Titanic Ignorance and Vertical Paralysis (12.09.10)
As an aside, isn't it remarkable that Christianity is still here a whole week after James Cameron destroyed it with empirical evidence?
I don't know how stupid James Cameron is, but I'm guessing that he would fall into the category of "pretty damn." The very idea of trying to find some empirical data capable of disproving the divine reality is just so dopey as to be beyond belief, but nevertheless, a "sign of the times," the "times" being exceedingly congenial to bovine materialists, rationalists, and reductionists. Being so, the only question is why a person who lives in two-dimensional flatland would waste his time trying to prove that spheres do not exist. Of course they do not exist -- not for rocks, not for bacteria, and obviously not for the likes of James Cameron. In the end, Cameron merely proved what for him is an ontological tautology: all spheres are actually circles.
And even if some spheres turn out to be circles, it remains a profound mystery as to how circles ever become spheres. One such instance occurred 3.85 billion years ago, when the cosmos exited the closed circle of material existence and suddenly became filled with "an abundance of creatures" -- a sphere of life. Every scientist who looks at life as a mere horizontal extension of matter is just as metaphysically unsophisticated as James Cameron or any other benighted atheist -- another instance of trying to "turn stones into bread," or quantity into quality. Cameron's little rearrangement of a few deck chairs can hardly keep his meager philosophy -- whatever it is -- afloat.
Along these lines, I skimmed a little piece entitled Will Biology Solve the Universe (TW: William). He's not especially deep, but at least this particular biologist is beginning to think along the correct lines by "turning the cosmos right side up." He is sort of a poor man's Robert Rosen (somewhat more accessibly presented here), whom I relied upon to bolster much of my argument in chapter two of One Cosmos, Biogenesis. Unfortunately, Robert Rosen is not here to further develop his profound ideas, since he died prematurely in 1998.
Early on in writing my book, I established a nice correspondence with Rosen's daughter, who is his literary executrix (being that her father passionately believed that executrix was for kids). She even tentatively agreed to give me a blurb, as she was quite gratified that someone should be so enthusiastic about presenting her father's relatively unknown ideas so clearly.
Looking back, I now see that it was an indiscretion to prematurely spring the prologue and epilogue of the book on her, after which things became distinctly chilly. Despite his revolutionary ideas, her father was nevertheless a strict scientist, and would not have wanted to associate himself with a zany creation myth hatched up in someone's coon den -- or even my zany creation myth, for that matter. It's hard enough to get people to take a new theory seriously without dooming it from the outset by association with the likes of me and Petey. Whatever. Bygones.
In any event, how does one "disprove" that God created life on the fifth day? To even ask the question is to have missed the point, the point being to meditate on the meaning of such a statement. In order to do that, we must examine its entire context, as well as the general metaphysical view that is developed and promulagted in Genesis. And if you are a Christian, you must definitely analyze it teleologically in light of the Gospels, since the Old Testament points to (or in philosophical terms, "entails") the New, while the New Testament illuminates the Old. The correspondence of miracles is just one of a multitude of ways to expand upon this dialectical resonance.
In general, as Tomberg points out, the ingression of life into the cosmos represents the presence of "ensouled movement" in the world. The specific reference to fish and birds implies verticality: creatures above and creatures below the domain of man. There are beings who skirt along the "firmament" above, as well as those who dwell in the dark waters below. As if we didn't know.
Now, the third miracle recorded in the Gospel of John involves an incident in Bethesda, when Jesus comes across a multitude of sick people who are blind, lame, and paralyzed, and who lay by a pool of water that has five porches. Every so often an angel "stirs the water," and someone is healed of his affliction, but only the first one in. Since life is ensouled movement, the implication is that paralysis symbolically represents an absence of life.
Jesus heals a certain man who had been paralyzed for 38 years, which is to say "restores the faculty of ensouled movement." But this does not happen as a result of a random "stirring of the waters." Rather, it occurs after Jesus says to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." According to Tomberg, the words "rise" and "take up your bed" refer back to the fifth day of creation, "namely the creation of ensouled movement in the vertical ['rise up'] and in the horizontal ['walk']."
Now movement ("ensouled life") is cosmic in its significance, as I argued in Biogenesis. Tomberg elaborates: "the human being stands within a stream of cosmic energies -- his thoughts in the streams of the thought world, his feelings in the streams of the world's psychic forces, and his impulses of will are immersed in the streams of world-will-energy and are 'plugged into' them."
Therefore, just as someone "who holds his breath and takes in no more air will suffocate, so will someone who cuts himself off from the streams of cosmic energies become paralyzed." It is specifically this "cutting off," or self-willed vertical exile, that represents the quintessence of sin, which is why Jesus later encounters the man in the temple and says to him, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you," buddy.
James Cameron is as good an example as any of a paralyzed -- not to say completely lame -- excuse for a man. What is specifically denied him -- not by God, of course, but by himself -- is vertical movement. He is a vertical paraplegic, so that he can neither rise nor walk, although he is obviously capable of slithering about on the ground. He reclines by the waters (the so-called "crypt of Jesus") and omnipotently reverses the fifth day of creation, just as one would expect an envious god to do. For he is a fully dopeutized King of this World. He can do anything, even miraculously undo miracles. Being an envious little godling, he naturally wants others to share in his horizontal prison, thus the fervent enviangelism of his "bad news" on the Deiscoffery Channel.
The third miracle -- and it is a miracle -- is the "re-'plugging in'" of human beings "into the ensouled movement of the world," which through sin, "had become cut off and thereby paralyzed." As such, this miracle is the archetype of repentance or metanoia, when one consciously "turns around" and reconnects with man's proper habitat, the vertical. Just like his most famous creature, Cameron has sunk beneath the dark waters, the gravity of man's fall being what it is.