Re: Each Angel its Own Species

Lois Shawver (
Tue, 12 Mar 1996 20:35:29 -0800 (PST)


Your note on "Maryness" takes us back into a discussion of formal
causes, doesn't it? You know, in your definition of "formal cause" it
seemed to me that you were thinking of it in a rather contemporary way.
We can define things creatively and this has an effect on the way things
are. Aristotle, I feel, has something more pre-defined in mind by his
"definition" in formal cause. A slave is a slave, and we look for the
definition of a slave in the truth of essence and form, a given. There
is much more of a sense of a natural definition of things than we have in
the era of postmodernism, or even operational definitions. So, I am
continuously wondering about the way you see things. Is there a
Maryness, that exists apart from our social convention of "Maryness"? Is
there a form that is the Aristotlean potential that flowers into Maryness
when it interacts with matter?

Let me be more specific with my questions: "Maryness" you say is not an
archetype, in the Jungian sense of "archetype". Maryness is more
distinctively "Mary" than an archetype? Are you thinking in terms of a
taxonomy? With archetype being the more inclusive? Maryness being next?
And finally there is the individual person whom we call Mary?

You say:
Maryness is not an archetype. Archetypes
are simple abstractions. Think about the
archetypes Jung describes. They tend to
express some essence. True, we may
speak of the archetype of the self but the
actual self is not the archetype of self. The
archetype merely paves the way for the
eventual emergence of the individuated self,

Bill, I realize you have more in your note than this, but this seems
about the right size bite to chew before you respond. I appreciate you
reading through my note and correcting my deviations from your
intentions. I know it is easier to just explain it to me, but this way
your explanations are more interactive with my questions and thus more

..Lois Shawver