Monday, April 17, 2006

Awareness and the Immutable

Last night in SoC we had questions about p40-41 in the Religious Sense: "I find that the content of my consciousness now is absolutely identical to that of my infancy... it is immutable." Does Fr. Giussani mean this literally? How can the content of one's consciousness as an adult be "absolutely identical" to that of infancy? What is he saying? How does it fit into the overall argument he is developing re the Double Reality?
Posted by Jerry Brungardt, Wichita, KS

Monsignor Albacete:
Fr. Giussani acnowledges that changes in our consciousness occur as we grow up. There are those coming from external factors, as well as as a "deepened" consciousness as we grow up. What remains the same is the experience of what I mean by certain words, such as "good" or "just," etc. A child sees a piece of candy and says: This is good. What does he mean by "good"? What experience is he talking about that he calls "good"? That same child may grow up and have a deepened, different view of what particular thing is good or not, but the experience of something "being good" doesn't change. Someone might say: "Flying is good." Another might say "Flying is not good." These are different judgments, but "being good" is the same for both, meaning, something that corresponds to the desires of the heart. In this section, Fr. Giussani is trying to show (appealing to our experience) that the "I" has a capacity to grasp realities that are immutable, such as "the good" or "the true," etc.!
These cannot be reduced to realities that are measurable or changeable. The idea is to discover the ability to relate to what cannot be broken into measurable components.


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