Here I want to acknowledge the final achievement. I want to note that everything before is preparation, and everything that follows is consequence.
We should acknowledge that what is emphasized here is that purity at core is everything. Everything emanates from its core. An effect cannot be greater than its cause. So, it is purity of heart that is everything for he who conceives of heart as the core. And this is certainly what Jesus of Nazareth is saying.
No evil follows from a source of no evil. No evil effect can come from causes which are not evil. Purity of heart is everything on the assumption that hear is a term for the already mixed ingredients of the two abstracted categories that have always been the fundamental ways of analyzing the human. First, intellect. Second, will. One can only aim purely and well by seeing clearly what is to be aimed at and marshaling one’s energy toward that which is best.
Purity of hear captures cleanliness in its best sense, in its moral sense. I can hear the cries of “You don’t know what that is” and “Who says what cleanliness is?” as if these mattered to the man interested in moral development. Cleanliness is what cleanliness is. Purity is what purity is. That men, in their imperfection and limitation disagree, is nothing to the man interested in pursuit of what is pure. He knows that he is the only one who is able, for him, to gauge the purity. He knows, ultimately he is responsible for his account and so he is not distracted by the cries of he who would try and catch him in a snare of argument. It is not worth his time. Now, if he senses that there is another who has tapped further into the essence of purity, he is attracted and ready to ask and listen. But to prove?
We who have read to the end of the beatitudes, and who have reflected on the lives of Socrates or Jesus know what is coming. There is the accusation of such offense as would justify elimination. But, this says more about what the pure have come from and grown out of than anything. He who has not achieved poverty of spirit but thinks in his imperfection that he is powerful of spirit, he in particular aggresses against the non-violent.
It is a testimony to the lives of Socrates and Jesus that at the end of their lives they must have seen, from their subjectivity, nothing but a well-lived life that would extinguish and be forgotten. Neither had written anything. Neither has preserved more than a handful of devoted friends. That which is elevated and honored of the day sat easily in control and in domination over these two peace makers.
And yet here your author stands thousands of years later cherishing the names. There is NOTHING in the names. But the names are markers for some approach to purity and the way in which the focus on the well-lived life might both look pitifully inadequate and really be explosively impactful.
I dangle a carrot. Do not hope for impact. Hope for purity. Do not let go of the word. It resonates in the mind as a nice word for all that is worth attaining. What do I want to be? Whatever a rational animal can ultimately really be–unmixed, unpolluted…pure. How much time do I have? Little! Where do I start? Poverty of spirit.