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Midweek Rambling

Wow, lots of speculations out there about The Caravan: Democrats are funding it, Soros is funding it, they're riding and not walking, Muslims have infiltrated it (reminding me of P.J. O'Rourke referring to people of a certain hard-to-distiguish skin color as "urine-colored people" . . . I'm pretty sure it was O'Rourke). I don't know what to make of the rumors, but American Thinker, which I respect, addresses some of the rumors here, and implicates a few Catholics in the process.

Interesting piece draws repeat parallel between Sears and Amazon. Just as it's impossible to envision Amazon ever failing, it will happen. Not so long ago, it would've been unthinkable to see Sears fail.

From the Notebooks: Barlaam: (14 c.). Under nominalism/skepticism, reason no longer toils with transcendent truths. It is relegated to addressing earthly concerns. This helped the humanist movement which started contemporaneously with Ockham. It was the pillar of the Renaissance.

Barlaam tried to bring the spirit of humanism to the Byzantine Church. Like a good nominalist, he taught that God is absolutely unknowable. St. Gregory Palamas, however, resisted, and insisted that God is knowable, albeit not in essence but through His energies. Palamas was a mystical realist; not an intellectual realist like St. Thomas. The Byzantine Church sided with Palamas and condemned Barlaam's teachings. Barlaam went back west, and enjoyed the widening road between reason and revelation that marked humanism.

By rejecting Barlaam, the Orthodox Church rejected the Renaissance. The Orthodox Church could not accept the Renaissance and its foundation in the divorce between reason and revelation because the Orthodox Church emphasized the unity between soul and body of man (it rejected, for instance, the fierce neo-platonic spirituality of Evagrius ). Hence, unlike the thought of the nominalists, man cannot apply reason to physical phenomena without reference to the spirit. Man is a whole man; it cannot be parceled out in separate interests; the "separate" interests will affect each other.