The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Thursday, December 06, 2007

On Vision, the Finite and the Infinite


Cusanus proposes that man must first accept the fact that no overlap can exist between the finite and the infinite. Accepting this separation allows the possibility of seeing the One in the many and the many in the One. In De Visione Dei, Cusanus sees the resolution of universal and particular exemplified in Rogier van der Weyden's self-portrait. The eyes of the sitter, following both stationary and moving observers, are coinstantaneously fixed upon one viewer and all others, taking part, in synchronous fashion, in the movement of one and all. Cusanus says that we can know the divine when (in a manner similar to the self-portrait) we begin to approach God from infinitely multiple points of view, collecting these views in a unified vision, a visio intellectualis. True knowledge then, lies in accepting particularity and "allowing it to unfold in all its richness." But even all this does not mean that we have mediated the difference between the finite and the infinite. Cusanus believed that any process beginning in the empirical would end in the empirical. To overcome this, we must replace the empirical with the spiritual, the spiritual universal content of humanity. Cusanus saw this universal content embodied in Christ, a natura media encompassing the finite and the infinite.

-Robert D. Huerta, Vermeer and Plato: Painting the Ideal

11 Comments:

At 10:31 PM, Anonymous your devoted student said...

Can I get credit for reading your blog?

I feel like I should have multiple Masters Degrees primarily in Philosophy and Theology but also in history, art, anthropology, sociology, Patristics, Church history, liturgy etc

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous La Llorona said...

Don't forget Dec. 8 (Today) and Dec. 12th--Our Lady of Cuauhtitlán

your website is like the chile--picante pero sabroso

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gQ31m4Yt0s

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

If you want a fun bit of synchronicity, that was one of my favorite paintings from the MFA in Boston, and I had no idea about the connection to infinity and Nicholas of Cusa (whose work on infinity I admire). Intuition is a funny thing!

 
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