The intellect, therefore, needs to restrain the animal powers. The intuitive intelligence, the knowledge of the heart, is the deepest part of man, although it usually remains hidden and merely virtual. The animal soul, then, is just the outer husk. Now, the animal powers already have an intelligence of their own.
Liber esse, scientiam acquirere, veritatem loqui
In the animal world, a natural intelligence regulates sex and hunger, since they, too, are created by the Logos. Thus most animals have a period of estrus during which mating occurs. Often, such mating is very ritualized and ruled by instinct. The same applies to food.
Most animals have specific and limited diets which suit them and are instinctually known. For man, the situation is different. The adult female is sexually receptive at all times and not just during certain times of the year.
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Moreover, man is omnivorous, able to eat and digest a wide variety of foods. This is not the place to go into all the details, which can be summarized by this note from John:. We should build up a wall and make a separation within ourselves. And the lower part of ourselves, which is beastly and contrary to the virtues, and which wills our separation from God, we should hate and persecute, and we should torment it by means of penances and austerity of life; so that it be always repressed, and subject to reason, that thereby righteousness and purity of heart may always have the upper hand in all the works of virtue.
Clearly, sex and food are not bad, since they are necessary for life. Nevertheless, the lower part has no interest in spiritual pursuits, so it resists the dominance of the intellectual soul. This prevents the unity of the soul and turns a man into a mass of competing interests. John relies on the grace of God:.
There springs from the side of man … a gathering together of all inward and outward powers in the unity of the spirit, in the bonds of love. The animal powers hinder this unity through the power of sensible images and fantasies.
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John explains:. The freedom which allows the man to turn inwards, without hindrance from sensible images, as often as he wills and thinks upon his God. This means that a man must be indifferent to gladness and grief, profit and loss, rising and falling, to strange cares, to delight and to dread, and never be attached to any creature. These are the three comings of Christ, in inward exercises. We will now explain and set forth each coming separately. Attend therefore with diligence; for he who never has himself felt or experienced this shall not easily understand it.
John returns often to this topic, in increasing detail.
For our purposes, we can focus on the first teachings. But pay careful attention to his words.
One cannot reach an understanding through an intellectual argument, nor is it just a matter of blind faith. Rather, the teachings on the three comings of Christ needs to be experienced directly in order to understand them. First Coming. We can skip past this, since its meaning is clear. Second Coming. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis This is a reproduction of a book published before Create a Want.
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