Yes. If you didn't glean from the title all that i wished you would, let me explain: Lots of Kant, all the time. While other philosophers only get one week in my history of philosophy class, Kant gets two, and its in this second week that i have finally found something profound. Ha. Just kidding, but really, though i don't agree with a lot of his philosophy, i do know that all truth is God's and thus when i find morsels and pockets of truth, i get excited... So here is tonight's' truth:
"Imitation has no place in morality. Examples serve us only for encouragement--that is, they set beyond doubt the practicability of what the law commands; they make perceptible what the practical law expresses more generally; but they can never entitle us to set aside their true original, which resides in reason, and to model ourselves upon examples."
Honestly, i don't like it, and probably don't agree with it in the context he used it. He is discussing moral philosophy, and the fact that empiricism will not lead us to the laws of morality, only reason will do that.
However, i couldn't help but think of it in a different context as i read it, replacing words, to form a different, but similar idea... Here is the Annie version:
"Imitation [of Christians] has no place in Christianity. Examples [of christlikeness] serve us only for encouragement--that is, they set beyond doubt the practicability of what Christ commands; these people make perceptible what it is that Christ expresses; but these people can never entitle us to set aside the original, which resides in Christ, and to model ourselves after them, the examples."
I don't know how many of you read this blog religiously (hopefully not many), but a few weeks ago i mentioned that i don't like cheap copies (2.16.08)...I knew didn't, but now i further understand why. Its easy to fall prey to believing, trusting, and following examples. But why do that? Examples are just that, examples--copies of something more true, copies of something better, copies of something more beautiful. So, when the good, the true, and the beautiful are at our fingertips, why reach for something else that is trying to imitate them. That's just silly. Hopefully I'm getting less and less silly as i get older.
My main concern is found within the Christian community. You all know those people--the ones you, and I, are trying to imitate. I would mention names, but being that all of you are from different circles, they would mean nothing to you. On a larger, and less applicable scale, its the Billy Grahams, the David Crowders, the Mother Thereas. I think that, however, the fact that we've made them celebrities makes a desire to emmulate them less pervasive, however, the people who we admire on a day to day basis in our lives, may it be siblings, friends, aqaintences, it is these people that we often desire to become like. Great examples. Great examples. Why do we, why do i, have such a compelling desire to become like these people. Its funny that in a world in which everyone is trying to "find themselves," we fall prey to copying copies. How unoriginal. I have to constantly remind myself that only in pursuit of Christ will i become who I truly am (a person that i do not yet know). A copy doesn't lead me to me, He leads me to me.
"For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is n ipart will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now i know in part, but then I shall be fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:9-12