Now, I want to explore a deeper slight of hand that I see in Wiley’s discussion of Augustine’s thought.
Recall the widespread Stoic and Platonic idea that the human came into being when the soul descended into the body. Here, the soul, the principle of animation, belongs to the realm of thirdness; the body to secondness, the spirit-descent to firstness.
Let me compare the Pagan idea to the nested forms presented in previous blogs on Augustine; concupiscence and Original Sin:
Soul( body (spirit-descent) ) Stoic
No context (acts of moral impotence (this flaw – this spirit – in human nature that allows me to desire the good while at the same time drawing me away to my own gratification which is the consequence of the Fall))
Original Sin (acts of moral impotence (descent from Adam and Eve))
In the next three blogs, I will talk through these parallels.