Obeying the Law of Levity: Playing Weightlessly in the Space of God
Rather, I think of the saving presence of the Absolute within the relative, in a way that is not only accessible to humans, but in which humans can participate directly. I am very much interested in saving myself -- including my intellect -- right now. The rest -- i.e., eternity -- can take care of itself.
In the forward to Cosmic Liturgy, Daley writes that it is only the "personal presence of the infinite God in our world as a human individual, and our own potential personal unity with God through and in him," that prevents us "from regarding the world as simply the extension of our own minds, the playground of our own ideologies, or the mirror of our own limitations and vices."
In short, there is an objective standard of Truth (which is the virtue of mind), Virtue (which is beauty of soul), and Beauty (which is truth in form or action), one that we may approach but never fully embody, even if -- or because! -- someOne else did.
Again, "progress" is only meaningful -- can only exist -- within this real space. In its absence, you end up with ironically named "progressives" for whom real progress is specifically impossible, since they deny the Absolute up front. Instead, the secular leftist simply absolutizes his own ego, so that the world becomes "the playground of his own ideology" and a "mirror of his own limitations and vices." Another general name for this is tyranny, while a particular name -- one of many -- is Obama.
Thus, in saving our mind -- in allowing us to think clearly about reality -- Jesus also saves us from political tyranny. Being that the person is "ultimate" -- or participates in the ultimate -- he can never allow the state to become so. For the Christian, that is a non-starter. One cannot be a "Christian leftist," for it is an oxymoron, pure and simple. Your sacred rights -- and duties! -- are grounded in nature and nature's God, not in the state. Period. The political struggle in all its iterations is with people (not persons, for only God can confer personhood) who do not believe this. End of issue. Beginning of struggle.
The mind is free. But it is only free because it is capable of knowing truth. And we only have freedom of will to the extent that we are able to assimilate truth -- that is, to live out of the "center of truth," so to speak.
Thus, truth is the axis and foundation of the human world. If there is no truth -- which is to say, objectivity -- then there is no possibility of anything deserving the name "human." Again, if there is only relativity, then we are just a bunch of wild animals who can be herded together based upon whomever is able to enforce their version of "truth." To live in subjectivity is to be a subject, i.e., subjugated. But we are Americans. We are not subjects, but citizens. We cannot be forced to pay for the healthcare of illegal immigrants or to murder babies in the womb.
I repeat: even if Jesus had not lived, I would still "believe in him," because I believe man is fashioned in the image of the Absolute, and it is only this fact that allows us to stand up to tyranny in a manner that is simultaneously objective (true) and righteous (good).
Yes, you might well get streamrolled like Sarah Palin in the process, but you have every cosmic right to hold up a cross in the face of His Smugness and say, "stop! That is not permitted here!" Yes, the world will do to you what it did to Him. Goes with the territory, the territory we call "liberty," which is always under assault from all sides.
Again, our freedom is a cosmic right. It is only ratified and forever memorialized by Christ's saving presence. You can only not know this if you have ceased being American, and are instead a "world citizen" or some other such nonsense.
"World citizenship" (not to mention "international law") is a lie, since it is not based upon any interior reality. Rather, it is something invented by tyrants for purposes of crowd control. It is one of the pillars of the criminal organization known as the UN, which does not promote the natural law, to put it mildly. "International law" is simply "man's law" writ large, and therefore cosmic lawlessness. It excuses anything but intrinsic goodness, truth, and freedom.
This is one of the reasons why they love "global warming," as it will allow them to extend and legitimize man's law (which is tyranny) in an unprecedented manner. It's bad enough that Obama can reach into our pockets. With crap & trade, dictators from all over the world can do so as well.
When I said a few posts back that "only America can save the world," I meant it in this precise sense. Only America can save the world, because only America was very much "founded in Christ"; or, you could say that America consciously founded itself on this principle of the "cosmic Christ" defining the limits of the state, whether you like it or not. Yes, liberty is a terrible thing, but that's no excuse to allow leftists to take it away and thereby cash in your humanness, just because they're frightened of it.
This post is going in an unforeseen direction, but perhaps not. "The spirit blows where it will," which it can only do in an atmasphere of truth and freedom, no? Thus, Balthasar writes of how a human being only fulfills his own potential when he "has seen his own star rising beyond all the cultural and political configurations and weaknesses of his time," and follows it in body, mind, and spirit "with a freedom that overcomes the world."
Thus, truth can only "overcome the world" in freedom. And freedom can only be free if it is grounded in truth. You might say that truth is the Absolute, while freedom is his beautiful but intimidating sister, the Infinite. "Male and female he created them." Boo!
There are a number of lines in this book that I just love. Balthasar speaks of how Maximus wrote in such a way that "he seems to crystalize automatically around his higher center," which could only be achieved in "the highest degree of Christian freedom." I discuss this in my own Coonish way in chapter four of my book, for example, section 4.2 "Escaping the Prismhouse of Language," or 4.6, "Saying More With Less." In that latter section, I talk about how "Truth is inexhaustible, flowing as it does from the direction of the Absolute (which is beyond image and form) into the relativity of formal language."
Thus, in order to accomplice this, one must maintain a rather different, more "fluid" relationship to words. One must allow the words to be spontaneously "formed," so to speak, out of the higher, or from the top down. As always, the best analogy I can think of is the jazz master, who is able to recall the world of music in the act of forgetting it. Just so, our absence is God's presence, and vice versa. So get the hell out of the way!
Elsewhere Balthasar speaks of Maximus' ability "to play weightlessly before God." What a marvelous phrase! This is "a calm freedom from all the passions that cloud or weigh down or tear apart the mind, in order to rob it of its freedom and self-possession."
These passions, or forces, are either centrifugal or centripetal, in that they alternately compress or disperse consciousness, and take us away from our "free center," the motionless mover within -- which is the "place" where truth can be known, since it is the "substance of truth." It is where truth intersects with our own being, like a lance piercing the side of matter. It is where the Light illuminates the darkness. And if you could com-prehend it -- which is to say, "wrap your mind around it" -- it would not be the Light.
This darkwomb is none other than the "mode of entry into the mystery of God, which stands beyond the world" (Balthasar). Yes, "only the spirit that has become pure and simple can encounter the transcendent One," and thereby become the very nexus of revelation, the middle term between the One and the many, time and eternity, Creator and creation.
Here we find the vertical axis of the world, a ladder thrown down from heaven, the very possibility of inword mobility and upward nobility, or freedom in action, truth, and being. Amen for a childs job!
Levity in action, as frosting effortlessly rises upward: