Foundations, Augustine points out, are usually at the bottom supporting a structure but Christ, as the head, is above. How, therefore, can we call Christ the foundation? There are two kinds of weight, observes Augustine, and here he defines “weight” as that force within a thing that seems to make it strain to finds its proper place. For example, hold a stone in your hand – you feel its “weight” because it is “seeking” its proper place. Take your hand away and the stone falls to the ground. The stone has reached the goal it was tending toward. It has found its proper place – its foundation. Now (and here is where the poetry of Augustine’s analogy comes in), some weights find their proper place by pushing down and others by pushing upward.
P.S. Technical issue – I am having trouble uploading photos onto my posts. This has only happened recently. If anyone has a suggestion on how to correct this please let me know.
There is a short story told by Franz Kafka. In the story there is an emperor who is on his deathbed and he wants to send a message to you alone. Yes, you – poor, insignificant subject that you are – living at the furthest edge of the empire. But the message is extremely important to the emperor, so important that he summons a messenger and even has the messenger repeat the message back twice to make sure he has it memorized correctly. After the second time of checking the accuracy of the message the emperor nods his head approvingly. Then in the presence of his entire court the emperor dismisses the messenger and sends him on his mission to bring you the emperor’s message. Immediately the messenger sets out, he is a strong and vigorous man but immediately he encounters resistance – the members of the court are so packed around the emperor each vying for his attention. Bit by bit the messenger has to elbow and squeeze his way through the crowd. Finally, he makes his way out of the royal chamber but all the rooms of the palace are packed with people! He shows the royal insignia and this clears the path for a few feet but then he is faced with a wall of people again. But the messenger is determined; he keeps struggling against the crowd – one room after another, down stairways and inch by inch through the courtyard. Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity of struggle, the messenger passes through the final gate of the palace. But now what lies before him is the vast imperial city, piled high with mountains of its own rubbish through which no one can make headway. You, meanwhile sit at your window and dream about the message, as evening falls.