For an instant he had the illusion of watching himself springing, reflected somehow by the faint light from the river, that luminousness
which water gives back to the dark, in the air above Boyd Ballenbaugh's head.
(28) In the ecclesiastical sonnet, Chaucer's star again opposes a surrounding darkness, but the scope of his poetic luminousness
extends even further.
Johannes Kepler seems to have been the first to have recognized this paradox; he understood that if the stars on the heavenly vault were uniformly disposed, then the sky during nighttime would be black, and the sky during daytime would uniformly have in its entirety the same luminousness
as of the solar disk.
He bolsters this notion by citing Susan Sontag's famous admonition in "Against Interpretation"--"We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more." He could just as well have quoted another Sontag formulation--"Transparence means experiencing the luminousness
of the thing in itself"--because his familiar, if not unjust, premise is that we've lost this transparence, along with the ability to see, hear, and feel enough.
Through this lens, James sees spiritual judgments on religion as independent from existential judgments because spiritual judgments rely on criteria of value: the degree of immediate luminousness
, philosophical reasonableness, and moral helpfulness (5).
Initially, the drugged William Asquith Farnaby disappears into a blissful luminousness
said to be "the mind's natural state" (I 263).
The comprehensiveness of Gadamer's adumbration of hermeneutic experience recalls what Lonergan says in a review of Coreth's Metaphysik: "We should learn that questioning not only is about being but is being, being in its Gelichtetheit (luminousness
), being in its openness to being, being that is realizing itself through inquiry to knowing that, through knowing, it may come to loving."(13) No wonder Gadamer's notion of experience as being corresponds remarkably to Lonergan's description of "being oneself as being,"(14) since for him, too, being is concrete, not abstract.