Wisdom on Wednesdays—History, myth, and reality

“One must understand that there are three realities:
Spiritual, mythological, and factual.
“While they are distinct, they can never be isolated without heresy. As I believe that heresy is the cause of all our troubles, I also believe that through Christ this basic heresy (of the separation of origins, means, and ends) has been resolved by his focus on history, myth, and reality.”  (November 1957)


Sitting Madonna and Child, woodcut print, c. 1920

2 thoughts on “Wisdom on Wednesdays—History, myth, and reality

  1. Good morning Sam. As a product of a public school, I always considered myself the official Lyceum Barbarian; usually able to grasp some of what is being said. The good Carl penned this quote when I was two, and I might as well still be for all I understand. Perhaps you could send me a few links with some background on the three realities?

    At Case with tongue in cheek we said the three laws of physics were: 1. F = MA 2. e ^ ( i π ) = -1 3. You can’t push a rope -Malcolm Meluch

    • Perhaps this post, “Mysticism as Balance” might help. Also, this paragraph from “Art is Concerned with Beauty First”:

      “Schmitt makes it clear that while these elements ‘are distinct, they can never be isolated without heresy,’ that is, an insistence ‘upon approaching Reality from an exclusive angle.’ An artist is not a ‘specialist’ in beauty. But Schmitt extended this verdict of ‘heresy’ to the moral life lived apart other aspects of man’s existence: ‘Even goodness alone is a heresy. A specialist is a heretic no matter how much truth there may be, no matter how much beauty, no matter how much goodness in his specialty. Man’s origin (his myths) mans end (his goal) man’s means (his science) must be in proportion.’

      It may also be helpful to keep in mind that my grandfather used different terms for the “three realities”: aesthetic, expedient, religious; art, science, wisdom; origins, means, ends, all of which have their basis in his fundamental trio: the lyric, epic, and dramatic.

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