Scoping the Cosmic Competition
Look familiar? We're obviously describing the same object:
His is just a little more sloppy, or impressionistic, or sloppy drunk, that's all. Same bang, same torus-shaped object emanating outward from a central point of infinitude, which is both source and destiny, alpha and omega. Both are renditions of O. Truly, we have been drawn into the same attractor, right down to transformations of the same invisible visual image to convey it.
We are of course talking about Brendan Purcell's From Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution, which, like our One Cosmos, attempts to pack the whole existentialida -- the whole cosmic drama -- into a combo-plate in the head of about 300 pages. It is the only other recent book of which I am aware that synthesizes everything from physics to anthropology to paleontology to biology to history to mysticism to theology to mind parasites into one convenient narrative -- but in a non-stupid manner, since anyone can do it the other way.
There are differences, however. I would estimate that his bibliography is about twice the size of mine. Hard to tell because of the different sized fonts, but his runs to over 20 pages, whereas mine is only 11. However, this quantitative difference reveals a qualitative difference, in that mine has much more of a "top-down," synthetic approach, whereas his is much more of a bottom-up endeavor.
In my case, I was guided by a clear and distinct vision and narrative that organized the material below, whereas his relies more on an overwhelming amount of scientific data, from which an attempt is made to discern the overarching pattern stretching from 13.7 billion years ago to the present moment. Perhaps that's why his cover art is so much more sloppy. You might say that mine suggests the supernatural order of Dante's realism, whereas his is more postmodern.
Who is this Brendan Purcell? According to Professor Backflap, he is an ordained priest who is currently adjunct professor of philosophy at Notre Dame. His previous book was called The Drama of Humanity: Towards a Philosophy of Humanity in History, while he also co-edited Voegelin's classic Hitler and the Germans. In fact, he is hugely influenced by Voegelin, whom he knew personally. In his bibliography there is more Voegelin than anyone else, essentially the complete works, which would probably take about five years to get through, assuming one has other responsibilities and a slight streak of masochism.
Speaking of whom, our bibliographies contain many of the same names. This is not an academic observation, since it reveals the "clues" we both regard as significant. In other words, faced with the infinite mass of data before us, we both honed in on particular sources.
At the same time, we had some mutually exclusive influences, including some who are quite central to my approach, thus accounting for differences in sensibility and emphasis.
For example, I don't expect that too many other people -- well, none actually -- will share my enthusiasm for W.R. Bion, Allan Schore, Robert Rosen, Valentin Tomberg, James Joyce, and Fritjhof Schuon, especially in combination. You'd think the combination would make for one weird stew, and perhaps it does. Yes, that would explain a lot. The elusive "royalty check," for starters.
I think it's safe to say that Purcell's approach is much more mainstream, both scientifically and religiously. Obviously we are burdened -- or liberated, depending upon your EQ (eccentricity quotient) -- by the whole Raccoon thing, from which we could not escape even if we wanted. I think Purcell would say that he wants to "engage" the other side, not wage a polemical and unproductive battle with them.
But from our more bobnoxious perspective, this has as much chance of success as attempting to reason with a liberal, which we all know is as productive -- and perverse, frankly -- as milking a bull. As we say, liberalism cannot be argued out of, only awakened from.
That being the case, it is only more true of Spirit, to which we must also awaken, not be argued into. Arguing helps, of course, but only if one is dealing with an intellectually honest and uncorrupted spirit who is inclined to accept the evidence and willing to humble himself before Truth.
This is just a very short intro, since I'm already pressed for time, so let's start with the big picture, and get into details later. This Big Picture is the idea that all human beings -- even the wrongheaded ones we don't like -- are motivated by the same Quest, which is none other than the Cosmic Adventure, the search for the Eternal Ground.
Although their metaphysic will not allow them to admit it to theirproudselves, even -- or perhaps especially -- Marxists, leftists, metaphysical Darwinists, doctrinaire atheists, secular fundamentalists, and positivists of various kinds are all seeking the same ultimate Truth, except in a self-defeating way that assures failure. However, this hardly means that we can't benefit from this or that genuine relative truth they discover, since all truth is of the Holy Spirit.
Damn, I think I'll just stop now, because it will be too frustrating to stop once I get started. Gotta wake the boy in five minutes, and then drive him to school. To be continued....
But first, another snapshot of the cosmos, just because: