Friday, 9 June 2017


Someone said that it is difficult to understand how a material brain can think but it is also difficult to understand how an immaterial substance can interact with matter to generate thought yet one of these two propositions must be true. Whatever the ultimate reality is, we are composed of it or at least it is present and we exist within it. Our understanding of ultimate reality is necessarily limited and may always be only an approximation. SM Stirling's Father Ignatius argues that similarities between Catholic, Buddhist and Pagan teachings are expectable because they are different descriptions of a single reality. We could therefore share a day of silent reflection when we recognize this commonalty. I can contemplate a consecrated communion Host without accepting Catholic doctrine while recognizing the mystery of the nature of matter. To a pantheist, all bread and wine is the body of God. Poul Anderson's Terran Empire is a civilization that might be well placed to appreciate difference without division and unity without uniformity.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yes, I agree it might well be possible for a Catholic to agree with a Buddhist and neo-pagan on some matters. But we would first have to DEFINE carefully what it is we might agree on. And on certain very basic matters any convinced Catholic would have to disagree with the Buddhist and neo-pagan. But, yes, it would be good to agree with them on some things!