Summary and Analysis Book 10 : Chapters 26-34
incorrectly in love with the smasher of the global, Augustine learned to love the smasher of God late in life. Whether one is rich or poor, life brings numerous temptations, from which only God can save people. Augustine considers the three kinds of temptations : crave of the senses, curiosity, and world power. God gave Augustine strength to give up sexual natural process, but his honest-to-god habit distillery haunts him as erotic dreams. The pleasures of sample can not so well be given up, because one must eat. But one must be careful not to take excessive pleasure in satisfying this need. The temptations of sweet smells are not unmanageable for Augustine to resist, but the temptations of sound, and specially music, are strong. When Augustine hears hymn whistle, his reason takes pleasure in the words, but he is constantly tempted to let his irrational number pleasure in the sound themselves take over. The temptations of sight are impossible to avoid, because they are everywhere, in colors and faint. Love of physical light can be sinful, but God himself offers apparitional light. All beautiful human arts and crafts come from God, but human beings do not move from these lower beauties to the higher beauty. Lust of the eyes is related to the second temptation, curio. Curiosity is a kind of craving after cognition and have for its own sake. dramaturgy appeals to this craving, as does science, magic trick, and the demands of the faithful for signs and miracles. The third enticement is power. human beings long to be feared or loved by others. Augustine admits he can not control this temptation, because he can never disentangle his sleep together for his companion human beings from his own desire for approval .
Augustine meditates on his physical senses and his memory, and through them, he can sometimes ascend to a moment of touch with God, but he can never sustain it, so he falls back to his honest-to-god self. only Christ, who was in full human and fully God, can mediate between humans and God. alone Christ can cure Augustine ‘s sins and give him hope.
Reading: Chapters 26-34
From memory and the cognition of God, Augustine turns to the temptations of the populace. He revisits the treble causes of drop the ball he first mentioned in Book 3.8 and that he derives from I John 2:16. “ Lust of the senses ” includes intimate lust, as it always has for Augustine, but here, Augustine examines in detail the temptations of all five senses. As Augustine remarks in the first one-half of Book 10, it is through the senses that humans receive cognition of the world and begin to form the images of memory. The physical world and the bodily senses that perceive it are at the bottom of the Platonic ascent that leads the soul to God. Another point of this examination is that Augustine ‘s spiritual travel did not end at his conversion or his baptism or at Ostia, where his narrative ended. He continues to struggle against temptation and to rely on God to bear him up. In fact, Augustine caps his discussion of each temptation with an appeal to God ‘s grace and mercy to provide him the way to overcome that temptation. At the end of this literary examination of sine, Augustine describes himself meditatively examining his physical body — the report of his senses, the workings of his mind — until he makes the Platonic rise and concisely achieves something like the angelic imagination. The last part of Book 10, then, is a kind of literary acting out of the begin stages of the rise, in which Augustine and the proofreader jointly participate. But as in Book 7 and Book 10, the beatific sight can not be sustained for farseeing, because material human beings are besides watery and limited to attain the immaterial kingdom. only Christ, who was fully homo arsenic well as amply divine, can mediate between heaven and earth, spiritual and physical, God and humanness. Christ alone saves Augustine, and all humanness, from the abundant and ineluctable temptations and sins that plague them.
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modern readers are likely to be stupefied by Augustine ‘s agonizingly detailed examination of the dangers implicit in in each of the senses. however, for Augustine, the dangers they represent are real. The enticement posed by all the senses, by curiosity, and by beloved of power is ultimately toward sexual desire, the immoderate love of the lower, forcible goods that substitutes for healthy sexual love of the highest good, God .
It is peculiarly intemperate for modern readers to view curio as a sin. The range of experiences that involve curiosity for Augustine is particularly eclectic : field, the sciences, astrology, even the distractions of natural scenes. curio for Augustine can include what may be thought of as morbid curio. It can besides include intellectual pride ; Augustine does not condemn all observation of the natural, but he does condemn seeking cognition of the make earth for its own sake and for the accomplishment of having sympathize it, preferably than for what it can reveal about its creator. curio can mean sticking one ‘s nose into areas it does not belong, as in trying to predict the future or unveil the mysteries of universe. The curiositas of theater is a kind of sensationalism, an itch for brassy thrills. even devout Christians can be guilty of being curious when they crave miracles and signs from God, in a kind of spiritual thrill-seeking. All of these curiosities distract the thinker from seeking for message in God.
Augustine displays acute cognition of his own failings here, and nowhere is he more honest than in his examination of his own pride. Augustine loves to be loved ; he enjoys doing well and being praised for it. These facets of his character are discernible tied in his description of himself as a child. But drop the ball is so entangled with human behavior that Augustine can not pull out one pure motif for his acceptance of praise. If person praises his statements, is he please because of his neighbor ‘s religious advancement, or is he please because his dressing table is flattered ? For Augustine, this knot can not be untied ; only Christ can absolve world of its painful contradictions .
Athanasius c. 296-373, bishop of Alexandria, theologian, and saint, noted for his asceticism .