A Role to Die For in the Cosmic Drama
Actually, that's not quite correct. His logic is our logic, but ours is not his. That is to say, his logic transcends but includes our logic, analogous to how calculus transcends but includes simple mathematics.
For example, this is why many liberal fools imagine that it is morally inconsistent or hypocritical to be in favor of, say, capital punishment for murderers but against abortion, or to be against torture but in favor of harsh interrogation of terrorists: same act, different rules. Liberals think this means they have proven we are moral relativists, when we are the exact opposite. How can this be?
The real problem is that a liberal living in flatland is by definition someone who only knows moral math but not moral calculus. Schuon expressed it well when he said that a particular virtue is consciousness of a plane of reality. The more conscious one becomes of the plane, the less one has to think about how to convert it to a rule.
In fact, it is not at all difficult to find examples of how the ethical rule often clashes with the moral reality. Unfortunately, this leads people to reject the Absolute that is reflected through religion, but which can never be fully captured within religion, that is, within a finite formula. Rather, the formula is like language itself, which is supposed to be transparent to the meaning it conveys.
The same applies to moral rules -- say, the Ten Commandments. First of all, bear in mind that this is not something I would tell a child or a leftist, because it would just confuse him. For example, I'm not going to tell Future Leader that the rule against lying must be placed in the context of a total truth that we cannot know.
No. Just like learning a sport, he must start with the basics, otherwise I'll have a young Obama or Bill Clinton on my hands, men who use their intellectual gift to distort and maim the truth.
Better yet, it is like music. One must spend years internalizing those "rigid rules" of music -- scales, chords, and finger exercises -- before one becomes conscious of the plane from which music arises. You cannot start out by being a rule-breaker such as Thelonious Monk. It is only because he is a genius that he can hit a "wrong" note but resolve it in the context of a higher musical space. For the non-genius, the wrong note is just a clam -- an error. You could say that a Monk such as Thelonious comes not to abolish the musical law, but to fulfill it.
I suppose something is still rattling around in my subconscious. It was a comment by Scipio about Notre Dame perversely honoring Obama for "spitting in the face of God." In the comment, he mentioned that "The American Catholic Church has been in schism for decades. Weak, vacillating and corrupt priests and bishops had made it so. But they cannot at all affect the truth of her teachings. To abandon Catholicism is to abandon Reason itself."
I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I would presume this to mean the Reason of reason, the Truth of truth, the Goodness of the good, the Beauty of the beautiful, the Freedom of the free, the Love of love, the Justice of the just, and the Oneness of the harmony.
In each case, the former transcends but includes the latter, just as the Church transcends its flawed members, who can by definition never am-body the total truth entrusted to it. In fact, we have a special name for those who come closest to doing so: saints. And even then, not every moral saint is an "intellectual saint," so to speak. In other words, only one man ever reflected the totality of the higher planes within the lower. And this was because he didn't "have" truth but "was" Truth.
It is the denial of this implicit metaphysic that leads directly to relativism of all kinds, and from there straight to hell on earth. This is the hell that Obama speaks for and from.
To cite just the latest example, to say that he wants judges who are "empathic" is to say that he wants lawless judges. Which would be fine if the judge were "lawless" from above rather than below -- who can see, for example, that there is no "right to abortion" in the Constitution, despite what a bunch of Supreme Pettifuggers might think.
But as Bob Dylan said, "to live outside the law you must be honest," which automatically excludes the relativists of the left, since relativism is "dishonesty itself." It is the lie-made-true, which is naturally an impossibility. But they never stop trying.
The problem is, religion and secularism represent rival claims to totality, except that totality is precisely what the secularist denies up front.
I apologize for the ramble, but yesterday I was reviewing volume one of the Theo-Drama, which, in the final analysis, is all about the dialectic -- or drama -- between infinite and finite freedom.
The problem isn't that man is unfree, assuming that he is not living in literal slavery or attending a politically correct university. Rather, the problem is that man's freedom is not absolute but finite; it is constrained, for example, by death. As is the case with truth, our freedom is inexplicable in the absence of an absolute freedom that we can never possess, but which we can know about.
The question is -- and this is a question God must "ask himself" -- how can I overcome man's "no" without denying him the precious gift of freedom that I have granted him? You could say -- so to speak, of course -- that this is the question God must have pondered before coming up with the idea of the Incarnation.
Or, from our side of the divide, we could reverse engineer the Incarnation, or play metaphysical Jeopardy: A: The Incarnation. Q: How does God overcome man's rejection of Him without denying him his freedom?!
Now, to say "Yes" to the Incarnation is -- again, among other things -- a way for finite freedom to participate in absolute freedom, is it not? It is, to paraphrase Balthasar, to make the finite life of man co-extensive with the infinite life of God. Or, in more Raccoonish terms, it is to play a role in the eternal cosmic drama. To play this role is to simultaneously discover one's reason for being and the meaning of meaning.
I know that I am embedded in this cosmic drama, and it is without a doubt the epic of a lifetime. But what if one is a metaphysical Darwinian? Sure, there is "drama" there as well. The drama of passing along one's genes before being eaten. That's it. This is why I say that it is a "pornographic" world view, because it simultaneously shows "everything" while revealing nothing. It is the world unveiled of its hierarchical veils and forms, beneath which is.... bupkis, to quote Moses.
To paraphrase Balthasar again, you might say that God becomes what he isn't in order to kill it. He becomes "separate" from himself in order to finally end the separation.
Where does that leave us? It leaves us with the task of appropriating and assimilating God in order to become something we could never be in the absence of his radical intervention: ourselves. Jesus is simultaneously God's "anthrop-ology" and man's theo-ology. But thanks to his "solution," they are now two sides of the same coin. But only if you cash in your chimp.
Ascent you a son, amen for a child's job! That's the New Man, we're just putting him on. --One Cosmos, the Home Version