It’s possible to become trapped by the knowledge of imperfection. A true awareness of our incipient nature leads to a feeling of absolute helplessness. For many, life is endured by embracing a series of delusions. For most, the veil is thin and our tiny glimpses in the direction of reality lead to despair. It is Kierkegaard’s “Sickness unto Death”.
There is beauty in life. But this beauty is jeopardized on all sides by the relentless destruction of sin. Moreover, my conceptions of beauty and sin are subject to the same delusions. All is lost if not for two factors: (1) the existence of the ultimate, and (2) the help of the ultimate. These two concepts make possible another concept: (3) grace.
I embrace grace, but even the vocabulary I used to describe this embrace is contrived. My incipient nature does not permit me to grasp the essence of the essence. Plato, in this regard was right. All that we have are forms. He did not go far enough. All that we have are forms of forms, ad nauseaum.
This is my tragic condition. I am dependent on grace. My knowledge is only that I have no knowledge that is certain. Even this expression of dependency is vulnerable. My efforts could be absolutely futile, so I embrace a new notion even greater than grace: (4) hope. Hope allows me to believe that my understanding could be true, that there might be grace.
It’s not that I don’t believe, but that I don’t believe in my ability to know. What do I have left? How can I know? I throw myself at the feet of the ultimate hoping against hope that he is, and that he cares.