A Meandertale Man with a Sinuous Bridge to Tell
"I say, if you don't know what Man is or what he is for, then what bloody difference does it make what mountainous climbs he's accomplished or what mutinous crimes he's accompliced? He might have done this, or he might have done that, but since he has no essence and no cosmic role, then it doesn't really matter, now does it?"
Now where's my blasted hookah?!
But Christopher Dawson -- who has his coonological orthoducks in a row -- begins with the idea that man is the metaxy, or bridge, between the material and spiritual worlds.
Hey, that sounds familiar. Didn't I sapiens a homologue in meander tall tale? Yes, here it is -- page 133, right next to the picture of that cute little guy caterpultering into a buddhafly. To paraphrase,
"Historians -- contemporary ones, anyway -- no longer presume to know the 'purpose' of history. Without question they tell us about causes and motivations within history, but they steer quite clear of asking what is the actual point of history. And understanding the point of history is admittedly quite difficult -- if not impossible -- if one doesn't know what a human being is."
Indeed, "the problem is compounded for a mere human being working with only human sources, for how then can one stand outside the flow of historical events and gain any perspective on history, or have any stable frame of reference? If the historian is just a historically conditioned product of history, why should we pay any attention to him at all?"
The point is that the majority of secular historians would ironically dismiss Dawson because of his religiosity and "subjectivity," when he is the one who is being -- or at least trying to be -- objective, by placing history in its proper cosmic and spiritual context -- by understanding the flow of horizontal events in the light of an eternal vertical standard.
This is in accord with Tomberg, who conceptualizes history as a sort of whirlpool created by two opposing streams of influence, one horizontal, the other vertical:
"The spiritual-cultural history of mankind is the result on the one hand of the causes which are to be found in space and time, and on the other hand of the causes which are not to be found there, which are of a timeless and spaceless nature."
Or, to plagiaphrase Terence McKenna, history is just the burst of static between monkeys and God, as the eschatological object at the end of time -- call it O, if you like -- "mitigates and transforms the forward flow of entropic circumstance." Noetry in motion!
Wikipedians say that the metaxy is the "in-between" or "middle ground" between the divine realm and mankind. Eric Voegelin (who was influenced by Dawson) used the term to designate "the permanent place where man is in-between two poles of existence" such as infinite and finite, time and eternity, matter and spirit, form and substance, being and beyond-being, or -- would you believe? -- KAOS and CONTROL.
Voegelin also used it to mean the unchanging "template of the mind (or nous) in contrast to the dynamic and unordered flow of experiential consciousness." Which is why it's One Cosmos Under God for those who get smart.
Therefore, as Birzer writes, "Only by properly ordering himself between the two extremes and demands of the physical and metaphysical can man fulfill his purpose for the 'integration [of the material] in the universal order.'"
Thus, even if you are not overtly Christian, you can still see Christianity as our particular way (in the West) of conceptualizing and thinking about this over- or underlying metaphysical reality -- an unavoidably mythsemantical deuscourse as real and objective as mathematical discourse.
To put it another way, if you toss aside our Judeo-Christian wisdom tradition, as secular scholars have done, then you also throw out our traditional way of discussing the reality of man's role as cosmic mediator. You end up with mere de-mythologized horizontal history, and ultimately with a desiccated particularization of historical events, divorced from their origin and destiny, the alphOmega.
This intellectual fallforall encloses the mind in deconstruction, multiculturalism, "diversity," moral relativism, and the politically correct truthspeak of the left. In turn, this is why secularism is not just opposed to religion, but a substitute "religion of darkness" for infertile eggheads living in their ovary towers.
But the yolk's on them. When you worship at the ego-altar of secular extremism, you are engaging in a kind of primitive sacrifice of the One. It is a violent dismembering and therefore disre-membering of Unity, and as result, anti-human in the extreme. Instead of the white unity out of which the diversity of cosmic color emanates, you end up with the black unity of a chaotic blending of colors with no qualitative differences. Raw power then rushes in to fill in the void, and gravity takes care of the rest.
This is why the phony diversity of leftist college campuses results in such a stupifyingly bland and anti-intellectual pneumatosphere, where one is free to believe in anything but Reality.
The new intellectual boorbarians of the left are specifically opposed to man's role as metaxy, even if they cannot consciously understand what they do or why they do it. They are simply reenacting a timeless vertical drama, engaging in a sort of Black Mass involving a crucifiction stranger than fact -- the Crucifixion being the symbol par excellence of the link between human and divine -- only without resurrection.
All primitive sacrifice involves the attempt to steal and appropriate the life force of the sacrificial victim. But this force can only be given from above, not taken from below.