Comments on Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s Podcast (2020) “Myths, Monsters and Mysteries” (Part 3)

0013 Now, I travel in a little circle, turning around Peirce’s secondness and Aristotle’s hylomorphism.  One is postmodern.  The other is premodern.

0014 Myth is a hylomorphism, which may be depicted as follows in the style of Peirce’s secondness.

Figure 05

0015 Peirce’s secondness is one of three categories.  It is the realm of actuality.  Secondness consists in two contiguous real elements.  The two elements are real.  The contiguity, placed in brackets, conveys a feeling of causality.  A myth is a story. Its real origin hides within.

0016 A myth does not seem like a thing.  A pearl does. A pearl serves as a metaphor for myth.  If it were not for science, we would not know that a grain of sand gives rise to a pearl inside the maw of an oyster.  This implies that the real world event may be known from other inquiries, not from the story itself.

Here is a picture.

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0017 Aristotle’s hylomorphism applies to things.  A pearl is a thing.  A thing has two real elements, matter and form.  Matter has two facets.  If material, matter is called “matter”.  If immaterial, matter is called “being”.  Being is relational.  The Latin word for being is “ens”.

I label the contiguity between matter and form with the word, “substance”.  The term, “substance”, has quite a history.  So, it should be fine if a thing is matter [substance] form.  Note how the contiguity could just as well be a verb, “substantiates”.

0018 Now, many of us have heard the term, “essence”.  Essence is all about form.  Indeed, I suspect that essence captures one facet of Aristotle’s hylomorphism.

There is another, less well known, scholastic term, “esse“.  Esse is Latin for being as existent.  I will now make up a word, esse_ce, which is a complement to essence.  Esse_ce captures the other facet of Aristotle’s hylomorphism.

0019 Here is a picture of the myth, with esse_ce and essence denoted.

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0020 Ah, in myth, both esse_ce and essence share the contiguity between a real event and its story.

Isn’t that curious?

Even more, I can extend this pattern to the pearl.

The esse_ce of a pearl contains a grain of sand.

The essence of a pearl is a translucent spherical form.

0021 A pearl serves as a metaphor for myth.I have come full circle.