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Life, Vitality & Relational Entities

Plinio Corrêa de Oliviera
When I spoke about organic society I said that the fundamental element of organicity, the element that gives origin to organicity, is life. Now then, what is life? Without answering this question the previous relationship is inoperative.

By life I understand the various degrees of life: first, from the life of grace to the natural life of the human soul essentially united to the human body, then, the life of animals, plants etc.

Then, what is life? Life is the more excellent work of God. It is not properly speaking a creature, because it exists conjoined to a being. It is a splendid condition of the being whereby the being receives from God something that is incomprehensible to man. It is, nonetheless, the raison d’être of everything that exists.

So, what is life? It is a principle, an act of God that He maintains permanently. It is not like the Venetian artist who painted this picture in the room; he made it, sold it, and then this painting disappeared from his mind. No. God creates and maintains in the being. If He would cease His maintaining action, that being would disappear, would cease to exist.

Someone here was talking to me about the squirrels in the United States, which are very funny and do everything in a correct way. There is at each moment an action of God in the squirrel that makes it to act the way it does, utilizing the anatomy and physiology that God gave it. The life of the squirrel has its foundation in God.

American squirrel

The goodness of God reflected even in the life of a little squirrel

There are qualities that are given to the fragile, and other qualities to the strong. Let us return to the squirrel. We all accompanied the description of the squirrels in the United States with a smile, because the squirrel is charming because it is fragile. If the squirrel were to have the size of an elephant, it would not have the same attraction.

So, we may say that in the order of the being there are various different qualities that are ways of being of the vitality of the being, and, therefore, of the life.

What is the distinction between life and vitality? Vitality is the way the living being lives. We see this in the stars, which are beings without life, but which have a lot of movement and that influence an enormous number of things, including living things. Thus, if the stars were to cease to exist, perhaps life would be extinguished. So, there is a life of an inferior character, like the life of the sun, that is nonetheless more fundamental to keep everything alive than the life of the birds.

It is this gift of God that is the principle through which a being lives.

Life is a marvelous gift when it is used for order, to build something good. When it is used to destroy, to make things uglier, it serves a counter-order. In this way, a prodigious vitality that serves the spirit of destruction can exist.

The Devil conserves the vitality he had as an angel, an enormous natural vitality, but he uses it to serve destruction. Everything he touches, he destroys, he sickens, he degrades by a co-natural movement. He does this with a prodigious effervescence.

Life as a plenitude of the being can come only from God.

The relational entities

The relational beings have something curious about them: The more they are removed from that which is palpable, material and tangible, the more they are relational. And, the more they do this, the more they become closer to the Angels.

The Holy Roman German Empire would be an entity more proper to a world without original sin and more proper to exist in Heaven among the Angels.

So, for example, the Kurfürst is the Prince Elector of the Emperor, which was not a hereditary office. They were so extraordinary, so grand that they were almost angels of the temporal order. And so they would be if they were to correspond to the grace of God.

We see, therefore, in a good conception of the Holy Empire, in the temporal sphere the Emperor was the human being most similar to God that could exist; while the Pope would be the same in the religious sphere. Now then, one of the most horrible temptations for a person to whom God gave this quality is to remove himself from this excellence and become vulgar.

Princess of Lamballe

A mob carries the head of Princess of Lamballe on a pike after atrociously killing her

I read something horrible about the Orleans during the French Revolution, an episode that I have not seen sufficiently stressed in the books.

You know that the Princess of Lamballe was a cousin of the King, therefore, a cousin of the Orleans and widow of one of the Orleans. During the Revolution her head was cut off and placed atop a spear to be shown to Marie Antoinette at the window of the Temple where she was in effect imprisoned.

When her husband died the Princess inherited from him an enormous fortune. So, the fortune of the Orleans was divided into two: one was hers; another fell to the Duke of Orleans, Philippe Egalité, who promoted the Revolution.

Philippe Égalité commanded the revolutionaries to kill the Princess of Lamballe and to take her head to show it to Marie Antoinette, but he also knew that he would inherit her fortune. In fact, he made this order to disguise the economic interest he had in murdering her.

In this type of action is not the finger of Satan present? Of course it is..

We see this type of moral degradation also in today’s jet setters: They have a lot of money but instead of seeking to be refined, they love to degrade themselves.  

Posted May 22, 2024


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