Holy Poverty, B'atman, We're Blankrupt!
Of course that sounds polemical, but it clearly isn't. There's just no other way to say it. His analysis is really quite brilliant, but it all hinges on the rejection of the Absolute, i.e., God. Once that happens, then various cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual pathologies must follow, for it is The Law, a law none of us above a certain age need to be reminded of, for we have witnessed on a first hand basis the cultural deterioration of the past 40 years, as leftist ideas have come to dominate media, entertainment, academia, and nearly all professional organizations.
So, just watch it (not now, but later, when you have the time). It's a sort of master key with endless implications, in its own way as powerful as Rene Girard's theories of mimesis, scapegoating, and human sacrifice (as most ably summarized in Bailie's masterful Violence Unveiled). As a matter of fact, it would be interesting to try to synthesize Bailie and Sayet, and see what comes out. We'll talk more about it later, but the key idea there would be the disturbing reversion to barbarism and neo-pagan magic caused by the left's rejection of our specifically Judeo-Christian metaphysics, i.e., the cluelesside of the West.
Put it this way: as Schuon said, "The claim that knowledge as such could only be relative amounts to saying that human ignorance is absolute." Thus, the left goes about needlessly proving this truism with their proud displays of absolute ignorance, since the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are all above their praygrade, which is the minimum wages of death. To think that you are the Absolute is the ultimate form of identity theft, and it carries the death penalty.
Now, back to the Theo-Logic. Again the Theo-Logic attempts an immanent phenomenology of worldly truth, mostly keeping God out of the picture -- or, to be perfectly accurate, considering only the revelation of God given in and through creation, since any thinking person implicitly understands that there could be no truth in the absence of God; but one can arrive at this conclusion through generic natural theology, i.e., without any direct revelation, e.g., Taoism and Vedanta.
The point is that natural theology surely leads to the conception of the Absolute, although we must leave it to revelation to disclose more personal information about its specific character -- e.g., whether or not it is a person, whether it cares about human beings, whether it actually roots for one football team over another, etc.
I believe we left off with the idea that only in man is the truth of being progressively unveiled to itself. Man is the hole in creation through which truth and beauty surge into the world. Or, as HvB puts it, "The world is unlocked in its objectivity only in man, because his self-consciousness gives him the measure of being." In other words, our receptivity to being allows objects to unlock their secrets and reveal their essence. Being is obviously loaded to the gills with a literally inexhaustible truth, just waiting for a subject to unpack its presence under the tree of life.
In this regard -- and we will get more into this later -- you will notice that there is a parallel process of mutual "endeepening," as objects penetrate the interiority of subject, and subjects further extend themselves into the depths of the object.
True, as Thomas said, all knowledge begins in the senses; however, not in a static way, but in a dynamically expanding way. Think of how the human subject has delved all the way "down" to the subatomic level, with no end in sight. In fact, there is no end in that direction, only a "relative infinity" that mirrors the true infinity of the Divine. Clearly, the idea that we could ever locate the absolute in that direction is pure metaphysical folly, since the merest act of knowing obliterates any materialistic paradigm. It is not so much that this or that truth is absolute, but that any truth "participates in" or "converges upon" the Absolute. Otherwise, as Schuon said above, only man's ignorance is absolute.
As Stanley Jaki has pointed out, objects object. That is, they push up against us, or vice versa. We cannot make them go away, but must be receptive to them. Now, to be receptive is another way of saying "empty." In fact, in Biblical terms, it is a state of poverty, the recognition of the need for something outside of ourselves to complete ourselves -- even though this completing can never be complete in this realm.
To be "poor" is to be capable of receiving, and therefore to "put the life back in truth." Think about what a hell this would be if it were actually possible to have some complete materialistic explanation of existence: "The subject that already contained the whole reservoir of its truth in itself would be struck with the curse of Midas: wherever it turned, it could find only itself and its own truth." This is indeed the geistatory hell of the atheist, who is a vertically closed system trying to subsist on his own metaphysical defeces. They cannot digest God, so instead they try to devour weak and vulnerable theists as a kind of compensation.
The human being, if he is to evolve, must be an open system, both horizontally and vertically. No flower is stupid enough to turn away from the sun. Only human beings can turn away from the real central sun and imagine they create their own light.
Now, when we talk about the rejection of absolute truth, we are ultimateluy talking about the rejection of love, for as HvB explains, "love presupposes knowledge, while knowledge presupposes being. But the love that stands at the end of the sequence as the goal of its unfolding, in another perspective, at its beginning, is the basic impulse underlying it. Eternity is a circulation in which beginning and end join in unity."
Where have we heard that before? Yes, truth ends in the love that is so merciful that it eternally pours its infinite truth back into being, i.e., "the love that moves the sun and stars," speaking allegheirically. More on which later. Dante letta me forget, eh?
Lesson! My yokes are easy, my words enlight! To be empty is to be capable of listening to the creation. Really, it's just common courtesy, no different than allowing the other to speak without interrupting him. "This openness to any truth that might show itself is an inalienable perfection of every knowing subject, and, as knowledge increases, it cannot contract but only expand." Thus, as we evolve, our emptiness grows, to such an extent that, in the begending, nothing returns to Nothing, the alone to the Allone.
Conversely, only animals, or very simple people, or the tenured, are "full," but this type of opaque fulness conceals an existential emptiness, as most anyone who has attended college knows. There is poverty and there is poverty, and the good kind begins with the truism that there is an Absolute and I am not it, which brings us back to Sayet's talk. To believe oneself to be the absolute is to be darkness visible, like a Bill Maher, who is absolutely overflowing with bitter and acrid narcissistic emptiness.
Truth is always veiled in mystery, thank God! If the acquisition of truth does not increase the mystery, then yur doin it rong. "If truth failed to behave in this way, it would be intrinsically finite, hence, exhaustible, and the subject would inevitably reach the point when truth ceased to open and began to wind down to a conclusion." Instead of the open spiral up and in the cosmic eschalator, "truth would round itself out and become spent." We will have circumnavelgazed the whole of creation, only to find some worthless lint in the ombilicus. Bah.
You see little lambs, if truth were like this, it wouldn't be truth, now woolen it? If we could contain it, then we would be the truth, not the truth contained. No, thank God, the truth always shatters our crocks and containers, which hurts so good, for it is again the breakthrough of love into being. O, to be pierced by one of those divine eros right through the heart, to die in the arms of Truth!
To contain truth would be to render it finite: it "would suggest the possibility of attaining a standpoint that comprehended truth from above, a standpoint, then, that was beyond truth. But if it were beyond truth, then it would obviously be outside of being, which is to say, in the middle of nothing."
Here again, back to Sayet's talk and the catastrophe of the left, for there is either the meretricious wealth of the existential Nada, or the spiritual poverty of the super-essential Fadda'.