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FORMS AND FIGURES.pdf

FORMS AND FIGURES.pdf

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Published by glennpease

Distinguish Form and Figure
FIRST of all it is needful that we dis-
tinguish carefully between Form and
Figure. Not that the distinction is
recognized in common speech ; although, as it
seems to me, it ought to be. Form, in the large,
philosophical (Platonic?) sense of the word, is
not so much visible figure as it is that invisible
pattern of which the visible figure is more or
less a representation or copy. The Form is the
idea existing prior to the figure, and independ-
ently of it ; the figure is the Form actualized in
the sphere of matter ; the idea, so to speak, ma-
terialized. Thus the Form is the essential ; the
figure is an incidental. The Form is invariable ;
the figure is variable. The Form is common to
a class ; the figure is an individual of that class.

Distinguish Form and Figure
FIRST of all it is needful that we dis-
tinguish carefully between Form and
Figure. Not that the distinction is
recognized in common speech ; although, as it
seems to me, it ought to be. Form, in the large,
philosophical (Platonic?) sense of the word, is
not so much visible figure as it is that invisible
pattern of which the visible figure is more or
less a representation or copy. The Form is the
idea existing prior to the figure, and independ-
ently of it ; the figure is the Form actualized in
the sphere of matter ; the idea, so to speak, ma-
terialized. Thus the Form is the essential ; the
figure is an incidental. The Form is invariable ;
the figure is variable. The Form is common to
a class ; the figure is an individual of that class.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 14, 2013
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FORMS AD FIGURES BY George Dana Boardman The things of earth Are copies of the things in heaven, more close, More clear, more near, more intricately linked, More subtly than men guess ; mysterious, Whispering to wistful ears, ature doth shadow spirit.  — Sir Edwin Arnold. Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God ; But only he who sees takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries.  — Elizabeth Barrett Browning. ALL TRUE ART A HUMA FIGURATIO FROM A DIVIE FORM Distinguish Form and Figure IRST of all it is needful that we dis- tinguish carefully between Form and Figure. ot that the distinction is recognized in common speech ; although, as it seems to me, it ought to be. Form, in the large, philosophical (Platonic?) sense of the word, is not so much visible figure as it is that invisible pattern of which the visible figure is more or less a representation or copy. The Form is the idea existing prior to the figure, and independ- ently of it ; the figure is the Form actualized in
 
the sphere of matter ; the idea, so to speak, ma- terialized. Thus the Form is the essential ; the figure is an incidental. The Form is invariable ; the figure is variable. The Form is common to a class ; the figure is an individual of that class. The Form is the invisible, ideal plan ; the figure 25 26 LIFE AD LIGHT is a visible, more or less close, copy from that plan. The Form is the perfect archetype ; the figure is a more or less perfect antitype. The Form is the precedent idea ; the figure is the Form as it appears when it comes within the range of our senses. Let me illustrate : A cater- pillar passes from the state of a larva into the state of a butterfly; it is an instance of trans- figuration or change of figure ; not of trans- form2X\on or change of Form. True, we speak of the change as a " metamorphosis " : but this is because we speak loosely; the metamorphosis is only phenomenal — a change in figure : it is not radical, that is, a change in form or iden- tity. The Form, which no mortal eye has seen or can see, is common to the caterpillar and to the butterfly; the caterpillar and the butterfly are different figurations from the one invisible Form. Were it possible for the caterpillar to be changed, say, from an articulate into a verte- brate (that is, were it possible for the caterpillar to undergo what is called ''transformation of species "), the change in that case would be more than a trans-figuration ; it would be a trans/^^ation, or metamorphosis in the strict sense of the term.
 
FORMS AD FIGURES 27 This Distinction Biblical And this distinction is as biblical as it is phil- osophical. For example, St. Paul in writing to the Romans, says : " Be not conformed to this world (ffov(T^fjLaTc^eade y configured to this aeon); but be ye transformed ([xezafiopipouade) by the re- newing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (that is, be not content with undergoing transfiguration of behavior ; undergo transuda- tion of character)" (Rom. 12 12). Again, writing to the Philippians, the same apostle says : " Our conversation (citizenship, commonwealth) is in heaven : from whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall change (//era^/zanW, fashion anew, re-fashion) our vile body (the body of our hu- miliation), that it may be fashioned like unto (o6fjLjuop<pov, conformed to) his glorious body (the body of his glory) according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself" (Phil. 3 : 20). Accordingly, human identity does not lie in the visible, incidental, variable figure ; human identity lies in the invisible, essential, archetypal Form. In other words, the resurrection body is 28 LIFE AD LIGHT not a re-emergence of the old figure ; the resur-

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