Getting Intimate with Sophia
"The intimate character of being, which reaches its completed end in the conscious spirit, has its preliminary stages in unconscious nature. There is no being that does not enjoy an interiority, however liminal and rudimentary it may be."
Bear in mind that I am not talking about the first few fumbling attempts to pierce the veil of reality after getting hopped up on reefer pills with my buddies in the back of Lumpy's van.
Rather, this actually occurred in a state of sobriety while walking the dog on a warm summer evening. I was idly contemplating something Whitehead had said along similar lines, when the Gagdad coconut "snapped" in such a way that the inside was now out, and the outside in. I suppose you could say that it was like the sudden solution to a koan, which is not an intellectual affair, but more of a breakthrough into the ground of being.
In turn, once you have secured that realization, then so many other pieces of the puzzle naturally fall into place. In other words, once one understands that interiority is not somehow magically confined to animal brains in such a way that it defies all explanation, then the most intractable problems of philosophy more or less vanish. We see that these "problems" were just the inevitable residue of our defective mode of knowing.
Just a brief soph-reverential note about the circularity of the Coonifesto. When you first read chapter one, you may get an intellectual "feel" for this cosmic interiority. But after having broken through into cosmobliteration on p. 266 and returning to the ground on p. 6, the next journey through chapter one should be rather different, in that you are now equipped to "realize" what you could only "know" the first time around. I don't want to give away all of the jokes, but this is what we were driving at on page 264, where it is written,
O me ga! I can explain everything. I know this place. Been here before. Where we started. No it this time. A huge mythunderstanding. The word made fresh. Non-friction. Telos when its over. Now. It is accomplished. End of the piper trail. You're on your own.
This passage has more baggage than I can unpack at the moment, but "O me ga!" is the shocking realization of the end (omega), the telos, which tells us all about the beginning. Thus, we can "explain everything," but only in the eternal now, where there is no longer a radical disjunction between the "it" and the "I," or subject and object (no "it"). It's the same place, but now we know it in an entirely different, participatory manner.
However, this is not something any mortal can give to you, like a piece of information. You cannot follow me like a pied piper. Rather, you're "on your own" (O-->n). Well, not really. "It is accomplished" by the One who has already rejoined heaven and earth, inside and outside, man and God. And he's always happy to extend a little nonlocal assistance to get it accompliced.
With regard to scientific law, one could never say "it is accomplished," since the laws apply only to a finite realm that has already been unnaturally split into rigid categories of subject and object.
Thus, at their margins, both science in general and the scientific method in particular generate metaphysical absurdities that can never be resolved within the realm of science, since it assumes up front what it tries to eliminate at the back. This is strictly impossible, but don't tell the tenured. It would be cruel to deprive a primitive people of their comforting myths.
Suffice it to say that Sophia never makes passes at scientistic asses, despite the latter's "never-ending attempt to woo the core of the material world" (and remember, matter is related to mater and maya, or the primordial feminine). While the physicist no doubt "thinks" he understands the charming ways of mamamaya, so long as he is stuck in his fully masculine mode of thinking, he won't get to first base.
Rather, as Balthasar notes, the scientist's "perplexity about the ultimate essence of matter" is a permanent fact, whereas "living being, to whose realm we ourselves belong" may "in the end [be] better known to us than inanimate nature."
This should by no means come as a surprise to senior Raccoons, who know that metaphysics is the only truly "exact science," whereas everything else is more or less opinion. And one of these metaphysical laws is that the realm of matter, "not merely by reason of some accidental circumstance, but by reason of intrinsic necessity, must always remain richer than any cognition of it and that the truth of the lowest level of being contains a richness that so utterly eludes exhaustive investigation that it can continue to engage inquirers until the end of time..." This is the nature of Sophia: veils upon veils upon veils.
The interiority of the cosmos is an irreducible fact (or principle), but it obviously becomes more concentrated and expansive as we move up the vertical, and therefore gain greater access to the Mystery of it All:
"Even on the lowest level of life, the living entity already irradiates such plenitude and power from the hidden core of its interiority that we should fall back, blinded, before every one of its outward forms." Any scientific inquiry that clams to explain the Mystery of Life is "simply absurd." It "touches the the sacred core of life with profane fingers" and "covers the unknown with names and concepts but does not see that it has only glued a mere label onto a container of unknown content."
I discussed this problem in my book -- how science begins with the real world, constructs abstractions from that world, and then proceeds to confuse the abstraction for the reality, so that anything falling outside the abstraction is no longer real! It is definitely a kind of madness.
We can see this madness in the global warming hysterics, for whom a speculative weather report 100 years into the future is more real than the living people who are freezing their asses off today. And we obviously see the same thing in the metaphysical Darwinists, for whom theories of life are more real than Life Itself. (And as Dennis Prager mentioned yesterday, this is also the perennial pathology of leftist thought, which habitually regards its theories as more real than the reality they are supposed to describe.)
What is the Mystery of Being? It has to do with the fact that Being is "permanently concealed," and yet, "permanently divulged," like an "intimate-public secret." And as Balthasar emphasizes, in a certain very real way, we know more about this "secret" if we accept its testimony "as it is," rather than trying to peel away the endless layers in a futile effort to find its "essence." One will never find the essence of so much as a single tree by that route. Rather, the essence of the tree may be in its majesty, its dignity, its beauty, its strength, its generosity. As such, "no one who has witnessed the unfolding of a plant's life ought to say that he has seen 'only' the appearance of life, not its essence."
Again, the essence is the appearance, only not in any exhaustive way. Rather, the essence is a kind of plenitude that displays itself in the endless play of appearances. We know by looking at the manifestation "that the possibilities of life are infinitely more abundant than what is actually on display." This only becomes more apparent as we move up into the higher realms. For example, this blog and my essence are "not two," even while not being identical. I do my best to reveal my essence, and yet, there is no end to it.
And being that we are in the image of the Creator, I think that pretty much sums up one aspect of his creative activity. Just as his transcendence is necessarily immanent, his immanence is necessarily transcendent. Thus, his inside is everywhere outside (and vice versa), which is one more reason that the outside is so permeated with infinitude. Manifestation is a kind of gift of the inexhaustible divine essence, but only if we open his presence.
(All quoted material playgiarized from Theo-Logic: The Truth of the World.)