Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Wanted: One Messiah. No Experience Necessary

Lord of the Flies. Happens every time you put the children in charge.

Any idiot can change the world, but that doesn't mean you can change reality. But the left long ago abandoned any pretense of understanding the world for changing the world. Change! Change is good, isn't it? Isn't this what they were hoping for? Finally the death of capitalism.

It's fine, I suppose, to have an adolescent ideology when one is an adolescent. But what if adolescence is the maturational terminus of said ideology, and every institution established or infiltrated by these immature ideologues legitimizes their immaturity?

Not only do we need a different ideology -- one that isn't, to be exact -- but some adults to administer it. Because it will take the rest of our lives -- at least -- to undo the mess the left has gotten us into, not just here, but around the world.

Yesterday I had to inform my six year-old that his allowance will not begin to cover the bill for Obama's spending spree. Naturally he's going to want a raise, but then I had to explain to him the perils of inflation.

Indeed, it will require an unusual (these days) degree of maturity to endure the patience that will be required to dig our way out. For one thing is certain: even the wisest and most mature adults will not be able to turn this around in one, two, or four years. Which will be the basis of the left's shrill calls for more socialism in the coming years, in order to solve the problems created by socialism (which, you will recall, all started with the socialist attempt to make everyone a homeowner -- or rather, to force lenders to make loans to unqualified borrowers).

Oh well. Human nature. Never say that it's not in need of redemption.

Which brings us back to our freewheeling discussion of Christology, in particular, how we may approach the question of human and divine natures coexisting in the same being.

"For the Son is not the Father -- for only one is the Father, and yet he is what the Father is -- nor is the Spirit the Son, because he comes from the Father, for only one is the Only-begotten, and yet he is what the Son is" (Gregory the Theologian).

In other words, the three persons of the Trinity share an essential "what" but not the "who." This would imply that the What is "deeper" or more fundamental than the Who, but this is not so, because the "whoness" is intrinsic to the "whatness."

What this means is that there is no What without a Who, or rather, no AM without an I. And there is no I without a Thou, and no I-Thou without a link between that is called "love," but which I would prefer to symbolize (L) and (K).

For love and knowledge -- or truth -- are always related, no matter how much one may wish to deny it (but why would one want to, anyway?). Put it this way. You -- you there: do you have any obligation to Truth? Do you owe the Truth your allegiance, your respect, your devotion even?

Of course you do. If you don't, then why am I listening to you? And why are you bothering with me?

If we ask the question, "Who am I?", it is obviously insufficient to answer it in any materialistic way, but also with any general appeal to Being, because man is always personal being. Indeed, he is the mode of personal being within the cosmos (which is why a part of him is always "without" the cosmos, i.e., transcendent). And this personal being is always particular, even though it shares the general features. Yes, I am somebody, but not just anybody.

Oddly enough, this issue reverts back to our opening comments about the current crisis. For if we fail to respect the distinctions within the Trinity, we end up with an admixture that always redounds to our detriment: "Intermingling would mean caesaropapism or political messianism, when a political reality is equated with the Kingdom of God. The human element is swallowed up here" (Schönborn).

This is why genuine religiosity was and is an inoculation against the latest messianism of the left, i.e., Obama. Only a rube or knave would place hope in this mediocrity, who is merely a nothing when he isn't busy pretending to be everything.

And you will see more and more of this recognition on the left, as the scales fall from their eyes and he transitions from everything back to nothing, from somebody back to anybody. The important point is that he hasn't changed, only the projections of those who saw something more in him than a smooth-talking but none-too-bright community agitator.

As usual, this will not be an occasion for introspection on the left or in the media (but I repeat myself), but an occasion to reassemble the search committee for the next messiah. In fact, I believe they'd already have one in place -- as they did in 1980 -- if it weren't for Obama's "race" (which I place in quotes only because I attach no importance to it). For the Democrats cannot alienate blacks and win any national election. Live by the race card, die by the race card.

Picking up where we left off yesterday, we were discussing the nature of "self-knowledge." Now, even the most thorough knowledge of oneself is nothing whatsoever like scientific knowledge, i.e., knowledge of objects and principles. Rather, it is first of all interior knowledge of one's interior, but also "knowing oneself as a whole" (Schönborn), even though the latter is never -- and can never be -- completely conscious.

This a priori "wholeness of self" is an extremely mysterious reality that doesn't receive sufficient attention. For it's one thing for us to perceive exterior oneness, or relative wholeness, in an object of some sort, which has clear boundaries around it. But how to account for the interior wholeness that we take for granted, but which is the implicate ground of our humanness?

It seems that Augustine confronted this question way back in the day. According to Schönborn, he was "convinced that there is something that 'every mind knows of itself and about which it is certain,'" which is none other than I Am.

In this regard, he anticipates Descartes by a millennium or so, but without going off the rails into a mere rationalism: "This ultimate certainty, which can never become objective knowledge, is the basis of all perception" (ibid.).

Thus, not "I think, therefore I am," but rather, "I am, therefore I think." For remember: there is no AM in the absence of the I; and in order for thinking to be both "in truth" and (therefore) efficacious, it must obviously be in conformity to Truth. And do you owe no obligation to Truth? Of course you do. We've already settled that.

Long story short, I believe it is fair to say that, since Jesus is "true man," then all of the above observations must apply to him as well -- indeed, must apply to him quintessentially.

For he surely respects the distinctions within the Trinity, even while knowing that they cannot ultimately be separate; he has an unusually high degree of self-awareness, and with it, other-understanding, or empathy; has a total allegiance to Truth; and does not conflate celestial and terrestrial dimensions, despite the ubiquitous temptation to vote Democrat.

Ah, nostalgia. Good times, good times... until Thatcher had to come along and wreck things.

13 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

*sigh*

I had a long-winded something or other to say, but fargin' google lost it for me.

So instead of repeating it, I'll just say "good post" instead. Then I'm going to find something to read besides the news, as bearing witness to the downfall of civilization seems like more than I can take at the moment...

8/09/2011 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Compare,

"We are the ones we have been waiting for."

To,

"I Am sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14)

I like the phrase "respects the distinctions".

8/09/2011 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

As usual, this will not be an occasion for introspection on the left or in the media (but I repeat myself), but an occasion to reassemble the search committee for the next messiah.

Sadly, the right is just as susceptible to this foolishness. It's just that, for the right, nobody can agree on what makes the messianic figure, and what we end up with come election time is a complete mediocrity who is almost universally disliked, instead.

As an aside, to borrow a meme from Insty, they told me that if I voted for McCain there'd be race riots in urban centers, and they were right!

8/09/2011 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

There seems to be some sentiment that the welfare state is dying. Certainly, the goose is dead, but the Gimmes won't give up until they've picked her bones plumb clean. See the Britain formerly known as Great -- catch it at a superpower in your neighborhood.

8/09/2011 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

No kidding. Narcissists look like good leaders, but they are not.


WV says Adless Shrugged.

8/09/2011 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Not only do we need a different ideology -- obviously -- but some adults to administer it. Because it will take the rest of our lives -- at least -- to undo the mess the left has gotten us into, not just here, but around the world.

I think it will take generations. Meanwhile, the perpetual adolescents will be actively trying to destroy anything even remotely resembling healthy relationships (via Ace), which of course are the basic foundation of humanness as such.

8/09/2011 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Long story short, I believe it is fair to say that, since Jesus is "true man," then all of the above observations must apply to him as well -- indeed, must apply to him quintessentially.

Apropos, from Theology of the Body:

Man becomes an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion. He is, in fact, "from the beginning" not only an image in which the solitude of one Person, who rules the world, mirrors itself, but also an essentially the image of an inscrutable divine communion of persons.

8/10/2011 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"What this means is that there is no What without a Who, or rather, no AM without an I."

Aye. :^)

8/10/2011 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Which will be the basis of the left's shrill calls for more socialism in the coming years, in order to solve the problems created by socialism..."

Definitely a pattern that is doomed to repeat itself, particularly since leftists never bother to learn history.
Not even recent history.

Then again, since leftists can't accept reality I reckon it's too much to expect them to accept history too, which is certainly part of reality.

8/10/2011 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Put it this way. You -- you there: do you have any obligation to Truth? Do you owe the Truth your allegiance, your respect, your devotion even?"

A question not only missing from the modern school, but barred from it. And they wonder why kids are bored even as they heap on oodles and oodles of 'relevance' to all of their lessons.

Ugh.

First day of actual class yesterday, 7th grade... 7th... in 'Communication Arts', they had them put their thumb print on a piece of paper and then were told to incorporate it into a picture of what they want to do in life 'because you are all unique and special!'. And of course equal in all ways, none better, none worse, no one's right or wrong, just different.

OMG.

8/10/2011 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Thus, not "I think, therefore I am," but rather, "I am, therefore I think." For remember: there is no AM in the absence of the I; and in order for thinking to be both "in truth" and (therefore) efficacious, it must obviously be in conformity to Truth. And do you owe no obligation to Truth? Of course you do. We've already settled that."

Yep. It is, and in our awareness of the many ways in which IT is Ising as, we become are of ourselves. Our very awareness of ourselves, and the quality of awareness that is possible, is dependent on how well we identify What Is, is as... so to speak. It is not just our understanding of the world that suffers when we have no regard or feel no obligation to the truth, it is ourselves which suffer, and directly because of it.

Without reverence for Truth, how well can you possibly say "I Am"?

8/10/2011 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

... and if you can't be bothered with what is true about the exterior (especially if it contradicts what you want it to be)... why every would you bother to pear into the interior? You already know what you want it to be... why bother looking?

And of course you're good, after all, you want to be, right? You 'clearly and distinctly imagine it', or so you think, therefore you are.

Now if you can just fix all the mistaken people all around you, then things will be swell!

Argh.

8/10/2011 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger greyniffler said...

The opening pages of Volume 1 of William Manchester's The Last Lion describe the mess that England found herself in as the fall of France became complete. That part ends with a job description: "England's new leader, were he to prevail, would have to stand for everything that England's decent, civilized establishment had rejected. ...." What follows is an almost Beethovian scherzo in words, the sort of writing that Churchill himself might have admired.

I have long felt that the whole job description could be summed up in five words: Help Wanted: Messiah. Experience Required.

8/10/2011 10:36:00 AM  

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