. Joan. To be who we “are” in a union of heart, mind, and soul with our saintly sister, we act on our “inner need to search out the logos of this world” with her, which need brings this shared point of view “with us into the world - as potency” to begin the journey.
To journey safely, we must take Joan as our “mature philosopher,” a “teacher” with whom we “reach out to one another over the bounds of space and time.”
Therefore, Part Two in the process is to actualize our desire to know ratio, the divine order, meaning, and purpose, and to know it as Joan knows it. Here, we mean “know ratio” regarding intellectual and spiritual integration. We mean “know” in the sense of “wholeness” and “integrity.” This is to begin actualizing “the spirit of one’s genuine philosophical being” under the guidance of St. Joan of Arc.