The Tree of Knowledge in The Soil of Being

This morning, I watched a few minutes of a Robert Wood lecture on Martin Heidegger. The lecture was given in a series titled, "Beauty in The Tradition." Serial lectures given at the conference of The Hildebrand Project.

Wood begins his lecture on Heidegger by first illustrating the priority of Renee Descartes's philosophy. He draws a tree on a whiteboard and names some branches.

As Wood draws, he tells the philosophical story that has shaped—how and what we think—us modern folk, and the world in which we find ourselves.

By using Descartes's own 'Tree of Knowledge' illustration, Wood explains Heidegger's priority for tilling the soil in which the tree is planted. Heidegger wants to know what the tree of knowledge is planted in. His answer?

Being in the world. This is the soil. Humanness by virtue of being is the terra firma of knowing. Being is the ground of knowing.

For the Christian, 'being' is of course foundational in the three-person-ness of, "I believe: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." God is being and he gifts us his being by virtue of his forming us in his image, in the act of creation and Incarnation.

Matthew B. Crawford's Book The World Beyond Your Head has helped me understand this very fundamental fact.