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A common thread of faith and reason runs through the two different theological visions of St Augustine in his Confessions This can be seen by comparing the ascent the vision the descent and language in the two visions Although other parts of the text will be referred to the central part of these visions are as followsVision 1 in an instant of awe my mind attained to the sight of the God who IS Then at last I caught sight of your invisible nature as it is known through your creatures But I had no strength to fix my gaze upon them In my weakness I recoiled and fell back Vision 2 And while we spoke of the Eternal Wisdom longing for it and straining for it with all the strength of our hearts for one fleeting instant we reached out and touched it Then with a sigh leaving our spiritual harvest bound to it we returned to the sound of our own speech Page 197The two excerpts are written in similar styles Both contain strong Platonist language such as references to the line the image of climbing to knowledge in the second vision page 197 the cave confusion of images in the first vision page 151 and the sun the transient quality of the first vision page 152 The language in each vision also refers to the method of ascent In the first vision Augustine makes his ascent by reason seen through words like my thoughts the power of reason and bodily sense In the second vision Augustine and his mother Monica make the ascent by the power of love This is seen by words such as flame of love our hearts and strength of our hearts Page 197The method of ascent to each vision is significant when considering the role that faith and reason play in each Together the method of ascent faith and reason represent Augustines journey to faith The first
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