The Personalist Project

Upcoming:

My Battle Against Hitler

When:Saturday May 30, 8-10pm
Where:519 N High St, West Chester, PA
Cost:free

Comments (3)

Jules van Schaijik

#1, Jan 21, 2012 9:08pm

That really is a striking and unique description of the proud: those "who think that everything is the fruit of personal conquest." It puts the refusal of gifts at the heart of pride, rather than the usual glorification of self.

Samantha

#2, Jan 22, 2012 3:18pm

I agree; I want to refer to von Hildebrand's discussion of reverence, in his Fundamental Moral Attitudes, which I consider impossible without humility (the antithesis of pride), and as in your argument, reverence (in love) and in other intersubjective situations leads to truly deep understanding:

The basic attitude of reverence is the presupposition for every true love, above all, the love of neighbor, because it alone opens our eyes to the value of men as spiritual persons, and because, without this awareness, no love is possible. Reverence for the beloved one is also an essential element of every love. To give attention to the specific meaning and value of his individuality, to display consideration toward him, instead of forcing our wishes on him, is part of reverence. It is from reverence that there flows the willingness of a lover to grant the beloved the spiritual "space" needed to freely express his own individuality. All these elements of every true love flow from reverence. What would mother love be without reverence for the growing being, for all the possibilities of values which yet lie dormant, for the preciousness of the child's soul?

Jules van Schaijik

#3, Jan 22, 2012 8:51pm

Great quote Samantha. I especially like this part:
It is from reverence that there flows the willingness of a lover to grant the beloved the spiritual "space" needed to freely express his own individuality.

It reminds me of another one from Romano Guardini, which I think of very often:

The first step toward the "Thou" is that movement which means "hands off" and clears the space in which the person's capacity of serving as his own purpose can be realized. This is the first exercise of justice and the basis of all "love." Personal love begins decisively not with a movement toward the other but away from him.

C.S. Lewis, too, has a great illustration of this in The Great Divorce, where he describes a perverted kind of mother's love, which is both, terribly oppressive for the son, and selfish and destructive for the mother.

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