To speak, to do, to see: Analogy, participation, divine ideas and the idea of beauty
This chapter argues that nihilism is not lack, but, indeed, the extreme provision of intelligibility, values, gods, and so on. Yet what it provides is only nothing after all. It may be wise to recall the particular meaning given here to the word provide. Earlier in the book it was mentioned that the word provide stems etymologically from two words: videre, meaning to see, and pro, meaning before. One can infer from this that the provenance of nihilism is a provision which occurs in the absence of that which is supposed to be given. For example, to be without being. (Chapter 10 develops this notion of provision.) This provenance gives its provisions before they are seen, that is, in their absence. We see this nothingness in the predicament in which modern discourse finds itself, namely that it cannot speak without causing that about which it is speaking to disappear.2 By contrast, it will be argued that theological discourse will enable us to say, to do, and to see.