Patricia Hofer

Being renewed in the “spirit of your mind”

In his writing The Literal Meaning of Genesis (Book 12), I think St. Augustine is clearly describing how being “renewed in the spirit of your minds” takes place. According to Augustine, when we read that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, this first kind of “vision” is that of the eyes viewing the letters on the page. This is the lowest level of thought, the brain level, responding to printed words and physical events in the world around us. … The second kind of vision, according to Augustine, is “through the spirit” when we “think of our neighbor even when he is absent.” … Augustine’s third kind of “vision” moves us even further from the brain-based natural world of events. Augustine sees this highest level of vision as “an intuition of the mind” where we are able to “see and understand love” itself and where “God speaks face to face” (Augustine, as quoted in Light from Light, Dupré and Wiseman 2001, p71, 74.). (See also Living Strong, chapter 60, with a diagram.)

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