“Don’t ask out people you like-only people you dislike”, warns Fellow Student Rocker (F.S.R.) Louisa in what is claimed to be a “hot and spicy take on love” in her book Imperfect Definitions of Imperfect. Now spicy here is almost always used in Wyoming Catholic College culture as related to love, dating, and the awkward, but in what way we mean it to be so has received surprisingly little scrutiny. The term became truly popular here at WCC by the popularizing efforts only last semester of Matthew Kubisch but many already are quote strongly opinionated. Some declare that they are very uncomfortable with its usage. “It’s a horrible term,” says one, “It’s almost like the people who use it are trying to make fun of the fact that I’m pseudo-dating.” (Whitmore, 27). Amid this and many other serious complaints from theologians concerned over the “depraved moral effect bringing such a term into our vocabulary” the fate of this usage seems in jeopardy as popular opinion could turn against it. Nevertheless, however, I believe the recent opposition to the wider interpretation of the word is misguided, and true virtue, moderation, and good for all sides is to be found in properly understanding the word and separating its equivocal senses. Rather than a scourge on language, the word spicy in what it represents is a path to the real, to ultimately the good itself
But to understand why it is so beneficial, a contra-distinguishment must be made between the many senses in which spicy is said. There are five ways in which “spicy” is philosophically said, although the broader culture only accepts one. This is the statement of accidental characteristics about food which man apprehends by the intellectual sense of “taste”. Spicy in this case, of course, means that specific characteristics of sharpness and heat and is the proper literal reading of the word. But the other senses we must distinguish are as spicy is in the science of dating similar to the double significance of the spiritual sense of Scripture, the metaphorical sense of formal situations, the anagogical of the “spicy” applied to the end times, and that of habitual properties of the soul. Each of these four are distinct from each other but are united nevertheless under a broader formality of interpersonal communicative relationships of emotion.
A problem originates seemingly at this level in understanding spice as Louisa pointed out in her partial attempt to define spicy: “We are trying to define spicy, and five senses seem likely given historical associations as we have begun and will continue to explicate, but the idea of spiciness, if there be anything more within than accidental relationships between meanings, must have unity” (Whitmore, 142) This principle of looking for unity has merit, but Louisa’s research only goes so far in trying to find it, leaving us to look for what it could actually be. The philosophical principle of metal may provide one unifying principle, but as we work to further understand the numerous denominations of spice we must at least begin to recognize the transcendental nature of spice to exceed the limitations of language. Our definitions will continue to focus on distinguishment but also in a unity of the word’s definitions among an ephemeral principle that will require far more to fully apprehend. The path to the spicy, like the philosophical ascent to the real that is in metal, is transcendent to man’s nature.
Proceeding first from habitual properties of soil, spicy exists as an image of the nature of metal within the soul. We “can apprehend the spicy in a gradual process within the soul of another as it is expressed through physical manifestations in a manner corresponding to the ultimate principle of nature that is metal,” says Daniel Schreiber in his new book Movies that Make You a Chicken. This is a complex definition, of course, and may seem unproven. However, it is quite easily apprehended actually in practice by the first act of the intellect in observation of persons who act by nature in this mode. At Wyoming Catholic College Matthew Kubisch and Andrew Russell best example this philosophical mode of being. Just as justice can be seen in an individual without being understood, truly understanding what many apprehend as the spicy nature requires a deeper philosophical inquiry, however.
We reach this apprehension of inquiry through exposure to the immaterial form and through the life of the metalhead, where only those who truly commit themselves in the interior reach full awareness of the truth found in and through metal. Here one would find metal manifested as the “spicy” in such things as the saying of the word “spicy” itself as Matthew the Kubes is so accustomed to order himself to practice. But it is in more than words that one finds this interior disposition of soul expressed and sophistically referencing back to the idea of true spice. One who truly has the spicy within his soul will express it exteriorly to the end of a draw to the tangibility of hair. Now, this tangibleness of hair is in two ways itself, both that of the possession of long and wacked hair by virtue of this interior attribute and a desire of soul directed to the tangible experience of hair in others. So also was said of the spicy nature of Socrates in the Phaedo: “For he was in the habit of playing with my hair at times”. As Louisa further recounts, when this pivotal passage was expressed in Humanities class last year, a freshman rocker posited, “Like Matthew?” to which the response “Like Matthew!” (Whitmore, 96) was immediately made. Like the spicy Socrates of the book: The New Spicy So-Crates, Matthew Khubish in this inseparable quality of touching other people’s hair showcases the same sort of spice in one’s own soul. Long hair, aforementioned, is another example of this soul spice disposition and is far more prevalently found within WCC, “Urgonomics” and the “Sick and Savage” showcase the spicy in this way as a disposition of soul
In the next sense of spicy, the anagogical, the beginnings of a deeper overall unity between each sense begin to show themselves to the intellect superficially at first, but fully upon deeper reflection. In reference to the end times, firstly, there will most definitely be “spice” as one can apply a metaphorical literal reading to the word spicy to reach the idea of fire and brimstone. This is not spicy in the literal sense of course. However, this metaphorical reading of the word beautifully flows into the anagogical that depends upon it. From hence we see that the end will be spicy as destruction by fire is hot and hot is related to the concept of spicy by a type of linguistic congruence. But this is only a superficial way not according to the essence, the lack of an apparent congruence of being leading to Aquinas’ view that spicy “does not correspond truly to any of the senses of scripture.” It was not apparent in his day, of course, as metal was only philosophically known as a substance and not in its deeper sense as a type of internal disposition. Thus, however, we find a by essence proof of spicy in the end times by a more ephemeral spiritual glimpse.
We know know that metal is an inseparable quality of soul leading to reflection along the philosophical ascent. With this, one can begin to “glimpse” in this way the spicy that accompanies those things pertaining to metal, even within the Bible as what at first seemed literal to eyes clouded by the confusion of sin is revealed to the philosophic mind in an anagogical depth. Take, for instance, Blaise the Sick and Savage’s famous phrase on the Book of Judges: “This is the most heavy-metal book of the Bible”. In the Bible there thus we find heavy metal as Blaise relates here the actions which constitute the lived life of it. However, the spicy is ever present within this as we see from another example, that of Esau, Jacob, and the pottage. Of course, we all know that “Jacob is a bad dude” but it is far less known how spicy and heavy-metal are revealed to be linked in this passage. As Young’s Literal Translation reads of this story: “Let me eat, I pray thee, some of this red red thing, for I [am] weary” (Genesis 25:30). “Red Red”, as the name of the pottage which Esau asked for, is obviously a colloquialism of the time referring to the name of a long-lost heavy metal band, focusing on a form of metal long since lost into time. And the pottage was also obviously spicy, as we see from the combined testimony of Classic Edition Amplified Bible which reads:“Jacob was boiling pottage (lentil stew) one day, when Esau came from the field and was faint [with hunger]” (Gen 25:29). The pottage of the account was “lentil stew” and looking up lentil stew gives as a first result from Google a recipe from the website “A Spicy Perspective”, a recipe which is also spicy in the proper literal sense of the accidents of the substances it contains. And, further, “sick” as in the “Sick and Savage Galbraith” is associated with heavy metal as Bernadette Wall discovered in her book Spicy Recipes for Spicy Souls: An incident was described by her as “as sick as a bean in a hot pot” meaning that a bean or lentil in the ancient denomination of the thing is somehow like the heavy metal concept of “sick” or that the Biblical story is metallic and spicy, or some combination of both.
Here then, pulling it all together, we find the anagogical sense. Jacob, known as a “bad dude” is making a spicy lentil soup named after a Biblical era heavy metal band, Red Red,while its constituting ingredients, beans, are heavy metal like. This incident was put in the Bible for a reason by God, and it is to show the unity of spicy and heavy metal in the Bible as under the broader formality of things relating to the end times. For where else is a boiling stew mentioned in the Bible than in the book of Revelation? It is “the seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God” (Revelation 15:7 RSVCE) that next show anything similar to the “lentil stew” of Genesis, and an even deeper parallel of the spicy, heavy-metal, and the anagogical is found in context. These bowls are of God’s anger about to be poured out on the world, just like the “Red Red” itself examples heavy-metal anger released in Esau against the bad dude Jacob. The anger of God is then to be like the heavy-metal “spicy” nature of the Red Red pottage. Described as alike smoke in Revelation we know that God’s anger and its results are spicy. For there were “smelling spices to mix with the oil for dedicating the tent and ordaining the priests” (Exodus 25:6 Contemporary English Version). The oil which burned for and as God’s to produce the smoke in Exodus was mixed with spices, and thereby representing God’s anger at the end of time, is and was spicy.
This means then that one must then consider spicy as anagogical when considering the end times, as a word applicable to the anger of God released therein. It is not a true definition but it is already obvious that this is as far as we can go in a use of a term applicable to things not yet known and studied under a transcendent formality. What this means in relation to particulars will require further thought, of course. It is not immediately obvious whether or not one should call the “something like a great mountain, with bright flames of burning fire” which “was cast into the sea” (Rev. 8:8) spicy per se or not. Joseph Nemec thinks not, that this exemplifies a spiciness “only of the end times in a stretch of language, as spicy anagogically will properly refer to only the final moments of history” (Nemec, 184). Perhaps, but at this point the anagogical sense is one only at the stage truly of reflection and not yet having reached the full exposition of knowledgy knowledge. If we assume, however, that “spicy” is properly applicable here, we find a practical meaning to Bernadette Wall’s suggestion that the end times “will be super spiced” (Wall, 164).
In a metaphorical sense that is at the same time not of this anagogical path or of the habitual qualities, we can also see a use of the word spicy. As Johannes says in Plato’s Russell dialogue: “Love does things to people” Formal situations where souls are moved into actualization of behaviours by the moving nature of love do “things to people”. In no way here do we in use of this sense imply any routes leading to sin or near occasions of it, but the things otherwise that spicy souls apprehend and denominate as spicy. Although often confused with the spice of habitual properties of souls, this concept of spicy is that of actions in a lesser degree, of persons still freely in control of their faculties. The habitual properties of the soul, even while appearing sometimes as accidents, are accidents in the cultural sense in that they happen without consent of active will of one not spicy. Those happen because the nature of the person has become as to spicy. Rather, however, this metaphorical spice is in things that may or may not be present in the nature of a man. These are things that one freely chooses to embrace or to lay aside, to act spicy in one chance moment and not in another, acting in a limited sense where one can distinguish those actions which are spicy from those which are not.
But for an actual definition of this sense of the word, knowledge of things and situations is required, to see in which way words have come to mean other things so as to provoke the feeling that they are spicy. This metaphorical sense of spicy, as can be seen through examples, is caused really by a very sophisticated form of equivocation. It is the feeling of confusion that occurs in reference to some things and situations that produces this sense but this shadowy understanding can be reached only again through examples. One can only understand the equivocation that underlies the spicy and produces so this confusion when he distinguishes between each equivocal usage, and knows that they are actually different from each other.
For example, one must need see the difference between dating and dating, a case of subtle equivocation in a thing and situational set often perceived as spicy. Dating can be seen in the deep sense of courtship, an official, recognized thing reserved at WCC only typically to Seniors in the last two weeks before their final finals. But the equivocation in it is as dating has metaphorically come to mean something else, that of the person with whom one often studies, is of the opposite gender, and is often seen as an inseparable accident of and vice versa substance subsisting, to the other. Take philosophy further for another example, the term refers to a pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, or for the sake of pleasing Dr. Grove in the typical sense. But as a science with a formal object, philosophy is a thing, and the term for it has taken on several metaphorical meanings which further illustrate this knowledge of things and situations required to know the metaphorically spicy. “The association of philosophy with Plato’s Phaedrus dialogue in reference to Sophie comes naturally,” Ryan Alexander argues in his book E-mail Spice Tips. As he demonstrates, if one divides the word “philosophy” into its component proto-Andreic language roots you get “philos” and “Sophy”. Philos means love and comes from from the dark ages of the Greek language that predate even proto-Andreic. Sophy, when anglicised, is spelled as the English name Sophie. Together then there is the obvious metaphorical association of the combined word philosophy following Professor Washut’s concerning class on the Phaedrus and Symposium dialogues. The true philosopher is one who will ask you to “study philosophy with me” as a WCC Student Life Office report argues, in a sense of studying philosophy that every student knows is not the literal sense. But again, you feel the equivocation when you use the word. It almost stings at your mind the confusion. It’s not regular confusion, it’s different, bolder, sharper. And that is when you realize that you have just experienced the spicy through a metaphor.
Even spicy itself in another sense can produce this metaphorical determination. See for example, how the equivocal uses of spicy make many complain that they feel uncomfortable in respect to equivocation with the word. Junior Sophia Donaldson, for example, complains that she can’t even talk about her food without snickering whispers from those who conflate her use of spicy in the meaning of seasoning with the school’s obsession with this “spicy”. “Its an outrage,” she says. “Not only is equivocation destroying world peace but its also conflating the theological virtue of love with a seasoning” (Alexander, 136). Unfortunately for this Sophia (who is not the aforementioned Sophie), she is in a case of “death of the soul” that Aquinas mentions, but, weakened so of soul and mind, she can not take the uncomfortable feeling of equivocation properly. The spice is too much with her.
But fortunately it is not late and soon. Getting and spending her life in this way would be wasting her powers, but instead through knowledge of the spread of spicy, understanding fully that the feeling she has of the word is actually itself a sense of the word, she can be upgathered now into tolerance of the equivocation that underlies the term she has realized equivocation in. But the way to this resurrection is through the spicy itself. For people like Sophia, it may be hard, but “there’s no better way to say it” as Nemec records Matt the Kubes to have said about his reportedly spicy humanities paper. Entering the spicy itself is surprisingly like apprehension and ascent to metal itself, another important transcendental. Spicy may get a bad reputation, but it is part of our communication, the metaphor graveyard in its metaphorical sense, the end times in its anagogical sense, and an attribute with which a chosen few possess inseparably in their nature. Spicy is a transcendental, the image of metal upon reality, shadowed and separated through its senses, but an image of reality attached by God’s Divine plan to relate to love and direct towards it.
For “a man does not really love you unless he’s willing to get a sheep farm” (Grove, 23). Camille said this, long in the ages ago of the second semester. And she is quite right, true love, the reality of it, depends on the “sheep farm”, the transcendent experience of the real. It is quite obvious that a sheep farm is a spicy place. Who would eat a sheep without first carefully spicing it? And as true love depends on the real, and spicy is a transcendental in its broadest formality of consideration with respect to the metallic life that exposes it to be so, love is spicy. Irkutsk Ice Truckers supports this view as one of its directors, in direct response to Camille’s take on love, said that “ITT is now in the sheep-farm business” (Grove, 24). Irkutsk Ice Truckers, acclaimed as both one of the spiciest and most heavy-metal corporations in the world, thus shows intent of direction towards both love and the spicy, unified under the real, the “really love you” as a transcendental. They base their support on Dr. Grove’s statement of imperative that WCC students are “supposed to get your seven hours of sleep, have time to date break up, date, break up, etc” (Grove, 154). Unlike the way in which many of the Class of 2021 have tried to experience the real, the real way to the real is actually through real love, real love that requires an openness to the transcendent reality of the spicy in all its senses.
Some few, opposed to this elevated view of spicy, might take for support Dr. Olsson’s claim that “dating is terrible” (Plato, 865c). However, these remarks, taken from his commentary in the Russell dialogue with Socrates have been interpreted out of context by those hoping to demean this particular path to reality. Dating may be “terrible” but it is in the sense of the “terror” and realism that are a crucial part of the overall metalhead experience. It is not “terrible” as in the sense of a reaction contrary to nature and against one’s desire for the best. Dating is rather here part of the metalhead reality itself. As a path to the love that is spicy, dating occurs best when it is properly formed from the beginning to be open to the realities of the spicy. Here, there is further evidence against this claim that dating as a formal situation of the spicy in the process of becoming is bad. Rather than that, Professor Washut’s full quote says something more profound: “From experience as a professional and serial dater, it’s terrible.” Dating is not just a potentiality leading to the spicy, but in itself has something of the spicy, and is something Washut himself has had “experience” in a “professional and serial” sense in. It has the spicy in motion, the spicy that has begun, to speak in a loose sense given that the form of the spicy is unchanging and perfect. The dater can reach the perfection of himself even as he already has it partially.
It is here, when one opens their eyes enough to see the spicy and not discount it, to see the outside, the mountain after leaving what was once thought to be a metaphor only and not in fact, the famed cave of Plato, where one truly find the real. Perhaps the spicy, in its nature as a perfect form may need more work to fully comprehend. I make no claim to perfectly exposing it here. But in contradiction to the longstanding beliefs of the Class of 2021, the true “experiencing the real” begins with what many of them have cast off as foolish, the spicy life, the metallic life, the rocker spirit, the dating scene, the spicy banana peppers on one’s salad that represent interior qualities of soul. For everyone, in their goal of perfecting themself, and experiencing the true, good, and beautiful as we see as means to the single end of the Good itself, one can find another way unified and divided, diverse and one, depending on one’s openness. The spicy may seem to have five senses, but they are part of one, that pursuit of the real ending in the good. In all its senses, the spicy eventually leads to the good, but as students at WCC, our best beginning to have success in directing action of soul, is to take Dr. Olsson’s advice and viewpoint. As one of the most philosophical of WCC’s professors, Dr. Olsson sees the reality of the spicy, “having left the cave”, he recognizes its value, and without any reservations embraces a path to the good through the spicy: “My wife and I are responsible for every successful marriage here” (Alexander, 177). In the context of the Speed Dating event he and his wife led, there is ultimate proof that spicy is philosophic, good, and the way to the Best, though also part of the Best itself, as Dr. Olsson found reason to involve himself for these ends in an even that cannot be described otherwise than as spicy.
Alexander, Ryan. E-Mail Spice Tips. Minston: Alexander Yardley Publications, 2016
Aquinas, St. Thomas, Summa Theologica II: The New Ideas. Trans. Dr. Glenn Arbery. Rome: Ignatius Press, 1986
Galbraith, Blaise, Metalheads and the Greek Consciousness. Santa Paula: Thomas Aquinas Press, 2009
Grove, Dr. Stanley. The Art of the Curve. Fairfax: Rock-Out Good Books, 1999
Lasnoski, Dr. Kent. 700 Shrines For 700 Wives. Lander: WCC Books, 2011
Nemec, Joseph, Warrior Heavy Metal Bible Heroes for Kids. Austin: Seeker Studio Books, 2019
Plato, The New Spicy So-Crates. Trans. Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos. Boston: SophistSavers, 1999
Schreiber, Daniel. Movies that Make You a Chicken. Appleton: Cheesy Books, 2007
Wall, Bernadette, Spicy Recipes for Spicy Souls. Seattle: Patton Media, 2012
Whitmore, Louisa. Imperfect Definitions of Imperfect. Denver: Risible Media, 2017