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Caputo (MEHT) – a rosa

quinta-feira 22 de setembro de 2022


The rose in The Cherubinic Wanderer [1] serves as the model of the soul  . As the rose is sustained by the sunlight and mild temperatures of the Spring, so the soul is counseled to rely solely upon God  ’s grace and favor:

The Mysterious Rose
The rose is my soul; the thorn the pleasures of the flesh  ;
The Spring is God’s favor; His scorn the cold and frost;
Its blossoming is doing good without paying mind   to its
thorn, the flesh. (CW, III, 91)

Accordingly, the deepest obligation and highest life of the soul as of the rose is to open itself up (sich auftun) to its gracious benefactor:

Open Up Like a Rose
My heart could receive God if only it chose,
To open itself to Him as does the rose. (CW, III, 87/119)

This is the pivotal metaphor: God rushes in upon the soul like the sunlight upon a rose provided only that the soul “open” itself up to God’s gift. The soul is “closed” by self-love; it contracts upon itself in the narrowness of self-will (Eigenwille) and attachment to its own desires (CW, V, 186). The “openness’’ of the soul, on the other hand, consists in what Scheffler, following a long tradition   in German mystical literature, calls “releasement’’ (Gelassenheit), i.e., an unselfish surrender to God’s will. As the rose opens itself to nature and lets the powers of Spring work in it, so the soul must abandon its own will to God’s and let Him work His ways in it. In such consummate resignation the soul, like the opened rose, attains its greatest beauty. Thus in the couplet preceding the one that Heidegger   cites in SG [2], Scheffler says:

Released Beauty
You, O man, learn from the little meadow flowers
How you could please God and be beautiful all the same. (CW, I, 288)

One can see how openly Scheffler borrows from Meister Eckhart  . Not only is the term “Gelassenheit” originally Meister Eckhart’s, so too is the phrase “without why,” which is the center of our interest in Scheffler. In his vernacular sermons, Meister Eckhart writes:

. . . God’s ground is my ground and my ground is God’s ground. Here I live on my own as God lives on His own.... You should work all your works out of this innermost ground without why. Indeed I say, so long as you work for the kingdom of heaven, or for God, or for your internal happiness   and thus for something outward, all is not well with you. (Q, 180,5-13/B1., 126-7)

The life of the soul which is “released” and so “without why” is a life which does not act for the sake of any external purpose not even the kingdom of heaven itself. Rather, it acts out of God’s own indwelling presence within the soul. Its life is an overflow of the divine life within it. It does not act for any rewards, temporal or eternal. It is “disinterested’’ in and “detached” (abgeschieden) from every external purpose, every telos  , however exalted it may be. For every act which has a “why’’ is moved by a “material principle,” as Kant   would say, and so is rooted in self-love.

Thus the ultimate source of the mystical tradition to which Scheffler falls heir is Meister Eckhart, the greatest of the “Rhineland Mystics.” Scheffler himself did not acknowledge Eckhart (in the “Preface” to The Cherubinic Wanderer) because the Church had condemned the great medieval mystic in 1329. It is clear, however, that if we wish to fully understand the kinship between Dasein   and the mystical rose, and so to see how “thought” and “mysticism” dwell in the same neighborhood, we must go back to Meister Eckhart himself, in whom the whole notion of living “without why” first originates. [CaputoMEHT  ]

Ver online : John Caputo

[1CW The Book of Angelus Silesius. With Observations by the Ancient Zen Masters. Trans., Drawn and Handwritten by Frederick Franck (New York: Knopf, 1976).

[2GA10 Der Satz vom Grund. 3. Auflage. Pfullingen: Verlag Günther Neske, 1965.