Spoiler Alert: Anthropology + Cosmology = Christology
First of all, we can all agree that existence either has or doesn't have a Point. However, this does't necessarily imply that we could know -- or not know -- it.
In other words, existence might have a Point we can never know. Conversely, we could mistakenly believe that it has no Point when it actually has one.
But if you have the intuition that it does have a Point, that intuition may ultimately be traced back to God -- or let's just say O to keep everybody honest.
In fact, human reason is powerless to determine whether or not there is a Point, first, because reason can only work with the premises it has been provided from elsewhere, and second, because it cannot adopt a stance from outside the total cosmic system, and render judgment on the totality of which it is only a part.
More generally, people will deploy reason to prove the truth of this or that intuition, the latter of which can emanate from spheres above and below the realm of reason per se.
The latter is called "rationalization," and is only a caricature of proper reason. The former is called various things, including intellection, infused contemplation, and riding the currents of the slackstream.
This just highlights the fact that we have various sources of information, interior and exterior, subjective and objective, empirical and suprasensible, that we draw upon to toss into the cognitive hopper and come up with the Answer.
Revelation is one such source we may draw upon. In fact, it is the only source that is presupposed to emanate from outside the total cosmic system, and therefore the only information that can truly bear upon our opening question about the Point of existence.
Now, if this point is truly the Point, it won't just appear at the "end" of the cosmic process. By way of analogy, the point of a novel doesn't just abruptly appear on the last page, disconnected from everything that has preceded it.
Rather, in hindsight it will be seen that the end was there all along, shaping the narrative and infusing it with drive, coherence, and purpose. Again, there are hints along the way, but only at the end do we acquire the area rug that pulls the whole room together.
Think, for example, of the first generation of Christians who were shocked to discover the abundance of meaning in the "Old Testament" which had eluded them before. In this way, the novel events of those three days in particular had the effect of utterly transforming the past, so to speak.
But this is only an extreme case of what history always does. Since the present is always changing, this changes the meaning of the events leading up to it. One can only understand the meaning of something by allowing its effects to play out.
In the margin of Credo for Today "I" wrote a note to "myself" -- or was it the other way around? -- that Anthropology + Cosmology = Christology. Colloquially speaking, this is the equation of our cosmic birth (see p. 15 of the Encirclopedia).
This inburst of data is an example of what was stated above about the different sources of information. For what is the ultimate source of this "fact," if that's what it is?
Yes, it's from "me" -- with a big assist to the Cardinal -- but that just begs the question, because it isn't anything I thought out ahead of time.
Rather, the reverse: the moment it entered my head -- or broke into my sphere of conscious awareness -- it was accompanied by the thought that this was something I needed to think about.
These types of thoughts occur all the time, but I only began noticing them when I began paying attention to them. Now they occur so frequently that I must write them down, as in the case of the above. I compare it to seeds falling from the sky. First you have to catch them. But then you need to plant them. Yes, occasionally one will randomly fall into fertile soil and flower on its own, but why waste the bounty?
One question we need to address is whether any musings about the totality of the cosmos are just forms of anthropology dressed up as cosmology. For any discipline short of traditional religion, this must be the case, because for the secular atheist it is quite impossible for man to know anything outside his own neurology and cognitive categories -- including that!
Ratzinger notes that for Christianity, the convergence of person and cosmos, of anthropology and cosmology, is the end of "the world." The revelation of the unity of the two reveals that this unity has been the goal all along, precisely:
"Cosmos and man, which already belong to each other even though they so often stand opposed to one another, become one through their 'complexification' in the larger entity of the love that... goes beyond and encompasses bios."
That was already more than a mythful, but allow Ratzinger to continue before we add our own commentary:
"Thus it becomes evident here once again how very much end-eschatology and the breakthrough represented by Jesus' Resurrection are in reality one and the same thing; it becomes clear once again that the New Testament rightly depicts the Resurrection as the eschatological happening."
In other words: the Resurrection is the unsurpassable end and meaning of existence. It certainly meets the criteria mentioned above, in that it is not something we could ever accomplish on our own, and it is indeed an ingression from outside the total cosmic system, and one that has the effect of transforming the cosmos, in the same way that the passage of time always reveals the purpose of what went before.
We're not through here. But that's probably enough to think about for one morning, and besides, I don't want to saturate the space or flood the field right away. To be continued.