In the introduction to my first book, Journey to Christendom - The Freedom Dance, I described what was coming in the rest:
"It is like this analogy: when you travel together with another person, you both travel the same road, objectively speaking, even though you may each describe the trip differently from your own subjective experience. You may describe different scenes or highlight different events, but it is the same road."
This was the seed of philosophical thought that later would blossom. From the very beginning, I was grasping for a way to communicate objective truth, such as the Dogmas and Doctrines of the Holy Catholic Church, through a subjective experiential lens. The mystery of objectivity as experienced subjectively mystified me for over a decade.
However, help eventually arrived through the writings and legacy of Edith Stein, known by her religious name as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was a noted phenomenologist whose mentor, Edmund Husserl, was the father of modern day phenomenology. After Stein's conversion to the Church, she essentially Catholicized Phenomenology in the same way Thomas Aquinas "baptized" Aristotle. Edith Stein reconciled her phenomenological background with medieval scholasticism. This proved to be critically important to me in my quest for clarity about what I was experiencing as I developed Royaume France.
Just as one must read Aristotle in order to better understand Thomas' Summa, one must read Edmund Husserl in order to better understand Stein's writings. Husserl liked to "begin from below" in the subjective and spent his life building the bridge from below to the objective Platonic forms (we might call them 'Augustinian Platonic Forms.') on high. His conclusion was that the bridge between the subjective experience of the individual and the world of objective truth was - logic. That one word was the missing piece of the puzzle in my own dilemma. We subjectively "describe different scenes or highlight different events" while objectively traveling "the same road" as demonstrated by philosophical logic imbued with grace (only through grace can our intellect be efficacious).
This was the key, finally uncovered. What Royaume France did for me subjectively can be objectively systematized by accepting new premises given to us through grace by our saintly sister Joan of Arc, and then with the assistance of grace drawing logical conclusions from them. New premises honestly pursed to their logical ends require a phenomenological "bracketing" of presuppositions in order to consider these premises as they truly are and not as we have formerly judged them. That was Royaume France, and I knew it.
I call the Royaume France methodology "Walking the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed with St. Joan and St. Thérèse" in the spirit of Edith Stein's synthesis of phenomenology and scholasticism. The method is to "walk" with Joan and Thérèse and to follow in their footsteps experientially and intuitively that they might present us with new premises from which to draw those logical conclusions. "Walking the Trail of the Dogmatic Creed" was precisely the method St. Joan and St. Thérèse used with me. Through this logical progression, Joan and Thérèse "draw us upward" from our subjective experience to objective heavenly realities.
The link below leads to the philosophical discussions describing just how they did that.
The following action button will direct you to a landing page for the Royaume France philosophical discussion. From the landing page, as directed, simply follow the drop menu titled "Model."
The development of our life-story as we journey with St. Joan and St. Thérèse reveals the self evident truths of our lives in light of their own. These truths become axioms upon which we derive further insights. These axiomatic insights need philosophical underpinnings in order to create an enduring framework. Edith Stein, whom we know as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, is our invaluable and essential mentor in this effort. The reader will be challenged by the development of these underpinnings as the stories unfold and as the journey continues through the Jehannian-Thérèsian Model of Royaume France,
"While it is the task of theology to establish the facts of revelation as such and to elaborate their specific meaning and interrelation, it is the task of philosophy to harmonize those propositions at which it has arrived by using its own devices together with the truths of faith and theology. Only thus can reality be made intelligible in its ultimate reasons and causes." ~ Edith Stein, Finite and Eternal Being
Royaume France is the story of my own illumination stemming from this communion with St. Joan and St. Thérèse. The step-by-step mentorship of Edith Stein revealed it. The reader will encounter this challenging process as he or she moves through the content.
The development of Royaume France was in accord with the following principles:
"For Thomas, the first axiom of philosophy—if we wish to use the word—is that God himself is the first Truth, the principle and criterion of all truth. From God proceeds any truth we can get hold of. The task of first philosophy follows from this fact: it must take God as its object. It must set forth the idea of God and the mode of his being and knowing.
Then it must establish the relationship to God of whatever else that exists, in its essence and existence, and the relationship to the divine knowledge of the knowledge of other knowing beings. We must bring to bear on these questions everything we can know about them, taking what we should not only from natural knowledge but also from revelation." ~ Edith Stein, Knowledge and Faith (The Collected Works of Edith Stein, vol. 8, Kindle locations 818 and 821)
Many years of research and writing have led me to conclude the following as a definition of philosophy. The sequence of discovery was spirituality through theology to philosophy. This definition of philosophy is the result of my journey; it is that which I am left to conclude. Metaphor and analogy are the necessary literary tools. The hashes demarcate axioms from which whole theorems have been developed in my writings explaining the deeper meaning of that particular order of words.
The definition of philosophy:
The proper arrangement of words (syntax)/ resulting in a science of thought/ that opens the heavens/, allowing the waters of grace to fall on earth/, refreshing the flowered meadows/, guiding us along pathways softly lit in the night/, and filling the clear blue tributaries in the landscape of souls.
The analogy to music:
The proper order of words resulting in true philosophy as defined are to the philosopher what notes on paper are to a composer. The visible manifestation of properly ordered words, like properly ordered notes on paper, brings transcendent life to the person.
The purpose of philosophy:
When pursued in the manner defined, true philosophy becomes the natural disposition for participating in, and for the reception of, the supernatural divine order yielding the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven; the Kingdom for which we were taught to pray, and which we are instructed to seek first.
The relationship of philosophy to theology:
In the eyes of Edith Stein, there necessarily is a complementary relationship between philosophical and theological reasoning. Both seek the same truth; therefore, both are dependent on and enrich each other.
Edith Stein is the Royaume France philosophical mentor
Copyright © 2021 Royaume France - All Rights Reserved.