For the Greeks logos
meant many things, including (according to F. E. Peters) "speech, account,
reason, definition, rational faculty, proportion" (110). For the Pre-Socratic
Heraclitus, logos was "an underlying organizational principle of
the universe" (Peters 111); for Plato,
it was the opposite of mythos--a true account of the nature of things;
for Aristotle, it became roughly equivalent
to reason itself.
For Barfield, logos names the "faint awareness
of creative activity alike in nature and man" which remained after the
decline of original participation (SA 185).
called the logos "the evolver" (WCT 150). Barfield calls it "the
depth of all theology."
In Greek, Barfield points out, it "always meant
both 'word' and the creative faculty in human beings--'Reason,' as it is
often translated--which expresses itself by making and using words" (HEW
113). And yet the philological evidence suggests that the concept of the
logos was the product of the evolution
It was thus only "as the Greek spirit emerged
from that more thorough-going intermingling with the Spirit--or Spirits--of
nature, which gave rise to the rich imaginations of their Mythologies"
that the Greeks "evolved their doctrine of the Logos . . . the creative
Word, which informs both man and nature." (XXXXX)
The philosophic problem of an opposition
between "subjective" and "objective" was not heard of until the time of
the Stoics, and on the other hand it
is in this same sect that we first meet with a theory of the divine Logos.
Men begin to be conscious of an indwelling creative principle, precisely
as they begin to feel themselves detached from it. (RCA 127)
Contemporary ignorance of the shaping power
of the logos--an obliviousness which, Barfield shows, began with the Romans--leads
to an idolatrous, reductionistic understanding of evolution, as Burgeon
explains in Unancestral Voice:
"Either all things were made, and
are sustained, by the Logos, or they were not. If they were, then the Logos
is, in some way, the transforming agent underlying the changes in both
nature and history. The ordinary theory of evolution is what it is because
by the time men first became aware of evolution they no longer knew anything
of that transforming agent. And it is that very ignorance for which Rome
is responsible at the bar of history." (99)
|See in particular "Philosophy and Religion"
(HEW 96-117), "Philology and the Incarnation" (RM 228-36),
the Appearances, Chaps. XXII, XXIII, XXIV.