We Are All Christians Now
Let's find out how it all works, shall we?!
In order to talk about this mystery at all, we must borrow terms from existence, so we can mislead ourselves if we're not careful. To put it simply, we exist. O does not. So it's a bit like describing the sound of purple. It can be done, but only through higher mythsemantics. In order to cross the phoenix line, our powers of deception must be cleansed. As we always say, your seenill grammar and gravidad may not be malapropriate for these laughty revelations.
The problem is, our trolls -- who stand in for fallen mankind -- basically confuse what they are capable of understanding with what it is possible to understand. In other words, they are children.
Since God is the source of unity, and we exist within time, then you might say that reality is the formation and dissolution of multiplicity within God. Existence is a kind of emanation and return to God. This is what we call the "adventure of consciousness."
Looked at in a certain way -- my way, to be exact -- existence itself is a kind of alienation from God, and religion is the healing of that alienation. (Some of these ideas flirt with the gnaughty kind of gnosticism, but if you stay with me, I think you'll find that it's all kosher; as we've discussed in the past, it's not so much that heresies are absolutely false, but that they either overemphasize one element or exclude another, thereby causing a fatal imbalance within integral Truth. For example, there is obvious partial truth in pantheism, or emanationism, or even polytheism; or you could simply say that God is everything but that everything is not God.)
In order for existence to exist, there must be time and space. Time and space are the primary modes of existence, so that we are really talking about synonymous terms. Thus, God is not an object in space, which is why we do not say that he "exists."
Now, objects that exist are not radically autonomous in any way, shape or form. Even without getting into religious metaphysics, this is proved by modern physics, which shows material reality to consist of nonlocal energy (see my book for the exciting details; offer may not apply in Berkeley). In this view, everything is not just a part of everything else, but everything is within everything else. All "objects" are ultimately members of one another, if that's not too disgusting to contemplate.
Truly, we are all -- animate and inanimate alike -- members of the same species, the species of Existence. And if we didn't share membership in this species, then nothing would work, to put it mildly. We couldn't know anything, especially other minds. This is why I mentioned yesterday that even atheists are Christians, as they surely partake of this primordial cosmic unity, just like everyone else. Opposing God is like opposing gravity. You can do it, but only because gravity exists.
One of the mysteries of humanness -- a mystery that Darwinism will never be able to explain, since "explanation" would be impossible without it -- is this intersubjective openness through which we are members of one another. This would be the basis of my critique of neo-Marxist leftism on the one hand, and radical libertarianism on the other, for both begin with a faulty metaphysic. You might say that leftism reduces us to the the collective wave, while libertarianism reduces us to the autonomous particle.
But wave and particle are just ways to think about a reality that transcends both categories. In reality, as Balthasar writes, creatures "can only be open to each other through their transcendental identity in the unity of God."
Our common identity is a kind of negative one, in that first and foremost we are not God, even while we participate in God. However, it is also a "positive identity," in that "the one Creator keeps [creatures] in being, one might say, through his relationship to them." It's like my child. Yes, he exists as an autonomous subject. But he wouldn't exist very long without us "sponsoring" or underwriting his existence.
As someone mentioned the other day, it is possible to misunderstand the idea of God as "father." We do not begin with terrestrial fatherhood and project that into the heavens; rather, vice versa. To understand God is to begin to understand the true archetype of worldly fatherhood. I have many fathers, but only because they reflect the one Father. And of course, only because there is one Father can we all be brothers. If there is no Father, then we are all just animals fighting over the scraps. Blah blah blah liberal fascism Darwinism Queeg Deepak >insert standard diatribe here<.
So, we do not start our analysis with "existence," since we know that existence has a source. This is the unbridgeable abyss that divides mankind: there are those who begin with existence, and those who begin with essence. For the Marxist in all his ghastly varieties -- whatever you care to call him -- existence precedes essence. This does not so much eliminate God as elevate man to a false god, or into samskary monsters.
But the theist begins with essence, and if you are capable of thinking, then you realize that essence belongs to God. In other words, essence is clearly "supernatural," even while being immanent in nature. In fact, it is a kind of first hand implicit knowledge of God, for whenever we know an essence -- including our own essence -- we are participating in the Divine Mind.
Again, this is why it is so unproblematic for man to be able to "see through" nature, or to know universals, or to love the essence of another, or to produce beautiful art, or to comprehend the meaning of a poem, or to understand where this post is coming from. None of these things would be remotely possible in the absence of God, because each is a result of everything being unified in God, but dispersed, as it were, through the prismhouse of existence. All colors are only varieties of the colorless light.
Looked at in this way, we can see that consciousness itself is one -- must be one -- but that, in our case, it is refracted through the lens of a bipedal primate. This is why there are gradations of consciousness within man, ranging from the supramental saint, to the veritable trousered ape, on down to the MSNBC host. Only because there is unity is this diversity possible. Eliminate the unity, then a Maximus is no better than a Maher and the supramental is no better than the Olbermental. Relativity -- including relative stupidity -- only exists in light of the absolute.
Everything is nonlocally "linked together" in God. In a way, it's like the foreground and background of a picture. We focus on the foreground, but only because there is the "invisible" background from which it emerges. Thus, you could say that God must be "invisible" in order for existence to be visible. He is the Silence out of which the Music arises. Here is how Maximus describes it:
"God draws up all the things that are naturally distinct from each other and binds them to himself as their cause, their origin and goal.... No being can permanently isolate itself through its own particularity or through the drive of its nature toward some other end; rather, everything remains, in its very being, bound without confusion to everything else, through the single, enduring relationship of all to their one and only source.... For as the parts come to be from the whole, so created things come to be from their cause and are recognized in its light."
This is the "paradox of a synthesis that unites creatures by distinguishing them and distinguishes them by uniting them -- a paradox that can be found throughout the whole edifice of the universe..." (Balthasar).
One Cosmos Under God. Where else could it be?