“By nature animals are born with the faculty of sensation…”
Aristotle, Metaphysics

Perhaps of all the wonders of the natural world none is as magnificent as this: some creatures can see. One almost shudders to ask: what does it mean to see something? Here perhaps we should just stop and ponder in reverent silence.

Some material beings are actually aware of the world around them. In some sense they can take it all in–or maybe not it all, but much. Seeing is a way of having what is actually there. How can one even begin to put a valuation on such a thing?

To be able to open one’s eyes and see: see anything! Or to be able to hear, and to touch. In a sense, what else is there? Perception is the defining feature of the animal’s life. Here the masterpiece that is the world begins to come to unique fruition.

An animal moves across the landscape as somehow above all that is around it. Literally in its organs, matter can do what perhaps most transcends the ordinary limits of the material world.

Never to be understood fully; never to be repeated artificially; always an occasion for wonder, and for gratitude: vision!

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great, has been considered by many to be the greatest ancient philosopher. Metaphysics is his study of the deepest aspects of reality.

 

Rediscovering Wonder Mini-Series

I. Rediscovering Wonder

II. That Tree is Alive!

III. Some Matter Can See!

 

Image: Albrecht Duerer (1471-1528), German: Young Hare.

Note: I have to skip a VIDEO this week–so as to rest the over-taxed matter of the organ of speech, which is a little under the weather.

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