Tuesday, March 02, 2010

With Each Human Birth, the Cosmos is Created and Perfected Anew

At the moment, I'm hoping -- I wouldn't say praying, since I don't like to trouble the Creator with my trivial little dramas -- that I don't end up stuck inside of Georgia with the LA blues again, since there's a winter storm warning that may delay our connecting flight back through Atlanta.

I hate to admit my selfishness, but until now, I guess global warming had never directly affected me.... But perhaps we should cripple the world economy to correct this problem of too much and not enough snow, depending upon the day-to-day propaganda needs of the warmists.

Oh well. At least I have time to republish something from 365 posts ago, now cleaned up and edited.

DeKoninck -- who obviously knew what it meant to inhabit a right side-up cosmos -- wrote that "It is only in human understanding that the cosmos becomes a universe in the full sense."

In other words, the "end" of the causal chain cannot be found in the endless horizontal iterations of abstract matter, but in our concrete vertical understanding. Which is another way of saying in truth, specifically, the truth of being.

In this regard, it is critical to bear in mind that "God does not act" -- or only act -- "on things, but from within" them. Thus, it is as if God comes to his own fruition, so to speak, in the uncreated (following Eckhart) light of our interior understanding (or in love or virtue, but that is a subject for a slightly different post). Therefore, "Creation is essentially a communication," a communication of being; or a communication of beyond-being to being, if one prefers.

In fact, to turn it around, it would not be possible for God -- since it would contradict the divine nature -- to "create a cosmos which was not essentially ordered to an intra-cosmic intelligence." In other words, God could no more create an unintelligible universe than an evil or ugly one. (This is not to limit God, only to affirm the truism that God is God.)

So when we see that being itself is overflowing with truth and beauty, we should not be surprised. Awed, but not surprised. The really strange thing, as that famous awedball Aquinas observed, is that "the perfection of the entire universe can exist in one of its parts." That would be us. "For this reason, philosophers have held that the ultimate perfection to which the soul can attain consists in embracing the whole order of the universe and its causes."

In my book, for reasons that should be apparent to achild (or rather vice versa), I use the pneumaticon ʘ to symbolize this state of the soul in its relation to the totality of O, or of human part to divine whole.

O is not just source but end; ontologically speaking, it is both alpha and omega. But this is to be expectorated, since the "ultimate cause" must also be a spittin' image of the "ultimate end." Thus, the Poeliot is not just being poetical but quite literal when he speaks of the end preceding the beginning, and how both are "always there," for these are Things that Must Be. It is the Law. Some poets -- some -- are indeed the unacknowledged legislators of the world. Others are just political hacks.

Meaning, interior, wholeness, unity -- these are all interconnected aspects of the same prior reality. It should be a banality to point out that the cosmos can have no meaning unless there is an interior where it can be apprehended. Nor can there be meaning in the absence of unity and wholeness, for meaning essentially consists of the reduction of multiplicity to unity -- or the apprehension of the hidden unity behind or above the veil of appearances.

Now, if there is an "ultimate meaning," there must be an "ultimate interior," so to speak. Or, to turn it around, to say that the ultimate meaning could be found in empiricism or profane reason -- i.e., matter or mechanical thought -- is not only to say that there is no meaning, but to abolish the very ground and possibility of meaning. Here is how DeKoninck describes it:

"In order for the world to have a raison d'être, in order for it to be profoundly one and a universe, it is not enough that it be composed of parts and that these parts physically constitute a whole; it is also necessary that all the individual parts be oriented toward that one in which all together can exist, that each of the principal parts of the universe should be the entire whole, that each of these universes be in some fashion all the others."

In other words, the universe must be both interobjective and intersubjective, with both properties emanating from the a priori wholeness and interior unity of O, the origin, the one, the OMega. In short, the cosmos must fundamentally be a place in which everything preserves its "partness," even while each part holographically participates in (not just with) all the others.

In otherother words, the universe, since it is one, is an internally related totality -- which is why we all intuitively apprehend the unity of being, from which the truth (not to mention, goodness and beauty) of being radiates, both from objects and the subjects that apprehend and bring them to their own fulfillment.

For the truth "flows" from objects into subjects, even while the object completes itself in the knowing subject. Without objects there is nothing to be known, and without subjects there is no way to know it. But in the end, both flow from the same prior unity, i.e, Truth as such.

It is not so much that "being is transcendentally accessible to intelligence" (DeKoninck). Rather, that is only half the story, for if that is the case -- which it is -- then it must mean that being and truth are one -- or at least not two. After their little game of hide and seek, or bride and seeker, they return to themselves and embrace in the one fleshlight of the divine-human subject.

Being is "good," for, among other reasons, it is open to intelligence, to which it gives of itself without reserve. There is indeed a kind of divine marriage, or sacred bond, between being and intellect, as the two become united in one flesh. As this marriage matures, we can see in the cosmos "a tendency toward the thought in which all its parts are united and lived; the cosmos thus tends to compenetrate itself, to touch itself in the intelligence of man, in which it can realize this explicit return to its First Principle."

You might say that the emancipating journey from cosmic infancy to metacosmic maturity begins in an inside-out universe of "pure exteriority. The world was so to say entirely outside, separated from itself, imprisoned in itself and its own obscurity" (DeKoninck).

You know -- for it is written in the New Testavus -- pure emptiness, a formless void without mind or life, a shadow spinning before the beginning over a silent static sea, unlit altar of eternity, fathomless vortex of the Infinite Zero.

In this murky state of affairs, the world "is dead, empty, an abyss of division." And yet, here we are, like mushrooms that have sprouted in the darkness of the cosmic naughtmare. For "intelligence must appear. This demand is written in it from the beginning.... it is necessary that the universe fall back in a certain way on itself, and that it close in on itself, that it interiorize, and it is just this interiorization that will permit it to open onto itself."

In ether worlds, it is only our understanding of the cosmos -- our divine wisdom -- that makes it possible. For if we couldn't understand it, surely we wouldn't be here. The ultimate cause of the cosmos is its truth, a truth we may know and renew in the timeless ground of the metacosmically transcendent intellect. So when I say that "I caused the universe," I am not really making any special claim for myself. Now and again I do it all the timeless. I just wish I could make it stop snowing in Atlanta...

24 Comments:

Blogger Van said...

"And yet, here we are, like mushrooms that have sprouted in the darkness of the cosmic naughtmare. For "intelligence must appear. This demand is written in it from the beginning.... it is necessary that the universe fall back in a certain way on itself, and that it close in on itself, that it interiorize, and it is just this interiorization that will permit it to open onto itself.""

It occurs to me again from this,

" I use the pneumaticon ʘ to symbolize this state of the soul in its relation to the totality of O, or of human part to divine whole. "

That if you were looking through the center of a cone, you'd see the "O" and at the center you'd see a "." or together a "ʘ"

3/02/2010 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

... and the entire expanse of that "O" is circumscribed within that point ".", in miniature, but complete, and any point on that point, can be followed out to it's full depth in the circumference.

3/02/2010 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Oh what an entangled web He weaves...

3/02/2010 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Retriever said...

Beautiful and true. Thank you.

3/02/2010 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

...the best definition nonetheless involves intent: it is premodern to seek beyond rational knowledge for God; it is modern to desire to hold knowledge in the structures of human rationality (with or without God); it is postmodern to see the impossibility of such knowledge.

. . . The modern age opened with the destruction of God and religion. It is ending with the threatened destruction of all coherent thought.”
Christians and Postmoderns, First Things

I guess this is where you end up when you have no place to gʘ.

The mid 1800s seem to be the beginning of the end of confidence that mankind was going to actually figure this out and be able to construct a "fair and just" society. The horrors of the 20th century confirmed, or should have confirmed, that mankind was totally, absolutely, completely incapable of organizing society based only upon rational human thought and (supposedly) good intentions.

So what do we do in the 21st century? Replay the hand with the Hope that Change will turn out differently this time.

3/02/2010 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

While the cosmos is connected through us and has a design for us, I am not so sure Atlanta's airport can say the same. Fair seas and trailing winds.

3/02/2010 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Another OT movie raccoomendation. Joan – you prankster!
It's better than you said. It was better than cats.

The Island

3/02/2010 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

There's a circuit of communication between man and God, and the circuit has to be complete for it to make any sense. We know that we "see as in a glass" but it seems God does as well -- on a different scale. We are God's becoming.

So Jesus said: Upon this rock I will build..., and all the ultimate glory of the Church is founded upon Peter especially along with the other Apostles. Jesus plugs man into the power on the Cross, but the circuit isn't going to be complete without the connection to Peter.

3/02/2010 05:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Benjamin Feaklin said...

The question I pose to Bob is: what are your political goals? What do you hope to accomplish on the public stage?

By this I mean excluding personal goals in your home life, what legacy do you wish to leave for a society at large?

You seem to bear the seeds of an insurgency. Would you like to talk kings and successions?

If so I can be of use. I am interested in installing a governemnt of conservatives informed by the founding fathers and the proper use of spiritual foundations in politics.

3/02/2010 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

binjammin fecal said "...eem to bear the seeds of an insurgency. Would you like to talk kings and successions? If so I can be of use. I am interested in installing a governemnt of conserva..."

I'm not sure which makes you look like the bigger fool, whether you thought this was a good joke, or whether you thought it was a good idea - either way, your inner fool is showing - zip up.

3/02/2010 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Ben: other than raising well rounded and moral children, legacies (especially secular legacies) are over rated. If you don't believe, check out both Clinton's and Carter's unending search for a legacy of meaning. Kind of desperate don't you think? The first goals in life are to know right from wrong, shit from shinola, and the Tigtog maxim to defend the weak among us without punishing the strong. If you can do these things you will have a legacy. If you teach these things to your children you will have a lasting legacy. Achieving these things sounds easy, but its not. Groove on Ben.

3/03/2010 04:48:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Tigtog,
Everytime I see your name it reminds me of a character in a movie...a movie that is one our favorites in our home. It just sounds like it. Is it your real name or a nickname?

3/03/2010 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

My condolences Mrs. G., Bob, FL, and family for your loss.

Godspeed on your return trip.

3/03/2010 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

"to defend the weak without punishing the strong..."
Oh, I like that.
Several interesting new names here-welcome!

Catching up on OC- my sympathy to Leslie, her family and you and T. on her father's death.
Could you please let me know just his first name- I'd like to have a Mass said for him.

3/03/2010 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Van says:

"That if you were looking through the center of a cone, you'd see the "O" and at the center you'd see a "." or together a "ʘ""

Van, I'll see your cone and raise you a Gabriel's Horn (first imagined by Evangelista Torricelli in the 1600s). Search Gabriel's Horn in wikipiedia.

If you were looking through the center of Gabriel's horn, you would see the same thing, but you would also be looking into infinity, even though the volume was itself finite.

Perhaps the time has come to create some good three dimensional symbols.

In fact, I think that this is one thing that is missing from books and blogs in general.

Good 3-D representations.

In fact, this is probably the only think that e-books can easily do that print books cannot.

3/03/2010 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> I don't like to trouble the Creator with my trivial little dramas

I feel the same way. But He wants us to, so I try to oblige Him.

3/03/2010 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Everytime I see your name it reminds me of a character in a movie...a movie that is one our favorites in our home. It just sounds like it. Is it your real name or a nickname?

Ricky, this is one of my blog names. I believe it comes from the Oz Books, but in my case it was the name of one of my favorite cats. He was especially connected to my wife and I and was a joy to be with. Sadly he is gone but not forgotten.

3/03/2010 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Oh I wasn't too far off then. I was thinking of tiktok in The Return to Oz the Disney movie.

3/03/2010 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. G said...

Dear Ben and Sal,
Thank you so much for your condolences.
Sal, my father would have been horrified to have had a mass said for him. But I'll ask Bob what he thinks.
His name was Richard Morris.

We're all so glad to be home and have our little family together (just picked up the dogs where I had them boarded.)

Thanks again for all the well wishes and prayers!!
Love
Leslie

3/03/2010 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous mrs. G said...

Sal,
To clarify, my dad was such a devout and obnoxious atheist and forbid my mom to have any kind of funeral, and certainly not a religious service, after he died.

I am looking forward to telling my mom about my conversion, but will have to wait til the right time. He was such a strong influence on her, that she is quite anti-religion, but without the anger toward and hatred of God.

I'm sorry my previous post didn't explain why my dad would have been horrified. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't understand now :)
love
Leslie

3/03/2010 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Benjamin Feaklin said...

So, Van thinks Benjamin Feaklin (that would be me) is a fool for using the term "kings and sucessions" in his comment. The phrase comes from a Disney Movie, the Lion King.

I feel deflated from Van's comment. It has hurt my morale. I see his point. Do grown people talk like that? Do I really think there is any kind of politics going on here? I feel lame, sophomoric.

Yeesh. I do crave drama. I wish someone would foment an insurrection. But that is ridiculous.

3/03/2010 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Sal said...

Yes, dear
My thought was "that was then, this is now".
Prayers for you all.
Sal

3/06/2010 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

"In fact, to turn it around, it would not be possible for God -- since it would contradict the divine nature -- to "create a cosmos which was not essentially ordered to an intra-cosmic intelligence." In other words, God could no more create an unintelligible universe than an evil or ugly one. (This is not to limit God, only to affirm the truism that God is God.)"

This seems to me to be another way to get at something I said a few comments/days ago ... if God *were* to act contrary to his nature, then all things (including God himself) would cease to exist. It is no more a limit on God to say that "God cannot create an unintelligible, or ugly, or evil Cosmos" than it is a limit on truth to say that "true cannot be false." God is God; God is not not-God.

3/06/2010 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

"Or, to turn it around, to say that the ultimate meaning could be found in empiricism or profane reason -- i.e., matter or mechanical thought -- is not only to say that there is no meaning, but to abolish the very ground and possibility of meaning."

Yes; in the end, naturalism/materialism must deny the meaning of, and the very possibility of, knowledge and reason and wisdom. Logically, naturalism/materialism must assert the impossibllity os these things (and of ourselves).

3/06/2010 07:12:00 PM  

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