abase...by spurring...?


There is something in humility to exalt the mind, and something in exaltation to abase it. This Augustinian paradox is enlivened because he realizes that while humility causes the mind to be subject to what is superior--and nothing is superior to God, hence, humility causes the mind to be subject to God--exaltation abases the mind by spurring it to resist subjection to God.

I can't understand the last sentence. How could the mind be abased when it is spurred to resist??? For me, "exaltation abases" doesn't seem to match with the rest part of the sentence. Please help me to understand it. :(
  • elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Exaltation: praise
    abases: degrades
    spurring: inciting
    resist: go against
    subjection: submission, servitude

    So praise degrades the mind by inciting it to go against submission to God.

    The author assumes that God is superior to all. Thus anything that leads the mind to resist that is "abasing" the mind. There is no contradiction here.

    This is in sync with the rest of the paragraph because the author is explaining why humility exalts the mind while exaltation abases it. This is a seeming paradox that is clarified when one considers that humility exalts the mind by encouraging submission to God while exaltation abases the mind by doing the opposite.



    Oh, after looking up a dictionary I misunderstood "to abase" meaning "to suppress".
    Thanks to your recommanding easier words, the sentence became very clear to me. Thanks a lot, Elory. I really appreciate that.