The following was presented to the esteemed members of the Positive Perspectives book club in October of 2018.  Its material is based on the sources, "The Great Instauration" by Sir Francis Bacon, and "Fragments" by Heraclitus.

Prologue - Here follows the monologue on Heraclitus’ Fragments and Sir Francis Bacon’s Great Instauration. You will find the monologue organized into 5 parts: the first, this present prologue where I explain certain points of view from which I pursued the line of inquiry and argument; second, an introduction to the main methods and principles that stuck out to me in the sources; third, the argument I formed on the grounds of the sources, attempting to take the idea perhaps further than it had been taken before.  You will forgive me if this section is somewhat vague and off the beaten path; fourth, my summation where we discuss the influence of Heraclitus’ and Sir Francis Bacon on the modern world, and perhaps how their ideas should be further applied for a more livable world; fifth and final, my closing statement on how the works changed me personally, not allowing me to remain the same or hide from the nagging nature of truth.  

It is important to place a line of demarcation between the Christian idea of Logos and the Western philosophical idea of Logos before we proceed.  On the one hand, Logos is the Word made flesh, God Incarnate, the fountainhead of Truth, and, on the other, Logos seems to be seen from the point of view of a window shopper looking into a store or beholding a room darkly lit.  They behold the outlines and shadows of the wares and furniture, perceiving some integral features , but the true essence of what they see remains unknown to them.  They realize what they are seeing is of eternal significance, but the why and how eludes them.  Essentially, they are ignorant of the first cause, no matter how much they contemplate the second causes.  This point of view of the Natural Man will be the point of view most thoroughly dealt with in this monologue.  While the Christian perspective on Logos is the purest beam of Truth, one cannot discount years of history of the term of Logos prior to the Incarnation, nor neglect to realize that meanings have shifted, and human perspective has shifted with it.  Perhaps my main goal is to find a way to make the voice of the Christian Logos in the second causes, whether within us or without, as perceivable and clear to the Natural Man as possible.  I attempt this in the third part.  

I hope this monologue is a jumping off point for further inquiry, intelligent discussion, and true growth for all.  Without further ado, let us dive deep into the well of philosophy and discover what treasures we may along the way.  

Intro -

As philosophy seems to be founded on method, it seems right to discuss the foundational ideas on which Method is formed between Heraclitus and Sir Francis Bacon.

Heraclitus seems to form his entire system of philosophical thought on the idea of Logos.

Logos seems to be defined as an inner guiding principle within Man, as well as the outward voice of all things in the observable Cosmic Order.  Man is faced with the choice of following his own “private intelligence” or falling in line with Logos.

It is unclear whether Heraclitus believed he himself understood the influence and ultimate ends of this nearly divine Logos.

However, it is clear from given evidence that Heraclitus believed Logos lead towards an absolute Truth of sorts, but it is hard to discern where this Logos speaks and what exactly it says.  It seems that Heraclitus’ view of Logos lead him to a disavowal of belief in traditional Grecian deities.  In this he stands quite apart, seeing that most of Greece in his time held to polytheism.  This is not to call Heraclitus a monotheist, but whatever answers his present culture gave him were not enough for his mind to find peace.  

Wheelwright argues that this idea of Logos must be detached from the Christian ideas inherent in the Word, and that furthermore it must be detached from mythological ideas in general.  Not only does this seem to deny much of the foundational grounding of Greek culture of the era, but it attempts to make the idea of Logos somewhat less divine than Heraclitus himself seems to make it, leaving the Word as a mere symbol of language, communication, and knowledge.  One might make the argument for the divinity of the spoken and written word, but such an argument is difficult to field and maintain.  For Heraclitus readily admits that Logos is divine, that it permeates everything, and is common to all mankind.  What if a man possesses no ability of speech and is entirely illiterate?  In this case, the Logos, if merely “sacred word”, communication, or even pure reason is in fact not common to all.  

Furthermore, it seems right to draw a parallel between this Greek idea of Logos and the Hebrew idea of Wisdom portrayed in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.  Both seem to be cut from the same cloth, placing immense emphasis on the accumulation of true wisdom through written and spoken words of the wise.  “For the words of the wise are like goads….”  To what degree these two ideas influenced one another is uncertain, but the similarity is evident.   Wisdom, as the Hebrew books portray it, speaks from the town square and the rooftops asking all men of simple and foolish tendencies to no longer love their “private intelligence.”  Logos is similarly portrayed as being “common” by Heraclitus, and something more than we can accurately comprehend; Logos also speaks. And, all things happen in accordance with this Logos; a profound statement indeed.  It cannot mean that all things happen in accordance with logic and reason as not all men are born capable of reasoning and capable of rational thought, therefore it must be an even deeper meaning than that,  something truly common to all.  

Wisdom according to Heraclitus might be the correct comprehension of the Logos.  Even from the purely Greek perspective, Wisdom and Logos are integrally tied to one another, although not one and the same exactly.  

Certainly, not all men can be said to possess Wisdom, as not all men comprehend Logos.  So, Wisdom also cannot be common to all.  This leaves the question, what part of Logos touches all men?

This may be too general of an answer, but it seems right to say that the fact of existence itself may be the part of Logos that touches all men.  It is a blessed miracle that anything exists at all, and in such an array of complexity and organization.  What glory!  Moreover, something helps keep the created order functioning and in harmony.  Existence was given, but then it did not stop, and it most certainly could have ceased at any point randomly, if it came about randomly.  Yet it has not done this.  Viewed in this light, Heraclitus grounding concept comes to life vividly, and he seems to say to all men, “Wake up! You exist and possess consciousness! Have you ever considered the significance of this?”  Certainly, the fact of existence will not allow any simple answer to our deepest questions and longings.  

Sir Francis Bacon constructs his ideas on the belief that wisdom of the past lacked proper founding and therefore was invalid altogether.  He seeks to found a method through which the Divine voice may be properly heard and understood through Man’s ability to observe and execute experiments upon the natural world.  

He begins his argument by laying out the sum of Man’s knowledge in the arts and sciences, concludes that knowledge up to that point was terribly lacking, and ensues to propose a new method, whereby humanity may clearly and truthfully perceive solutions to nature and existence.  Yet, in his method there are a few key differences.  First, he begins the process of inquiry at an earlier and more well-defined spot.  Second, he digs the roots of the sciences deeper by presenting a set system of inquiry whereby experiments may be carried out.  Third, he eschews the idea of Man having reached full potential in his present era, and believes the wisdom of the ancients to be woefully inadequate.  At its core, his method is a method of induction, as opposed to the purely observationalist idea of deduction, where men fly immediately to create general principles from a series of anarchic and ungoverned observations of the sense.  In his view, the sum of the whole is not equal to its many varied and disparate parts.  To come close to truth, there must be many experiments whereby a factual guiding principle is gained, and for that guiding principle to be established, experiments must establish it at every point, leading from one conclusion to the next sequentially.  Moreover, the experiment(s) must be aimed at that definite goal, and not flit about from issue to issue.  Only from that specific starting point may further ideas be postulated.  The job of the sense is merely to judge of the experiment.  The experiment itself plumbs the depths of Nature.

For the sake of thoroughness, it seems right to address the definition of induction and deduction according to Sir Francis, as well as how his definition differed from that of the logicians.  The differences between deduction and induction are the following:  Deduction begins from a general guiding principle constructed from sense observation of the visible world, whereas induction begins from a single specific instance where something was found to be true, and works towards a general principle one step at a time.  In essence, Sir Francis sought to give general principles a grounded foundation through this method, and disprove any general guiding principles that may have corrupted the arts and sciences up to that point.  In his method, the syllogism is not the main method.  For from his view,  thinking logically may bring a person to the knowledge of truth, but that experience of truth will be detached from the body and less real to that person.  

Sir Francis Bacon’s idea of induction differs from the logicians in this way:  Descartes’ Discourse on Method masterfully established principles of logic which had already been used up to that point, yet the grounding Method of Descartes is very much in the kingdom of the mind, separate from experience and the carrying out of works.  This is not to say that Descartes’ Method cannot be used to carry out works or that Descartes never meant to carry out works, but the book taken on its own merit is very cerebral.  It is in this point that divergence occurs.  Bacon seeks to use induction not merely to logically postulate from true statement to true statement, but to be a bulwark in the service of general principles that govern the affairs of mankind, whereby he establishes and fortifies them against attack.

But perhaps the most amazing idea in all of Bacon’s work is that some effects of the Fall and Curse may be mitigated through this method; an amazingly redemptive idea.  Not only a lovely idea, but definitely an idea which has stood the test of time and proven itself in a myriad of advancements in medicine, education, psychology, and the like.  Taken in light of more recent history, one can understand why the method of induction and experimentation is superior in some respects to deduction.  For it is hard to imagine a man eradicating polio from the face of the earth based solely on a string of syllogisms.

Yet, Sir Francis said that he was in the business of establishing not merely science, but arts as well.  This brings us to The Argument.  

The Argument

Art properly conceived is the memory of the divine Eden we lost, and seek to regain for one brief, shining moment in the Creation and reception of Beauty.

Eden properly conceived is the place of artistic beginnings and artistic liberty, free from darkness or loss of innocence.  

The beginning of Art is much like the beginning of Eden, begun by that great clock-turner, that prime mover of heavenly motion, the Original Artist.  For in the Divine Act of Creation, all future imitations of that divine act of Creation were foretold, in whatever future permutations they would find themselves.

At its essence, the Divine Act of Creation was an artistic act, permeating all of existence with beauty and heavenly joy; that hidden blush of Creation, like that of a virginal wife before loosing her garments, has befuddled and delighted artists and scientists ever since.  Truly, kings have sought honor in searching these things out.  In this light, little to no difference should exist between the artist, the one who creates art, and the scientist, the one who appreciates and searches out Art.

The heavens and the earth hum with divine energy and life-force, not the life force of mysticism, but the life force of a work of Art pointing to Truth and taking on a life of its own.

It is impossible to name anything in all of Creation, apart from that which is corruption, which cannot be called at its genesis a work of Art.

Take first the human family and, most significantly, the act whereby such a unit is formed, by the Divine Act of Creation between a Man and a Woman.   All at once in a moment of great upheaval and passion, life-forces mingle, and the possibility of new life enters the Realm of Man.  Individuals sacrifice self, that a new Creation may come forth into the light of day.  Amid the sweat, sorrow, and pain of life, a new Hope emerges reminiscent of everything we once thought ourselves to be.  

If this not suffice, take second the complexity of each individual soul.  Humans hold a peculiar ability to reason, perceive, and describe,all attributes that spring from Logos, but perhaps most importantly of all, Create.  This ability alone, the ability to Create, holds the key to Man's soul, the answer to the question lingering in every heart as to where Man came from and to where he is going:  From whence? The finger of some Great Artist, whom we seek to imitate.  Man’s predilection to love the act of Creation is found in no other animal, nor has any higher race been found that can equal or rival Man’s abilities in this vein.  For not even the angels, fallen or otherwise, have been given an ability to create new things, but are shown in the service of the Godhead as messengers, warriors, worshipers, or attendants.  As to the question of where man will go, no answer of a trivial variety will satisfy the human soul, thus we see the varied religions, which are simply Man’s attempt to answer the thunderous cry of eternity within his soul.  

If these things still not suffice, take finally the divisions and organizations of Nature.  Animals of the created order possess neither reason, nor depth of perception, nor the ability to describe, and perhaps, most importantly, lack the ability to create anything of special significance, besides another animal or a place of habitation.  On the grounds of this last reason alone, those who ascribe equal or even more value to an animal life over that of the divine human miss the mark by a wide berth.  Take this not as a justification to cruelty, but as an establishment of Man's place in Creation.  We, not the animal kingdom, are the creators, endowed with some portion of the Godhead's life-giving ability.

The Divine Act of Creation occurs at the zenith of Man's faculties, whereby his reason, perception, communication, every faculty connected to Logos, combine to spread light upon the dark canopy of space, or sound onto the canopy of time.  In essence,  Man exists most fully when he creates works of beauty and goodness.  To create is the highest way the Natural Man can fall in line with the imprint of Logos on all things.

Essentially, Logos does not have to do merely with the activities of reason, perception, and communication, but all reach their full potential when combined in the act of Creation.  Existence is at its peak when it begets existence.  It is there that all must be used, or Art cannot exist, and Man cannot imitate the Divine in the most god-like of ways.  

Thus we find that Logos itself, that guiding principle within Man, guiding him to Truth, functions at its peak as an artistic principle, whether it manifest itself in the artist's creations or the scientist's searchings, neither can ignore beauty nor boil things down to one or two faculties within Man.  To function most efficiently, both must learn from the other, for both of their subject matter has to do with Divine Beauty itself.


These works demonstrated to me that Truth speaks everywhere; all of humanity’s brightest minds have recognized eternity imprinted on their hearts and imprinted on the Creation, but in such a way as they could not divide the end from the beginning.  Reading the Thoughts of these men of the past makes me more certain of what I have learned and have been taught.  Now, I am aware of the exciting possibility of this very philosophy club thunderously declaring a sweeping picture of the beauty of the Natural World from a Christian perspective, telling of the archetypical ideas of the New Jerusalem and the Eden we lost, ideas deeply desired in the core of every human heart.  At the end of the day, Philosophy could be simply called the vain attempt to find the first causes of existence from the limited evidence of second causes.  But, with enlightened interpreters, these second causes may be redeemed, and the Voice of Logos beautifully translated for the ages to come.