This DEMAND of the poets stems, in my view, from the inevitable elusiveness of their prey, the imperfection of their lives & works, & from the structure (in the Maximus Confessor sense) of the cosmos itself...

Can't say enough good things about Urs von Balthasar's Maximus study, mentioned previously. This is a passionate work of scholarship, in a positive sense.

He writes about M's understanding of this oscillation between subjective & objective, between the individual and the whole, the all. How Nature everywhere presents distinct unique things, creatures, whose telos or end or purpose is their own fulfillment. How the intellect too shows that each thing has its unique and its generic (species) aspect. & how human beings, in their freedom, discover their purpose in comprehension & relationship with that wholeness, that community of nature - expressing their individuality in transcending same, through their effort, their labor, their love.

Balthasar shows how close this is to Hegel, yet he differentiates Maximus from the philosopher : by way of M's firm conception of nature as a creation, a gift of a Divine which is utterly beyond our knowledge, definitions & categories; & in the fundamental distinction between nature and grace. (Very much in the vein of Nicolas Cusanus. Now I see (perhaps) why Cusanus' "revelation" came to him on board ship, sailing back to Italy, from Byzantium : home of Maximus & Pseudo-Dionysius.) It's not a "process" working itself out in history : it's a yearning, implanted in nature, for the Absolute which is its source.

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