How the Left Ruins the Cosmos
Rather, a human life is something that can only unfold and express its wholeness -- and therefore its identity -- in time. But our movement in time is not simply arbitrary; or, at least it should not be. Rather, it is guided by a telos, so that there is something that man -- both individually and collectively -- ought to become. As such, it is possible to waste our lives and fail to become human, and it is equally possible -- and looking more likely all the time since November '08 -- for mankind to be an epic fail.
Given the above, it is important to understand that "meaning" -- including the meaning of the past -- is not in the past, but in the future. No one can know what anything means until the whole process plays out. If you stop the process at an arbitrary point and assign it a fixed meaning, you are analogous to Klimate Klown Kult members who tell us that global temperature has increased over x number of years, but neglect to add that it has decreased over y number of years. Same facts, different meaning.
Regarding our cosmic evolutionary future, St. Paul wrote that "the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage to decay into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs until now," just as human beings "groan within ourselves" for our spiritual redemption (Rom 8:21-23).
Human beings are not matter and they are not God. If we were matter, we could not evolve, and if we were God, there would be no need to. But in reducing himself to matter, the radical secularist covertly elevates himself to God, since nothing is higher or lower than anything else -- thus, with a single metaphysical error, the humanist makes a god -- or a giant assoul -- of himself. You will have noticed that this is one of the contradictions at the heart of both scientism and leftism, and which ramifies into countless other errors.
I don't want to get sidetracked into cataloguing all of these contradictions. (In fact, it is unnecessary for me to list all of the contradictions, because I just remembered that a reader gave me a link to them.)
Suffice it to say that the secular left is "the essence of contradiction" and can never be expressed in a metaphysically coherent manner, for it is a strict impossibility. Until the leftist awakens to his own internal contradictions, there is no hope for him -- not even -- or, shall we say, especially -- cognitively, for he is a talking contra-diction and thus "anti-word." He cannot arrive at true Meaning, only dissolve it in the toxic matrix of his omnipotently narcissistic skepticism.
Or, we might say that leftism represents language deployed against itself for that very purpose. Now that I'm thinking of it, it reminds me of Roundup -- you know, the weed killer. It is quite effective if you want to kill a single weed. But I once tried it on some unwanted ivy, which only kills a few leaves, leaving the complex root system intact. Leftism kills the leaves, but thankfully not the roots of the Word. But they never stop applying the Roundup.
We should not automatically exclude the religious from a similar sort of fallacy, in that they often make the opposite error and deny or devalue our materiality (and the material world). But as Schuon points out, the object of human existence "is to be in the middle: it is to transcend matter while being situated there." While "other creatures also participate in life," only man, from his intermediary level, "synthesizes them: he carries all life within himself and thus becomes the spokesman for all life, the vertical axis where life opens onto the spirit and where it becomes spirit. In all terrestrial creatures the cold inertia of matter becomes heat, but in man alone does heat become light."
Another way of saying it is that, just as life is "matter become divine heat," human existence is "life become divine light," so to speak. The reason this is so is that sparks of the divine light permeate matter, but only man is able to mediate the divisions both within the created world and between the created and uncreated worlds. As Nesteruk writes, coming at it from an Orthodox Christian standpoint, "The restoration of animals and matter to union with God will come about through the salvation of man, for it is only humans who can change the order of things in nature through their own perfection, leading ultimately to union with God, to deification" (and again, bear in mind that this includes the "restoration" of the past, so to speak).
Yes, it is a heavy burden to be responsible for the salvation of the cosmos, but there you are. Someone has to do it, but it can only be saved one human at a time, at least until a certain "tipping point" is reached. No one knows the day or the hour of this point, as it could be in 10,000 years or it could be happening right now (being that salvation can only happen now, while you wait). In fact, it is no doubt happening right now, assuming the existence of the eschataon -- the light-filled attractor in Whose penumbra we live.
Of course, it may never be fulfilled with the current idiodition of the human being. Just as we may fail individually to become what we are meant to be, we have to entertain the possibility that we may fail collectively. Otherwise, why do anything? There is a certain type of religious person who says, "what, me worry? The outcome is certain. It's all in God's hands," etc. This is wrong movement, crasshoper, for it is an absence of faith. Faith means that we have hope in such an outcome. Conversely, to have certainty of it is to eclipse the faith that abides in our uniquely intermediate human station.
Now, the "interior order" of the human being mirrors the interior order of the cosmos itself. Here it must be emphasized -- for it is another common error of secular humanists -- that we are not responsible for our own order. In other words, this order cannot be imposed -- which the left always tries to do in a thousand ways -- but can only be discovered through an awakened intelligence. It is given, meaning that it is a gift, or a grace. The reverse is also true: to receive this grace is to find oneself -- or at least to find oneself on the path back to oneself -- one's nonlocal self.
From the individual to the collective. An article entitled The Real Solution to Poverty helps to explain the apparently non-obvious relationship between free-markets and the spiritual evolution that can only be discovered, not imposed -- in other words, the necessary relationship between free market libertarians and spiritual traditionalists. Kling writes that
"The capitalist solution to poverty is unsatisfying to many people, because it is not planned or intended. Policy makers and anti-poverty programs per se are not involved."
But "The phenomenon of unplanned results exceeding planned outcomes is quite widespread. As Nassim Taleb points out in his new book The Black Swan, and in this fascinating interview, human planning tends to work poorly when compared to trial and error. He argues, for example, that many medical discoveries are serendipitous, while systematic efforts such as those of the National Cancer Institute often yield disappointing results.
"In Hayekian terms, we say that order emerges, and often this order has little to do with the intentions of planners.... The intentions of the anti-poverty crusaders are good. However, the results of centrally-planned anti-poverty efforts are small, and perhaps negative (certainly very negative in the case of Communism). Decentralized capitalism, in which no one sets out to broadly reduce poverty, is the best anti-poverty program."
In short, there are rules for evolution, one of which is that there are no rules -- at least those that can be imposed from the top down by intellectually limited and spiritually endarkened human beings. But human beings either never learn this lesson, or else each generation must learn it anew. Hence, Obama.
Some 1500 years ago, St. Athanasius of Alxandria recognized that "if things in the universe were to exercise the power of ordering themselves, we would see 'not order but disorder, not arrangement but anarchy, not a system, but everything out of system, not proportion but disproportion'.... Athanasius uses the existence of life on earth to conclude, in a similar fashion, that there exists a principle of 'arrangement and combination' in the world that is ultimately granted by God" (Nesteruk).
Nesteruk writes that the deep rationality of the universe proceeds "from the Word (Logos) of God, who unites all principles of existence (that is, the logoi of things) in himself in a harmony and order that penetrate into creation and are contemplated as the order and rationality of the universe."
In this regard, two things to bear in mind: 1) as above, so below, and 2) man is the real mirror and potential image of God. For these are the "keys" to being a normal human, which is to say, a realized human (as in "made real" and "really made," which is not a contradiction, but a paradox).
Nesteruk notes that the affirmation of the incarnate logos, "though being in a body locally at a given point in the vastness of cosmic space, is still co-inherent at every point in space because he is in everything as the Word of God," which in turn "provides an implicit principle of order in the universe that ensures that every place in the universe, as a place of the 'presence' of the Word, is co-inherent with the place where God is bodily incarnate, on earth."
So we got that going for us. Now for some of those contradictions intrinsic to the left; the belief
that there were no charities before welfare,
that there was no art before federal funding,
that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding,
that taxing the use of gasoline or other energy will reduce the use of gasoline or other energy, but taxing work and investment will not reduce work and investment,
that all generalizations are false,
that there are absolutely no absolutes,
that you can be sure that nothing is certain,
that it's really bad, even evil, to make or pronounce moral judgments,
that all cultures are equal, but ours stinks; that no race, class or gender is superior, but middle class white males are clearly inferior, that no books are superior, except, of course, those by third-world authors,
that it's good to support minority, homosexual and women's rights and to simultaneously make common cause with Islamofacists, who would attack all of them,
that identifying individuals by their uniqueness is "racist," but identifying them only as a member of a race is not
that the independent broadcasters who give us 500+ TV channels can't deliver the quality that PBS does,
that good economies are caused by politicians and not by entrepreneurs,
that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity,
Also relevant: Solzhenitsyn, "As Breathing and Consciousness Return," 1973 (via American Digest):
"What is the first step? Simply to discard the lie, and to realize that you have proceeded from a state of false knowledge, to one of true ignorance. The frame of your television is broken; you have no television; the illusion of omniscience vanishes. Eyes you have, and a brain. They are small. The world is large. History is even bigger. So what? You are not first, and not alone."