6/12/2019

The Enchanted Cosmos With Thomas Aquinas

"“Different kinds of things produce in different ways, those on a higher level producing in a more interior way,” writes Thomas in Summa contra Gentiles (4.11). Thomas’ cosmology and doctrine of the soul are vitalistic. Everything has a particular soul to it, and these souls have particular life-forces destined for particular ends. To untrained eyes and ears, Thomas comes off as crypto-pantheistic; as do a great number of the Church Fathers and medieval mystics and philosophers. However, whereas pantheism sees everything containing the same one soul fallen from the Cosmic Soul, Thomas’ cosmos is made up of “different kind[s]” of souls “produc[ing] in different ways.” Moreover, the souls of created things have created souls with particular ends and are not emanated parts of the Cosmic Soul which make us depreciated instantiations of the One. By having a particularly crafted soul for a particular end, we are naturally deficient instantiations of the One as in pantheism."