Seventeen years of Treehouse talk

Seventeen years of Treehouse talk

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Isness? (Quote for the day)

The course I'm taking has us talking about ontology, which reminded me of something that Madeleine L'Engle wrote in A Circle of Quiet.
"...[Alan] reads me a quotation from Sartre about the isness of an oak tree; but Sartre felt depressed and threatened by this; the idea that the oak tree simply is seemed to diminish him. I suppose the perfect isness of anything would be frightening without the hope of God. An oak tree is, and it doesn't matter to it--at least Sartre thinks it doesn't; it is not a thinking oak. Man is; it matters to him; this is terrifying unless it matters to God, too, because this is the only possible reason we can matter to ourselves: not because we are sufficient unto  ourselves--I am not: my husband, my family, my friends give me my meaning and, in a sense, my being, so that I know that I, like the burning bush, or the oak tree, am ontological: essential: real."

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