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Fig 4.8 – The Divine Intellect

Text: Page 132

The Augustinian doctrine of grace was influenced by the Neoplatonist Plotinus symbol of the soul as turning inward and discovering the divine, “the divine intellect.” Augustine modified Plotinus by incorporating the biblical belief that the inner self is created by a monotheistic God and needs grace and faith to be saved. In the symbol, the outer circle represents the beginning of the spiritual world. The square represents the boundary separating the spiritual world from the inner circle that represents the limitations of the physical world. The center symbolizes God, the creator who radiates grace and faith over the world and its chosen people.

The star always shines, giving hope that the light of grace and faith will never be extinguished and will carry the believer to the eternal life of heaven. Divine grace only comes from loving God like a lover, like a first love, or like a long-lost lover.

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