Peter Kreeft on the sea as a sacred sign…

BOSTON – “Nature reveals God’s mind and imagination, and scripture reveals God’s heart and will,” says philosopher Peter Kreeft. But the “ability to read natural signs has decreased with the increase in the ability to read and decipher artificial signs.”

A professor of philosophy at Boston College, Kreeft has authored nearly 50 books including,The Sea Within, I Surf Therefore I Am, and If Einstein Had Been a Surfer. He reflected recently on why the sea holds such a fascination for us, even as we are more and more distracted by technology.

CWRWhy do you think the sea fascinates us?

Kreeft: The reason why the sea does this in a special way is as mysterious as the sea itself. Its size, of course, bespeaks the ontological size of God, but the air — the heavens above — is even bigger, but does not evoke in us the same wonder.

In the last resort the wonder of the sea is not reducible to a clear, rational explanation. “Deep calleth unto deep” — the sea of waves without evokes the sea of wonder within.

Partial explanations are helpful, however. In general, the reason for the fascination is what the Iroquois call “orenda,” the spiritual magnetism or electricity in things that draws us and gives us that standstill shock, that catch of the breath. It is the secret ingredient the Creator put into seas, trees, stars and music.

More specifically, the sea combines the bigness, the ever-aliveness, and the paradoxical juxtaposition of peacefulness and storminess that we see in our own souls when we dive deep enough there.

You can read more here.


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