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LEOBELO JOFEL DELICANA METAPHYSICS

AB Philosophy On Intuition of being and Gods Existence



Metaphysical Analysis: Being, A Lighted Candle as a being, and Gods Existence
In our everyday lives as human beings, we deal with many situations. Each individual is
unique on how they view things, on how they act to certain experiences. Bottom line is, humans
are beings subject to human experiences. It is through these experiences that we come to
understand something; may it be material such as physical objects or non-material such as joy,
sadness and love. Every day comes to us in a way that humans have familiarity of their human
experiences so that they have become banal. From the previous statement, I mean that: the way
we view and deal things have become somewhat superficial. We recognize beings as to what
they are. That points out to their essences. To be clarified, I would emphasize that there is
nothing wrong in giving importance to essences, to the purpose of beings. However, there is a
tendency that humans are led to the focus of whats alone. We tend to forget the other thing that
is also important, if not more important. That is existence. To be more precise with the idea that I
would like to point out, I would quote the words of Martin Heidegger: We fall into
forgetfulness, oblivion of being.
The high regard to essences has something to do with our language. As humans, language
could be considered as one of our great discoveries. In order to make sense of what we mean
language is very important. Through language we name a thing and recognize it in its essence.
But before we name things, they must first of all be. Needless to say, as we recognize that things
are, we recognize that they are something. We recognize that they are not nothing. A thing
must first exist before we could make use of our language and apply it to that being. Things are
beings for they are, they exist. They overcome nothingness and therefore, rise towards being.
Then, a being would be known as it is, and we can recognize its individuality from other objects.
Basically, it is by essence that we can recognize the similarity and differences of things or should
we say- beings. Therefore it is logical to say that, A thing that is, is; and a thing which is not, is
not. Then again, we remember that things of the same essences are distinct for they have their
own act of existence. Existence is something important to us. Yet it is something that we
somehow fail to be aware of. In beings, we see only the what, the purpose, thus neglecting the
is.
Rather than the excessive thinking about the essences or purposes of beings, we should
also look deep into the this. We do not define the this or existence for it is not a what or an
essence which we can give a definition, thus, providing the answer to the question What is it?
Existence is not to be defined, so what are we to do with it? This question leads us to one clear
answer- appreciation of existence.
The appreciation of existence is a key to help us understand the meaning of intuition of
being. It is ordinary experience (human experience) and common sense (attribute possessed by
humans) that leads us into metaphysical thinking, though we may not be aware of it. Here
common sense can become a genuine philosophical understanding. Truly, common sense already
tells us that beings exist, unfortunately it provides nothing more. Here is when we need the
importance of intuition. By intuition we mean of human mind power or ability to apprehend to
certain truths without the need of much reason or of reason in general. It is a spontaneous
knowledge that leads us to truth by the use of intelligence itself although we say that it does not
require reason. One example I would use would be something about gifts. Let us say one has
received a Christmas gift from his parents and he has been promised of a gift by a godparent of
his. Here, intuition tells us that there is more to that gift [from the parent] which one already has
than the one which still is about to come. We still would have the thinking that it might or it
might not arrive. Again there is that emphasis of the need of intuition. Here, we admit that it is
something certain as true. However it is also best to accept the fact that there can never be
enough words or explanations so as to express what intuition of being is.
Let us then discuss pathways to intuition of being especially the way by experience for it
is something that we humans are dealing with. There are two pathways to intuition of being
according to Jacques Maritain. The first is by way of experience and the other is by way of
judgment. In discussing the pathway by way of experience we could already understand what
it means by the words themselves. Experience here may refer to any human experience one had
that has opened ones awareness to existence present in a certain being itself or to beings
themselves.
I had an experience of intuition during our recollection day last Feb.27, 2013
(Wednesday). This one is more of the way of experience. One activity included the lighting of
a candle. Beforehand, my mind was clouded as to how I would write this very analysis and
discussion about intuition of being. The metaphysical discourse with regards intuition of being
seemed to be a pantomime to me, I see it but it remained enigmatic to me. It is in my mind but I
lacked the deeper understanding of it, then came the lighting of the candle. The candle was
placed on top of a piece of wooden dcor designed to be the centrepiece in the decoration of the
venue. The centrepiece was artistic, yet on top of a piece of wooden dcor stood a being of
brightness and richness. There stood the lighted candle that somehow tells my soul, You
appreciate me for I am not a 'what' but a 'this'. I am a being and I stand out of nothingness
having my own existence in this world of other existing beings. These are actions that arise
from the second act of the being, from its agere. Here we personify the lighted candle having
actions like those of human beings for us to understand how objects have actions as overflowing
from the very fact of their existence. In short, through their actions beings communicate to us,
not in the literal way but through the deeper metaphysical meaning of communicative action.
From the intuition of being I had from the lighted candle, I was also clarified and inspired
to analyze how it is important to me in my metaphysical discourse, not as a mere student but as
an existing being myself. On how the lighted candle is caused I believe that we are led to the
existence of the very core of our intuition of being. As the lighted candle proves its very
existence in the world, it proves that there is really existence of beings apart from ours as rational
and conscious beings. We are led by the existence of candle to that of its maker. This we can call
its efficient cause which is the candle maker. Here, we remember the principle of causation, that
For every effect, there is a cause, and a cause is not a cause without an effect. Here we also
remember corollaries of the principle of causality. Firstly, that nothing can be the cause of itself.
Secondly, nothing can produce an effect superior of itself. Lastly, that to take away the cause is
to take away the effect. With all these, our inquisitive mind will look for what caused the candle
maker. This will therefore point out to series of caused causes. Meaning, something is caused by
something which itself was also caused by something or what is termed as horizontal causation.
However, the mind would not accept this horizontal causation to account for everything in this
world for it would mean that there is that infinity. But it is obvious that this cannot go on infinity,
therefore, we point out to one Ultimate Cause on which everything that is caused points out. Its
existence does not depend on another being. This Ultimate Cause, the uncaused cause transcends
the circle of caused causes for the cause of Its existence is Its very existence itself.
On how the lighted candle is moved or changed we are led to the existence of the core
of our intuition of being. Looking at the burning candle, I see it burn and melt because of its
flame. Thus, the wax becomes shorter. These we regard as motion or change in the candle as an
existent being. How come there is change in the candle? Do we say it is because of the flame?
We are led to think that Everything is moved by another. Let us then presume that what moved
(changed) the candle is the flame. Then what is the agent moving or changing the flame? We say
that is it ignition. Again we see series of moved movers, but again, this cannot go on infinity.
Therefore, our inquisitive mind will again think of one Prime Mover or First Changer. Needless
to say, this Prime Mover transcends the circle of moved movers. It does not belong to the series
for it accounts for every change in every being in that series. That Prime Mover we refer to is
God.
On how the lighted candle exists and is sustained again, we are led to the existence of
the core of our intuition of being. The lighted candle as a being is contingent for all beings are
contingent, they are not permanent. The candle as a contingent being is possible to be (to exist)
or not to be (fall to nothingness). Therefore, the candles existence is based upon conditions,
most probably on laws of nature. This condition of the candle also depends on the condition of
other beings, let us say the environment. However, The series of contingent beings and
conditions cannot account for the necessity of a contingent universe. Therefore, it must be that a
Necessary Being exists to account for the existence of all contingent beings. This being sustains
the existence of all contingent beings. It is to the existence of this Necessary being that
contingent beings depend. Therefore, without the existence of this necessary being, all
contingent beings will fall into nothingness. And this Necessary Being, we call God.
On how the lighted candle is graded or varied in degree of attributes with other beings
we are also led to the existence of the core of our intuition of being. The lighted candle is a
non-living being. It is not capable of motion, of reproduction, of sensing and of reason. Still, we
consider the lighted candle as a being having it own act of existence. Here, we see that the candle
is placed on a lower level in the degrees of existence. Of course, there is more to plants than in
non-living beings such as a lighted candle for plants have the capacity of reproduction, of
propagation. Our mind will also tell us that there are more to animals than plants for animals are
capable of sensing. Needless to say, the degree of human existence tops all beings for they are
capable of reproduction, sensing and reason. They have freedom in their existence and are
conscious of being conscious. By all these, we are led to the thinking of one Being whose
attributes and qualities are the best, the most. For Wherever there exist degrees, wherever there
is a more or less it is necessary that there exists somewhere, a supreme degree or maximum. As
this Being exists in perfection, it is the source of perfection of beings of lesser degrees. Meaning,
all other lesser beings only share perfection from the Ultimate Source. This source is the
Plenitude of being it does not have beauty or existence for it is beauty or existence itself.
This Supreme Source is God. It is in participation on Gods existence that other beings
perfections are made possible.
Lastly, on how the lighted candle falls into its proper order in the universe we are also
led to the existence of the core of our intuition of being. In saying that the candle falls into its
proper order in the universe we pertain that the candle serves an end that is suited for its being.
Let us first look into the common examples for this concept. We know that planets follow their
own orbits, thus avoiding contact with other massive planets. Another is that humans and
animals breathe in oxygen produced by plants. Plants and animals then exhale carbon dioxide
which in turn is needed by plants in their biological processes. As for the candle, we could see it
this way, truly there is electricity but there are times when we experience brownouts. In times
like these, we may reach for a candle, light it and use it in a room. Here, we see the beauty and
magnificence on how the lighted candle burns and will eventually die out. Yet, the light that a
small candle gives off may fill an entire little room. With all these order in every end of beings,
we are brought to the thinking that there must be a Genius, a Divine Mind responsible for it. This
Divine Mind must be so powerful and perfect that it can direct such a great universe in to an
orderly end all the time. For it is impossible that something greater comes from something
lesser or that order comes from disorder Thus there must be really one intelligent designer
responsible for order in this universe. This Genius is none other than God.
By intuition of being, we come to know one existence which is the core of our
metaphysical discourse. This is not to be viewed as something which is outside of our knowing.
But it is both a knowing and an unknowing, or something we may preferably call mystery.
As we see the existence of one being, we are led to see the existence of other beings. And as
what has been discussed previously, we point out to Existence itself and therefore arrive in the
center of the circle of beings. This time let us know the pathway of intuition of being by way of
judgment. As we see the skies for example, the rushing rivers leading to the sea, the separation of
saltwater from fresh water, from all these magnificence. We can say that it must signify a being
none other than the Creator. Here, we come to know this kind of understanding does not come
from outside certainties but it is from the very inside search of essences and existence of beings.
God is a being. But He is different compared to all beings. Other beings have essence and
existence but for God, His essence is his existence itself. As we have said, Gods essence is
existence itself and so we do not see God in his essence. Therefore, we also do not fully see the
existence of God. Our knowledge of God does not mean a full understanding of his essence
which is existence itself. What is important is that by intuition of being, by this power that
resides only in humans, we may be fully aware of existence so as to lead the existence of all
other beings towards the one and only source of all existence- God.