Traherne’s Augustinian Quest to Find the Paradise Within

Professor Louis Martz intuited Traherne’s essence as well as anyone. That essence was formed by the triad of the Bible, Nature, and the Self. Martz explains that these were “the three ‘books’ cultivated by the medieval Augustinians, and especially by St. Bonaventure, the Book of Scripture, the Book of Nature, and the Book of the Soul.” (The Paradise Within [TPW], p. 17)

These three ‘books’ can help us regain the ‘Paradise within’ by uncovering and developing the inner forms of truth and good. Martz explains that “Traherne’s Centuries assert that this Paradise, this Similitude and Presence [of God], still stand in the midst of man, and that therefore man still walks in the midst of a Paradise to be found in the whole Creation.” (TPW, p. 39)  This is the essence that “is found in the style, the method of meditation, and the total progress of [Traherne’s] Centuries.” (TPW, p. 39)

Martz dedicates over 60 pages in The Paradise Within to unraveling this method of meditation, and serves as a worthy guide through the Centuries.

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