Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hard to Forget

More from Augustine . . . I'm wading through. He's describing the search for God using all human and divine faculties. He started with our senses (excerpted in an earlier post, "Valentine's Day: The Life of Life") and is now delving into mental faculties including memory:

What is forgetfulness . . . ? How then is it present so that I can remember it, since when it is present I am unable to remember?

Lord, I truly labor at this task, and I labor upon myself. I have become for myself a soil hard to work and demanding much sweat. We do not now explore the regions of the sky; we do not measure the distances of the stars; nor do we search out the weight of the earth. It is I who remember, I the mind. . . . Consider: the power of my own memory is not understood by me, and yet apart from it I cannot even name myself.

Even beyond memory will I pass, so that I may find you -- where? O truly good and certain delight, so that I may find you where? If I find you apart from memory, I am unmindful of you. How then shall I find you, if I do not remember you? (Augustine's Confessions, 10.16-18 [24-26])

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