9-11 and the Parallel Looniverse
Hmm. As with all of Petey’s wiggets of gnosdom, this one is worthy of the application of some sustained higher bewilderment. For, if it is true that the present alters the past, then before getting into specific cases such as 9-11, we should ask the question: “by virtue of what principle?” In fact, this question is at the heart of metaphysics, which looks beyond surface appearances to inquire into the principles by virtue of which various appearances are possible.
Vincent Vega: Example?
Jules: For example, by virtue of what principle are human beings capable of knowing truth? Answer that one, and you will be able to cut through the thicket of about 99% of philosophistry. By virtue of what principle was the big bang so precisely ordered mathematically? By virtue of what principle may a cosmos be so arranged that it contains living entities capable of knowing (and therefore containing) itself? By virtue of what principle do animals leave the closed system of their own neurology and enter history? By virtue of what principle may human beings know the absolute? Answer these questions and you may skip my book.
The great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote that “All our destinies are interwoven,” and that “until the last of us has lived, the significance of the first cannot finally be clear.“ For some reason, I was pondering this quite literally the other day. Think about it. No matter how you slice it, the world and the cosmos are going to end. Like everything else deployed in time, they had a beginning and they have an expiration date.
Even before genetic Homo sapiens entered the realm of the truly human a mere 40,000 years ago, the adventure of biology was already two thirds over. That is, biological life manifested on earth just under four billion years ago, but according to my watch, in another two billion years the sun will incinerate the earth, putting a final end to the struggle. Even in the exceedingly unlikely event that we could somehow populate distant planets with billions of people, that will only postpone the inevitable.
Someone is going to be the Last Man Standing. Only he will finally be in a position to take one last look at the orange colored sky, scratch his size 14 Omega Man head, and ask the question, “What was that all about, then? What was history? What did it all mean?” Certainly he will be able to tell us how that ancient war on Islamo-fascism turned out. Only he will finally be able to put everything in its place, see where things ultimately led, see beyond the appearances, and know What Really Happened.
Is that true? Not to repeat myself, but by virtue of what principle? Because human beings have three sources of information about history: 1) facts and reason, 2) pure intellection, and 3) revelation. So even this last man is going to have a very different take on things if he is a secular man, a religious man, or a gnostic man.
But for the religious/gnostic man, we don’t necessarily have to wait until the end of history to discern its ultimate meaning. This is because revelation--whether you agree or disagree with it--purports to disclose the end of both history and creation itself. This is the study of eschatology, that branch of theology concerned with the end: of mankind, of history, and of the world.
If--and only if--you can know this actual eschatological end, can you discern ultimate purposes within history. Let’s take an example I cited a few weeks ago. The great historian Christopher Dawson made the provocative and yet axiomatic assertion that being an eye witness to history is of no consequence whatsoever to historical insight. Obviously, most of us lived through the Clinton years, so we think we know what happened. We were there. But were we really, at least historically?
Dawson uses the example of the Battle of Hastings, which every British schoolchild evidently knows: “A visitor from another planet who witnessed the Battle of Hastings would possess far greater knowledge of the facts than any modern historian, yet this knowledge would not be historical knowledge for lack of any tradition to which it could be related; whereas the child who says ‘William the Conqueror 1066’ has already made his atom of knowledge a historical fact by relating it to a national tradition and placing it in the time-series of Christian culture.”
Similarly, an eye witness to the crucifixion of Jesus would have undoubtedly taken as much notice of the two criminals who were crucified beside him. Only in hindsight was the centrality of Jesus’ death recognized. It is fair to say that no one who witnessed it thought to themselves, “Hmm, interesting. This is the center and still point of history. Yesterday was BC. Tomorrow will be AD.”
As Dawson writes, “Behind the rational sequence of political and economic cause and effect, hidden spiritual forces are at work which confer on events a wholly new significance. The real meaning of history is something entirely different from that which the human actors in the historical drama themselves intend or believe.” A contemporary observer cannot have imagined that “the execution of an obscure Jewish religious leader in the first century of the Roman Empire would affect the lives and thoughts of millions who never heard the names of the great statesmen and generals of the age.”
Thus, there is an unavoidably eschatological aspect of history. Events cannot be fully understood without reference to their finality, that is, what they point toward and reveal only in the fullness of time. As Dawson says, “The pure fact is not as such historical. It only becomes historical when it can be brought in relation with a tradition so that it can be part of an organic whole.”
Therefore, in order to be a proper historian, you had better have your story right. And what is the story? Ah, that’s the question, isn’t it? For it is fair to say that left and right are operating under the umbrella of vastly different stories--politically, culturally, economically, psychologically, theologically, and in just about every other -ally way. Somebody's hiding under the historical dumbrella.
As Dr. Sanity notes, 9-11 was not so much an event as a fork in the historical road creating two parallel universes--a universe and a twin looniverse, not so much parallel as truly perpeculiar. It is as if we veered in one direction, whereas the left veered into what is called a cosmic wormhole, another branch of time altogether. Being that they are trapped in the safety of their own delusional punyverse, they continue to interpret contemporary events by the dim light of 1996, just as, I suppose, there were some people who never stopped interpreting events after 12-7-41 in terms of 12-6.
In the end, this is what the Clinton phallap is all about: trying to stop history and freeze it as it appeared at some point in the 1990’s, prior to the stock market crash and 9-11 (just as it's eternally 1955 for the race hustlers sniveling rights activists). But it will never work. Only by knowing where history went can we know what history meant. All the facts in the world do not speak for themselves, not even the “facts” in Richard Clarke’s autofellatiography. History does not and cannot speak for itself. Depending on its deeperending, you will see completely different facts and regard them very differently.
So there is history and mythtory. But with the right eschatall tale, you can know the end of the story and place contemporary events in their proper context. You may--dare I say--know the signs of the times, and discern them from the designs of the Times.