‘God cannot be amazed’

‘God cannot be amazed,’ states Josef Pieper in Happiness and Contemplation. So much the worse for God, I think.

It can be good to think about what God cannot be. God knows, so he cannot be amazed. Not ever. The Thomist Pieper:

In contemplation a mirandum is seen, that is to say, a reality which evokes amazement because it exceeds our comprehension even though we see it, and have a direct intuition of it. Amazement is possible only for one who does not yet see the whole.

A mirandum: a thing wondered at, a marvel. I see and see much, but I do not see the whole. Not yet.

Here is the sequence: I am open, I wonder, I am amazed. I am open by having my knowingness sundered, smashed, my ornery insistence cast away, my stubborn self-importance torn up. Then what? I stop my ceaseless surmising, my supposing, my preconceiving. I look around me this once, the world no longer crushed in hand, the sky now edging to twilight, verging, dilating, the moon in a new position, and now do I wonder at it all, astounded, blasted, unable yet to ask the world or a being a question. Even when I see, like gulps of purified sea foam, I do not comprehend. Uncomprehendingly even while, or rather because, in the presence of the world in its effulgent, voluptuous fullness, I marvel.

Socrates to Zen, the ethical-metaphysical deliverance (Socrates), the metaphysical-aesthetic revelation (Zen). Walking out into the world, worlding.

We can marvel; we can be amazed. So much the better for us humans, I say. Can you believe–can you believe it, truly, simply–that we can be opened like a roasted crackling chestnut, only to wonder at the depths of being, depths beyond which the mind reels to reach and behold, then to marvel and smile gayly like a snickering old grandfather, pot-bellied and content with all things?

Cheerfulness of the highest human order.

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