Love part III

Follows Love part II

Persons who are not yet pure, persons insofar as they are thinglike, fleshly, are capable of falling into the “similarity” of desire. But insofar as they are pure and have detached themselves from “thingness,” they are capable of achieving the “identification” of love.
But what is this thingness of a person? It is the vacuous self-equality of the person, giving to the person the unity of a concept that is self-confined in the combination of its attributes, i.e., the unity of a dead, fixed concept. In other words, it is nothing but the rationalistic “comprehensibility” of a person, i.e., the subordination of a person to the rationalistic law of identity. On the contrary the personal character of a person, this living unity of his self-building activity, the creative transcending of his self-enclosedness, constitutes his nonsubsumability in any concept, his “incomprehensibility,” and therefore his unacceptability for rationalism. It is the victory over the law of identity that raises a person above a lifeless thing and makes him a living center of activity. But it is clear that activity is essentially incomprehensible for rationalism, for activity is creativity, i.e., the addition to the given of that which is not yet given, and thus the overcoming of the law of identity.
Fr. Pavel Florensky


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