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Subject: Percy-L: Literary, Religious, Scientific, and Philosophical Discussion on Walker Percy

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  • From: David Alan Beck <dabeck AT>
  • To: "Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion" <percy-l AT>
  • Subject: Re: Fw: [peirce-l] Re: Existence
  • Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 21:55:12 -0500 (EST)

Some of this talk about conciousness and will, etc. reminds me of a time
several years ago when I was reading the Catholic theologian Raymond
Brown. He was exploring the incarnation. He said that to be fully human,
Jesus had to experience doubt. Jesus knew that it would all work out in
the end, but the specifics were cloudy. (In that way, he took on our
nature, filled with doubts and uncertainties.) Brown argued that Jesus had
to experience that sense of uncertainty to experience human existence.
Anyway, I kept thinking about this idea (with which I agree), wondering if
he were God how could he doubt? To be God is to be omniscient, etc., so
how could there be doubt?

To get to the point, I talked with a New Testament scholar at St.
Vladimir's seminary about my problem. We talked for about ten minutes and
he said, "You've take on a noble task. While conteplating such "truths",
you must also realize that you will have to come to one of two
conclusions: either you file it away in the "mystery" box or resign
yourself to live with a constant headache. Some mysteries just won't be
solved on this side of reality."

Maybe as I get older, I'm becoming lazier. I used to fill up notebooks on
these philosophical musings. But over the past few years, I've expanded my
mystery box and have been able to file away several issues that produced
more confusion and headaches than necessary. After all, isn't our very
existence, in many ways, a mystery. (As Marcel calls it--another shameless
plug for Marcel--the Mystery of Being.)

Sorry if this sounds like an intellectual cop-out. Who knows? Maybe it is.

David Beck

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright
future for man if he spent less time proving that
he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness
and respecting her seniority."
- E. B. White

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