Friday, October 30, 2015

In Praise of the Worm

And yet I could speak at great length without any falsehood in praise of the worm. I could point out the brightness of its coloring, the slender rounded shape of its body, the fitness of its parts from front to rear, and their effort to preserve unity as far as is possible in so lowly a creature. There is nothing anywhere about it that does not correspond to something else that matches it. What am I to say about its soul animating its tiny body? Even a worm's soul causes it to move with precision, to seek things suitable for it, to avoid or overcome difficulties as far as possible. having regard always to the sense of safety, its soul hints much more clearly than its body at the unity which creates all natures. I am speaking of any kind of living worm.

Augustine, De vera religione XLI, 77, from Augustine: Earlier Writings, Burleigh, tr., (Philadelphia: 1953), as quoted in Enrica Ruaro, "God and the Worm: The Twofold Otherness in Pseudo-Dionysius's Theory of Dissimilar Images," American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 82., No. 4, p. 591.

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