The Principles of Augustine

In his attempt to help us in our reading of Traherne’s Centuries, Louis Martz asks, “Can the principles of Augustine also be used to explore the full extent and progress of the Centuries, and to measure the degree of its success in achieving the action of an organic work?” (The Paradise Within, p. 55) The answer is ‘Yes’, and for Martz those principles are most clearly and succinctly laid out by Bonaventure.

The principles can be experienced through a journey of the mind in three stages. Martz explains, “The first stage (the first pair of wings) consists in finding God by his traces in the external world; the second consists in finding God within the self, through discovering his image in man; and the third consists in contemplation of the essential attributes of God and the Trinity.” (TPW, p. 56)

These same principles – this journey – can help me deepen my experience of reading Traherne. It will help me see the world through clearer lenses.

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