Purgatorio - Marco Lombardo

From a guest writer and friend who will go by the name of Stena.

 "70 Se così fosse, in voi fora distrutto
71 libero arbitrio, e non fora giustizia
72 per ben letizia, e per male aver lutto.

73 Lo cielo i vostri movimenti inizia;
74 non dico tutti, ma, posto ch'i' 'l dica,
75 lume v'è dato a bene e a malizia,

76 e libero voler; che, se fatica
77 ne le prime battaglie col ciel dura,
78 poi vince tutto, se ben si notrica.

79 A maggior forza e a miglior natura
80 liberi soggiacete; e quella cria"

Dante, Purgatorio, XVI, lines 70-81.

(professional English translation from http://www.divinecomedy.org below)

Dante is asking Marco Lombardo an interesting question: why is there evil on earth, and which is the reason for this evil which seems to be predominant in life and determining my days. 

He wants to understand and explain this to everyone.

He’s not just curious, but he feels a sense of responsibility towards everyone to understand this and to affirm there is an ultimate possibility of good.

A few lines before Dante puts the question around freedom by saying "For one in the heavens, and here below one puts it"….somebody thinks evil on earth is caused by nature, somebody else thinks it’s caused by man.

Why it’s about freedom?....because if it’s the former, than what would be freedom all about? If it’s all about me having a natural blueprint, what it would be my responsibility? Would there be any room for my liberty to play?

Then the answer comes from Marco Lombardo (the quote).

At the very beginning it’s our nature blueprint…but at the very end "light has been given you"…we have been given inside us the Reason, capable to distinguish good and evil and the freedom to choose….the light of reason will be able to win over our natural blueprints.

With only one, fantastic condition: "if well 'tis nurtured"….which is the greatest definition of education I ever heard….our reason, our willingness has to be nurtured well.

This is a huge question around education of ourselves and of our children. Our reason and freedom won’t get mature without them being nurtured, accompanied, protected, and corrected.

"Though free, ye subject are"…is this a contradiction, being free and subdued? It’s an idea of freedom which is almost gone nowadays….an idea where freedom is recognizing whowhat I depend upon…man is like this deep inside: the shape of freedom is the way we adhere to truth, to what one depends upon….a relation. The opposite of having the chance to do what we want to do and think what we want to think, or at least not limited to this.

So, the answer…..if the world is in its current condition, the reason of it has to be searched for inside us….if there is evil in the world, we should ask ourselves why, how we "let it be" and how we contribute to that, as our freedom we have as man is the first cause of evil’s success.

If freedom is not educated (nurtured), then willingness will get confused….

"70 Free will, nor any justice would there be
71 In having joy for good, or grief for evil.
72 The heavens your movements do initiate,

73 I say not all; but granting that I say it,
74 Light has been given you for good and evil,
75 And free volition; which, if some fatigue

76 In the first battles with the heavens it suffers,
77 Afterwards conquers all, if well 'tis nurtured.
78 To greater force and to a better nature,

79 Though free, ye subject are, and that creates
80 The mind in you the heavens have not in charge."

 Whilst writing this Stena was listening to "La revancha del tango", The Gotan Project.  

17:55 Gepost door Guido Nius in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | Tags: learning, dante, dynamics, tones, mind-mind dualism |  Facebook |


I can dig this! Hey Stena, on this day of the Lord I have to say that I don't much care for lords. It is always with a sense of awkwardness that I read what is, at least on first sight, an overtly religious text. That's why your text gave me great pleasure; there has always been with me a sense of wanting to embrace what 'people of a good will' had to say. Your text allows me that, since it makes the jump, from the Purgatorio, to a theme I have tried to hint at here, based on a more secular set of texts

We are born as beasts. As we are given the gift of a language we become intelligent. Such intelligence is driving us to become better people. There is kind of a duty even to let us be driven there. But if we'll use the gift of intelligence badly (and that's our choice), we will be capable of the greatest atrocities (& that is, alas, also a fact), those of intelligent beasts.

Am I in your line? It's maybe a tad impolite to have a reaction that is longer than the original ;-)

I'm looking forward to you doing the bit on Soren K., that was in your "PS" on the purely aesthetic nature of the preference for the traditional.

Gepost door: despreker | 28-02-10

can you dig it? Well,

Is my text a religious text?
Is “La Divina Commedia” a religious text?
It all depends on what is religion.

If religion is considered as something for dark-dressed old women saying prayers in a Church (which is also an aspect of religion, by the way), then they are not.
If religion something only “people of a good will” (may) have, then they are not.
If religion is what comes out of a man when asking himself questions around some fundamentals of life and as an attempt to find answers, then they are….if religion is the outcome of a “religious sense” every men on this earth has in hisher inner heart, then they are.

The religious sense is that level of human nature where man search an answer to basic questions: why is it worth living my life? What’s the meaning of the reality? What is the sense of existence?
It’s a level which is implicitly in every men, it’s our reason, our thought that brings itself at that level, whatever the philosophical, political, social position we may have.
We cannot avoid this and it also coincides with the feeling of total and original dependence which is the greatest evidence man has (and had in the whole history)….dependence to something which is called, in the tradition of religions, God.

This is the religious sense, while religiousness is theories and practices arising from this.

Men have this since the very beginning of individual lives. It’s something we born with, as a factual data. That’s why we are not born as beasts: we are born as men. Being “man” that level of nature where nature comes to have a self-consciousness…..where nature can say “I”.
That’s why intelligence is not arbitrating on ourselves becoming better people.
It’s all about reason, thus being men. It takes time to get there, but in the inner part of every men there is everything, since the very beginning…”if well 'tis nurtured”….

Gepost door: Stena | 02-03-10

Yes I can! Apologies for the joke in the title but it's on topic as, really, I think I do dig it but at the same time I think it is important to lighten up. To always see a little bit of humour in things like this.

Substantially, I have no quarrel with people using an idea like religion differently from me. Personally, all this religion stuff consists of old people (old of mind) that are addicted to telling other people what to do and what not to do. But I understand it is not that for you & I respect that.

What I disagree with is that we're not born as beast and that we would be born with religious sense.

We are, imho, born as beasts then acquire language and in that language develop intelligence and all the heavy things. Only after that do we realize what SK calls 'the sickness unto death'. The medication for it does not lie in tradition and religion, and not even in the meaning of life or the hard questions, but it lies in what you said Marco wanted to say: responsibility to develop our language, our intelligence, and make sure that people coming after us can reach further.

That's maybe absurdly little for people that want a thunderous dramatic response but the truth lies in accepting the absurd.

(it has been a long time that I have not thought like this; a long time of logic & exactness; I thank U for the occasion to revisit this thinking; it was time)

Gepost door: thespeaker | 02-03-10

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