The natural order of things and the supernatural order of things are two opposed orders. It's like two cities that are separated by a river. St.Augustine describes these two cities as the `City of God' and the `City of the World.'
St. Augustine was describing a phenomenon in concrete terms for everyone to understand. The abstract, metaphysical reasons for this division are what constitute the many philosophies and theologies that have existed and continue to exist.
Why should there be so many conflicting and contradictory positions in matters of philosophy and theology?
We hear of the need to `set aside differences and become united' from every side of the table, so to speak.
What is truly strange is that the individuals lamenting division are the first to stubbornly hold fast to their subjective concepts and perceptions of what they term `reality.'
Too often, it seems that what is attempted is the building of a bridge that would join the two cities: the City of God and the City of _ let's say it: the City of Satan.
The City of Satan came into being when Satan, Lucifer, refused to obey God's will that he serve a lesser creature, The `lesser creature' was man who was created "a little less than the angels" as Holy Scripture instructs and reminds us.
This was the beginning of the City of Satan. The citizens (members) of this city soon far outnumbered the citizens of the City of God. The citizens of Satan's kingdom (city-state) spread rapidly because it followed the path of least resistance. This `path of least resistance' was caused by man's fall from supernatural grace. Thus, left to his own devices, man could only (with few limited exceptions) follow the tendencies of a body no longer subject to grace; to follow an intellect and will no longer enlightened and strengthened by supernatural grace. Pride _ the first sin of Lucifer _ placed him and his followers in a position of confrontation with their Creator. Truly, once the spirits, whether without bodies (angels) or with bodies (human beings) turn away from God and turn inwardly to themselves, they falsify objective reality and persuade themselves that they can do all things and do not need God.
By some insane presumption, they secretly see themselves as `gods.' This fatal human error has especially evolved into the error of Zionist-Talmudism.: the nation is god and, logically, its people are the gods.
When the German people were accused of claiming to be a `super race,' it was the accusers who were actually scheming for that position.
Human beings were made to know truth and to love goodness. And, in the constant memory of truth and goodness, they would reflect the image of the true God. These were to be the citizens of the City of God.
But before going much further, we must examine how these `citizens' of the City of God were to be prepared. We must examine, also, how they were to spread the `kingdom of God' throughout this planet.
`Truth' and `Goodness' had to be distinguished from falsehood and evil. How would this be accomplished when the intellect so easily falls victim to error and the will succumbs to evil under the appearance of good?
The answer to this on a natural level would be discipline of the intellect and will. In a word: education.
Experience manifestly shows that `education' is more than just presenting and assimilating a great number of facts. Information-gathering is not education. It may be `learning,' but it is not education.
There are some basic ideas that are necessary conditions to sound reasoning and judgment.
First among these ideas is that of being. Grammatically speaking, this is the present participle of the verb `to be.'
It means to continue in existence. Needless to say, a thing, or, `being' must first come into existence in order to continue in its existence. As something that `exists,' the participial form of the verb is used as a noun. And as a `noun,' it is the name of a person, place or thing. In this case, it is the name of a thing: something that exists. If this `something' does not exist, it is not a `being.' It is a `no-thing' _ or, as we say, a `nothing.'
A simple definition of `being' is that which exists or can exist.
Undisciplined people have a tendency of confusing the different kinds of being. There are three kinds of being, not just one. For most people, there is only one kind of being and therefore they jump to conclusions, are guilty of rash judgments and, generally speaking, create all kinds of havoc and problems.
When dealing in religious matters, it is especially important to have these ideas very clear in one's mind. Failing this, it would be better to resist the temptation to enter into more abstruse theological or philosophical questions.
As intelligent human beings, we all have a duty to seek our intellectual perfection. If more people knew how to focus their mental vision on things as they exist outside of themselves, there would be fewer mental and spiritual fatalities.
There are three kinds of `being.' Consider the first: real being. A real being is anything that has or can have existence independent of man's actual knowing.
For example: The gold mine in Alaska that has not yet been discovered actually exists independently of any man's actual knowledge of its existence.
There are several subdivisions of real being which are important to know. They are as follows:
An actual being is one that really exists at this moment. We ourselves are examples of `actual beings' because we are aware of ourselves as existing. We are conscious of our existence.
The same is true of everything we experience around us: the house we live in, the car we drive, the food we eat, the sights we see, the smells we smell, etc. All these are actual beings.
Potential being, or, possible being:
Potential being, or, possible being is one that does not actually exist, but is capable of existence.
This kind of being is not present in any way in the existing order of things. It is only such that it is not intrinsically impossible and it can receive existence as long as there is a cause that can bring it into existence.
For example: When a seed is planted, the future tree is not actually present. It is possible that the tree will grow from the seed because there is the inherent potentiality of this happening. The seed has this power within itself. `Potency' comes from the Latin potis esse: to be able to exist.
It should be clear to everyone of sound and honest mind that there is a very important difference between something that actually exists and something that merely has the capability of future existence.
How important is this distinction? It not only has great importance in daily life, but also is significant in matters of religion. Take for example the publicized pretensions of some individuals who would have the less-informed confuse actual existence with possible existence in the case of the inherently contradictory concept of a "material but not formal pope."
This absurdity was originally promoted by the Dominican, Msgr. Guerard des Lauriers, O.P. (RIP) in an effort to avoid the unavoidable conclusion that John Paul II is not a pope. By attempting to make John Paul II a "material pope" but not a "formal pope", Msgr. des Lauriers hoped to keep from alienating uninformed Catholics from him.
As absurd as such a position is in the light of the science of ontology which every first-year student of philosophy knows, it is amazing that so many have swallowed this sophism (deliberate distortion of reality) as if it were a reality.
This absurd attempt to escape reality was later promoted by the Dominican, Fr. McKenna and like-oriented individuals (I dare not say `like-minded' because it is a mindless exercise.).
Then, there is the distinction between substantial being and accidental being.
This is a being that exists in itself and does not need another to exist in as in a subject of inherence.
The ordinary things around us in the physical world are all `substantial beings.' Example: plants, trees, sun, moon, stars, animals, people _ all these things exist in themselves and have a being of their own.
This is the kind of being that cannot exist in itself, but needs another to exist in as a subject of inherence. Such beings require a subject to support them.
Grammatically, we express such accidental beings as `adjectives.' Accidents change substances: color, quantity, quality, action, motion, and the like modify the substance in which they inhere in some way. Motion never exists for itself or by itself. It is always `something' that moves; it is always a body that moves from place to place. Action cannot exist except in a body that acts; color cannot be found apart from the thing that is colored.
A `necessary being' is one whose non-existence is impossible.
This necessary being may be either absolutely necessary or conditionally necessary.
A being is `absolutely' necessary when its non-existence is impossible under any and all conditions. In such a being, its existence is a constituent of its very essence. Such a being must exist. Only God is an absolutely necessary being.
A being is `conditionally' or `hypothetically' necessary, when its non-existence is impossible under certain conditions. For example, no man's existence is necessary. However, if he does exist, he must exist as a `rational' being because `rationality' is one of the elements constituting his existing essence.
There are other types of real being, but these few will suffice for now.
The next kind of being is the ideal being.
By ideal being is understood any object in so far as it is known.
This will require a little explanation. The human mind is not just like a mirror, reflecting reality. The mind is not purely passive. It contributes its input in the production of a mental image of an object. This mental image is called a `cognitional image.'
Objects do not leave their place in space and enter us through the external sense and from there into our intellect as thought.
Nor does the mind leave the body and envelop the physical objects. Yet, there must be some kind of union between the mind and the object in the act of knowing. Otherwise, the mind could not be aware of its presence and existence.
In the act of knowledge there must be a substitute presence or image of the object in the mind. This presence to awareness, this sense-presence or thought-presence is what is meant by `ideal being.'
The object as something known begets a mental or ideal (as in `idea') existence by which it manifests its presence to the perceiving mind. This `ideal presence' is completely different from its real or physical existence. This object maintains its external existence in the physical universe.
The mind is not purely passive in the process of acquiring knowledge. If it were, error would be impossible. So, too, differences in opinion would not be possible because every human being would passively receive the same information and knowledge of things that exist outside the mind.
The fact that human beings err is evidence that the mind is not passive, but active in acquiring knowledge. The only reason why people can make mistakes about things is because the mind actively produces the intentional image or ideal image of the object, and in this process may err so that the idea does not always correspond perfectly with the object in its physical being.
Sense-knowledge is greatly a matter of interpretation and subjective construction. The mind and the object provide their part to the production of the image, and the result is something different from the physical object itself.
In the act of knowing, then, the object receives a special form of being or existence, characteristic of knowledge itself. This is termed `ideal' or `cognitional' or `intentional' being.
This should be enough explanation of ideal being for our purposes.
The third kind of being is logical being.
Logical being stands opposed to real being and ideal being.
Logical being does not have any existence except as a product of thought. Logical beings are creations of the mind. They do not exist anywhere else. Please follow the transition from real being to logical being.
In acquiring knowledge of a thing (real being) the mind makes concepts of the thing (ideal being), and this knowledge represents the thing as it exists in nature. But the mind goes a bit further and analyzes the concept and compares it, relates it and arrives at a new concept which has value only in the order of thought.
Concepts such as genus, species, and other similar concepts are logical beings. `Animal,' for example, is said to be the `genus' of man, and `rational animal' is his `species.' But, there is no such thing in nature as an entity independent of the mind that could be called a `genus' or a `species.'
In the same way, the mind in its thinking makes sentences with subjects, predicates, nouns, adjectives, prepositions, adverbs and verbs. These logical beings we call `parts of speech.' These things do not exist in the world as do trees, grass, buildings, roads and cars, etc. They only exist in the mind.
A logical being is anything that has objective being only in the mind.
There are two main kinds of logical being. One is the logical being without a foundation in reality. Such a logical being is a pure fabrication of the mind. For example: a `square circle,' a `stick with only one end,' a `corporeal spirit,' a `material but not formal pope,' and any similar contradictory concepts.
If you observe closely, you will see that in every case one element in such a dual concept actually denies and removes the reality given by the other, to the point that nothing is left that would represent a positive reality.
Because these logical beings are treated by the mind as if they represented some positive content and had real being, they lead to false conclusions concerning objective reality..
Obviously, such concepts or thought-beings can exist nowhere except in the mind.
The second kind of logical being is one with a foundation in reality. Such a logical being is one which cannot exist in nature in the precise manner in which it is conceived, but there is a reason in the things in nature why the mind conceives it thus.
In this group, there are three kinds: negative, privative and relative.
A negative logical being is a concept representing the mere absence of being. Examples of this would be: a `vacuum,' `sightlessness,' `lifelessness.'
Ideas of this kind have a content which is negative and as such are not a reality that can exist for itself outside the mind. There is, however, a foundation in reality for these concepts, because they are negations of some reality.
A privative logical being is a concept representing a lack of being. Privative logical beings differ from negative logical beings in that they signify not the mere absence of something, but the absence of something that should be there. As, for example, sight in man. A man who cannot see for whatever reason is not termed `sightless,' he is said to be `blind' because sight is something that should be there.
A relative logical being is a concept representing some relationship between thoughts, sentences, inferences, and any part of them considered as a being.
The relations existing between subjects and predicates, between the premises and conclusion in an argumentation, between parts of speech, etc. are logical entities. Such things have a foundation in reality.
If the presented information is carefully studied, the reader will benefit immensely. Many of the errors appearing in print and elsewhere are the result of confusion of objective reality with subjective prejudices.
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