Saturday, December 12, 2015
As I was studying, I came across something we had talked about that I find interesting. St. Francis rejected dualism, both Cartesian and Platonic. (For a reminder, Cartesian dualism deals with body and soul and Platonic dualism deals with earthly vs. perfect forms like in the Allegory of the Cave.) To me, dualism kind of presents a barrier. For example, when Descartes said "I think therefore I am," he implied that one must consciously make the decision to act. I think this suggests a definite disconnect between mind and body. It makes sense that St. Francis rejected dualism when you really think about it. His whole thing was the fact that he was so connected with nature. He didn't believe that any plant or animal was less worthy than any human being. Unlike the Dominican order, St. Francis encouraged the Franciscan order to go out and live among normal people. He still wanted them to take vows of poverty, but he did not want them to be separate from the masses. There was no sense of dualism in his beliefs. He thought that all things and people should behave as one. He definitely believed this when it came to God, too. In one of Giotto's paintings, St. Francis is presented in front of the public, naked, reaching up towards God.