How the Under Half Lives
Obviously, no human being is born "complete," or, less inaccurately, finished. No one is -- or should be -- finished until their life is. And even then... or so we have heard from the wise.
Rather, just like the body, the soul always points toward its own fulfillment, meaning that it must, in a sense, be both an "already" and a "not yet" -- which, as we shall see, has some important implications for Christian eschatology in general.
(And with regard to these irreducible orthoparadoxes that are not susceptible to aristotelian logic, -- e.g., already/not yet, I-in-Christ, Christ-in-me -- I would recommend using your God-given bi-logic to understand them.)
I am reminded of a couple of quotes by Norbert Elias contained in the Cʘʘnifesto:
"[T]he individual, in his short history, passes once more through some of the processes that his society has traversed in its long history.... If one wished to express recurrent processes of this kind in the form of laws, one could speak, as a parallel to the laws of biogenesis, of a fundamental law of sociogenesis and psychogenesis."
Never ask why human beings keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over, or why each generation discovers anew the wonderfulness of socialism, only to see their collectivist tower of bubbles come crashing down.
The second quote, and it's a good one, full of implications:
"It seems as if grown-up people, in thinking about their origins, involuntarily lose sight of the fact that they themselves and all adults came into the world as little children. Over and over again, in the scientific myths of origin no less than religious ones, they feel impelled to imagine: In the beginning was a single human being, who was an adult" (emphasis mine).
Interestingly, one thing I've really noticed about Balthasar, Ratzinger, and Wojtyla, is their deep appreciation of psychological development, and with it, attachment, bonding, parental relatedness, etc., which automatically, even if only implicitly, confers much more importance upon Mary, since carrying Jesus in her womb was only the beginning of her task (as indeed all mothers know).
The idea we've been developing over the past several posts is that -- consistent with long-established dogma -- Jesus is man and God, unmixed and yet undivided. Here again, with the use of our bi-logic we may imagine how such a situation could be.
For Rahner (as described by Schönborn), we might imagine in Jesus "a basic mode of being that is immediate to God, of an absolute kind," coexisting with "a development of this original self-awareness of the absolute fact of the creaturely intellectuality having been given away to the Logos."
I don't know if that last sentence was entirely clear, but Schönborn goes on to suggest that "what develops in the human life of Jesus" is obviously not the basic mode, or his essential ground of divinity, but rather, "the thematization and objectification of this basic mode of being in human concepts that are taking place."
Here again, this allows us to at least imaginatively enter into his mentality, and understand how he could gradually come to terms with his mission -- for example, while praying in the garden of Gethsemene.
And it helps get our minds around the idea that Jesus can be God and yet have an "I-thou relationship with the Father that occurs in history."
For Balthasar, Jesus "mission" in time is precisely the realization in history of the eternal activity of the godhead, or the historical prolongation, so to speak, of the Trinity into time.
In a certain way, I suppose we may imagine it as the dialectic of O and (¶), only writ large, to put it mildly. As alluded to above, Jesus both "is" and, in the End -- or better yet, Begending -- "becomes" O: not My will, but Yours, be done.
This we might say is the full concordance of Man and God, or the full conscious realization of ʘ. Indeed, we might even pneumaticonically represent the well-known formula of the Fathers by unSaying: O became (•) so that (•) might become ʘ.
As we have discussed in many posts, there is not, nor can there be, any humanness in the absence of relationship, and this would apply quintessentially to Jesus.
For who is Jesus, ultimately? He is Son, and the essence of Son-ness is the relation to Father (and vice versa).
Gotta get rolling. To be continued....