초록 close

이 글은 아우구스티누스의 「고백록」에 나타난 시간 이론을 염두에 두고 인간이 신성을 대면할 수 있는 한 가지 방법을 밝히기 위한 것이다. 「고백록」의 시간 이론은 유한성에 지배되는 인간이 어떻게 무한한 신성을 추구할 수 있는지에 관한 의문에서 출발한다. 그 의문을 해결하는 과정에서 아우구스티누스가 내놓은 한 가지 대답이 바로 시간 개념이다. 아우구스티누스에 의하면 시간의 흐름의 원인은 영혼의 분산이다. 만일 영혼이 분산되지 않고 오로지 집중의 상태를 지속할 수 있다면 그 때의 영혼은 신성으로의 복귀를 실현할 수 있게 된다. 다만 인간은 그 존재적 한계로 인하여 오직 순간에서 영혼의 집중을 통하여 시간 속의 영원을 접할 수 있다. 순간에서 영원을 만난다는 아우구스티누스의 견해는 키에르케고르의 시간 이론에 비추어 볼 때 더욱 분명해진다. 키에르케고르에 의하면 교사는 학생이 영원의 진리를 만나는 ‘결정적 순간’을 창조하여 인간을 영원과 이어주는, 이른바 신성의 매개자이다.


The theory of time in Confessions starts from the question about how a finite human can pursue infinite divinity. A concept of time came out in the process of figuring out the question. According to Augustinus, human’s time can’t be grasped properly in the perspective of physics. From the view point of physics, time does exist in temporal sequence, but the existence of time cannot be fully established in this way. Amongst the three concepts of time, past-present-future, the present is the only one which can be proved to be in existence. However, when it comes to perceiving, the time flows to the past, in Augustinus’ term, ‘non-existence’. The present, which is the time of human, can exist only in the way it flows to the non-existence. Augustinus points out that the paradox of time occurs when we try to grasp time in a physical way. Thus he explicates that the time can fully be grasped when it is explained in the psychological view point. To Augustinus, time is psychological. In other words, time is grasped in the human soul and so it cannot be explained without the concept of soul. Augustinus defines time as ‘the distention of soul’. In his point of view, time is the change that the soul experiences when it is distorted(distended), and this inevitable change is the destiny of human beings. The soul is something located within the human being, and a life in accordance with the soul is not different from a life in the pursuit of an absolute truth within which refers to eternity or divinity. Thus the intention and distention of the soul is understood as the act of the soul pursuing the divinity within. When the soul is distended, it only concerns with the present in terms of Ricoeur, ‘three-fold present’. Scattering to the past and the future, the present continually experiences the distention of the soul. Human soul is always in a state of cracks and discordance. The human soul, which cannot avoid the existential predicament of cracks and discordance, experiences the distention of the soul not being able to contemplate the eternity. Augustinus’ view of meeting eternity at the moment becomes more clear in the light of Kierkegaard’s theory of time. Kierkegaard also thinks that human can meet the eternity in time, and this is no different from meeting the truth in time. Kierkegaard explains the teacher who delivers the truth to humans in the way of Socrates and Jesus. The teacher is a creator who triggers a ‘decisive moment’ and a mediator who connects human to eternity. Human living in finite time meets the truth of eternity with a teacher.